Alexisonfire, Loud with Charlotte Cardin, River Tiber and more: songs you need to hear this week
5 new tracks to discover and add to your playlist
Here at CBC Music, we're always on high alert for new songs by Canadian artists.
This week, we're listening to new tracks from Milk & Bone and Alex Lustig, River Tiber, Alexisonfire, Loud featuring Charlotte Cardin and Beauts. Scroll down to find out why you need to hear them, too.
What new Canadian tunes are you currently obsessed with? Share them with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.
'Blue Dream,' Milk & Bone and Alex Lustig
Last summer, pop icon Cyndi Lauper pulled Montreal electro-pop duo Milk & Bone onstage at Festival d'été de Québec to sing "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," much to singers Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin's surprise and delight. The Juno-winning pair have now achieved the same wistful sparkle as Lauper's "All Through the Night" with "Blue Dream," off their new EP, Dive, which enlists the help of hip-hop heavy-hitter turned electronic producer Alex Lustig. On the melodic "Blue Dream," Lafond-Beaulne and Poliquin's pixie harmonies carry you into a bedroom-pop trance that's fuelled by their longing for freedom — from everything, really — and true self-discovery. Just in time for hot nights and summer escapism, this ballad is guaranteed to get you dreaming.
— Jess Huddleston
'Sometimes, All the Time,' Loud feat. Charlotte Cardin
Rapper Loud released his second album last week, Tout ça pour ça, and with it came an intimate video for his new single, "Sometimes, All the Time," featuring fellow Montrealer Charlotte Cardin. "I didn't change a word from the iPhone demo to what we released yesterday," Cardin told us at the CBC Music Festival on May 25. "So it's nice when you have a very natural collaboration like that, that just happened and made sense."
As Cardin and Loud face each other in the video (though never make eye contact), they ask, "Do you think about me sometimes? 'Cause sometimes I think about you all the time." Trading between Loud's raps and Cardin's sung verses — while sharing the chorus — the artists build a story of two people leading separate lives, one touring "à l'autre bout du monde" (on the other side of the world), the other wondering why all her calls are declined. Slipping between French and English, Cardin and Loud's voices are smoothly complementary over a slowly addictive beat. This relationship might be doomed, but "Sometimes, All the Time" will be on repeat for some time.
— Holly Gordon
'Taurus,' River Tiber
People born under the sign of Taurus are said to be fixed in their ideas and, in relationships, resolutely loyal. This new song from River Tiber is a mini portrait of a Taurus who's in it for better or worse: "Nothing at all could change my mind/ even on my way out of town/ even when I'm dead in the ground." The one-minute intro establishes a repeated four-bar framework for the song's nearly overwhelmingly wistful mode — fragile souls, proceed with caution — and to complement the beautiful contour of the vocal line, there are nice touches of celesta, whose pitch seems to melt right along with your heart. A song that captures the exquisite ache of being truly in love.
— Robert Rowat
Earlier this year, St. Catherines rock band Alexisonfire released their first song in 10 years. While the band has reunited for the odd show or festival gig over the past four years, this February marked the first time they've put out new music since 2009's Old Crows/Young Cardinals. The band hasn't indicated any concrete plans to write and record a full album, but fans are still cautiously hopeful for more music. Now, three months after that first track, Alexisonfire has given us another new single.
"Complicit," more so than the previously released "Familiar Drugs," is a return to the band's signature formula: killer guitar riffs thrashing up against rampageous drums, all fighting to fill the same space as vocalists George Pettit, Wade MacNeil and Dallas Green. Green takes a backseat here as Pettit and MacNeil's more gruff tones bounce back and forth on the verses, sounding tighter than ever. "Face the law without a trace of fear/ I can't see the train because I'm the engineer," Pettit howls at the start, kicking off four minutes of self-reflection on white cis male privilege. In a press release, Pettit added that "there is no freedom and no future in a world that is not inclusive." In a time when many are still fighting against injustices and for their rights, it's reassuring to feel that some understand their roles and can simply admit: "We're all complicit."
— Melody Lau
'The City Loves Me,' Beauts
Need a bassline to propel you through the last days of spring? Look no further than Beauts' new single, "The City Loves Me." The Halifax five-piece questions what city life does to a person at just the time we want to shed that city from our restless backs. "It took my health/ it took my hair/ then it tried to show me/ all the ways that it cared," sings Jeff Latwon, bittersweetly, alongside bandmates Palmer Jamieson (guitar/vocals), Joel Waddell (drums), Erik Van Lunen (bass) and Darryl Smith (guitars/synth/vocals). There's a song-of-the-summer shine throughout "The City Loves Me," which makes us ever more anxious to hear Beauts' debut album later this year. — HG