Allison Russell and Brandi Carlile's powerhouse collaboration, and 4 more songs you need to hear this week

Fresh new tracks to add to your playlist right now.

Fresh new tracks to add to your playlist right now

We hope this new collaboration between Allison Russell and Brandi Carlile is just the beginning for the 2 Grammy-nominated singers. (Aimsel Ponti)

Every week, CBC Music producers come together to bring you some of Canada's best new releases. The rule: if it's a song you need to hear, you'll find it on this list.

This week, we have songs from:

  • Allison Russell featuring Brandi Carlile.
  • Aquakultre featuring Trobiz.
  • Talvi.
  • Jason Collett.
  • Isabella Lovestory.

Scroll down to find out why you need to hear each song. 

What are some Canadian tunes you're currently obsessed with? Share with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.

To hear more about these standout songs, tune in to CBC Music Mornings every Thursday and Toronto's Here and Now every Wednesday afternoon, both available via CBC Listen.

'You're not Alone,' Allison Russell feat. Brandi Carlile 

Brandi Carlile might be one of music's best collaborators right now. From performing with Joni Mitchell at this year's Newport Folk Festival to entering the studio with Tanya Tucker (and capturing everything for an upcoming documentary), Carlile has earned the trust of some of music's most iconic acts. But she is also a friend to the current slate of folk and country artists, including Canadian Allison Russell. Carlile recently hopped on a re-recording of Russell's "You're not Alone," a track that originally appeared on a 2019 album by Our Native Daughters, an old group of Russell's with fellow banjo players Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah and Leyla McCalla. Over a sparkling banjo and floating violin part, Russell and Carlile's harmonies weave seamlessly together as they remind listeners, and each other, "You're not alone." That's only outdone by the repeated refrain, "We have love," in which Russell and Carlile take turns letting their vocals soar, truly showcasing both musicians' ability to pour gallons of pure emotion into their art. Here's hoping we hear more collaborations in the future between these two talented, Grammy-nominated powerhouses. — Melody Lau

'Africvillean Funk,' Aquakultre

Lance Sampson, a.k.a. Aquakultre, released his third album, Don't Trip, on July 22, and it was a summertime gift. Laced with guests and swimming through lanes of R&B, funk, gospel, hip hop and more, Don't Trip is the block party we needed in 2022. And today Sampson, who was longlisted for the 2020 Polaris Music Prize and won CBC's Searchlight competition in 2018, releases the music video for "Africvillean Funk," which tells a short story based on true events: how Halifax razed and displaced the Black community of Africville, where Sampson's ancestors are from, purportedly to build the now-standing A. Murray MacKay Bridge. While the song whisks you away with an addictive riff and rapper Trobiz's playful verses, the seven-minute video, written by Sampson and J. Walsh, gets to the song's dark heart:

"When it's all said and done, Africvilleans still have not received proper compensation or reparation for their homes that have been torn down in the name of 'urban renewal,'" explained Sampson via press release. "At this point, the call of action should be, and still stands: 'Let the people build back their homes.' Even through the years and years of protest led by Eddie Carvery, 'The Funk' (fight) still continues." — Holly Gordon

'The Day we met Never Ended for Me,' Talvi

Talvi's latest solo single, "The Day we met Never Ended for Me" is featured on indie label Italians Do It Better's compilation album, After Dark 4. In a press statement, they called it a collection of "27 tracks for the endless summer of your dreams," and situated amongst Italo disco, electro, punk and spoken word, Talvi's dream pop cashes in on that promise. We're used to hearing the Toronto singer as one-half of Prince Innocence, but she's been releasing solo music since 2020. Her serene voice dances with the hazy synths as she sings expectantly, "I know that you dream about me/ my dreams of you are way too real." The song is the perfect soundtrack for riding along on hot summer nights, the kind that become fleeting as the season nears its end. There's a sense of wanting to hold on, being completely suspended from time and prolonging the beautiful moments between lovers. That sentiment comes to the fore in two lines from the chorus: "We're spinning out in the ether/ searching for moments we can steal." — Kelsey Adams

'Dark Times,' Jason Collett

It's been six years since we last heard from Toronto folk troubadour Jason Collett, but this year finally marks his return with Head Full of Wonder (out Nov. 4). Just like everyone else, it appears that Collett has had just as tumultuous of a time as the rest of us, as he revealed in a press release: "The challenge is to get to the other side with something positive to contribute." Enter lead single "Dark Times," a warm and intimate number that doesn't deny the tough moments as much as it faces them head-on with Collett's musical arsenal of jangly, Bahamas-esque guitars. "In the dark times/ will there also be singing?/ Yes, there will be singing/ about the dark times," Collett sings, in his laid-back croon. Inspired by the writing of poet Bertolt Brecht, Collett reminds listeners that dark times can't be cured or erased, but instead made easier — or at least more comforting — by the spirit of music itself. — ML

'Sexo Amor Dinero,' Isabella Lovestory

We've been treated to another heater from Isabella Lovestory, the alter-ego of Montreal artist Isabella Rodriguez. As Maria Isabel Martinez wrote in CBC Music's recent roundup of five Latine artists to watch, Lovestory "purrs and moans Spanish lyrics over reggaeton and hyperpop beats to create tracks that tease and thrill." Her latest single is blazing hot —and not just because Lovestory is literally on fire in the beginning of the music video. The hammering drums and booming bass make her slick delivery hit even harder. She's an artist loaded with innate sensuality, a woman fully in control of her sexual freedom, and that permeates through all her music. If you need to tap into your inner bad b--ch, just hit play. — KA


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