Music

Brittany Kennell's reminder that exes belong in the past, and 4 more songs you need to hear this week

Fresh Canadian tracks to add to your playlist right now.

Fresh Canadian tracks to add to your playlist right now

Brittany Kennell leaves her exes in the dust on her fun new single, ‘Bought the T-shirt.’ (Lindsay Kennell)

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:

  • Brittany Kennell.
  • Majid Jordan.
  • The Pack A.D.
  • Jah'Mila.
  • K.D.A.P. (Kevin Drew).

Scroll down to find out why you need to listen, too.

What new Canadian tunes are you currently obsessed with? Share them with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.

Hit play on our Songs You Need to Hear stream, filled with songs that CBC Music's producers have chosen for their playlists, and tune into CBC Music Mornings every Thursday to hear CBC Music's Jess Huddleston and Saroja Coelho reveal which of these tracks is the standout new Canadian song.


'Bought the T-shirt,' Brittany Kennell 

Every relationship is like a destination, a (sometimes) brief stop in the long journey of one's life. When things don't work out, you move on, but not without some baggage or a souvenir to remember that time by. While these experiences aren't without their painful moments, Montreal country singer Brittany Kennell's latest single, "Bought the T-shirt," looks back at her exes with the nonchalance of someone who has had time to process  and now even laugh  at her previous partners. "Ain't it a trip when it don't work," she sings on the upbeat chorus. "Takes one to make you learn/ when you've been there, done that, bought the T-shirt." She later vows to never return to a place she's already visited on a map, instead always keeping her sights set on what's ahead. That's the only way to live: with no regrets, no turning back and a healthy reminder that exes belong in the past. — Melody Lau 


'Been Through That,' Majid Jordan

"Sometimes when you drink too much/ you still call when it's late — I've been through that," sings Majid Al Maskati in the chorus of this slapping new single from Majid Jordan. It's a consolation for anyone who has drunk-dialled an ex, prematurely blurted out "I love you," or otherwise acted impulsively in a romantic situation, only to regret it. Impeccably produced, the song moves seamlessly from verse to pre-chorus to chorus, staying airborne on a rising current of searing backbeat and pulsating bass. Best of all is the synthesizer lick that adorns the chorus's coda, reaching higher and higher while the vocals echo the song's title. "We have been through that, overstretched ourselves, gotten burnt out, acted for the wrong reasons," the duo explained via press release, "but we eventually found our feet and now we're dancing our way out of it." Precisely. — Robert Rowat


'You Don't Own Me,' the Pack A.D.

The Pack A.D.'s cover of Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me" is the perfect Pride month present, and what's more, it is so specifically true to this perpetually underappreciated East Van rock duo. It starts with drummer Maya Miller's playfully ominous beat, re-situating Gore's 1960s queer, feminist anthem in 2021 with the appropriate combination of camp and resistance (that this song still resonates so powerfully almost 60 years later is, frankly, a lot). Becky Black's vocals have always possessed a mesmerizing danger, but here Black adds a layer of dark glam theatrics, conjuring Freddie Mercury by way of Carole Pope, and it's brilliant. If this is the last new music we hear from the band, which announced its last album near the beginning of the pandemic, it is the best kind of goodbye. — Andrea Warner


'Sugar & Spice,' Jah'Mila

Reggae artist Jah'Mila originally moved to Halifax for love, so it's fitting that her new summer single is a horn-laced ode to the one she can't wait to see back home. The daughter of roots reggae guitarist Earl "Chinna" Smith  a notable player in the reggae scene in Kingston, Jamaica, where Jah'Mila was born  the singer's voice could stretch to lift a roof or lightly whisper a lullaby, her power serving as playful and earnest this time as she sings, "I've been counting down the days/ the hours babe/ until I can see your eyes/ my sugar and spice." A touring pro from her days as a backup vocalist for the Wailers, Black Uhuru, Groundation and Richie Spice, Jah'Mila hits that sweet spot of missing your love atop a laissez-faire beat, with no complications creeping in. It's sugar, spice, and everything nice. — Holly Gordon


'The Slinfold Loop,' K.D.A.P. (Kevin Drew) 

If you've ever seen Broken Social Scene live, or spoken to its frontman Kevin Drew before, you'll know that Drew is almost always full of words. But on his upcoming album, under the moniker K.D.A.P. (which cheekily stands for Kevin Drew a Picture), Drew admits: "I didn't have anything to say on this record, but I had so much to feel." An abundance of feelings is also not much of a surprise for the Toronto musician who is known to pack an emotional punch in his anthemic hits, but for Drew, it seems like his two modes of communication — words and feelings — are often being adjusted depending on the mood, the project or the song. K.D.A.P.'s album, Influences, is all instrumental, and its lead single, "The Slinfold Loop" (this project first took shape in London where Drew spent time walking through Slinfold forest, among other places), is a glowing, meditative track that, according to a press release, interrogates the "underground battle to constantly be searching for 'true identity.'" It's a beautiful new layer on top of the already multifaceted sounds and projects of the Broken Social Scene family. — ML

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