Céline Dion, Trevor Guthrie, Valley and more: songs you need to hear this week
Pop bangers, sex songs, breakup songs and summer anthems to add to your playlist right now
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 Valley, Céline Dion, Pierre Kwenders, Daphni and Hardwell feat. Trevor Guthrie. 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.
'Summer Air,' Hardwell feat. Trevor Guthrie
Dutch DJ Hardwell may have retired from touring in 2018, but he's still busy producing and releasing new songs. Following up on "I'm Not Sorry," released earlier this year, he has enlisted Canadian vocalist Trevor Guthrie ("Soundwave," "Summertime") for this new pop banger, "Summer Air." "Feel the sun on your skin/ feel the love sinkin' in," Guthrie begins over minimal guitar accompaniment, leaving plenty of room for this summer anthem to build. And build it does, with big drops and brass effects that will have you "high on life" and rocking out to the rousing chorus. Add this track to the list of contenders for 2019's song of the summer.
— Robert Rowat
'Amours d'Été,' Pierre Kwenders and Branko
"Once fell in love in the summer. Let's just say it was very passionate ... sentiments très très dangereux." Pierre Kwenders hasn't said much about this new song and video, but his Facebook post of "very very dangerous emotions" pretty much sums it up. "Amours d'Été" is a song Kwenders did for Lisbon-based producer Branko's 2019 album, Nosso, and it is all about exactly what he wants from this passionate love ("Si si, je l'aime comme ça;" yes yes, I like it like that). The U.K.-based video series A Colors Show produced the sparse, beautiful new video, which has Kwenders singing solo into a mic, as he is playfully expressive with the lyrics. And while those lyrics might ultimately be NSFW, that seductive Branko beat is unstoppable.
— Holly Gordon
'Sizzling,' Daphni feat. Paradise
It's been two years since Caribou's Dan Snaith has released music under his other moniker, Daphni. This week, just in time for the arrival of summer weather, Snaith returned with a new Daphni single called "Sizzling." The track, which has been part of Snaith's DJ set since 2018, is a rework of a 1981 song called "Sizzlin Hot" by Bermudian band Paradise. (Snaith's version has been approved by the band.) Daphni's take on the infectious disco track leaves most of its signature elements untouched — the bright bursts of horns; singer June Ventzos' fiery vocals — and simply adds some electronic flourishes and revs up the tempo, taking it from a breezy funk jam to a blistering afternoon dance party. It's a late but essential addition to our song of the summer list.
— Melody Lau
'Sports Car,' Valley
Toronto pop quartet Valley has released Maybe Side B, its highly anticipated followup to 2018's Maybe Side A which yielded such great tunes as "Loop Love" and "There's Still a Light in the House." From the new EP, we're immediately taken with "Sports Car," a mid-tempo meditation on a relationship that's reached an impasse. "'I don't think there's any way that I could tell just what you're thinking now'/ I just kept quiet for the risk of sounding boring," goes the exposition that opens the song. To flesh out the dialogue, drummer Karah James joins Rob Laska on vocals, and the titular sports car is the vehicle that abets their characters' separation — a forlorn scenario that's salvaged in this song by Valley's endlessly inventive gift for melody. — RR
'Flying on my Own,' Céline Dion
This past weekend, Céline Dion bid farewell to Las Vegas with her final residency performance at Caesars Palace. But with every end comes a new beginning, and the Canadian icon is looking ahead to a year filled with new music and an upcoming world tour. Even though those things aren't scheduled to happen till the fall, Dion gave fans a treat by debuting a song from her new album, Courage, titled "Flying on my Own." Dion soars on this dance anthem as she embraces the "winds of change," as she sings. But it's the beat drop of the chorus paired with Dion's tremendous emphasis of the words "my own" that make this song truly take off, beyond the walls of her home for the past two decades and soon filling stadiums everywhere. Mark our words: this is the start of the year of Céline. — ML