Cartel Madras, Jarrel the Young, Jaden feat. Justin Bieber, and more: songs you need to hear this week
4 fresh Canadian tracks to add to your playlist right now
Each week, CBC Music producers come together to highlight Canada's best new tracks.
This week, we got hooked on new songs from Cartel Madras, Jarrel the Young, Jaden featuring Justin Bieber, and T. Thomason feat. Ivan Coyote. 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.
'Working,' Cartel Madras
Calgary rap group Cartel Madras has stayed relatively quiet since the release of their 2019 EP, The Age of Goonda. But now they're back with their first 2020 single and they want you to know that they're laser-focused on the future, as they state on their latest track: "I got big plans, you know when a bitch workin'." "Working" is a hip house anthem that stomps through with confidence. Inspired by sharp lyricists like Cakes Da Killa and Azealia Banks, Cartel Madras's Contra and Eboshi soften their delivery (which often hits more aggressively on tracks like "Goonda Gold" and "Lil Pump Type Beat") to smoothly navigate the bouncing beat by fellow THOTNATION collective member Jide. The result is, as a press release described it, "a queer, party track which pulls from our experiences as bad bitches in the music scene from the LBGTQ+ community." So whether you're ready to party or ready to put in the work, this track will provide the perfect soundtrack for either occasion. — Melody Lau
'Falling for You,' Jaden feat. Justin Bieber
Hit play on this song from Jaden's CTV3 and you'll wonder whether you've travelled back in time to the 1960s, when wholesome acoustic songs like the Lovin' Spoonful's "Daydream" held sway. While you can hear echoes of that style in "Falling for You," Jaden gives the cheerful chunk guitar a sombre twist: "I think I'm falling for you/ If you don't call me, I'll jump off the roof," he cautions in the chorus, articulating the pleasurable pain of unrequited love. Then, on his verse, Justin Bieber brightens the mood with artful falsetto while continuing the lovelorn theme and concluding, "Got a whole lot to risk/ Don't take my heart into the abyss." — Robert Rowat
'Tumble,' Jarrel the Young
Jarrel the Young is a Toronto producer who has worked behind the scenes with the likes of Jessie Reyez, David Guetta, Neyo and more. While working in the U.K. earlier this year, he contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized, ultimately spending over a month away from his young family. That's when the seeds for his first solo project were planted, one that deals equally with feeling hopeful and helpless. "And we can't afford to tumble, and we can't afford to fall," he sings on "Tumble," an uplifting anthem for the struggles and joy of living in our new normal. The touching video, shot by his three-year-old daughter, shows Jarrel as he balances being a working musician with being a parent — a situation anyone with kids can relate to. Jarrel the Young's debut EP Virtue 1: Truth, Justice, is the first in a planned three-EP series. — Jesse Kinos-Goodin
'Birdsong Pt. II,' T. Thomason feat. Ivan Coyote
"Birdsong," the opening track off T. Thomason's self-titled 2019 album, was a declaration of self-transformation. Amidst a supportive chorus of voices, the Halifax songwriter joyously exclaimed, "New body, new name!," effectively introducing us to the artist — and person — Thomason has become. On "Birdsong Pt. II," Thomason partners with Whitehorse writer Ivan Coyote for an equally moving reimagining of the original. Atop Thomason's original musical bed and chorus, Coyote delivers a powerful set of verses that act as tender advice on how to cope emotionally with being misgendered. "I wrote it for all of us who have to armour or shield ourselves from others who do not clearly see us for who we are inside," Coyote said via press release. "I feel like T.'s lyrics and my words kind of bookend each other, and function together like a sort of outside and underbelly of the same idea."
"When Ivan asked me to sum up 'Birdsong' during our collaboration I said: 'It's about the dream of building your own freedom and eventually reveling in it,'" Thomason said via press release. "Ivan was one of the people who modelled freedom and made me believe I could build my own, too. I never imagined that my 'eventually' would include hearing our voices all wrapped up on a track, but I'm sure as hell reveling in it." We're grateful to be able to revel in it, too.
— Holly Gordon