Music

Justin Bieber's bid for song of the summer, and 4 other 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

Daniel Caesar and Giveon jump on Justin Bieber's new single, 'Peaches,' for an early song-of-the-summer contender. (Justin Bieber/YouTube)

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:

  • Justin Bieber featuring Daniel Caesar and Giveon.
  • DijahSB and Chris Castello.
  • K. Forest feat. Saudin.
  • Allison Russell.
  • Sultan + Shepard.

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 brand new 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 Coehlo reveal the standout new Canadian song.


'Peaches,' Justin Bieber feat. Daniel Caesar and Giveon

We got an early taste of "Peaches'' last week when Justin Bieber sang it for NPR's Tiny Desk series just days ahead of the release of Justice, his sixth studio album. While that Tiny Desk performance had Bieber singing solo, accompanying himself on keys and clad in a baggy T-shirt surely pulled from the bottom of his laundry bin, the version on the album and video is a polished amalgam of crisp production, well-cast collaborators and on-point fashion — Giveon's powder-blue moto jacket is a huge fit — that's destined for song-of-the-summer status.

This mid-tempo jam's chorus, which you hear seven times, is a sort of summer-fun checklist that includes the titular peaches, weed, a "chick" and light (or is it Light, as in God?). Bieber applies his bright, pliable timbre to it as well as the first verse, leaving room for Daniel Caesar and Giveon to each take a verse of their own with their warm, yet distinctive baritones. Caesar pulls pleasing new melodies from the chord changes, while Giveon's voice brims with urgency as he sings, "Done being distracted/ the one I need is right in my arms." — RR


'Overtime,' DijahSB and Chris Castello

With the sun shining bright and spring in full bloom, you need music that'll give you an extra bounce in your step. Enter Toronto rapper DijahSB's latest single, "Overtime" featuring fellow Torontonian artist Chris Castello. Much like the uptempo gems on their 2020 album, DijahSB is at their best when they bring an energy and flow that goes toe-to-toe with the track's vibrant beats. Here, warm synths set the scene accompanied by an airy riff, finger snaps and a drum beat that coalesce into something akin to the dancefloor stylings of Kaytranada. (Sidenote: a DijahSB and Kaytranada collaboration would be a dream and I would like to manifest this.) "Overtime" will be featured on DijahSB's upcoming release, Head Above the Waters, out April 23. — Melody Lau 


'Better Option,' K. Forest feat. Saudin

One of life's most exasperating experiences is watching somebody you love choose someone else. That's the unfortunate scenario in which K. Forest finds himself in "Better Option," an impassioned slow jam from his fourth studio album, Welcome to the Wildfire. The song unfolds as an internal monologue full of questions and observations from the sidelines — "I'm Mr. Right today, tell him goodbye today.... Are you happy? Are you looking for a reason/ to pack your bags up and leave him?" Of course, misery loves company, and in this case Forest commiserates with R&B singer (and former Degrassi star) Saudin, their contrasting voices playing off one another and escalating the intensity. — RR


'Nightflyer,' Allison Russell

Allison Russell is already in the midst of an established career (as one-half of Birds of Chicago with partner JT Nero and, most recently, member of banjo group Our Native Daughters with Rhiannon Giddens), but this May marks the 39-year-old's first solo album — and it is a rebirth. The Montreal-raised, now Nashville-based singer-songwriter excavated heartbreaking personal trauma for an album that "is about trying to lay to rest the shame and the anger," as she told Rolling Stone, and the just-released lead single, "Nightflyer," is a celebration of that journey, backed by an increasingly supportive chorus of singers and swaying with a country-tinged lilt. "I'm a violent lullaby," Russell sings on the third verse, affirming herself in complex and beautiful ways with each line that precedes and follows. Sometimes you can hear Russell smiling while she's singing, and it's a beautiful thing to witness. Outside Child will be out May 21. — Holly Gordon


'Assassin,' Sultan + Shepard

Montreal's Sultan + Shepard's latest release, Something, Everything, is an uplifting safe room for your ears and spirit, a full-length place to get lost  and an impressive feat for a duo that has sonically shifted to melodic house after moving over to the label This Never Happened last year. Sultan + Shepard's second single, "Assassin," is a flex, showing how well they've made that transition. Opening with simple keys and a kick drum, the song builds to the 90-second mark, where the swelling resolves on the first lines: "Less a lover, more a fighter/ but I'm tired of fighting to hold on/ got too many scars to hide them/ so it's easier being on my own." That tone is no accident, as that's how the duo sees itself  and us  right now. From there, the track's melancholic feeling gives way, as many songs do, to love. It's a feeling that permeates the entire album and reminds us, like a warm embrace, that it's all going to be OK.  — Ben Aylsworth

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