Kaytranada, Jessie Reyez with 6lack, Bülow and more: songs you need to hear this week
Six new tracks 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 Kaytranada with VanJess, Paper Beat Scissors, Bülow, Tim Baker, Jessie Reyez with 6lack and Janette King. 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.
'Don't Mind,' Paper Beat Scissors
"Strong words, few deeds/ tell me what a friend should be./ Go again: roll the dice/ show me where my heart should be." The lead single off Paper Beat Scissors' upcoming album, "Don't Mind" is cheeky and buoyant at once, lyrically questioning outside expectations atop a joyful guitar and a flourishing combination of organ and string quartet (played by Montreal's Warhol Dervish). Tim Crabtree, who's operated under the Paper Beat Scissors moniker for the last decade, released an EP in 2017 titled All We Know, and his upcoming third full-length, Parallel Lines, builds on that previous release's meditation: whether you can really, truly know something, and what that means in relation to others.
— Holly Gordon
"I should warn ya, this euphoria don't last forever," goes the chorus of this tantalizing track from Bülow's new EP, Crystalline. While few good things do, "Euphoria" at least gives us three-and-a-half minutes of rhythmically deft lyrics ("Diamonds always turn to dust/ Maserati gonna rust"), haunting melodies and coolly compelling vocals. Lush production transforms the simple piano accompaniment into a cinematic sonic wave, entirely suitable for a song that's essentially an ode to relationships that thrive on adrenaline, Bonnie-and-Clyde-style.
— Robert Rowat
'Dysfunctional,' Kaytranada & VanJess
Have you ever been dancing happily to a song, only to realize that the lyrics were, well, not so happy? This is the duality that Kaytranada has created on his latest track, "Dysfunctional." The colourful new song features vocals by Nigerian-American R&B duo VanJess, whose sensual voices slink across the groovy production. It's only midway through the song, as you're vibing out, that you realize how intense the lyrics are: "You got me out here screaming, waiting for you/ But I know that you won't hear me call." They've somehow crafted a supremely danceable track that takes you just a bit outside your comfort zone.
— Natasha Ramoutar
'All Hands,' Tim Baker
"So many hands went into the making of this song, this album, this 'solo' Tim Baker. Here they are." Tim Baker's latest single, "All Hands," is a nostalgic lyrical ode to his home province of Newfoundland, and the new video for it hits that right home. The steady strum of the (now Toronto-based) singer-songwriter's guitar takes us face by face through some of the people who've supported him through the years, including family members, Hey Rosetta! bandmates, q's Tom Power, Repartee's Meg Warren and Montreal's Little Scream, whose backup vocals you can hear on the track. Each dutiful, steady expression transforms into a joyous one, as the video ends with everyone exuberantly dancing in their various homes. It's all a celebration, and it's just in time for Baker to release his first solo full-length album by week's end. — HG
'Imported,' Jessie Reyez & 6lack
It's been three years since Toronto R&B singer Jessie Reyez came onto the scene with her single, "Figures." In that time, the rising star has made a name for herself as a solo star, a hit songwriter (mostly for Calvin Harris, including "Promises" and "One Kiss"), and a key collaborator on Eminem's 2018 album, Kamikaze. Two EPs and a bunch of accolades later, Reyez is finally gearing up for her full-length debut later this year and "Imported," a remix of a song from last year's Being Human in Public EP, is our first glimpse at what this release will sound like.
The slow, grooving break-up song now opens with a verse from 6lack (instead of the original's JRM) whose own cadence and contributing harmonies breathe new life into the track which otherwise still serves as a highlight for Reyez's own vocal acrobatics. While we wait for the debut album though, it might be worth not just revisiting "Imported," but many of Reyez's previous works to fully understand why this is going to be one of the most anticipated releases of the year.
— Melody Lau
'Starlight,' Janette King
"Starlight" is the perfect title for Janette King's glittering, joyfully empowering WOC anthem. "We existed under starlight/ we existed under bedroom sheets/ we existed in the dark of the night," King sings. And she returns to those two words again and again: "we existed." It's a powerful, purposeful declaration over a backdrop of clipped beats and twinkling synths. There's a lovely queer sensuality to the music video, too, that's evocative of King's activism in her Montreal arts community. If this soulful, shimmering track is any indication of what's to come from the release of King's sophomore EP, 143, on April 19, I know what's going on repeat this weekend.
— Andrea Warner