Kaytranada, Valley, Lou Canon and more: songs you need to hear this week
6 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 Valley, Mear, Jessy Lanza, Kaytranada featuring Lucky Daye, and Lou Canon. 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.
Pop quartet Valley is back with its first music since 2019's Maybe, and while "Nevermind" is the most radio-ready song the band has released so far, it also stays true to its quest for "the perfect happy and sad song," as lead singer Rob Laska puts it in a press release. "I want something that I'll never find/ but I just keep on saying 'nevermind,'" goes the chorus, with the three syllables of "nevermind" stretched catchily over four beats. Mixed by Grammy-winning Josh Gudwin (Justin Bieber, Dua Lipa), the song boasts crisp production and a more prominent role for drummer/vocalist Karah James, who says "Nevermind" explores that uneasy space "between a romanticized version of your life and the 'sad' reality of it." — Robert Rowat
'Anyone Around,' Jessy Lanza
Long before a pandemic forced some of us to be isolated at home, Jessy Lanza was already confronting a growing sense of loneliness. Having moved to New York City alone, now working long distance with her collaborator Jeremy Greenspan, Lanza craved human connection. The solution was digital, something that is shown in her latest music video for "Anyone Around," the opening track to her upcoming album, All the Time. Edited like a series of Zoom calls, Lanza performs with a number of family members, friends and musicians, some of whom she has yet to meet in person. But together, they are united over the warm glow of the synth-pop track topped by Lanza's voice, echoing above it all as she asks, "Anyone around?" Thanks to technology nowadays, the answer is always yes. — Melody Lau
'Perfect Mess,' Mear
Here's a spectacular debut from Mear, the synth-pop duo of Frances Miller and Greg Harrison, who are set to release their first album later this year. "Perfect Mess" is a beautiful build of a break-up song that captures both the catharsis and regret we feel when a relationship has run its course. Incarnating your inner voice, Miller sings verse 1 over a spare, syncopated accompaniment. The production blooms in verse 2, when Harrison joins the narration. And despite restful interludes that introduce the mantra, "Don't worry," emotions surge as Harrison proclaims, "And I got tired of being afraid/ to watch this perfect mess we've made." — RR
'Look Easy,' Kaytranada feat. Lucky Daye
The last time we heard from Montreal producer Kaytranada, he was gifting fans with an end-of-year album to cap off 2019. Now, many months into the new year, Kaytranada is back with "Look Easy," featuring vocals by New Orleans singer-songwriter Lucky Daye. Just as its title suggests, there's an ease to Kaytranada's track that feels effortlessly, but expertly, thrown together as Lucky Daye delivers cool lines like, "When shit get dicey, I stay icicle," over an electro-R&B beat that is dying to heat up a dance floor somewhere in the future. 'Til then, we'll just have to keep it on repeat at home — a recommendation from Kaytranada himself to those who complained that the track's runtime was too short. — ML
'Invisible Desire,' Lou Canon
Off the singer-songwriter's newly released third album, Audomatic Body, Canon achieves a Sinead O'Connor-reminiscent sensibility with this slow-burning ballad. Her breathy vocals swoop around the piano pulse of the song, which Canon says is about "pushing higher, going further, moving deeper…. and engaging with the world in a sensual way." In the exclusive video premiere of the song's live performance below, watch Canon effectively channel its impassioned message via her nearly whisper-quiet croon. — Jess Huddleston
'Bliyé Sa,' Waahli Yussef
One of the pleasures of living in Montreal is hearing Creole spoken by the city's large Haitian population and, for those who aren't fluent, deciphering its lyrical inflections. It's even better to hear it sung and, as Montreal's Waahli Yussef ably demonstrates, rapped. "Bliyé Sa" ("Forget about it") is the lead single from his new EP, Soap Opera, due out July 31. Co-produced by Boogát, the uptempo song mixes samples with acoustic elements to form a rich sonic tapestry, enhanced by Yussef's warm baritone. The video, directed by Gabriel Ranzani, depicts Yussef and actress Tasia Paula grooming before heading out for a ride through the streets of São Paulo, Brazil, in a yellow Volkswagen Beetle. Who wouldn't want to join them? — RR