Lights, iskwē, Broken Social Scene and more: songs you need to hear this week

Four hot new Canadian tracks to add to your playlist right now.
Lights and Felix Cartal released a new song called 'Love Me' on Feb. 14. (Trevor Brady)

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 Lights and Felix Cartal, Iskwé, Broken Social Scene and Lydia Ainsworth. 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 .

'Love Me,' Felix Cartal and Lights

"Why can't I make you love me?" To unpack the lyrics of this slick new track from Lights and Felix Cartal is to immediately understand its bittersweet tone. Who can't relate to that feeling of helplessness when one's heart takes control against all better judgement? In a press release, Lights describes it as "essentially a love song but with a sad twist" for which Cartal has crafted moody verses, a finger-snappy pre-chorus with effective use of vocoder, and rousing drops. "The thing that made this collaboration so special is that we're literally the only two people involved in this song," says Cartal. Great minds, etc.

— Robert Rowat

'Can You Find Her Place,' Lydia Ainsworth

In the beautiful, lush music video for Lydia Ainsworth's new single, "Can You Find Her Place," the Toronto artist takes inspiration from Botticelli's painting, Primavera. The famous piece of work represents the "burgeoning fertility of the Earth in spring," as Ainsworth's press release notes, and it's a visual fit for her song as well. Synths bubble up throughout the song as if it were growing from the ground up, as another warm keyboard tone floats above like a sun beaming down, lighting up Ainsworth's voice. It's Ainsworth's catchiest song to date and a hearty embrace reminding us that warmer days are still ahead of us.

— Melody Lau

'Little Star,' iskwē

"All I see today/ is how they wash away/ our little star," sings iskwē on her new single, "Little Star," in which she calls out the racist, victim-blaming coverage of the murders of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, from Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, and 22-year-old Colten Boushie, from Red Pheasant First Nation in Saskatchewan. In the powerful stop-motion animated video by Sarah Legault, Fontaine and Boushie are depicted as clay figures, surrounded by newspaper clippings with headlines like "RCMP Facebook group claims Colten Boushie 'got what he deserved,'" as iskwē sings to the beat of an Anishinaabe honour song.

"In the video, when you see all these headlines and you see these children of all kinds of demographics, all shapes, all sizes, all abilities, all colours, they are looking up to us," iskwē explained to  Billboard. "They're looking up to the ones that are their elders of whatever age that might be, and they're saying, 'What is this that you're feeding us?' Well, we're feeding them all of this bias, all of these stereotypes, all of this prejudice. The power of these kids is they're fighting back against that. That's what the purpose of this video is, that these children are standing there collectively all together, coming together to tear down those messages and get rid of them."

— Holly Gordon

'Boyfriends,' Broken Social Scene

While Broken Social Scene's new song, "Boyfriends," was released on Valentine's Day, it's actually a cautionary tale for anyone about to fall in love. "Try to sing you songs about the open skies/ but they're not, no they're not./ Write you letters saying that they're gonna die/ but they're not, no they're not," sings Kevin Drew while the song's anthemic arc eventually explodes into grungy guitars and fired-up vocals. Get out of toxic relationships, the song also seems to say, and that message is depicted in a witty GIF-based video that includes a clock that displays 11:59, a bursting heart balloon and melting popsicles.

— Vanja Mutabdzija Jaksic


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