Metric's 'end-of-days banger,' and 5 more songs you need to hear this week
Fresh Canadian tracks to add to your playlist right now
Here at CBC Music, we're always on high alert for the best new songs by Canadian artists.
This week, we're listening to new tracks from:
- Arcade Fire.
- Future featuring Drake and Tems.
- Easy Tiger.
- Jahmal Padmore.
Scroll down to find out why you should listen, too.
What new Canadian tunes are you currently obsessed with? Share them with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.
To hear more about these standout songs, tune in to CBC Music Mornings every Thursday and Toronto's Here and Now every Wednesday afternoon, both available via CBC Listen.
'Unconditional I (Lookout Kid),' Arcade Fire
"There's nothing saccharine about unconditional love in a world that is coming apart at the seams," Win Butler says, of his band's latest single, "Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)." The track, off Arcade Fire's upcoming sixth album, We (out Friday), is a message to band leaders Win Butler and Regine Chassagne's young son, but also a gentle reminder to anyone out there that life is full of ups and downs, as Butler continued in his statement, "Shit is going to get worse before it gets better, but it always gets better, and no one's perfect." While the sentimentality factor will be subjective, "Unconditional I (Lookout Kid)" embodies the same galvanizing, anthemic energy as some of Arcade Fire's best songs, like "Wake Up," an emotional Funeral cut that feels like a spiritual cousin to this new track. Over an acoustic guitar that builds into a layered sing-along, Butler tells his son to trust his heart, his mind, his body and his soul. Doing so won't protect you from everything, in fact you'll still experience a "lifetime of skinned knees and heartbreak," but "a life without pain would be boring," Butler sings. As parents, all you can do is provide unconditional love. Is that ultimately a corny message? Sure. But is this song going to make you shed some tears? You bet. — Melody Lau
'Wait for U,' Future feat. Drake and Tems
Future's highly anticipated new album, I Never Liked You, sees him link up with heavy hitters like Gunna, Kanye West, Young Thug, and his favourite Canadian collaborator, Drake. The two consistently hit the studio together — whether pulling off full mixtapes or, most recently, the biggest club cut off Drake's Certified Lover Boy. On INLY, Drake shows up twice, but it's this first appearance that solidifies what both Hendrix and Drizzy do best. Featuring rising star Tems, the melodic, guitar-backed "Wait for U" details the kind of substance-laced romance that leaves both rappers questioning everything, and us wondering what they'll cook up next. — Jess Huddleston
When life gives you lemons, Valley serves you "Champagne." The pop quartet's latest single is "about not letting the negativity of the world bring you down and turning the pain we feel into something positive," explains drummer Karah James, who steps into the spotlight as lead vocalist for the first time. "When I'm shining, you're the thunder cloud/ When I'm thriving you pull me under ground," she sings in the opening verse, whose melodic contour is just as captivating as that of the chorus. The group's usual lead singer, Rob Laska, arrives on verse 2, his falsetto cleverly escaping the melody's confines as he sings, "it's out of my control." Drums drop out during the bridge, a hair-raising interlude that concludes with a Céline Dionesque high note from Laska before the chorus's refrain. It's one of the best song moments of the year so far. Valley is up for group of the year at the 2022 Juno Awards, and they'll perform at the opening night awards on May 14. For CBC Music's complete coverage, head to cbcmusic.ca/junos. — Robert Rowat
'Breakfast in Bed,' Easy Tiger
Breakfast is inarguably best served in bed, but this song will have you ready to shed those sheets and face the day. Easy Tiger is a new Montreal band from Gabrielle La Rue (formerly from NoBro) and Sarah Dion (currently in Les Shirley/NoBro), and this song-of-the-summer contender, premiering below, is the title track from their upcoming debut EP (out May 6). With an inescapable guitar riff anchored by a low-key bassline — plus those Haim-adjacent vocals on the chorus — La Rue and Dion combine their '80s pop and indie-rock influences for a breezy, two-and-a-half-minute banger. The two describe their sound as "the soundtrack to a tiki bar full of cowboys drinking margaritas," and we are very into it. — Holly Gordon
'All Comes Crashing,' Metric
Emily Haines describes "All Comes Crashing," the lead single off of Metric's upcoming eighth album, Formentera, an "end-of-days banger." It makes sense given the album began taking shape during the pandemic, when Haines and band mate James Shaw were holed up in their recording studio in the rural north of Toronto. (They were also separated from Metric's other half, made up of bassist Joshua Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Keys, both of whom were in the U.S. and unable to cross the border.) "All Comes Crashing" is razor-sharp thanks to Shaw's jagged guitar riffs, but it's also warm and heartfelt, from the swelling synths to Haines' words, singing to a loved one that "there's no one I'd rather be lying beside when it all comes crashing." Less about romance, and more about a general solidarity, "All Comes Crashing" represents the perfect balance of Metric's hard and soft sides, showing glimpses of old and new sounds that are coalescing in blissful harmony. — ML
'Sorted,' Jahmal Padmore
From its very first seconds, "Sorted," draws you in with a deep sense of purpose. The hazy guitar crafts a spell as Padmore's pleading vocals seek resolution. It's the second single from the Toronto artist's upcoming album Esparonto, out May 27. "Sorted" contemplates these heavy questions, as Padmore attempts to reconcile how to balance what he's willing to give with what he's actually capable of giving: "I can't give you the things you need/ without forsaking a part of me." When announcing the new track on Instagram, Padmore shared that he's "still writing songs about how to pour into others and love yourself/myself completely. We'll make sense of it, there's still time." It's an introspective and vulnerable track and the live performance dials that emotion up to 10. Padmore is accompanied in the live performance at Telephone Explosion Records by Lenard Isaac Ishmael on bass, Alonzo Moore on drums, Benja on guitar and Colanthony Humphrey of the OBGMs on keys. — KA