Music

Nuela Charles' self-love anthem and 8 more songs you need to hear this week

Fresh Canadian tracks to add to your playlist right now.

Fresh Canadian tracks to listen to right now

Listen to a new track from Edmonton-based soul singer-songwriter Nuela Charles and x more artists from across Canada. (Courtesy of the artist.)

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:

  • Nuela Charles.
  • Kelly McMichael.
  • Blu DeTiger and Chromeo.
  • Magi Merlin.
  • Rachel Bobbitt.
  • Kiwi Jr.
  • GOVI.
  • Ebhoni.
  • Ghostkeeper. 

Scroll down to find out why you need to listen.

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.


'Worthy,' Nuela Charles

Relationships only work when both people involved try to build each other up. But in the opening verse of Nuela Charles' latest single, "Worthy," she's still carrying the hurt of a partner's words: "Haunted by the things you said weren't true." The Edmonton pop artist isn't sure if she can push herself out of this self-doubt, but by the chorus, Charles soars, like an epiphany has just hit her. "If I want it, gotta know I'm/ Worthy, worthy to be somebody/ Somebody to be loved," she croons over a slinky, '80s-inspired groove. "Worthy" is a reminder that you're deserving of love, but the song isn't afraid to show all the hard work that goes into embodying that confidence. No matter what others may tell you, only you can decide your self worth. — Melody Lau


'New Life Coming,' Kelly McMichael 

Kelly McMichael's 2021 album, Waves, just won an East Coast Music Award for rock album of the year, and its 2022 deluxe edition — released exactly one year after its initial offering — holds a brand new opening track for a perfect (re)introduction. "New Life Coming" is a song in two parts, with McMichael's guitar slowly leading us into the title mantra, "There's a new life coming," before dipping into a full-on, Sheryl Crow-tinged rock epic. The song has multiple lives, fittingly for both the album, which is the singer's first solo release after years of supporting others, and McMichael, who was born in Peterborough and moved to St. John's in 2013, where she's since made her home. Fresh off playing the first leg of Sarah Harmer's cross-Canada tour, it feels like McMichael is finally having the time that she and her new album deserve after many pandemic delays, and "New Life Coming" is the perfect encapsulation of it all. — Holly Gordon


'Blutooth,' Blu DeTiger and Chromeo

It was only a matter of time before Canadian duo Chromeo, the self-styled funk lords, would team up with bassist extraordinaire Blu DeTiger, whose signature move is DJing while playing her instrument. They're cut from the same musical cloth. Together, they've released two new songs: the funky "Enough 4 U" and "Blutooth," a gentle disco track about the pleasures and perils of giving in to a dangerous liaison. "You could ruin my life, you caught my eye/ And blew my mind, twist it tie dye," DeTiger sings in the latter song's opening verse, her eloquent bass providing running commentary. Production is impeccable, with classic Chromeo winks such as wood blocks, rhythmic backup vocals ("s'alright! s'OK!") and imaginative synthesizer colours. — Robert Rowat


'Milkweed,' Magi Merlin

Montreal-based singer Magi Merlin released her Gone Girl EP recently and it's almost impossible to pin down. Filled with deeply disparate sonic landscapes, the songs range from drum and bass, house, and Motown to trippy hip hop and neo-soul. The opener, "Milkweed" is the first taste we get of Merlin's cheeky flippancy toward genre. It's soulful, funky, irreverent and gritty. She has a clear, definitive voice lyrically, toeing a line between serious and comically self-referential. Her voice is sexy and teeming with menace. Milkweed is a very poisonous plant. It has gorgeous pinkish purple blooms but can cause skin irritation and nausea, diarrhea, weakness and seizures if consumed. The metaphor writes itself: no matter your preconceived notions of Merlin, she isn't somebody to mess with. — Kelsey Adams


'More,' Rachel Bobbitt

For most, being a woman in 2022 means moving through the world with a nagging feeling of doubt: doubt that you are understood, doubt that you are safe, doubt that yet another backwardly ambivalent period will end in triumph. On "More," the first single off her forthcoming EP, Toronto-via-Nova Scotia singer-songwriter Rachel Bobbitt addresses one of the most doubt-ridden systems one will encounter: women's healthcare. "More is a song about pain and navigating the medical system as a woman whose pain is often disregarded as inevitable," Bobbitt says in a press release. Graduating from echoey strums into screaming War on Drugs-style licks, the song's evolution effectively mirrors the building frustration most women will experience in the process of looking for answers and justice. — Jess Huddleston


'Night Vision,' Kiwi Jr. 

Toronto rockers Kiwi Jr. are a busy band. Later this summer, they will be releasing Chopper, the band's third album in four years. Teaming up with Wolf Parade's Dan Boeckner, who steps in as producer on Chopper, Kiwi Jr. have shifted their indie-rock sound toward a darker, synth-assisted direction, especially on lead single, "Night Vision." At first listen, you could almost mistake this for a Room on Fire-era single by the Strokes (that combination of guitars and Jeremy Gaudet's vocals is uncanny at times), but Kiwi Jr. bring their own sensibilities to the track, too. Lyrically, images of teenagers driving around and making plans can sound wistful, but it ultimately revs up to the idea of building one's confidence to go ahead and make big decisions. Sometimes there's nothing that can amp you up in those important moments better than a loud, chugging rock number. — ML


'Some Days I Wait,' GOVI 

GOVI is an Ajax-based producer, who frequently shares his selective tastes as a guest DJ on OVO Sound Radio. His debut album, Where do we Fall, was released in May and is full of lush and atmospheric production. His latest single, "Some Days I Wait," is all about going through the motions. The drums, synths and vocals twist themselves into thrillingly repetitive lines, as "Some days I wait…. just for you" echoes. In the music video, GOVI plays a version of himself that is "caught in a repetitive cycle, living the same day over and over again, waiting for the moment where it all changes." He wakes up, plays a gig to a packed crowd, has drinks with friends and through it all, he seems largely detached from the life going on around him. In a press release, he shared that the "rolling toms and off-beat snares" that you hear throughout the track are meant to be "reminiscent of a soca riddim." Being of Guyanese descent, GOVI grew up listening to the music of the Caribbean: soca, dancehall and reggae and that influence permeates his music in unexpected ways. The vocal samples in "Some Days I Wait" trail off into unended phrases, a technique that was inspired by dub (subgenre of reggae) vocals. — KA


'Whose Fault,' Ebhoni 

Toronto-born, Atlanta-based singer Ebhoni has been progressively leaning into her Caribbean roots through her music (she's part Antiguan and Jamaican). "Whose Fault" has an old-school reggae rhythm that's a perfect contrast to Ebhoni's defiant lyricism. Instead of retreating into herself after a failed relationship, she's channeling her anger and blaming her adulterous partner. And she's not afraid to say she's out for blood: "Might just push up up on a bod mon/ I see blood man.... Made me catch another body/ I don't feel no sorry." This one's for all the people dealing with toxic, unreciprocated love and Ebhoni's confident air and swagger are reminders that indignation is often justified. She's proven once again why she's a master of songs that embody "bad b**** energy." — KA


'Rolly,' Ghostkeeper

This heart is threadbare
It's got holes in it; yeah some hard wear
But it's a good thing he got good twine
He got good form; he'll mend this mind;
He'll bind this soul; he'll keep it warm
And keep it standing in a storm

The new single "Rolly," from Calgary's Ghostkeeper, is a gentle homage to songwriter Shane Ghostkeeper's grandfather, someone who had a "fierce love and dedication to his family," as is evident as each verse unfolds. Ghostkeeper, along with collaborator and wife Sarah Houle-Lowry, create a warm space to celebrate Rolly, with light percussion and meandering guitar accompanying their memories and easily sing-along-able "ooooh yeeeah"s. Ghostkeeper, the band, released its fourth album, Multidimensional Culture, on May 27, and on it the duo, originally from the Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement, stretches and combines myriad influences and genres, including traditional Métis music and '70s freak-folk traditions. They've written songs that would fit snugly in a rockabilly playlist ("Doo Wop") alongside dark indie pop ("Ghost on a Rope"), but with "Rolly," the simpler elements combine for a joyous celebration of a loved family member. — HG

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