Ralph, Helena Deland, TRP.P and more: songs you need to hear this week
5 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 Helena Deland, Zanski and TRP.P, plus two standout covers: one by Ralph, the other by Alice Hong with Cello Guo. 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.
'Romanza Quartiere: Ennio Morricone Tribute,' Alice Hong, Cello Guo
There are quarantine videos, and then there are quarantine videos that reduce you to an emotional mess. You've been warned: this new video from Alice Hong (violin and viola) and Cello Guo (cello) falls into the latter category. They play Hong's arrangement of the main title theme from the late Ennio Morricone's original score for the 1987 Silvano Agosti film Quartiere. "Morricone was a genius who wrote some of the most iconic and romantic music of all time," reads the video description, and "Romanza Quartiere" delivers on that with a yearning melodic line and rich harmonies, enhanced by Hong's vibrant tone. A beautiful tribute to one of the giants of film music. — Robert Rowat
'Tell Me,' TRP.P
It's easy to feel hopeless right now for a myriad of reasons, but TRP.P's latest single, "Tell Me," is a beautiful ode to reaching out to those in crisis and checking in with loved ones. "Will you tell me/ when you wanna let go and throw it all in/ I promise I'll come when you get callin'," sings Phoenix Pagliacci (formerly of the Sorority). Producer Truss builds an emotional soundscape marked by sweeping strings and guitar-riff flourishes, but it all works to boost Pagliacci's beautifully layered voice as she urges people to open up and work through the bad days. — ML
'Lylz,' Helena Deland
Helena Deland's songs are often hypnotic and unpredictable, and the first single from her highly anticipated debut album keeps those elements close to heart. Opening with a simple guitar chord, the Montreal singer's dream-like voice echoes over each instrument playing in turn until a drum fill kicks "Lylz" into gear, combining the elements for a muted pop shuffle. In a statement, Deland described "Lylz" as "an ode to a friendship born out of mutual esteem and fanned by the flames of worldly dissatisfaction." She wrote the song after a close friend of the same name introduced Deland to the unbreakable bond between late French composer Lili Boulanger and her sister, Nadia, who devoted her life to spreading her sister's work after Lili's early death. While it can be read as a singular concept song, "Lylz" is dressed in textures that will keep your attention whether you're invested in the Boulanger sisters or not — though a song that starts with "Lylz/ you don't need to worry/ we've got this" is a beautiful sentiment regardless. — Holly Gordon
They say good things come in threes, but we've been enjoying all five tracks from Upon Frigid Water, the new EP from Toronto-based producer/singer-songwriter Tom Probizanski, a.k.a. Zanski. "Threes" stands out for the way it takes a smooth R&B vibe and deepens it with funk and surprising instrumental interludes, all in support of his "part-therapeutic and part-cathartic" process, as he recently told Atwood Magazine. The prominent bass line is a nice counterpoint to Zanski's free-flowing falsetto, and emotions soar around the three-minute mark when the production takes on added grandeur as he repeats, "I hope that you're fine 'cause I've missed all the signs." — RR
'Crush (Jennifer Paige cover),' Ralph
Ralph's songs have always combined nostalgic pop sounds with modern production so it only makes sense that her cover of the '90s hit "Crush," by Jennifer Paige, is a perfect fit for all of her musical sensibilities. Swapping out acoustic guitars for an updated house-inspired backdrop, Ralph's version of "Crush" both honours the original while elevating it into a 2020 summer jam. In a statement, Ralph says she associates the Paige song with her babysitter: "She drove a blue convertible and chewed gum and would play 'Crush' in the car. The song made me feel cool and flirty and powerful, and years later, I wanted to try and recreate that feeling." Mission accomplished. — Melody Lau