5 songs you need to hear this week
Each week, staff from CBC Music and CBC regions across the country collect songs they just can't get out of their heads, and make a case for why you should listen, too. Press play below and discover new songs for your listening list.
Let us know in the comments or via @CBCMusic what catches your ear, or if you have a new song you just can't stop playing.
The Belle Game, 'Yuh'
It's been three years since Vancouver band the Belle Game released its stunning debut album, Ritual Tradition Habit, but it has finally returned with a new single called "Yuh" from the band's upcoming new album. Like a cooling breeze on a humid day, singer Andrea Lo eases listeners into the song with a long, enticing drawl, slowly leading you to a pounding chorus where Lo's voice soars into the light. While a song like Ritual Tradition Habit highlight "River" was a showcase for Lo's powerful vocal reach, there's a restraint on "Yuh" that furthers this track's allure, one that also makes room for curious little touches to shine through like echoes and whirling soundscapes evaporating into the sky. "Yuh" is a gorgeous fever dream that can pull you through even the most scorching of summer days.
— Melody Lau (@melodylamb)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra, 'First World Problem'
If you've heard any of UMO's previous psychedelia-infused material, in particular 2015's Multi Love album, you'll know that Prince has been a creative inspiration for New Zealand-born, Portland-based lead singer Ruban Nielson for some time. On "First World Problem", a new single, presumably from a forthcoming full-length project, the Purple One's influence is even more pronounced by virtue of airtight funk guitar licks and a primal, yelp-influenced vocal delivery. Given Neilson's avowed affinity for Prince was established long before the Purple One's death, however, "First World Problem" stands on its own with an incessantly catchy refrain that burrows deep into the cerebellum long before the song is over. Director James Lees and choreographer Kianí Del Valle (who is the video's co-director and female lead), transpose the fraught micro-macro relationship tension writ large in the song to a cinematic balletic dance-off in the desert.
— Del Cowie (@vibesandstuff)
Star Kendrick and Toma Banjanin released their first ever track, "Saltwater", four days ago as the London, England-based duo Geowulf — and what an incredible song to introduce themselves to the world. Laid-back drums, breezy synths and lyrics about going to the ocean (fittingly, they're originally from Noosa, Australia) explain why they call their music "beach pop." It will be fun to see where the band goes from here; meanwhile I'll be playing this track on repeat.
— Matt Fisher (@MattRFisher)
Bruce Peninsula, 'Don't Wake the Giant'
Bruce Peninsula vocalist Misha Bowe is channelling Annie Lennox on this track from the Sleeping Giant soundtrack. The hook from this tune is guaranteed to worm its way into your brain right from the first listen, and each subsequent spin reveals the complexities of the choral arrangements lying underneath. Couple that with a rousing, cinematic performance from the rhythm section, and it's easy to see how this track became soundtrack material.
— Adam Carter (@AdamCarterCBC)
A Tribe Called Red feat. Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Black Bear, 'R.E.D'
Earlier this summer, A Tribe Called Red teased "Stadium Pow Wow", an arresting, aggressive, instrumental anthem featuring vocalizations and percussion from Manawan drum group Black Bear. With "R.E.D", they've taken that beat and added verses from none other than Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def), pulling the legendary rapper out of retirement to stand for a common cause. Bey wastes zero time in getting back to what he does best, delivering incendiary bar after bar with his inimitable growl. "The Halluci Nation has no barriers, it sees no borders and their operatives are everywhere," the trio said in a release. "Yasiin Bey is an ally of the Halluci Nation, who has been unjustly detained in Johannesburg, South Africa by the ALie-Nation." We Are the Halluci Nation is out Sept. 16.
— Jesse Kinos-Goodin (@JesseKG)