7 songs you need to hear this week

From Vince Staples to Sharon Van Etten, our producers pick the songs you need to hear this week.
Rapper Vince Staples performs onstage during FYF Fest 2016 at Los Angeles Sports Arena on August 27, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Frazer Harrison)

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 via @CBCMusic what catches your ear, or if you have a new song you just can't stop playing.

Roosevelt, 'Moving On'

Introverted performers are rare, but I think Germany's Marius Lauber may be one. In a 2013 interview with Pitchfork, he admitted to avoiding clubs and open-air raves and preferring provincial Cologne to bustling Berlin, where he moved a few years ago to focus on writing and recording electronic dance music as Roosevelt. From Roosevelt's The Debut Album (out last week), "Moving On" is my current favourite track: its wistful introspection perfectly captures the Weltschmerz that sets in when summer transitions to fall.

— Robert Rowat (@rkhr)

The Alpacas, 'Wax'

You'd be hard-pressed to find a better constructed pop-rock tune than "Wax" from Barrie, Ont., band The Alpacas. This track is from the band's new album, which drops in October. It hits all the right highs of tunefulness and energy, and warrants several repeat plays to burn that chorus into your brain. I feel like this tune is destined for a soundtrack, somewhere.

— Adam Carter (@AdamCarterCBC)

Jessie Reyez, 'Figures'

The raw emotion displayed by Toronto singer Jessie Reyez on her new track, "Figures", which reflects on the broken shards of an emotionally taxing relationship, is undeniably tangible. "I gave you ride or die/ and you gave me games," Reyez bitterly sings over a spare and simple guitar riff and keyboard arrangement. Already touted by Beats1 tastemaker Zane Lowe, who premiered "Figures" on his show last week, and the Fader, who premiered the video, Reyez is finally gaining widespread attention for the budding artistry she's been showing on Toronto stages in recent years, whether she's armed with a guitar or just a mic. Building on collaborations with Mississauga, Ontario's MC Junia-T and Kanye West collaborator King Louie, the unsigned Reyez is the latest alumna of Toronto's the Remix Project, poised to make her mark on the world.

— Del F. Cowie (@vibesandstuff)

Editor's note: strong language warning.

Sharon Van Etten, 'Not Myself'

"I know it's too much to take/ there's too much at stake/ and I want you to be yourself around me," sings Sharon Van Etten on her newest song, a mournful piano-vocal piece she recently wrote for the victims of June's Orlando shooting. Van Etten's core catalogue is all heartbreak, but this song, sung for all those lives lost in June, is stark and aching in a way that feels both healing and injurious at once. "In the memory of those trying to be safe and be themselves, I hope we can all come together to help prevent another massacre like this and end gun violence," wrote Van Etten on her Bandcamp page for "Not Myself". Proceeds from the song will support the work of Everytown for Gun Safety and Support Fund, "a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities." 

— Holly Gordon (@hollygowritely)

The Balconies, 'Money Money'

The Toronto rock outfit released a video for its new track, "Money Money", a few weeks ago. Jacquie Neville, who leads the band (and puts on the most high-energy show I've ever seen), not only performed in the video but was also executive producer and co-creative director, in addition to assisting with some of the choreography, the styling and makeup for the video. It's always nice to see bands directly involved with their music videos, as it shows they really do put all the blood, sweat and tears into their music. "Money Money" is a great demonstration that the band has been hard at work since its last album, crafting more powerful, lyrically intense tracks. It's an advance track from Rhonda, which will be released on Oct. 14. 

— Matt Fisher (@MattRFisher)

Vince Staples feat. Kilo Kish, 'Loco'

This has already been a very busy year for big rap releases (Kanye West, Drake, Chance the Rapper), and while Long Beach native Vince Staples may not be as well known as those chart-topping names, he is one of the genre's most exciting dark horses right now. His latest EP, Prima Donna, is seven tracks of dark and sometimes political takes that feature production by — and collaborations with — James Blake and A$AP Rocky, as well as a pretty great sample of Outkast's "ATLiens" on the woozy thump of "War Ready". "Loco", featuring Brooklyn artist Kilo Kish, is a standout: a frenetic back-and-forth between Staples and his id as voiced by Kish. Here, Staples touches on depression and even suicidal thoughts as he tensely reveals he's "having Kurt Cobain dreams" and is "staring in the mirror with a 44," while Kish reminds him to "keep breathing slowly, slowly." It's an intense rabbit hole that you can't help but get sucked into not just on this track, but throughout the entire EP.

— Melody Lau (@melodylamb)

Editor's note: strong language warning.

Snowblink, 'Feel Like a Man'

Subversive, sinister and sly, Snowblink's newest single, "Feel Like a Man", gently eviscerates stereotypes of toxic masculinity against a seductive and spooky backdrop dominated by strings (Owen Pallett) and synths, drums and harp. Daniela Gesundheit's voice is a full moon, luminous and bright, bringing light and clarity to lyrics cloaked in shadows: "Never had so much to lose/ chasing hunting cursing killing what I can't see/ what can't I see?"

— Andrea Warner (@_AndreaWarner)


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