7 songs you need to hear this week
Each week, staff from CBC Music, Radio 2, 3, Sonica 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.
Supermoon, 'Stories we Tell Ourselves About Ourselves'
Casually weird summer dance party jams don't get any more delightful, sunny, dreamy or secretly dark than the surf-garage-punk of Supermoon's "Stories we Tell Ourselves About Ourselves." The video is also utterly Vancouver: beautiful and bright and vivid, with its subversiveness hidden in plain sight, cheerful and cheeky and just a little macabre.
— Andrea Warner (@_AndreaWarner)
Haley Bonar, 'Called You Queen'
Brandon, Manitoba-born, Minnesota-based Haley Bonar has been releasing albums since she was 18, and on Impossible Dream, her seventh out Aug. 5, the singer's lyrics cast some sharp side eye on the myth that anyone ever finishes seeking their best selves, or their best lives. On barn burner "Called You Queen," Bonar writes of being in love with someone who can't return it in a town that only accepts one kind of love, singing, "Living in/ the kind of world/ where boys can only kiss the girls." It's frenetic and foot-stomping, angry and accepting; a frank look back at what was and never could have been.
— Holly Gordon (@hollygowritely)
Lawful Citizen, 'February 2nd'
Combining elements from a variety of genres with a good dose of modern jazz, this new video release from Montreal group Lawful Citizen goes to all the right places. In contrast to the band's previous single, "For Jason," this track eventually pulls out all the stops and moves from a catchy opening guitar riff to a wonderfully chaotic saxophone solo. Intensity doesn't always mean volume, however, as the song is just as driving during its quieter moments. On top of the tune being stuck in our heads, we're also hitting replay to keep discovering fresh nuances each time through.
— Chris Maskell (@maskellch)
Trevor Guthrie, 'Wanted'
Trevor Guthrie uses his talent to support good causes. After writing "Strong Hands" in aid of Canada's wounded veterans, the Penticton, B.C., musician has released "Wanted," a response to his five-year relationship with somebody suffering from mental illness and addiction. "I couldn't help or get through to her so I wrote her this song to let her know that all of her sunlight and all of her pain is loved unconditionally and wanted," he writes on Facebook, loosely quoting the song's lyrics. Compared with Guthrie's recent efforts with EDM stars Laidback Luke and Armin van Buuren, "Wanted" is more grounded in rock, which suits the edgy timbre of his voice. Plus, we applaud his use of a gospel choir on backup vocals because, well, they make everything better.
— Robert Rowat (@rkhr)
AlunaGeorge, Leikeli47 and Dreezy, 'Mean What I Mean'
"Mean What I Mean" is my late submission for song of the summer. If anything, it's definitely the consent anthem of 2016, a high-octane dance number driven by three incredible women, AlunaGeorge's Aluna Francis and rappers Dreezy and Leikeli47. In an interview with BBC Radio 1 host Annie Mac, Francis explains that the genesis of this song was a result of a situation where "she denied a person's advances, only to have them try to tell her she was just playing hard to get." There are no games on "Mean What I Mean." Instead, Francis, Dreezy and Leikeli47 trade verses, all as "re-enforcement to make sure we clear" that no truly means no. It's the 2016 embodiment of girl power, complete with a desert-themed music video — recalling the Spice Girls or M.I.A. — that will give you all of the fuel you'll need to fight off any and all unwelcome dudes.
— Melody Lau (@melodylamb)
Pusher feat. Hunnah, 'Tell You'
The Toronto-based DJ released "Tell You" a couple weeks ago in anticipation of his new EP, New Laces. The track features the wickedly powerful vocals of Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Hunnah and together they've created quite the '90s vibe/R&B jam. Lyrically the song is about struggling to get your partner to take notice, but you would never know it based on how fun the song sounds. New Laces drops Sept. 16 on Black Butter Records. Pre-order it here.
— Matt Fisher (@MattRFisher)
Torey Lanez, 'Flex'
Toronto's multi-talented artist Torey Lanez is flexing hard on his latest track. "Flex" is a lead-up to his forthcoming album, I Told You, set to be released Aug. 19, and it's an ambient mix of trap and R&B/soul. If this track is any indication of what we can expect from Lanez, then it's definitely worth the wait for the full-length.
— Kiah Welsh (@simplykiah)
Editor's note: strong language warning.
Clairmont The Second feat. Blues, 'Temporary'
18-year-old Toronto hip-hop artist Clairmont The Second recently released an impressive album, Quest for Milk and Honey, and "Temporary" is a perfect introduction for the uninitiated to the prodigious MC's talent, wisdom and musical proficiency. A pristine, jazzy, self-produced affair, "Temporary" finds the teenager soberly meditating on how long he will live and what he can do in the time he has in his life. "My life expectancy not guaranteed/ So love and family are all I need/ It only takes a second to be gone/ So using every second/ While I breathe on.... Tomorrow I'm gone." It's jarring to hear these sentiments from such a young and promising artist, but the genuine conviction behind his words and his commitment to persistence are also undeniable. The genuinely moving coda from singer Blues, a.k.a. M.I. Blue, acts as affirming and uplifting elevation to Clairmont The Second's eloquent soliloquy.
— Del Cowie (@vibesandstuff)