8 songs you need to hear this week

From Tami Neilson to Greg Harrison, our producers pick the songs you need to hear this week.
Tami Neilson releases her new album, Don't Be Afraid, on Sept. 16. (Mrs. Jones)

Each week, staff from CBC Music, Radio 2, Radio 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.

Lowlands, 'Waiting all Night'

The Guelph band Lowlands will be releasing their second instalment in their Great Lakes series, Erie, on Oct. 28. The album features gorgeous instrumentation and vocal layering that perfectly depicts the Canadian landscape, which is Lowlands' speciality. There's plenty of banjo and slide guitar on this record, perfectly encapsulated on this track. "Waiting all Night" is perfect for headphone listening while walking through an autumnal outdoor setting. Lowlands is currently on tour with the Wooden Sky.

— Jeanette Cabral (@JeanetteCabral)

Tami Neilson, 'Lonely'

The ache in Tami Neilson's voice seeps into your bones with her first utterance of the word "lonely," and it's damn hard to shake. This song was originally written by her father, Ron Neilson, in 1972, and completed by Tami and her brother Jay after they found the demo for it a week after Ron died, early last year. If your heart's not in pieces after that, then listening to Tami sing lines like, "Lonely wears the clothes left in your drawer/ lonely won't let me go to places we went before," juxtaposed with moments of laughter and quiet sadness in this brand new video, should finish the job. "Lonely" also features fellow Kiwi Marlon Williams, a perfect salve for all the cracks you've just endured.

— Holly Gordon (@hollygowritely)

ChrisJay, 'High'

The Day She Ran Away is the debut project from ChrisJay, an MC with a smooth, assured yet laid-back flow reminiscent of Jean Grae. On "High," she unfolds a love story overtop an acoustic guitar loop and crisp, syncopated drums that instantly evoke a '90s Soulquarians-esque vibe. Appropriately enough, carefully selected and era-specific samples — such as Common's "The Light" — are effortlessly chopped into the mix.

— Jesse Kinos-Goodin (@JesseKG)

Beyries feat. Louis-Jean Cormier, 'J'aurai cent ans'

Beyries, the Montreal-based singer-songwriter, has released another soulful, tender and understated gem with this song, which translates to "I have a hundred years." The lyrics were written by poet Maxime Le Flaguais, and I understand only a fraction of what's sung, but no matter. Beyries is joined by singer-songwriter Louis-Jean Cormier (who produced the song), and the blend of their voices recalls the kind of warmth and loneliness of a hug from a person you haven't seen in a long, long time. I cannot wait until Beyries's debut album early next year.

— Andrea Warner (@_AndreaWarner)

Last Shadow Puppets, 'Is This What You Wanted' (Leonard Cohen cover)

On their latest album, Alex Turner and Miles Kane fancy themselves lovelorn lotharios, waltzing on the precipice of dull romance with lavish swagger. On this, the first single from an upcoming (mostly) covers EP, the Puppets apply a similarly elegant approach onto one of Leonard Cohen's most aggressive numbers, adding a rather unlikely layer of ennui to the proceedings. Stripped of the original's burn, Turner's languid vocal approach is less biting, as if inviting the intended subject to hurt him, rather than expressing his own pain, couched in Cohen's original tempo-changing flares and sweeping strings that make it such a pleasurable, if naughty, listen.

— Jonathan Dekel (@jondekel)

Tika feat. Clairmont the Second, 'OHMYGOD'

Toronto R&B singer Tika returns with an alluring '80s midtempo head-nodder. Helmed by Last Gang's electronic producer Harrison, who is riding the wave of his Checkpoint Titanium debut, he blesses the track with warm keyboards, while Tika's sensual, layered vocals reveal insight into her enlightened spiritual path. Talented teenage rhymer Clairmont the Second delivers complementary bars about his own struggles with faith, aiding in the satisfying musical resolution to the song's introspective nature.

— Del Cowie (@vibesandstuff)

Greg Harrison, 'Electric Counterpoint III'

"Steve Reich has always reminded me of some of my favourite electronic DJs," says percussionist Greg Harrison (half of Taktus Duo) and his latest video makes the comparison abundantly clear. He recently set up his MalletKAT in his backyard in Toronto to play the third movement (Fast) of Reich's famous Electric Counterpoint, a minimalist composition first recorded back in 1987 by Pat Metheny. "Some parts I programmed via MIDI so I could manipulate them manually in post-production; other parts I just recorded straight up," Harrison told us. Sounds great.

— Robert Rowat (@rkhr)

Liz Loughrey, 'Rise Up!'

We're sent a lot of music here at CBC Music. Amid all of the love songs, break-up songs, songs about personal struggle, hometowns and the weight of the world, sometimes we uncover songs of pure positivity. Such is the case with Toronto singer-songwriter Liz Loughrey's "Rise Up!" This song serves as the theme of a movement that Loughrey has created. The #RiseUpMovement and the Rise Up Workshops are about telling the stories of those who are having a positive impact on their communities and encouraging others to do the same. It's also the lead single from the record that she plans to release in 2017.

— Judith Lynch (@CBCJudith)


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.