8 songs you need to hear this week

From Solange Knowles to Shovels & Rope, our producers pick the songs you need to hear this week.
Singer Solange Knowles performs onstage during day 2 of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 19, 2014, in Indio, Calif. (Katie Stratton/CBC Music)

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.

Andrew Collins Trio feat. Phantasmagoria String Quartet, 'Seed of its Own Kind'

Fans of Chris Thile, take note: Toronto's Andrew Collins plays a mean mandolin! His trio's new album, And it was Good, brings a string quartet into the mix for a pleasing balance of classical arrangements and improvised abandon. It's a concept album, with each track representing one of the seven days of creation in the Old Testament — the eighth (title) track is tacked on as a celebration. "Seed of its Own Kind" (representing creation day 3) stands out for its gorgeous neo-baroque intro, followed by a gentle frolick in 5/4 meter that brims with impressive hand dexterity and apparent joy.

— Robert Rowat (@rkhr)

Monomyth, 'Re:Lease Life (Place 2 Go)'

From walking around town to putting your foot through a wall, this new track from Halifax's Monomyth is told from a minimalist's point of view, with each verse building on the common factor of "looking for a place to go." It feels to me like watching food-coloured milk being hit with dish soap (don't lie, you've done this before): a beautiful mess of opposites, constantly swaying, waving and tumbling between intentionally harmonious guitar riffs. Unconventional, yet completely satisfying build-ups lead from one scene to the next. Monomyth gives you something to think about with every song the band writes, and with "Re:Lease Life (Place 2 Go)," it gives you a reason to sit down, and truly enjoy four minutes and 48 seconds. Look out for Monomyth's new album, Happy Pop Family, out via Mint Records on Nov. 4.

— Kerry Martin (@OhHiKerry)

Solange Knowles, 'Don't Touch My Hair'

Just six months after her big sister released a critically acclaimed visual album that pointedly put black women at the front and centre of popular culture, Solange Knowles saw fit to do the same thing. A Seat at the Table dropped unannounced, with visuals and lyrics that are unapologetically black, as evidenced by this slow-burner of a track to which any black woman in mixed company can immediately and deeply relate.

— Judith Lynch (@CBCJudith)

The Jerry Cans, 'Northern Lights'

This is the first (English-language) single from the Jerry Cans' forthcoming album, Innusiq / Life (out Nov. 4), and it's as enchanting and vibrant as its namesake. A rush of fiddle and guitar and drums, and then the soaring chorus washes across the sky, anchored by call-and-answer throat singing, and suddenly you're dancing. Like, my feet are moving right now. It's an irresistible gem from a national treasure, and you'll be singing "nalligilaur akku whoa-oh-whoa-oh" the rest of the day.

— Andrea Warner (@_AndreaWarner)

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, 'These Two'

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is an award-winning poet and writer, a shining, critical voice who has written on Indigenous issues in Canada. As a musician, she uses song and story in an affecting, captivating blend that perfectly punctuates the power of her words, which tend to focus on rebuilding and resurgence. "These Two," from her recent album, f(l)ight, begins with an ethereal, trance-inducing layer of voices, which leads to a gentle drum beat and acoustic guitar that acts as the bed for her softly spoken-word reflections on an encounter between two people that is equally sensual as it is somber. A mesmerizing song from a pivotal voice in the Indigenous resurgence movement.

— Jesse Kinos-Goodin (@JesseKG)

Robbie Williams, 'Party Like a Russian'

The British bad boy and former Take That member returns in all his ego-driven, tongue-in-cheek, ostentatious glory in this new track. Although Williams never broke through in North America, he has still sold more than 75 million records worldwide, his success coming from songs like "Angels," "Rock DJ" and "Millennium," co-written with his collaborator, Guy Chambers. When Williams and Chambers parted ways in 2002, Williams' output was less than stellar. But now, the duo has reunited and released "Party Like a Russian," an overtop production complete with strings from Prokofiev's Dance of the Knights, a Cossack choir, references to nesting dolls, the space race, oligarchs and countless more stereotypes meant to possibly comment on Putin, but that's a stretch. This isn't a political commentary, it's Robbie Williams having fun and getting back to what he does best: entertaining us.

— Jeanette Cabral (@JeanetteCabral)

Ken Yates, 'Roll me on Home'

The Toronto-via-London, Ont., artist released his sophomore album, Huntsville, last week and with it came the first single, "Roll me on Home." The track, which features guest vocals by Amanda Rheaume, is a perfectly crafted folk song about love as Yates sings, "I'll be your rock, if you roll me on home." This kind of alt-country song works perfectly with the weather getting colder and the leaves starting to change.

— Matt Fisher (@MattRFisher)

Shovels & Rope, 'Botched Execution'

Shovels & Rope are back, and they are more raucous than ever. Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, who make up the husband-wife duo from Charleston, S.C., have been making vivid Americana since their self-titled debut in 2008, and with Little Seeds, their fourth full-length that's out Oct. 7, they stay true to their story-songs while turning it up a notch. "Botched Execution," the latest single from the album, is one dark foot-stomper, and cathartic as hell. Keep up with its pace and yell your heart out to the chorus — it's the best thing you'll do all day.

— Holly Gordon (@hollygowritely)


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