8 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 in the comments or via @CBCMusic what catches your ear, or if you have a new song you just can't stop playing.
Tory Lanez, 'LUV'
Tory Lanez has never been shy about his ambitions to be Toronto's most popular rapper. Just recently he doubled down on his throne ambition, telling that, when it comes to Drake, there's only enough room for one at the top. In that context, "LUV" is his best shot. It's a mix of Auto-Tune and rap, with a dancehall influence at a time when dancehall-influenced songs are topping the charts (Rihanna's "Work," Drake's "One Dance," Justin Bieber's "Sorry"). Lanez, who is of Bajan descent, comes by the sound naturally — "I was already on this wave," he told Ebro — and it's built around the sample of a song that is a hit in its own right, Tanto Metro and Devonte's "Everyone Falls in Love." Definitely a late contender for song of the summer.
— Jesse Kinos-Goodin (@JesseKG)
Monarch, 'In my Blood'
"In my Blood" is the debut single from Monarch, a new Toronto trio comprising guitarist Ryan Farley (Oscar Tango), percussionist Greg Harrison (Reuben and the Dark, Taktus) and singer Maya Killtron (Buck 65, Young Empires). Despite coming from different backgrounds, they share a love for '80s synth-pop and "In my Blood" is their homage to that genre's golden era, updated with unusual elements like classical percussion and '90s-era vocal harmonies. "The lyrics whisk you into a new world but the beat keeps your crisp new Sperry's dancing on deck," says Harrison. Like, totally.
— Robert Rowat (@rkhr)
Dru, 'Don't be Afraid'
Mellow and cool, Dru's "Don't be Afraid" is melodic and catchy. His effortless vocals blend well with the strumming of the guitar, and drums in the background. In the song, Dru talks about being vulnerable and falling in love: "Don't be afraid of my love/ I won't desert you/ now you can be honest with your heart." The track has a vibrant, romantic feel, making it perfect for summer.
— Kiah Welsh (@simplykiah)
Skratch Bastid feat. Shad, 'Limoncello'
The temperatures are rising. Pools are alive with a symphony of splashes, barbecues aflame, and the livin' is easy. The bouncy beats laced with loungy horns and strings make this homage to Camp Lo the perfect kick-off to the season. And it comes courtesy of two of Canada's most seasoned hip-hoppers, Skratch Bastid and Shad. This is it — very luxurious indeed.
Listen to "Limoncello" here.
— Amer Alkhatib (@ameralkhatib)
Oh Pep, 'Crazy Feels'
Oh Pep shines with its dark-hearted summer jams, but the Melbourne duo's debut album, Stadium Cake, holds a few beautifully straightforward heartbreakers that burn brightest. "Crazy Feels" is creeping its way to becoming my favourite of the set: the strings, the drums, the lyrics ("I had a feeling that things ain't been right/ and they're gonna get worse if I don't give up the fight"); you can feel the push-pull in every note, every word. How do you choose the first to lose?
— Holly Gordon (@hollygowritely)
Two Door Cinema Club, 'Are we Ready (Wreck)'
The Irish rock band returns with its first new music since its 2013 EP, Changing of the Seasons. The track "Are we Ready (Wreck)" contains the sense of urgency similar to what we find in back-catalogue TDCC. Speaking to NME, the band described the track as "rebelling against [consumerism]," pointing at society's addiction to social media and living on their phones.
— Matt Fisher (@MattRFisher)
Lucy Dacus, 'I Don't Wanna be Funny Anymore'
One of the most common things I hear comedians express in interviews is the utter exhaustion they feel every time someone demands jokes from them when they're not working. "You're a comedian? Cool, tell me a joke!" a stranger will inevitably say upon finding out this person is a comedian. The comedian might smile and politely decline, but in that moment, this thought might cross their mind: "I don't wanna be funny anymore." This is not, of course, the exact point of Virginia artist (and latest Matador Records signee) Lucy Dacus's simple, guitar-driven song "I Don't Wanna be Funny Anymore." Even though that was the first correlation I made when I heard this track, off Dacus's latest album, No Burden, the track speaks to a more general feeling of being boxed into a role and pushing against those expectations, whether you're a class clown, the nerdy bookworm or the best-dressed. But here's the funniest part of all: you can be all of those and then some.
— Melody Lau (@melodylamb)
Oddisee is known for producing undeniably organically soulful music and delivering honest lyrics on the mic. While he often combines the two approaches on his albums, the Maryland native has released his fair share of instrumental albums highlighting his supreme beat-making ability. His latest instrumental project is The Odd Tape, and "Brea" is an example of Oddisee's intricate, layered approach to arrangements. The track has inspired a beautiful accompanying video, which director Ryan Calavano calls "a tribute to the unseen soul" in the description. It features dancers Jason Ulysses and Taylor Swantek.
— Del Cowie (@vibesandstuff)