9 songs we need to hear this week
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.
Skye Wallace, 'Blood Moon'
Skye Wallace's gritty and pretty sound is in full effect on this song from her wildly ambitious new album, Something Wicked. "I'll burn you to the ground," she sings with a snarl that's equal parts promise and threat. Her vocals brandish the stomping, sexy, relentless blues rhythm like a rider taming a wild horse before the fiddle moves into the foreground, giving the whole track a sweaty, rootsy, country-noir vibe.
— Andrea Warner (_@AndreaWarner)
Only Yours, 'Edge of my Dreams'
Toronto indie-pop band Only Yours is back with a new track off its yet-to-be-released EP. "Edge of my Dreams" offers us a deeper dive into the sound of this relatively new band: vintage synths and flowing keys — textures that enrich lead singer Lowell Sostomi's voice, making the track come together really well. Although you can hardly hear her, this track also features the vocals of Leah Fay from July Talk. Lyrically the track is about the internal struggle of life's issues manifesting themselves into dreams, and how sometimes we are our own worst enemy — a topic I'm sure a lot of people can relate to. Only Yours' self-titled EP will be released on Oct. 14 via Pirates Blend. You can pre-order it here.
— Matt Fisher (@MattRFisher)
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, "You are Here" and "The Enemy Within"
The latest album from Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Real Enemies, borrows its title from the 2009 Kathryn Olmsted book Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11. The record itself is as much a history lesson as it is a musical effort, with spoken text from John F. Kennedy, George H.W. Bush and Dick Cheney accompanying Argue's 18-piece big band. The spacey jazz of the lead single "You Are Here" perfectly personifies the sound of cultural paranoia and our collective best efforts to resist it.
— Judith Lynch (@CBCJudith)
The Melodica Men, 'Isn't she Lovely' (in the back seat of a cab)
Earlier this week, the Melodica Men (a duo comprising classically trained brass players Joe Buono and Tristan Clarke) nearly broke the internet with their arrangement of the opening section of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, which unfortunately got taken down due to copyright infringement. (There are still a couple of stray versions of it online, if you know where to look.) For many, this was an introduction to the Melodica Men, whose mission, according to their Facebook page, is to share "the pure unadulterated joy that is the melodica." If you're skeptical, just watch them play Stevie Wonder in the back seat of a taxi, which is 36 seconds of ecstasy.
— Robert Rowat (@rkhr)
Jonathan Becker, 'As We Were'
Ottawa's Jonathan Becker subverts the singer-songwriter mould in the best kind of way on his new, self-titled EP. Songs start with softly strummed acoustic guitar, and so naturally you'd expect a light, feathery voice to match. Instead, Becker's gravel-toned growl smacks you in the face. It's more Tom Waits than Dashboard Confessional, and gives a world-weary weight to these tracks.
— Adam Carter (@AdamCarterCBC)
Toronto synth-pop trio Diana is back with a pack of gorgeous, new, shimmering tracks following a three-year wait — the band's spectacular debut, Perpetual Surrender, dropped all the way back in summer 2013. Nov. 18 brings Familiar Touch, and on it you'll hear the Depeche Mode-influenced "Confession," which includes everything from intricately layered drum samples to an electric guitar plucked with a toonie (for real). Add this to your Friday evening soundtrack.
—Emma Godmere (@godmere)
Kashif, 'I Just Got to Have You ( Lover Turn Me On)'
Musicians such as Questlove and Chuck D were shocked to learn of the death of R&B musician Kashif earlier this week at the age of 59. Responsible for producing Whitney Houston's first hit single, "You Give Good Love," in 1985, Kashif emerged as a crucial synth innovator in early '80s R&B in the nexus between post-disco boogie and the mainstream crossover Houston's success portended. His boogie-infused brand of R&B contributed writing and production talents to Evelyn Champagne King's enduring tracks "Love Come Down" and "I'm in Love," as well as George Benson's "Inside Love" and my personal favourite, Howard Johnson's "So Fine." Kashif also had a notable solo career of his own, and my pick here is Kashif's "I Just Got to Have You, Lover Turn Me On," taken from his 1983 self-titled debut album. Its layered synths, vocal arrangements and melodic immediacy are a microcosm of a sound he heavily influenced, standing as a testament to Kashif's undeniable relevancy in R&B lineage.
— Del F. Cowie (@vibesandstuff)
Moby and the Void Pacific Choir, 'Are you Lost in the World Like Me?'
You may be thinking: Moby? What's he been up to since the '90s? Well, he wrote a memoir called Porcelain, and he opened Little Pine, a vegan restaurant in L.A. He's also made an appearance on RuPaul's Drag Race. If you follow him on social media, you know that Moby is all about minimalist living, animal rights and fact-checking Donald Trump's rhetoric every chance he gets. With all that in mind, it's no wonder his upcoming record with the Void Pacific Choir is called These Systems Are Failing (out Oct. 14). The first single, "Are you Lost in the World Like Me?," is a heavy, synth-driven song that packs a wallop of a message about how we're destroying the world through our actions, but we're still not happy. This is music to wake you up, your senses and your mind, which is the exact opposite of this sleep playlist Moby released for free.
— Jeanette Cabral (@JeanetteCabral)
Bon Iver, '8 (circle)'
After five years, two side projects and multiple collaborations with both Kanye West and James Blake, Justin Vernon, a.k.a. Bon Iver, is releasing a new album. 22, a Million, his third full-length under the Bon Iver moniker, comes out Sept. 30, and "8 (circle)," the album's most recent single, is promising us some new territory. With this track we meet a confessional Vernon, admitting it's "too much for me to pick up, no/ not sure what forgiveness is." The song sounds like Vernon at his rawest: while he still leans heavily on loops and effects, his voice, for the most part, sounds like the man would in the flesh. The track is Bon Iver-levels of hypnotic — the build of the horns in the middle is quite beautiful— while also grounding you to the earth.
— Holly Gordon (@hollygowritely)
Editor's note: song starts at the two-minute mark.