Cœur de pirate, Lowell, Odie and more: Songs you need to hear this week
Each week, CBC Music producers come together to highlight Canada's best new tracks.
This week, we have songs from Cœur de pirate, Lowell, Charlotte Cardin, Aasiva and Odie. Scroll down to find out why you need to hear them.
What are some Canadian tunes you're currently obsessed with? Share them with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.
'War Face', Lowell
Canadian pop artist Lowell made a surprise return this month with a new album called Lone Wolf, the follow-up to her highly praised 2014 debut, We Loved her Dearly. Lead single "War Face" finds Lowell — who has spent much of the interim developing her songwriting skills for herself and other artists — charging out of the gates with handclaps, a stomping rhythm and a mean howl. It's a rallying cry that gets the body moving and the blood boiling as she repeats the mantra, "I wear my war face/ I'm never gonna take you back again." The song's opening verse, describing a warrior armed with bourbon and a jacket, brings to mind someone like Marvel's Jessica Jones, a determined woman who can easily toss you across the room if you cross her. This song will make you feel like you can do that, too.
— Melody Lau
We're making lots of time these days for Analogue, the debut full-length from Montreal-born, Toronto-raised Odie, who's building a big reputation on the Bay Area's music scene. The album's 10 tracks cover an impressive range of styles, from new wave-inspired "Midnight" to the chill of "Bliss City"; from the urban R&B vibe on "North Face" to the electro-Afrobeat of "Faith". We're especially taken with "Phenomenon", an ode to optimism that builds over three minutes of sampled electric organ. "I can feel it coming on/ I think I wanna change the whole world," Odie intones with his gossamer falsetto — and for a blissful moment, we think it might be possible.
— Robert Rowat
'Somnambule', Cœur de pirate
Beatrice Martin, a.k.a. Cœur de pirate, announced her new album's name and release date this week, and with it came the Montreal singer's second new single, "Somnambule" (Sleepwalker). It's an affecting piano ballad about having lost yourself ("Je ne me connais plus/ tous mes repères perdus," Martin sings in the first verse: "I don't know myself anymore/ all my reference points are lost"), which, in an interview with Exclaim in February, is something Martin says she struggled with before finding her way back to writing music — and eventually making this album.
En cas de tempête, ce jardin sera fermé will be released June 8. You can listen to "Somnambule" as a studio recording via Bandcamp, and Martin also recorded a gorgeous live version at l'Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Montreal.
— Holly Gordon
'California', Charlotte Cardin
The main draw of Charlotte Cardin's music is often her mesmerizing voice. Her raspy tone travels across a song in twists and turns, and on her latest single, "California", it takes us all the way to the shores of the West Coast. Cardin sings about the perils of long-distance relationships as she achingly tells a loved one, "You're standing where I'm not," over a bouncy keyboard melody. But it's that moment when she bursts into a long, drawn-out wail on the word "California" (more like "Caaaliforniiiiaaaa") that's truly transfixing. Her tone flies up and down, encompassing feelings of longing and sadness as if she's fighting to hold onto this person. We probably have more than our fair share of California-themed anthems already, but here's another one to add to the list. — ML
'Qalunaat Nunanganit', Aasiva
Nunavut's Aakuluk Music has a new signee: Aasiva, a.k.a. Colleen Nakashuk, is a young songwriter from Pangnirtung, Nunavut (and now based in Iqaluit), who blends her voice, ukulele and throat-singing elements to create Inuktitut folk-pop. "Qalunaat Nunanganit", her first single, is a bright, buoyant track that would be an amazing addition to a movie soundtrack. You can look out for her self-titled debut album on June 8. — HG