Kinnie Starr, Ebhoni, Michael Feuerstack, 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 Kinnie Starr, vbnd feat. Katie Tupper and a video premiere from Michael Feuerstack. Scroll down to find out why you need to hear them.
What are the Canadian tunes you're currently obsessed with? Share them with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.
'Smoke', vbnd feat. Katie Tupper
If downtempo jams with lots of electric piano and solid bass lines are your thing, then listen to "Smoke", the latest track from vbnd (a.k.a. Devon Gunn). The emerging Saskatoon-based producer and bassist grabbed our attention with 2017's "Thoughts of You," and now "Smoke" has solidified that first impression. "I go up in smoke," sings Katie Tupper, entering a languorous duet with vbnd's funky bass, punctuated by moody keyboard chords. It's the perfect ambiance for your next nocturnal adventures.
— Robert Rowat
'Big World', Kinnie Starr
A shiny, sunny, encouragement anthem from indie hip-hop/spoken word Indigenous artist Kinnie Starr is exactly the jolt of energy everybody needs right now. From the exhausted activists to those becoming numb from the daily deluge of political chaos, "Big World" thumps and bumps with wild abandon: bouncing beats, brass flourishes and Starr boldly leading the procession like the trailblazer she is.
— Andrea Warner
'Love is All Around', Michael Feuerstack
Michael Feuerstack's songwriting has a horoscope-like quality, crafting minute observations on love, death and living that are opaque enough to apply to many while also feeling like they were written specifically for you. It's a skill he's honed over almost 25 years as a musician — at times under the moniker Snailhouse — and which continues to be abundantly clear on "Love is All Around", the new single from Feuerstack's upcoming May 25 album, Natural Weather.
"It hasn't been your time/ the world has been unkind," sings Feuerstack in the opening verse, and if that doesn't wrench your heart a bit, the chorus will soothe regardless: "But love is all around/ drifting on the soundwaves/ rippling through the muddy water/ on its way to you." "Love is All Around" is Feuerstack's testament to love — even if he's simultaneously singing about death and failure.
— Holly Gordon
"Cutting season, you know how it go," sings Toronto R&B singer Ebhoni on her latest track, "Opps". Having to cut people out of your life can be a painful process but there's a distinct feeling of joy and relief to Ebhoni's delivery as she waves goodbye to the guy she was seeing as well as a friend who was secretly interested in said guy all along. "You're just a hoe, everybody knows," she says to both offenders, each syllable of that line bouncing alongside the song's gleefully featherweight beat. Getting rid of toxic people in your life has never felt (or sounded) so good.
— Melody Lau
'You Amaze Me', La Force
Ariel Engle joined Broken Social Scene for last year's Hug of Thunder, and has now branched off for a solo effort under the moniker La Force, releasing "You Amaze Me" in dedication to her husband (and fellow BSS member) Andrew Whiteman. On her debut single, Engle wades into electro-pop territory, sounding pleasantly late '90s as she nonchalantly croons the title words over melodic keyboard and skittering drumwork. If the multidimensional ballad is any indication of La Force's direction as a solo artist, there's no doubt she'll be one to watch.
— Jess Huddleston