Ralph, Devon Welsh, Shawn Mendes 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 Ralph feat. Tobi, Felix Cartal feat. Victoria Zaro, Dizzy, Too Attached, Shawn Mendes and ex-Majical Cloudz frontman Devon Welsh. 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.
'I'll Be Your Ladder', Devon Welsh
Oh, how we've missed that croon. It's been two years since ex-Majical Cloudz frontman Devon Welsh has released any music, solo or otherwise, but he's back with a new track called "I'll Be Your Ladder", produced by Braids drummer Austin Tufts. The track is simple and bare, guided primarily by a saxophone and a droning synth part. It gives plenty of time and space for Welsh's voice to unfurl as he tells a loved one, "I want to be your ladder." Welsh pulls at each word like a long, loose thread, every tug revealing an entirely new spectrum of emotions. It's a skill he's honed over the years, but it still never fails to hit the heartstrings. "To me, it's about love observing all the never-ending changes of life!" he wrote in a Facebook post. Well, this is love at its most kind and patient.
— Melody Lau
'Girl Next Door', Ralph feat. Tobi
Our love for Ralph's debut, self-titled EP last year was no secret, and her first single of 2018 was an automatic addition to our playlists. So it's no surprise that her new track, "Girl Next Door" featuring Brampton, Ont., rapper Tobi, is on this list. A slight turn from the synth-pop Ralph's been crafting, "Girl Next Door" is about staying true to yourself despite ascending to stardom (something Ralph might have her sights set on). Together, Ralph and Tobi have struck a perfect balance of down-to-earthness and low-key danceability.
— Holly Gordon
Dizzy make the kind of dreamy pop that can fit into any kind of quiet moment: it's the music you want to stream through your headphones on a long commute home, or have wafting through your speakers outside on a warm spring night. "Joshua" takes you on a short story of heartbreak, told frankly but warmly by lead singer Katie Munshaw, who describes the song as a "goodbye, and thank you." But Dizzy isn't going anywhere; you'll have the chance to see them live at a number of festivals across Canada this summer, where they'll be performing more songs like this one — which you'll eventually be able to find on a soon-to-be-announced debut record.
— Emma Godmere
'Worry', Felix Cartal feat. Victoria Zaro
The last thing we need heading into summer is more anxiety, but Felix Cartal's new song "Worry" is actually about tuning out the negative voices in our heads. "Won't let my worry's weight hold me down," goes the refrain, and it's a message we can definitely get behind. This Victoria Zaro/Cartal collaboration reminds us of the powerful chemistry between Ellie Goulding and producer Max Martin, so if you like glossy EDM/pop anthems with emotional builds and powerful drops, add this track from Cartal's recent Next Season to your playlist of (worry-free!) summer jams.
— Robert Rowat
'I'm Afraid of Men Remix', Too Attached feat. Peaches
Last year, Vivek Shraya teamed up with Toronto's Queer Songbook Orchestra to release her incredible album, Part-Time Woman. On it was "I'm Afraid of Men", a frank and honest admission of the anxiety that non-cis male people feel when they're out in the world. It's a simple, at times timid, pop song, beautifully accented by horns and swelling strings. But the track's brand new remix (billed under Shraya's band Too Attached) is the complete opposite.
Helmed by electro-punk icon Peaches, this remix offers up a different perspective. "It provided a chance to widen the conversation in the song beyond my own experiences by inviting other women to guest on the track," Shraya says. When Peaches responded to Shraya's request, asking how she felt about her "getting nasty," Shraya happily wrote back: "Do you! Be Nasty Peaches!"
In true Peaches fashion, the track is unabashedly aggressive, almost stomping out into the streets as she tells any intimidating forces: "F--k the patriachy." It's a more forthright stance, but one that builds a compelling dialogue with Shraya's lyrics. Shraya says she's afraid, but Peaches encourages her — and everyone — not only to reject that fear but also fight back. Be loud and take up space because we deserve to shine everywhere.
Fifty per cent of sales from this song's downloads on Bandcamp will be donated to the #TorontoStrongFund to help those who were impacted by the recent van attack in Toronto. — ML
'Where Were You in the Morning?', Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes' new song is a slow jam about a one-night stand. Hnnnnnng. — RR