Ruth B, Tim Baker, Carly Rae Jepsen and more: songs you need to hear this week
Each week, CBC Music producers come together to highlight Canada's best new tracks.
The songs that stood out this week come from Ruth B, Tim Baker, Elliot Maginot and Carly Rae Jepsen. Scroll down to find out why you need to hear them, too.
What new Canadian tunes are you currently obsessed with? Share them with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.
'Crave,' Ruth B
Edmonton pop star Ruth B has only been releasing music for three years but she has already grown exponentially since her hit single, "Lost Boy." While piano and keys still play an integral part in her songs — she previewed her latest track on Twitter by performing it stripped-down on the piano — the production on her new song, "Crave," is bigger, bolder and better suited for her well-crafted pop melodies. On the verses, her rhythmic singing style bounces along with the minimal beats, but the chorus is where it comes together in a confetti-like burst of keys and ticking hi-hats. It's the moment where Ruth B caves in and reveals, "I'd be lying to say I don't miss you/ but you know I got some damn pride issues." She doesn't want to say this out loud, but boy, does it feel good in the moment to open up — sort of.
— Melody Lau
'Swing Low,' Tim Baker
Tim Baker, formerly of Hey Rosetta!, has started releasing his solo material, and it is simultaneously gorgeous and heartbreaking. The second single, "Swing Low" gives us Baker, his guitar and, in a way, poet Walt Whitman. "[The song is] sort of an old spirit asking Walt Whitman to come down and save us," Baker wrote via email. "I always find it morally tricky to fully endorse fantasy and escapism, given that the remedies we need so rarely come from that, but I can't resist his wet-eyed love of America and all that it could be, and I think it might actually be necessary at this moment in history."
The video itself is its own treat: an intimate performance as part of Baker's sessions with Side Door, an organization that hosts shows in unconventional spaces, and was co-founded by Dan Mangan and Laura Simpson. There's no better way to roll into winter than with this mug full of heart.
— Holly Gordon
'Stay Gold,' Elliot Maginot
On Comrades, the second album from singer-songwriter Elliot Maginot, the Montrealer hits his stride with a number of emotional, radio-ready ballads that exploit his appealingly raspy voice and expressive guitar. Foremost among them is "Stay Gold," a sepia-toned reflection on drifting apart. "How could you let me get so close?" he sings, while a plaintive saxophone (Nick Ferraro) joins him for the final chorus. The classic rock of such bands as Journey, Loverboy and Foreigner is clearly an influence, but Maginot and co-producer Connor Seidel (Matt Holubowski) keep it current with richly layered sound. Is this schlock rock? Sort of! Are we 100 per cent here for it? Absolutely.
— Robert Rowat
'Party For One,' Carly Rae Jepsen
Over the years, Carly Rae Jepsen has turned almost every facet of love into heart-bursting pop confectionery. But on her latest, "Party For One," Jepsen explores a different side of love: self-love. She isn't entirely devoid of a love interest here — she is admittedly "not over" someone; she's trying, though! — but she is embracing some alone time, as shown in the solo hotel dance party music video for this song. "If you don't care about me/ I'll just dance for myself," she sings, motivating herself to move forward, very much in the same vein as Robyn's smash hit, "Dancing on my Own." Solo time has never looked or sounded so fun — yet another notch on Jepsen's long list of infectious anthems. — ML