U.S. Girls, Dan Mangan and more: Songs you need to hear this week

Check out new songs by U.S. Girls, Dan Mangan, Tasha the Amazon and more.
U.S. Girls has the highest debut on the R3-30 this week with "Mad As Hell." (Colin Medley)

Every week, CBC Music producers come together to bring you some of Canada's best new releases. The rule: if it's a song you need to hear, you'll find it on this list.

This week, we have songs from Toronto musician U.S. Girls, Vancouver singer-songwriter Dan Mangan and more. Scroll down to find out why you need to hear each song — and hit play to hear it.

What are some Canadian tunes you're currently obsessed with? Share with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.

'Rosebud', U.S. Girls

If you love something, let it go. The old adage comes through clearly on Meghan Remy's (a.k.a. U.S. Girls') new single "Rosebud", but with a tweak: if you love yourself, let yourself go. Over a disco beat, Remy sings, "A cage holds you/ we all got one we call home/ but near the end of the night/ who holds the keys?" Then she answers, over cinematic strings and foreboding synth: "use those keys/and take a drive/ to the back alleys of your mind." Set to a gorgeous video of caged birds — featuring Toronto's Slim Twig as the bird keeper — "Rosebud" won't soon let you go.

— Holly Gordon

'Desire', Ought

Valentine's Day is tomorrow and not everyone will want to listen to a lovey-dovey playlist. For those people, we recommend Montreal band Ought's latest track, "Desire". Clocking in at five minutes, this break-up song is a slow build but every added layer — from the guitar riff that crawls into the track one-third of the way through to the incredible chorus that swoops in at the climax — helps the song soar straight into its finale. Singer Tim Darcy is at his most theatrical here as a master storyteller, howling "It was never gonna stay" with a deeply felt despair that is undercut with a beautiful choir of voices backing him up. Who needs love songs when you have something just as compelling?

— Melody Lau

'Fool For Waiting', Dan Mangan

If you want to embrace Valentine's Day this week, Dan Mangan has delivered his take on the classic love song. "Fool For Waiting" is a simple piano ballad that really hits all the right saccharine notes. "Some say I'm a fool for waiting/ they don't know this fool doesn't mind," he coos on the song's chorus. As Mangan says, of this track: "That real, imperfect love is not always as fantastical or magical as a wild romance, but that it's worth waiting for." Mangan says he originally wanted to give the song to someone "really famous to sing," but we think it's a perfect fit for the Vancouver singer-songwriter.

— ML

'Call Me Up', Chris LaRocca

Chris LaRocca is slowly but surely creating a comfy space for himself among the profusion of R&B artists on the Toronto scene. On his new track "Call Me Up", he takes the serene vibe and pliable, expressive vocals we loved on 2017's "Closer" and "Roses", and adds an even richer palette of sonorities and more concise melodic focus. This is not only refined songwriting — aspiring lyricists should study LaRocca's deft turns of phrase — but also gorgeous, accomplished sound production on display.

— Robert Rowat

'Intercontinental', Tasha the Amazon

Toronto MC Tasha the Amazon continues to carve her path with "Intercontinental", a swaggy anthem she co-produced and released in partnership with French label Kitsuné. Although locally celebrated for the kind of confident rhymes and sinister beats heard on this track, "Intercontinental" is proof — lyrically and sonically — that Tasha's ready to launch beyond Toronto city limits and find the global audience she deserves.

— Jess Huddleston


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