Music

Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber's new 'Monster' collaboration, and 5 more songs you need to hear this week

Some fresh Canadian tracks to add to your playlist right now.

Some fresh Canadian tracks to add to your playlist right now

'Monster,' which came out on Nov. 20, is the 1st collaboration between Canadian pop stars Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber. (Apple Music/Twitter)

Here at CBC Music, we're always on high alert for new songs by Canadian artists.

This week, we're listening to new tracks from:

  • The Weather Station.
  • Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes.
  • Savannah Ré.
  • DillanPonders featuring Allan Rayman.
  • Noble Oak.
  • Gabrielle Papillon.

Scroll down to find out why you need to listen, too.

What new Canadian tunes are you currently obsessed with? Share them with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.


'Tried to Tell You,' the Weather Station

Tamara Lindeman, the mind behind the Weather Station, says "Tried to Tell You" is maybe her "first overt pop song." And while it's no Top 40 anthem, it's a bright tune that expands her folk palate in an exciting new direction. Anchored by a steady drum beat and a humming Wurlizter, Lindeman sings to a subject, pleading for them to break free of whatever is suppressing their true, passionate self. "Would it kill you to believe in your pleasure?" she asks as the song nears its end.

In the accompanying video (directed by Lindeman), Lindeman is a ghostly presence following a man in a forest who is constantly greeted with beauty in the form of flowers sprouting everywhere, even from his own body. "We are taught not to see the natural world that we still live in," Lindeman says in a statement, "preferring instead to dwell on the artificial, which is often a poor substitute for the vibrant real. Flowers really do rise up from mud, and many of us are full of treasures and beauty, but we often discount these things or throw them away." Do yourself a favour, and find a moment to take in the wonder of this new song. — Melody Lau


'Monster,' Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber

Ever since Justin Bieber discovered who Shawn Mendes was in 2015, fans have been waiting for the two pop stars to collaborate. Now that we finally have it, the result is a bit surprising. We might have expected a major pop anthem from the two, but instead, "Monster" is a moody, minor key ballad that shows both Mendes and Bieber firmly in their feelings. "I had a chip on my shoulder, had to let it go/ 'cause unforgiveness keeps them in control," Bieber laments at one point, while Mendes focuses on how relationships can both build you up and tear you down.

The production definitely has that Toronto Sound going for it, which makes sense given that it was handled by a dream team of the city's finest. Hitmakers Frank Dukes and Kaan Gunesberk, as well as songwriter and BADBADNOTGOOD keyboardist Matthew Tavares, handled the production, while Mustafa and Daniel Caesar both contributed to the songwriting. In sunnier times, this long-awaited link-up may have sounded different, but as it stands, "Monster" is the perfect mood for right now.  — Jesse Kinos-Goodin


'Nothing Into Something,' Savannah Ré

Sometimes an artist will drop an album and when you listen to it you realize they had already pre-released all the best songs. But that's not the case with Opia, Savannah Ré's new nine-song EP, which happily includes this stunning slow jam, "Nothing Into Something." The Ahmad Jamal-esque piano, credited to producer Johann Deterville, establishes a cozy atmosphere, perfect for Ré's confiding vocals. "Baby, you're like my best friend/ Wish I could bottle your essence," she sings in the opening verse, leaving room for her voice, so relaxed and genuine-sounding, to climb effortlessly in the chorus — "I'll take it the rest of the way/ And we'll turn nothing into something." — Robert Rowat


'Disturbia,' DillanPonders feat. Allan Rayman

If DillanPonders' "Jungle" featuring Ruby Waters was stuck in your head for weeks, we're happy to report that the Toronto rapper's newest single, "Disturbia" featuring Allan Rayman, is ready to take up low-tempo residence. Opening on a haunting bassline, the track builds a slinky push-and-pull between the percussion and beat, with DillanPonders' uptempo verses anchored by Rayman's gravelly hush on the chorus. Rayman really digs in on the back half of the song — rapping and belting — which only makes us want more from this pair-up than a quick three minutes and 45 seconds. — Holly Gordon


'Out of the Window,' Noble Oak

Here's a beautiful instrumental track to add to your working-from-home playlist — or perhaps the one titled "Go away, real world." It's from Stories, the upcoming EP from Vancouver's Noble Oak (real name Patrick Fiore) which will feature five piano improvisations. "There are moments where words fail and music speaks; my chosen language has always been the piano," he said via press release, adding, "My hope is that these sounds will be a place for your mind to explore, and find solace, in the same way I have been able to for so long." Hit play and get lost in his gently undulating phrases and arpeggios that invite calm and a refreshing inward journey. — RR


'New Age Faces,' Gabrielle Papillon

"I made this record to share with the ones who are itching to bust out of their shells, of the boxes other people have fitted for them," Gabrielle Papillon said when her most recent album, Shout, was released in fall 2019. And while "Shout it Out" was a more vocal single about standing up for yourself, "New Age Faces" is a quiet call of collection for a younger generation — something we need more than ever. As we head into a new political climate and hold steady during a second pandemic wave, Papillon's new video for the single is an inhale of calm energy, complete with choreography and a killer jumpsuit. "You can be both vulnerable and powerful in dance," Papillon said, of wanting to use dance, her first love, to convey this song at this time. And while I'm having trouble conveying anything other than my love of soft pants over hard pants these days, the gentle movement in this video is really something to hold onto. — HG

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