Music

Shawn Mendes' latest heartbreak anthem, and 6 more songs you need to hear this week

Fresh Canadian tracks to add to your playlist right now.

Fresh Canadian tracks to add to your playlist right now

Pop star Shawn Mendes is back with his first single of 2022, the pop-rock heartbreak anthem 'When You're Gone.' (Getty Images)

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

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

  • Savannah Ré featuring Dylan Sinclair.
  • Shawn Mendes.
  • The Rural Alberta Advantage.
  • Jeremie Albino.
  • Grae.
  • Nohidea featuring Maath You.
  • Untradition.

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

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

Tune into CBC Music Mornings every Thursday to hear CBC Music's Jess Huddleston and Saroja Coehlo reveal which of these tracks is the standout new Canadian song.


'Last One,' Savannah Ré feat. Dylan Sinclair

On the heels of "Fiji," her first song of 2022, Savannah Ré has dropped another single, this time with R&B singer Dylan Sinclair — and theirs is a vocal match made in heaven. The song's conceit is that this pair of lovers will each be the "last one" for the other, eclipsing all the rest. "Something 'bout you feels so brand new," begins the gently swaying chorus, and while she never forces her voice, Ré's singing brims with urgency as she delivers the line, "Nothing before matters no more." When Sinclair enters for his verse, it's a ray of light. "She's a song, she's a queen, she deserves it all," he ardently proclaims, his tenor voice a refreshing counterpoint to Ré's rich alto tones. They harmonize so inventively and beautifully in the second chorus, you'd think they'd been predestined to unite on this song. — Robert Rowat

'When You're Gone,' Shawn Mendes 

Shawn Mendes' heartbreak era continues with his latest single, "When You're Gone." Following up last December's "It'll Be Okay," Mendes' has poured the aftermath of his relationship with Camila Cabello into another new track. But whereas "It'll Be Okay" was a sombre piano ballad, "When You're Gone" finds Mendes back in his pop-rock comfort zone (with a dash of '80s synth near its end), crafting an anthemic song that will surely get audiences riled up on his upcoming world tour. "I need to learn how to cope without you/ I'm trying to pretend myself but I don't really know how to," Mendes sings, admitting how lost he was after the breakup, unsure of who to turn to in moments of need now. But the pop star finds some solace in shouting out his feelings at the top of his lungs, almost desperate at times when he howls the chorus: "Hold on, I don't wanna know what it's like when you're gone." While Mendes leaves the song with no answers, it's the catharsis of the performance that feels like a step forward. — Melody Lau 

'3 Sisters,' the Rural Alberta Advantage

Oh, moving on
Missing out on the Saulte, lake-effect coming on
Oh, moving on
If I'm ever wrong
I'll make it up before we're gone

Evoking a particular place without sounding insincere or exclusive is a tricky balance, and the Rural Alberta Advantage has always been able to pinpoint that centre of gravity, building nostalgia and lore for a town even if you've never been. Now, after nearly five years without releasing music, the trio is back to its original formation of Nils Edenloff, Paul Banwatt and Amy Cole with a new EP, The Rise, and a frenetic, road-trip folk-rock single that'll make you want to jump in the car and head to the Alberta mountains for which the song's named. Edenloff and Cole are never just singing about place, of course, but the signposts are there, and when Banwatt lets loose on the drums in the second verse, everyone's on the road with them. The incredible cover art for the EP and singles also lends to the sense of travel: Edmonton-based photographer Leroy Schulz took stunning drone photos of the Alberta landscape from above, and it's a real mind game to figure out which way is up when you look at it. — Holly Gordon

'Rollin,' Jeremie Albino

There's something particularly striking about a song that grips you immediately, especially when it's from a genre that you don't typically listen to. "Rollin'" is that type of song for me. Albino's passion permeates anything as limiting as genre, with a voice full of pure gusto and pathos. The folk and country artist just released his latest EP, Past Dawn, a collection of balmy, soulful tracks, rife with expert storytelling. "Rollin'" will transport you to a late summer evening, as the sunset casts a honeyed glow over everything. It's full of warmth, anticipation and possibility — a celebration of easy-living. — Kelsey Adams

'Boxes,' Grae

Growing up is a process of gaining new things while letting go of the old. In the case of Toronto alt-pop artist Grae, the old consists of band tees that might not fit anymore and the collage of posters up on her bedroom wall. "I looked around my room one day and realized I wanted to tear down all the posters I've had on my walls since I can remember," Grae said in a press release. "That was a significant moment because I always thought I'd be that girl wearing a band t-shirt with posters covering her walls forever. But I needed a change." That push-and-pull of wanting to move on, but having nostalgia constantly tug at you, is at the core of Grae's latest single, "Boxes." Throughout the track, she keeps reiterating that she's "not that kid anymore," while also admitting how hard it is to confront the sentimentality embedded in her belongings. Those feelings are perfectly wrapped in the dreamy wash of guitar riffs and steady bass, almost sounding like a track that belongs in a past era. — ML

'Joy,' nohidea feat. Maath You

Originally from Calgary and now based in Los Angeles, nohidea is a pioneer of the Lo-Fi/chillhop movement that has exploded in recent years. His next album, Psychonautica, is due out June 17 and its first advance track, "Joy," hints at a new direction for the seasoned producer. It's a hair-raising mashup of emo indie pop and Lo-Fi beats featuring the delicate vocals of Maath You (a.k.a. Matthew Wentworth of Our Last Night fame). "Something greater than happiness surrounds us when we let go," he sings in the chorus, his voice floating on those last three words to invoke the song's title. The melodic contour recalls Coldplay's finest moments; production is economical but effective, beginning with birdsong and acoustic guitar before a descending cello line cues the beat. — RR

'Elephant in the Room,' untradition

Julien Bowry, the producer and songwriter behind untradition, has distilled catharsis in his latest single, "Elephant in the Room." In an Instagram post, he shared that he first wrote the song in 2016, "at a time that I thought (lol) would be my lowest point." Over the years, he tweaked with the arrangement, time signature, musical structure and more until the song fell into place. The song-making process mimics the constant metamorphosis that Bowry himself was experiencing: "In that time I feel as though I've been turned inside out by life, flattened, burned to a crisp, buried underground, and re-emerged countless times over." The electric guitar acts as a sorrowful echo to Bowry's lamentations as he sings about "drowning in shame" and not being able to "muster the strength of a whisper." Over those six years, Bowry has created a deeply moving and intricately constructed ode to self-realization and healing. — KA

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