Music

Shawn Mendes, Tobi, T. Thomason feat. Sarah McLachlan and more: songs you need to hear this week

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

6 fresh Canadian tracks to add to your playlist right now

'It’s been a crazy year collectively,' says Tobi. 'It’s heavy stuff, so we create joy and find ways to smile and thrive through the pain. We are resilient. We got this.' (Tobi/Facebook)

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:

  • Shawn Mendes.
  • Sean Leon.
  • Meg Warren.
  • T. Thomason featuring Sarah McLachlan.
  • Prince Innocence.
  • Tobi.

Scroll down to find out why you need to listen.

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


'Wonder,' Shawn Mendes 

When Shawn Mendes wasn't busy going on lockdown strolls with his girlfriend, Camila Cabello, the Canadian pop star was quietly putting together his new album. Now, two years after releasing his last album, Mendes has made his triumphant comeback with the title track off the upcoming Wonder (out Dec. 4). The track is a slow build, starting off with a beating-heart drum kick and a sparse piano part that gradually unfolds until Mendes is overcome with a tidal wave of emotion on the anthemic chorus. "I wonder what it's like to be loved by you," he sings at full force, like he's willing this feeling into existence (when in reality, he's been blissfully enjoying the wonderment of love for a year now). "Wonder" takes a giant leap, and we can't wait to see where else Mendes' next chapter takes us. — Melody Lau 


'Made me Everything,' Tobi

It's hard to believe the storm cloud that is 2020 could produce such a jubilant song and video, but Tobi's "Made me Everything" arrives like the proverbial silver lining. "It's been a crazy year collectively," he said via press release. "It's heavy stuff, so we create joy and find ways to smile and thrive through the pain. We are resilient. We got this." A sample from Words of Wisdom's "You Made me Everything," with its insistent horns, gives the song a vintage patina, amplified in the Kit Weyman-directed video by group choreographies that conjure '60s urban streetscapes. Astute lines such as "Well-spoken for a Black man/ that's how you serve a compliment with your backhand" keep the song real and grounded in the present. Watch for Tobi's Elements, due out Oct. 21. — Robert Rowat


'Bomb,' Meg Warren

Repartee's 2016 album, All Lit Up, was on our personal and professional best-of lists that year, as the St. John's synth-pop group delivered a magnetic debut filled with sharp hooks and lyrics plucked right from our inner thoughts. Now Meg Warren, founder of the beloved band, is striking out solo, and her skill at delivering punches directly to the heart has not dulled. A moody, driving guitar opens ahead of Warren's verses, making way for a piano riff as she later sings "I bet you're doing all right/ moving on with your best life/ while I'm dreaming about you every damn night/ it's like you're hiding out in my mind." She nearly sing-screams the track's title lyric — "You're like a bomb!" — over a crash of sound, that guitar and piano coming together for maximum feeling. "Bomb" is a cathartic lead single, and thankfully it's not that long until Nov. 27, when Warren releases her first solo EP, A Thousand Ways, which she co-engineered and co-produced with Nova Scotia's Daniel Ledwell. — Holly Gordon


'Angelyne,' Prince Innocence

The opening moments of Prince Innocence's latest track, "Angelyne," feels like the soundtrack to a late-night drive through the neon-lit streets of Hollywood Boulevard. Bubbling with energy while a pulsating beat rumbles beneath, "Angelyne" is an ode to the '80s billboard queen of the same name, but it's also about longing for something, as singer Talvi Faustmann said in a statement: "I picture the song being sung from the perspective of a figure up on a billboard sadly unable to connect with the people walking below her." The result is a dreamy, melancholic fantasy that unfortunately is a reality for many now as the world continues to socially distance. At least we have tunes like this to keep us company during our at-home dance parties. — ML


'Grips,' Sean Leon 

Rapper and songwriter Sean Leon has been making waves in the Toronto scene for close to a decade, and he's recently gained notoriety for his songwriting for other artists, including having three credits on Kanye West's 2019 album, Jesus is King. But now Leon is back to his own music, releasing songs from his upcoming album, King & Sufferin — a play on the nickname that Toronto's Dufferin Street is sometimes affectionately (and not so affectionately) given. Following the release of "Aquarius," a slow-burning, piano-driven song about finding comfort in your relationship, "Grips" changes gears completely and gives us a trap-influenced song about the joys of being unattached. Produced by rising Brampton, Ont., producer Eestbound (who has previously worked with Travis Scott and Young Thug), Leon twists and turns his vocals around eerie synths and sharp hi-hats, showing off his versatility as a lyricist who can make you think just as easily as he can make you forget about your worries. — Jesse Kinos-Goodin


'Bliss Part II,' T. Thomason feat. Sarah McLachlan

A new single from Thomason's Part II Project, where he's reimagined select songs from his self-titled debut album with new collaborators, "Bliss Part II" is a stripped-down version of his beautiful hit song "Bliss," this time featuring the inimitable Sarah McLachlan. (The two met a few years ago while Thomason was competing on The Launch.) A compassionate retelling of advice from Thomason's parents that morphs into self-discovery, "Bliss Part II" kicks off with McLachlan's gentle vocals, as she trades verses with Thomason until the two join together on the chorus. This is the final single from Thomason's Part II Project, and while his previous collaborations with Rose Cousins, Ria Mae and Ivan Coyote all felt individually special, "Bliss Part II" is a heart-filling closer that can't be topped. "'Bliss' is precious to me, and the only way I could imagine reimagining it was if it felt right all the way down to the bones," Thomason said via press release. "I hope this tune brings you bliss and a little bit of a pinch-yourself thrill like it does me!" — HG

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