Songs you need to hear this week, CBC Music Festival edition
A handy guide to some of the artists performing at our 2019 event
The 2019 CBC Music Festival is fast approaching, so we're turning our regular songs you need to hear this week feature into a taste of this year's lineup.
Hit play on brand new tracks from Cœur de pirate and Rhye, as well as favourites from the Courtneys and Stars, plus a (possibly unexpected) cover from Charlotte Cardin. Then on Saturday, May 25, head to Toronto's Echo Beach if you can for the festival itself or stream it live from wherever you are via CBC Music.
To find all the details on the festival — including lineup and, soon, set times — head to our CBC Music Festival page.
'Patience,' Rhye feat. Olafur Arnalds
Our patience was in short supply as May 10 approached, the promised release date for Rhye's new EP, Spirit. But we were rewarded with eight new tracks delivering not only Rhye's gossamer vocals and signature minimalist neo-soul, but also a new star attraction: a moody piano that sounds appropriately beat-up and utterly captivating. This instrument underpins "Patience," a collaboration with composer/producer Olafur Arnalds, who could be Rhye's Icelandic twin if their unity of purpose on this wistful song is any indication. "Give me more of the rain," soars the vocal line as the piano plays a warm shower of notes and a cello rises from the depths. And while the hair on the back of your neck stands up, they hit you with the song's essence: "Don't rush the thing that's sacred/ Give me your patience."
Rhye performs at the CBC Music Festival's main stage.
— Robert Rowat
'Lost Boys,' the Courtneys
Vancouver's the Courtneys know how to spin nostalgia into catchy pop tunes. Their formula often includes fuzzed-out guitars, a simple melody and fun pop-culture references ranging from 90210 to Keanu Reeves. On "Lost Boys," from their 2017 sophomore album, II, the Courneys pay homage to the 1987 teen vampire flick of the same name. While it may sound absurd to sing of teenage vampire boyfriends, the Courtneys ground their ideas with a sincerity that's warm and inviting but, more importantly, infectious. It's sunny-sounding songs like this — and we do highly recommend both their 2010 debut and its follow-up — that make us want to spend all day singing and dancing along at a music festival.
The Courtneys perform at the CBC Music Festival's q stage.
— Melody Lau
'How You Remind Me,' Charlotte Cardin (Nickelback cover)
Our Junos 365 sessions always have a way of surprising us. With Charlotte Cardin, the surprise was in her decision to cover Nickelback's 2002 Juno-winning single, "How You Remind Me." While the song has been the subject of criticism over the years, Cardin argues that its melody and lyrics make it catchy, regardless.
Her cover is a delightful, stripped-down, jazz/pop fusion in signature Cardin fashion. And this isn't the first time Cardin has done an unexpected cover: in 2018, she did her own version of Post Malone's "Go Flex." From hip-hop to rock, the singer proves she's capable of taking risks — and reaping the rewards. We're eager to see what she brings to the 2019 CBC Music Festival stage.
Charlotte Cardin performs at the CBC Music Festival's main stage.
— Natasha Ramoutar
'Ne m'appelle pas,' Cœur de pirate
Cœur de pirate, a.k.a. Beatrice Martin, is no stranger to writing songs about doomed relationships, but with the video for the brand new "Ne m'appelle pas" she's having a bit of fun with it this time around. Translated as "Don't call me," the title works its way through the video with a recreation of the falling roses scene from American Beauty— but with cell phones instead of petals — followed by an animated dog peeing on a cell after texts come in saying "Hi. I miss you. Good night." Directed by Laurence "Baz" Morais, the video shows a playful Martin but her message is clear in the chorus: "Ne m'appelle pas/ ne m'ecrit pas/ tu sais tres bien que je vis mieux sans toi" (Don't call me/ don't write me/ you know very well that I'm better without you). Come for the take-no-prisoners summery jam, stay for this immensely GIF-able scene of Martin dressed as a Teletubby while staring down an empty wine bottle in a bathtub. We've all been there.
Cœur de pirate performs at the CBC Music Festival's main stage.
— Holly Gordon
'Ageless Beauty,' Stars
Stars will be celebrating the 15th anniversary of their breakout album, Set Yourself on Fire, this year by playing the record in its entirety at the CBC Music Festival. Set Yourself on Fire is a modern-day Canadian classic packed with indie-rock gems from "Reunion" to the smash hit "Your Ex-Lover is Dead," but "Ageless Beauty" is a personal favourite. While many tracks on the album often take their time to unfold and build drama, "Ageless Beauty" is a straightforward power-pop moment that chugs through its four-minute run with the help of two main things: insistent guitars and Amy Millan's radiant voice. Millan puts on one of her best performances here as she promises listeners "we will always be a light." It's a song that is relentlessly hopeful and, as the title suggests, a timeless anthem that you won't be able to resist throwing your hands up and singing along to come festival time.
Stars perform at the CBC Music Festival's main stage.