Swagger Rite, Ria Mae with Dan Talevski, and more: songs you need to hear this week
6 fresh tracks to add to your playlist right now
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 JP Saxe featuring Julia Michaels, Ria Mae and Dan Talevski, Common Holly, Jennah Barry, Corridor, and Swagger Rite featuring BlocBoy JB. 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.
'If the World was Ending,' JP Saxe feat. Julia Michaels
With climate change tightening its grip on our collective consciousness, it's only natural that musicians are turning their attention to worst-case scenarios. In this sentimental doomsday duet, which JP Saxe and Julia Michaels wrote and recorded in a single day of creative inspiration, two former lovers react to breaking news of an impending catastrophe. "If the world was ending, you'd come over, right?/ The sky'd be falling and I'd hold you tight," goes the chorus, with Saxe and Michael's unison voices brimming with emotion, the urgency of the situation stripping away all petty differences. "One of my favourite songs I've heard in a few years," enthused Shawn Mendes in an Instastory, and we're inclined to agree.
— Robert Rowat
'In Love with the K,' Swagger Rite feat. BlocBoy JB
Following his single "Drop Top," which was featured on HBO's Euphoria, Toronto-based rapper Swagger Rite returns with a remix of "In Love with the K." The original was released in June and garnered more than three million views on its Worldstar Hip Hop premiere. For the recent remix, Swagger Rite teamed up with Memphis-based rapper BlocBoy JB atop a whirling, ominous trap beat that inches forward. Raw, ambitious and bursting with energy, Swagger Rite demands your attention. You can also catch Swagger Rite as of Nov. 8 in episode 3 of our Drake's Plan documentary series via CBC Gem.
— Natasha Ramoutar
'Crazy OK,' Common Holly
"Don't leave me," Brigitte Naggar sings. "I'm crazy, OK." At least that's what the main refrain of Common Holly's latest song sounds like initially. When looked at from another angle though, Naggar could be saying, "I'm crazy OK," a desperate assertion that everything is actually fine. Naggar mostly leaves this statement, and its phantom comma, up to its listeners, but in reality it's a bit of both. Moods shift and one day you can be calmly plucking away at an acoustic guitar but the next, the clouds could swarm together to spark a thunderous cacophony — just as the song itself oscillates between the two. Perhaps this is a sign of an unhealthy relationship, as Naggar herself questions: "I don't know whether/ I got lucky meeting you/ or it's just another reason to feel/ crazy, don't leave me, OK." But one can only hope for an understanding subject at the other end of Naggar's pleas.
— Melody Lau
Montreal's Corridor signed to label Sub Pop in June of this year, officially becoming the first francophone band on the Seattle indie juggernaut's roster. With new album Junior out just last week, there's a lot to dive into with the post-punk band, but nothing has us more hooked right now than the joyous piece of guitar pop that is "Domino." Held together by a tight opening riff and an addictive bassline, "Domino" guides us from order to breakdown and back again. The band's energy feels almost unsustainable for the four-and-a-half minutes, but when singer Dominic Berthiaume launches into one last chorus, it's a fresh reset and you're suddenly ready to start all over again.
— Holly Gordon
'Too Close,' Ria Mae and Dan Talevski
Breakups are awkward enough as it is, but when you run into a recent ex in line at a club, tensions can flare — for better or worse. On Ria Mae and Dan Talevski's latest collaboration, the two pop artists play out this situation, engaging in a back-and-forth where both sides admit: "I can't get too close/ 'cause I'll have my hands on you/ I can't fight it." It's a lingering state where feelings and sparks still exist but neither party wants to reveal such vulnerabilities. And even though Mae and Talevski are not romantically entangled in real life, their beautifully polished harmonies sell a story that many will definitely relate to. — ML
'The Real Moon,' Jennah Barry
It's easy to happily sway your way into "The Real Moon," all soft, dreamy vocals and plucked acoustic guitar, horns jumping in to sweep you away. But Nova Scotia's Jennah Barry isn't singing about the real moon; she's talking about the artificial light that radiates from our cell phones: "Call it in, take a holiday/ all I find is another doorway/ did it happen if nobody saw/ a whole life in a tiny box," she sings, sweetly and deceptively, on the chorus. "I was spending most of my time alone when I wrote 'The Real Moon,'" Barry explained in a statement. "The song is about the very modern problem of seeing too much of the world without actually leaving your house. It's about experiencing the fragility of reality." It's a beautiful song that hits at the heart of disconnectedness and inauthenticity — and with Barry's timeless sound, it feels just right, no matter how many doorways you've clicked your way through today. — HG