Taylor Swift feat. Shawn Mendes, Sarah Harmer, more: songs you need to hear this week
4 fresh tracks to add to your playlist right now
Each week, CBC Music producers come together to highlight Canada's best new tracks.
This week, we got hooked on new songs from Taylor Swift featuring Shawn Mendes, Tory Lanez featuring T-Pain, Andy Shauf and the first new music in a decade from Sarah Harmer. Scroll down to find out why you need to hear them, too.
What new Canadian tunes are you currently obsessed with? Share them with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.
'Lover' (remix), Taylor Swift feat. Shawn Mendes
A month after Canadian pop star Shawn Mendes released his 2015 debut album, Handwritten, he hit the road with one of the world's biggest artists: Taylor Swift. Ever since then, the two have remained friends but have never teamed up on a song together. And while fans continue to wait for an original collaboration, Mendes has hopped on a remix of "Lover," the title track of Swift's latest album. The swooning acoustic number, which basks in the glow of love, unites the two singers in a particularly serendipitous time when both are joyously in love (Swift with actor Joe Alwyn and Mendes with fellow artist Camila Cabello). Mendes' additional verse builds off of Swift's dreamy projections of the future: "We would sit on the stoop/ I'll sing love songs to you when we're 80." If the original version of the track wasn't already on its way to the wedding song hall of fame, then this update will certainly solidify its ascent to the top of the list.
— Melody Lau
'New Low,' Sarah Harmer
Sarah Harmer released her first new music since 2010's Oh Little Fire on Nov. 14, and it's a fiery two-and-a-half minutes that the singer hopes will get "people to their feet, and not only to dance." Inspired by the community activism Harmer witnessed following the 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting, plus the Women's March and other rallies in its wake, "New Low" is Harmer's rallying cry, with bursts of horns and harmonies blisteringly carried atop that scrappy '90s guitar. "I wanna see if we can take this/ from flame to fire/ heat is fleeting but/ hearts are beating hard," she sings — and by the last time she asks "Who knows?" at the song's closing, there's really no question whether we'll join her or not.
— Holly Gordon
'Jerry Sprunger,' Tory Lanez feat. T-Pain
As we near the end of the 2010s, many are looking back at the decade's best in music. But Toronto's Tory Lanez wants to take things back even further with Chixtape 5. On his latest mixtape, Lanez samples some of the most popular R&B songs of the early 2000s, from Ashanti's "Foolish" to Mario's "Just a Friend." On single "Jerry Sprunger," Lanez teams up with Auto-Tune master T-Pain to update his 2005 hit, "I'm Sprung." Upping the bass on the track, Lanez seamlessly wraps his own verses and smooth vocals around T-Pain's iconic chorus. The result is equal parts nostalgic and forward-looking, pleasing fans both old and new — including T-Pain himself. — ML
'Try Again,' Andy Shauf
With the second single off his forthcoming sixth album The Neon Skyline, Canadian indie darling Andy Shauf masters that Greenwich Village-style storytelling that's both charming and romantic in its stream-of-consciousness prose. Capturing hints of Belle & Sebastian and Bob Dylan, the jaunty retro-pop ballad paints awkward vignettes of encounters with old lovers, kicking things up a notch from "Things I Do," the album's impossibly cool lead single.
— Jess Huddleston