Tenille Townes, Kallitechnis, Missy D and more: songs you need to hear this week
Five new songs to add to your playlist right now
From making the most of a messy breakup to an early contender for song of the summer, CBC Music has found the best new tracks for all types of music fans. (And if you're looking for new singles by Shawn Mendes and Mac DeMarco, don't worry, we've already covered them here and here).
This week we're busy renewing our playlists with fresh Canadian songs from Missy D, 11:11, Tenille Townes, Kallitechnis and TOBi feat. VanJess. 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.
'Yes, Mama,' Missy D
A song of the summer celebrating.... matriarchs? Missy D makes it happen with "Yes Mama," an infectiously joyful track that immediately gets into your hips and makes your body move. Missy D's voice glows like a sunrise, bouncing against beats that invoke the Vancouver-based femcee's roots in Rwanda, Cote d'Ivoire and Zimbabwe. She sings and raps in French and English, too, a purposeful tribute to — and deliberate celebration of — the matriarch in all her forms. An anthem, D writes, for "Mama D, the Motherland, Mama Earth, all our Mamas, our angels and our community Mamas... Feel our ancestors, feel our mama, feel the resilience, feel the celebration and feel the love."
— Andrea Warner
The search is over: here's the slow jam that'll be heating up our nights as we wait for summer to finally arrive. "Flames" is for everyone who's been in a volatile, on-again/off-again relationship. "Even when we say we're done/ I always tell you you're the one/ And everybody thinks we're crazy/ And they're probably right," goes the pre-chorus, with 11:11's singing acting as tinder for yet another fiery make-up make-out session. And can we just say how much we appreciate the subtle, voice-forward production that sets this song's eminently singable chorus free?
— Robert Rowat
'I Kept the Roses,' Tenille Townes
When Tenille Townes' latest single, "I Kept the Roses," starts, it sounds like it'll be like any other sappy break-up song. "I tore all the pictures from all of their frames/ and all of your T-shirts, I gave them away," the Grand Prairie, Alta., country singer croons over a lone guitar. But as the song and Townes' gorgeously textured voice grow over the span of the track, a sense of strength forms and reveals a silver lining. Sure, Townes stripped her life of her ex-lover's belongings but she kept one thing: the roses. "And they should make me lonely, but I'm smiling instead," she continues. Townes says she loves "holding on to the good in the hard things we go through." And while it's evident that she's still carrying the pain of a separation, "I Kept the Roses" rallies through that and allows the beautiful remnants of the relationship to heal and shape her future self.
— Melody Lau
Have you ever dropped a pebble into a well and listened for its resonant plunk when it finally hits the water below? That's the sensation you get upon hitting play on Kallitechnis's new song — her first with Warner Music U.K. — with its deep vibraphone tones and tinkling bell tree that immerse you in a warm sound bath. The song concerns itself with love's big questions and the wisdom needed to answer them: "Thinking is all wrong/ Love will happen when it wants," she sings in her confiding soubrette, spanning a wide vocal range and skimming over tastefully ornamented phrases. Hers is truly one of the best new voices in contemporary R&B. — RR
'Come Back Home,' TOBi feat. VanJess
How many musicians can count Snoop Dogg among their fans? In January, the legendary Grammy Award-winning musician gave TOBi his blessing on Twitter. Five months later, the Nigerian-Canadian artist dropped his first full-length album, STILL, and sold out his show at the Velvet Underground in Toronto, earning high praise from Exclaim. "Come Back Home" is a unique track off the album, blending sounds akin to folk with the album's overall R&B and soul influences. Having moved from Lagos to Ottawa to Brampton and beyond, TOBi knows all about travelling and the growth that it can spark. These themes emerge as TOBi and VanJess alternate verses: "When these blood, sweat, and tears make a trail, you can tell where I came from." The kick of the beat and energetic tempo make this song the perfect soundtrack to your next journey.
— Natasha Ramoutar