Music

The Honest Guy's bittersweet summertime ode, and 4 more songs you need to hear this week

Fresh Canadian tracks to add to your playlist right now.

Fresh Canadian tracks to add to your playlist right now

The Honest Guy (Mubarak Adeyemi) released his debut EP, Love Songs for no One, in February 2021. (ArtisLush)

Each week, CBC Music producers come together to highlight Canada's best new tracks.

This week, we got hooked on new songs from:

  • The Kid Laroi feat. Justin Bieber.
  • Nanimal.
  • Boyfrn and Dillan Ponders.
  • The Honest Guy.
  • Samson Brown.

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.

Hit play on our Songs You Need to Hear stream, filled with songs that CBC Music's producers have chosen for their playlists, and tune into CBC Music Mornings every Thursday to hear CBC Music's Jess Huddleston and Saroja Coelho reveal which of these tracks is the standout new Canadian song.


'Stay,' the Kid Laroi feat. Justin Bieber

The partnership of Justin Bieber and the Kid Laroi has become one of the year's best surprises. The latter appeared on Bieber's "Unstable," a moody hidden gem on Justice, and now it's Bieber's turn to be the featured guest. "Stay," an advance track from the Kid Laroi's upcoming F*ck Love 3, is a pop banger that capitalizes on both singers' skills as falsettists with a repeated melodic cell that has them flipping between chest and head voice on a minor sixth. "I do the same thing I told you that I never would/ I told you I'd change, even when I knew I never could," goes the chorus, an admission of weakness, if not a promise to be better. The video, directed by Colin Tilley, is dazzling in its use of frozen moments during which the song's protagonists reflect on the situations that surround them. — Robert Rowat


'Friends,' Nanimal 

Parlovr were a bright spot — if not often overlooked — in the late-2000s Montreal indie-rock scene. Their music was a jolt of lightning, amping up pop melodies into full throttle scream-along anthems. Shortly after Parlovr disbanded around 2012, members Louis Jackson and Jeremy MacCuish created a new band called Nanimal. Carrying over the same musical ethos as Parlovr, Nanimal's whirlwind melodies are heavily layered between pounding drums, shredding guitar riffs and steady bass. Their latest release, Unfunfu, contains four tracks of infectious indie-pop that perfectly captures the joy and cacophony that Jackson and MacCuish have long established as their calling card. "Friends" is its opening number, a flurry of sounds that feels haphazardly (though also expertly) thrown together in a way that makes us crave the intimacy of dancing front row at a club show. — Melody Lau 


'Way I Flow,' Boyfrn and Dillan Ponders

This Dillan Ponders-assisted track is the latest in a string of single drops from Toronto-via-Barbados artist Boyfrn, who's already flexing his fearless, genre-bending prowess early in the game. "I hate following the generic layout most songwriters follow. Black people get put into a box all too often," he says about this latest release, which defies borders in its atmospheric R&B production and Boyfrn's punk, Tom DeLonge-esque delivery. Ponders slides in for the song's breezy, sing-rap punctuation, signaling that while the ride has come to an end, the repeat button exists precisely for addictive freedom anthems like this one. — Jess Huddleston


'Lost to the Summer,' the Honest Guy

When it comes to competing for the affections of a partner, rivals normally include other people, time-consuming careers or even TV and video games. But the latest single from the Honest Guy (Toronto's Mubarak Adeyemi) chronicles a relationship that may have fizzled due to summer's irresistible allure. "The song was written from the perspective of the lover not knowing if they lost the partner to another person or to the fun of all the summer activities," he explains via press release. "When I lost you/ I lost you to the summer — or another," the Honest Guy posits in the chorus, his soft tenor floating over a mid-tempo mix of funky bass, dreamy electric piano and a slapping backbeat. There are some nice, crunchy vocal harmonies in the second verse and surprising chord changes that keep the song fresh (unlike his relationship that has unfortunately spoiled in the summer heat.) — RR


'A Vibe,' Samson Brown 

Sometimes we can get bogged down in the details of things when what's more important is the overall vibe. This is the message behind Vancouver-based artist Samson Brown's latest single, "A Vibe." Over a shimmering lo-fi beat provided by EDM producer Koji, Brown effortlessly cruises through the track, clearly leaning into the laidback energy. "A Vibe" is a late contender for song of the summer that encourages listeners to live life to the fullest — something that, in certain parts of the world, is starting to feel possible once again. — ML 

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