U.S. Girls' anti-capitalist critique, and 6 more songs you need to hear this week
Fresh Canadian 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:
- U.S. Girls.
- Savannah Ré.
- Moneyphone featuring Monsune.
- Milk & Bone.
- Tommy Lefroy.
- Tim Baker.
- Ducks Ltd. featuring Jane Inc.
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.
To hear more about these standout songs, tune in to CBC Music Mornings every Thursday and Toronto's Here and Now every Wednesday afternoon, both available via CBC Listen.
'So Typically Now,' U.S. Girls
"Brooklyn's dead," Meg Remy declares on "So Typically Now," her first single as U.S. Girls since 2020's Heavy Light. In the time since her last Polaris Music Prize-nominated album, the world has undergone a lot of change, including waves of people wealthy enough to flee hip metropolises for more rural settings (many during, and as a result of, the COVID-19 pandemic). "So Typically Now," like much of U.S. Girls' discography, furthers Remy's anti-capitalist critiques as she scoffs at "traitors with loans" who run the show, but she's also honest in her own complicity when she admits, "I moved upstate/ so typically now." And while the topic may feel weighty, Remy serves up her commentary over a strutting beat and glossy disco synths. While other artists have been using the dancefloor as a place to process feelings or to celebrate, Remy is here to remind us that disco and house music can also intrinsically be a political space. — Melody Lau
'About U,' Savannah Ré
On "Last One," his duet with Savannah Ré that was released earlier this year, Dylan Sinclair begins his verse exclaiming, "She's a song, she's a queen, she deserves it all" — and honestly, it's how I feel, too, with each new track that arrives from the Toronto-based R&B juggernaut. In the two years since she released "Solid," the Juno Award-winning lead single from her debut EP, Opia, Ré has dropped a string of reliably tuneful, sensual, affecting songs, exceeding expectations and — most importantly in a saturated market — creating an immediately identifiable sound.
The most recent one is "About U," from her upcoming EP, No Weapons. "Can't play this game forever/ let's get this shit together," she sings in the pre-chorus, musing on the obstacles preventing two people from uniting. Then, her voice, usually a rich contralto, ascends to reveal an attractive upper range as she laments, "But you make it hard." The chorus allows her to find all the melodic possibilities in the chord changes, ornamenting and varying the vocal line to wring out every drop of emotion. And just when I thought she could do it all, Ré co-directs the video, too. — Robert Rowat
'Coming Back Around,' Moneyphone feat. Monsune
Moneyphone is the future. On 2020's Faith mixtape, the duo made up of David May and Eno Ncube pulled influences from genres as disparate as post-punk, hyperpop and alternative hip hop to create a distinct sonic landscape that still feels of the moment. And now, they've tapped into the zeitgeist once again. The forward-thinking "pop experimentalists" are releasing their debut album, World Peace Inside Me, later this year, and if lead single "Coming Back Around" featuring singer-songwriter Monsune is anything to go by, their foray into dance music will be brilliant. There were inflections of dance music on Faith — a little U.K. garage, some drum and bass-style breakdowns — but they've gone full throttle on their new tracks. Lush hedonism permeates "Coming Back Around," reaching a fever pitch when Ncube raps "Kick drum feeling like freedom" over a breezy house beat, or when the belt-along chorus kicks in. But if you listen closer, the joy and euphoria are only temporary. As May sings, "I know these days are numbered, I know it ain't ever coming back around," it's a reminder that the highs only feel so high because we've felt some lows. — Kelsey Adams
'Movies,' Milk & Bone
There are a lot of reasons to love Montreal's Milk & Bone, and one of my personal favourites is how well the duo hides low-key devastating lyrics inside its addictive synth-pop — and "Movies" is a perfect example. "I'm thinking violence/ I'm thinking soothe/ not ever present/ neither are you," sings Camille Poliquin playfully on the first chorus, as Laurence Lafond-Beaulne softly sings backup for the description of a doomed relationship. "Movies" is light and bouncy, letting Milk & Bone's lyrics stand out a little more than on some of their more layered songs, which sometimes means — depending on any current romantic relationships — you may want to focus more on the beat than repeating that chorus. "Movies" is the third single this year from the duo, following its Juno Award-winning 2018 album Deception Bay, and it comes with a welcome announcement: Milk & Bone's third full-length album, Chrysalism, will be out Oct. 28. — Holly Gordon
'Dog Eat Dog,' Tommy Lefroy
Tommy Lefroy started as a pandemic project between long-distance friends Wynter Bethel and Tessa Mouzourakis, but has since grown into a full-time gig that has helped the duo express and process feelings of being women in the world (as well as the music industry) and the constraints and expectations that they put on themselves. That is partly what fuels their latest single, "Dog Eat Dog," a grungy guitar-rock anthem that aims to break down the shields women put up for self-preservation, but as a result prevents them from going after what they really want. The track represents Tommy Lefroy's ultimate goal: to lay bare their fears and desires in hopes that other people hear it and feel less lonely in their experiences. "A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do," they sing on the track. But that doesn't mean you have to do it alone. — ML
'Year of the Dog,' Tim Baker
What is this shadow passing over us,
Like a cloud across the sun?
Where did it come from,
Was it something I've done?
The third single from Tim Baker in as many months, "Year of the Dog" starts quietly, Baker's familiar voice drawing a vivid picture of trouble coming atop slowly marching keys. Somewhere along the way, though, the winds shift and Baker sees light instead of shadow, building into a chorus that's filled out by a harmony of backup singers that include Nico Paulo, Mara Pellerin and Catherine Allan. "['Year of the Dog'] is about living through, and actually being thankful for, difficulty and pain," Baker wrote via press release about the new song. "For how they make you grow and appreciate beauty you couldn't otherwise." "Year of the Dog" is a gentle sing-along anthem, one meant for swaying rather than fist-pumping — the perfect appreciation moment for any festival set. It's an apt sampling of Baker's upcoming second full-length album, titled The Festival, which will be out Oct. 7 on Donovan Woods' label End Times Music. — HG
'In Between Days' (The Cure cover), Ducks Ltd. feat. Jane Inc.
After gifting us with one of this year's songs of the summer, Ducks Ltd. is back with the second instalment in The Sincerest Form of Flattery, its ongoing series of cover songs. The Cure's perennially popular "In Between Days" is a perfect fit for Ducks Ltd., which shares the famed '80s band's penchant for upbeat songs with downer lyrics. (It doesn't get much bleaker than the iconic opening line: "Yesterday I got so old, I felt like I could die.") For its faithful cover, Ducks Ltd. enlists Jane Inc. (a.k.a. Carlyn Bezic), who boosts the band's already brimming guitar sound and adds backup to Tom McGreevy's lead vocals. Their cover came together while Ducks Ltd. was touring — "the vocal was tracked in the front seat of a parked Mitsubishi Outlander in the middle of the night outside an AirBnB in Grand Junction, Colo.," explains McGreevy via press release — but is no less respectful because of it. "Robert Smith is a genius and the Cure are the best and I absolutely love this song," he enthuses, and it shows. — RR