Valley's sentimental sing-along, 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 Toronto indie pop band switch up their speed and get acoustic on their latest single, "Last Birthday." (Courtesy Universal Canada)

Here at CBC Music, we're always on high alert for the best new songs by Canadian artists.

This week, we're listening to new tracks from:

  • Valley.
  • Jacques Greene.
  • Katie Tupper.
  • Gabrielle Papillon.
  • Maylee Todd.

Scroll down to find out why you should listen, too.

What new Canadian tunes are you currently obsessed with? Share them with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.

Tune into CBC Music Mornings every Thursday to hear CBC Music's Jess Huddleston and Saroja Coehlo reveal which of these tracks is the standout new Canadian song.

'Last Birthday,' Valley

Valley's new three-song EP, The After Party, finds the pop quartet leaning into a more acoustic sound and sentimental frame of mind, although their knack for creating catchy happy/sad songs is still in full evidence. After a gentle intro, lead single "Last Birthday" — which is sort of the anachronistic title track from their 2021 EP of the same name — bursts forth with a rousing chorus: "I'll be with you at the baggage claim/ I'll be with you on your last birthday." There's lots of strumming guitar, beautiful backup vocals from drummer Karah James, and even a xylophone to keep a smile on your face as you contemplate the meaning of those poignant lyrics. This is a song meant for singing along, and if things go according to plan, you may be able to do that in person at one of the dates on Valley's upcoming concert tour— Robert Rowat

'Taurus,' Jacques Greene

Although it's not Taurus season yet, there's a gentle but unrelenting drive at the heart of Greene's latest single that unmistakably embodies the Earth sign's qualities. For those who aren't into astrology, what that means is the melodic, meditative synths and vocal samples are propelled forward by persistent drum breaks that keep the ethereal track from stagnating. "Taurus" is the first single from the Montreal producer's upcoming EP, Fantasy (out Jan. 28) and it's an amalgamation of all the things he does best. It's music that gets you out of your head and into your body, engulfs you entirely and doesn't let go until the final second. Whether Greene is making music for the club, the morning after or for moments of solitude, complete absorption is always the end result.— Kelsey Adams

'Danny,' Katie Tupper

There's a weightlessness to Saskatoon artist Katie Tupper's voice as she lists off the bad habits and negative feelings she's built up on her latest single, "Danny." Over a breezy drum beat and twinkling keys, Tupper admits that telling her subject things like, "Your family never liked me, and I never liked them," can be scary to say out loud, but thanks to some distance from this relationship, "What's the worst some words can do to me now." Similar to her previous single, "How Can I Get Your Love?," time plays an essential role in Tupper's songwriting, and gaining perspectives both good and bad with some added space gives Tupper's songs an extra level of depth. Her music helps us challenge the way we look back at events or people in our lives, always in search of ways to move forward with a set path and a clearer mind. — Melody Lau

'Wait (Ellie Dixon remix),' Gabrielle Papillon

Gabrielle Papillon's song "Wait," from her 2019 album Shout, got an excellent debut remix by U.K. pop musician Ellie Dixon last fall. Dixon, who's been turning heads with her own music and her TikTok account while also recently headlining one of BBC Introducing's festivals, played with the tension in the song. She punctuates the heavy spaces with synths and bass and lets it all drop off to set a laser-focus on the flux of emotion, using a little light percussion to lift the mood throughout. Today we got a video to go with that remix, and it's tonally perfect. "I really wanted the video to reflect the whimsy and the magic that Ellie conjured in her production, while also reflecting the fears we can sometimes have that get magnified and become surreal, and make us want to hide away in a blanket fort," writes Papillon via email. Directed by Jeff Miller and costume designed by Maggie Jayne, the video is a swirling quilt of comfort, a bright antidote to keep some of those fears at bay. — Holly Gordon

'Show Me,' Maylee Todd

"Show Me," the first single off Maylee Todd's debut album, Malooout in March, invites us to open up and share our most vulnerable selves. The prismatic virtual reality music video introduces us to "The Age of Energy," a utopian world set in pink and purple hues that is the setting for all the tracks on Maloo. Maloo is the name of Todd's digital avatar — she's spent a lot of time getting into VR throughout the pandemic, reimagining the possibilities around technological advancement. "Often we place too much emphasis on status, wealth, and clout on social media," she said via press release. "Instead, what if we find ways to share our dreams and goals for ourselves and society? Tapping into our creativity and imaginations rather than having to preserve status or identity for acceptance." This is what she hopes to explore through her digital avatar, and in the imagined world of the "Show Me" video, empathy, prioritizing mental health and creativity are the bedrock of society. Sonically, it's a tripped out fantasy, with glitchy synths and sparse percussion that manages to make Todd's dulcet voice even more endearing.— KA