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William Prince, Kathleen Edwards, Busty and the Bass and more: songs you need to hear this week

4 fresh tracks to add to your playlist right now.

4 fresh tracks to add to your playlist right now

Singer-songwriter William Prince's new album, Reliever, is due out on Feb. 7, 2020. (William Prince/Facebook)

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

This week, we got hooked on new songs from William Prince, Alice Ivy featuring Cadence Weapon, Busty and the Bass featuring Amber Navran, and an early Christmas treat from Kathleen Edwards. 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.


'The Spark,' William Prince

There are few singer-songwriters who can recognize both the heartbreak and healing found in regular, everyday moments the way that William Prince can — and on his brand new single, "The Spark," the Peguis First Nation folk singer from Manitoba shows he's still deftly straddling that line. It's "a song that details when you first meet somebody, how your whole life can kind of change in an instant," Prince recently told Tom Power on q. But while the song describes an all-consuming love, it also recognizes the baggage that comes with full lives lived beforehand. "You always think I'm leavin'/ before I've had the chance to stay/ darling it'll be OK," Prince sings in his velvety baritone, gently reassuring instead of accusatory alongside the strum of his acoustic guitar. "The Spark" is the first single from Prince's sophomore album, Reliever, which will be released on Feb. 7, 2020.

— Holly Gordon


'It's Christmastime (Let's Just Survive),' Kathleen Edwards

Christmas songs often paint a picturesque portrait of soft, snowy landscapes and joyful family gatherings. But is that what your holidays really look like? In Kathleen Edwards' first new original song since 2012, the Ottawa singer-songwriter gives us an anthem dedicated to what Christmas is truly about: pure chaos. "Mom's criticizing dad's mashed potatoes/ but he's four martinis in so he doesn't notice," Edwards sings, alongside other details of bad gifts, a Scrabble game gone wrong and a cat who pees on the Christmas tree. "Christmas is a f--king zoo," Edwards explained to Rolling Stone. "It's nuts and it's not really that fun [...] I was like, 'How come there are no songs about that?'" Now, thanks to Edwards, there's the perfect anthem to reflect the real stresses of the holiday season. 

— Melody Lau


'Clouds,' Busty and the Bass feat. Amber Navran

Where else do old and new coexist as convincingly as in the music of Busty and the Bass? A gently swaying doo-wop, "Clouds" leans on throwback elements such as a backup men's chorus, vintage-sounding keyboard and the band's signature horn section to cast a nostalgic glow on its distinctly modern harmonies, melody and lyrics. "I see through the clouds/ so far away from here," goes the song's celestial chorus, with Nick Ferraro matching his vocal style to that of Amber Navran (on loan from neo-soul trio Moonchild), evidently a match made in heaven.

— Robert Rowat


'Sunrise,' Alice Ivy feat. Cadence Weapon

With winter approaching, Canadians are already pining for the vibrant days of summer. Enter "Sunrise," a new collaboration between Australian artist Alice Ivy and Edmonton rapper Cadence Weapon, which can't turn up the temperature literally but sure can provide a bright burst of sunshine sonically. Over a funky disco soundscape, Cadence Weapon repeats the refrain, "sunrise sometimes want to fly away," something that many who are stuck in chillier climates daydream about. But, for those who can't afford to just hop on a plane, "Sunrise" is the next best thing: a feel-good jam to keep the spirits up and your feet moving in what can feel like the most paralyzing months of the year. — ML

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