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8 songs you need to hear this week
By
Holly Gordon

Published

September 7, 2016

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Each week, staff from CBC Music, Radio 2, Radio 3, Sonica and CBC regions across the country collect songs they just can't get out of their heads, and make a case for why you should listen, too. Press play below and discover new songs for your listening list.

Let us know via @CBCMusic what catches your ear, or if you have a new song you just can't stop playing.


Nuela Charles, 'Crumbling Down'

"The land I love tore up my heart," Nuela Charles sings before the beat drops on the strutting, drop-the-mic chorus of her powerful new single, "Crumbling Down," her best work since her brilliantly soulful breakthrough, "Unfortunate Love." The video for "Crumbling Down," which debuted via the Fader, is perfect: archival footage of historically significant moments — Auschwitz and the Second World War, the march for civil rights in Washington, D.C. — intercut with a brilliantly choreographed dance, two bodies moving in and out of shadows and light, and the Edmonton-based R&B singer herself seated on an ornate, carved throne. It's political, personal and provocative, and Charles's delivery is fierce and resolute. It's a fitting anthem for a fall full of endings and, hopefully, new beginnings.

— Andrea Warner (@_AndreaWarner)


Tona feat. Fixaveli, 'Red Eye'

Toronto rapper Tona has always stood out for his basement-deep baritone and surgical wordplay precision, both as a solo artist and as one-third of the Juno Award-winning trio Naturally Born Strangers. Following the release of "Grime Date" from his forthcoming album, The Ive League, Tona has now released "Red Eye," a hard-hitting track that began as a freestyle he originally didn't pay any mind. However, once Tona was compelled to revisit the verbal exercise — in which he stretches and pulls at the meaning of "red eye" — he morphed it into a full-blown banger with the help of an aggressive, minimalist beat by Slakah Da Beatchild.

— Jesse Kinos-Goodin (@JesseKG)

Editor's note: strong language warning.

 

Owen Meany's Batting Stance, 'Pop Odyssey: The First Person Narrative of the Bottle of Cola at a House Party'

No matter who you are, you want to feel loved, respected and, every once and a while, noticed. It doesn't matter if you're the master of ceremony, a face in the crowd or maybe a bottle of cola somewhere in the mix (stay with me here). This new song from Owen Meany's Battling Stance chronicles the tragic life of a bottle of cola at a house party, nestled away in a kitchen, only to be used for mix and chaser. It wishes that its purpose could be as cola at a child's birthday party where, next to cake, it would be one of the main attractions. This song also houses one of my favourite lyrical comparisons in a long time, about people bumping and grinding at parties "like recklessly intimate bumper cars" — I mean, come on. That's gotta be one of the best lyrics you'll hear all day! Keep an eye out for Owen Meany's Batting Stance's debut album, coming out on Sept. 16.

— Kerry Martin (@OhHiKerry)

 

Louis Cole, ‘Weird Part of the Night’

As far as danceable, musically sophisticated pop songs go, it just doesn’t get much better. In August, L.A.-based multi-instrumentalist Louis Cole released this knockout of a track, which features an incredibly catchy hook, impressive drumming chops and a self-described “insane throat slap vocal run.” Compared to some of his earlier releases, the lyrics don’t carry a particularly deep message, but we’re not complaining. The focus here is on creating a meaty groove on all levels, which is only made better by the build into the song’s glorious final minute. Plus, Cole delivers all of this high-level musicality with a great sense of humour, which only sweetens the deal.

— Chris Maskell (@maskellch)


Willie Stratton, ‘Lonesome Rambler’

"I've got more things to worry 'bout/ than I can fit in some hanky on a stick," sings Willie Stratton on "Lonesome Rambler," featuring the soothing, lockstep vocals of Kim Harris. Stratton released his new EP, Della Rosa, last Friday, and on it you'll find six crooning cowboy songs from the Halifax country singer, filled with heartbreak, twangy nostalgia and finger-snappin' good times. Grab your partner and do-si-do all the way through Della Rosa — sooner rather than later. Pick it up via Bandcamp now.

— Holly Gordon (@hollygowritely)

 

Carly Rae Jepsen, ‘Cry’

For fans of Carly Rae Jepsen’s 2015 pop masterpiece, Emotion, Side B’s collection of loose ends is filled with pop gems that may not have made it onto the final version of the LP, but are just as expertly crafted. The eight songs here are all just as infectious as the songs that made the original cut, and “Cry” is arguably the best of the bunch. It’s a slick '80s number that chronicles an unrequited romance in which Jepsen’s flame refuses to let his guard down and, as she sings, “He never wants to strip down to his feelings/ he never wants to kiss and close his eyes.” One of Jepsen’s many strengths is highlighting an emotion in her voice and here, as she floats off with the word “cry” in the chorus, it’s clear that while he’s not crying, she’s definitely not afraid to express her crushed feelings of defeat.

— Melody Lau (@melodylamb)


Royal Canoe, 'Walk Out on the Water'

The Winnipeg sextet exclusively reveals a new track today on CBC Music ahead of the group's new album, coming later this month. Something Got Lost Between Here and the Orbit was mostly written and recorded between tours, and when I chatted with Royal Canoe at last year's Toronto Urban Roots Festival and asked whether that was a good idea, I received an overwhelming, "No, but we're doing it anyways" from the band. In the end, it appears that the clashing of the touring and recording worlds, along with road-testing some tracks, has yielded great results. "Walk Out on the Water" is a great example of the band pushing further into the experimental yonder while maintaining those incredibly catchy, rhythmic drums beats that just make your body do dance moves you didn't know you had. Something Got Lost Between Here and the Orbit will be released on Nevado Records, and you can pre-order it here.

— Matt Fisher (@MattRFisher)

 

Mykki Blanco feat. Jean Deaux, ‘Loner’ 

Raw and wrecked, there’s so much to unpack in Mykki Blanco’s new track. "Loner" is vulnerable and barbed, full of Blanco’s trademark wit and wild heart, which pairs beautifully with Jean Deaux’s gorgeous vocals. The song pivots between weary exhaustion — this new fame and its trappings, the crushing isolation of frauds and phonies and fandom — and painfully familiar fear. “Feeling gloomy I’m so loony, all this bullshit where’s the beauty?” The rhetorical question hangs over the looping, evocative chorus: “I’m alone, so alone. I’m alone so alone.” It’s almost too real, just like Blanco. — AW

Editor's note: strong language warning.