Each week, staff from CBC Music, Radio 2, 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 in the comments or via @CBCMusic what catches your ear, or if you have a new song you just can't stop playing.
Toronto punk band Pup’s new single, “DVP,” is a perfect jolt of beer-soaked adrenaline, a rollicking two-and-a-half minutes of gloriously messy melodies. Singer Stefan Babcock is three beers in, “can’t shut up” and has stopped caring about many things including a relationship that is souring as quickly as the track’s breakneck riffs. “I just don’t wanna die,” he laments at one point as his only goal. While the song’s grim outlook can be a buzzkill to some, it becomes Babcock’s driving force. The result is a thrilling ride down Toronto’s Don Valley Parkway, but one that’s best kept on record and off the actual road.
— Melody Lau (@melodylamb)
Editor’s note: language warning.
Jazz Cartier, 'Talk of the Town'
It's hard not to fall into the trap of comparing any young rapper coming out of Toronto to Drake — a burden that weighed down Jazz Cartier's excellent 2015 debut, Marauding in Paradise. Cartier confronts that critique directly on his new mixtape, Hotel Paranoia, a collection of dark, sinister beats topped with his gift for crafting lyrics that refuse to leave your head for days. "Everybody in the States compare me to Drake, cause not many in the city can carry the weight," he raps on lead-off song "Talk of the Town." The album, surprise-released on Feb. 1 and executive produced by Cartier and his Marauding collaborator Lantz, puts him in a good spot to prove to critics he's far from just some Drake imitator. While "Talk of the Town" is one of the better album intros we've heard in a while, we highly recommend listening to the whole thing on his Soundcloud page.
— Jesse Kinos-Goodin (@JessKG)
Editor’s note: language warning.
Rae Spoon, 'Stolen Song'
It's a wake-up-call song that truly feels woke. It's also the sweetest-sounding hand slap ever about identity and cultural appropriation thanks to a spry drum beat and Spoon's generous voice, which always reminds me of clarity, or spring — all things bright, brilliant and fresh.
— Andrea Warner (@_AndreaWarner)
NZCA Lines, 'Two Hearts'
My latest track to have on serious repeat is from London, England, group NZCA Lines. What started as a project for Michael Lovett now includes Charlotte Hatherley (Ash, Bat for Lashes) and Sarah Jones (Hot Chip). If one track's going to get you through your day today, this is it. "Two Hearts," from the trio's January 2016 record Infinite Summer, is a perfect blend of wicked beats and catchy melody, with an explosive chorus that will get anyone's head bobbing. It's also likely an instant add to your work-out mix, if you're looking for new music to help you meet your New Year's resolutions.
— Matt Fisher (@MattRFisher)
Rosie and the Riveters, 'Red Dress'
There are so many things to love about Saskatoon's Rosie and the Riveters. Their beautiful harmonizing; their humour; their songwriting; their tribute to a feminist icon; and of course, their fabulous vintage style. In their brand new video for "Red Dress," Alexis, Allyson, Melissa and Farideh stroll into a thrift shop with full curls and break into a sweet song that both name-drops the Sally Ann and features yodelling. The video highlights the group's signature choreographed dance moves, as well as an Audrey Hepburn poster and an array of fun retro looks. The little black dress is so over — just go put that red dress on instead.
— Jeanette Cabral (@JeanetteCabral)
Operators, 'Cold Light'
Indie rock mastermind Dan Boeckner is setting up for one heckuva busy year. First, beloved Montreal band Wolf Parade — co-founded by Boeckner in 2003 and on indefinite hiatus since 2011 — heralded their return to the stage in a string of residency shows in New York, Toronto and London coming this summer. Next, Boeckner's hook-heavy synth project, Operators, finally announced the release of its debut album, Blue Wave, dropping April 1, with a slew of live dates in tow. While you must feel for his increasingly frantic schedule, you've got to relish this incoming wave of new tunes from one of Canada's most creative musical minds. "Cold Light," a feel-good, dance-along track reminiscent of New Order, is just the tip of the iceberg; I can't wait to see what else 2016 brings. (Bonus: Holy F--k's Graham Walsh produced this track, as well as the entire Operators album, shovelling more indie cred onto an already unbelievable project.)
— Emma Godmere (@godmere)
Calling all non-fans of One Direction: give ex-member Zayn Malik a chance. Going by just Zayn, he has released his debut single, “Pillow Talk,” from his upcoming album, Mind of Mine, out March 25. The song is a smooth blend of R&B beats, a completely different style from One Direction — but that’s exactly the point. Zayn’s music style reflects and defines his identity. With lyrics like "It's a paradise and it's a war zone," the song is about a relationship ending, but it could also refer to the reception he has received as a solo artist. While some fans have embraced Zayn and his solo identity, others crave his presence in the much-loved One Direction. But I think Zayn will be fine: "Pillowtalk" has gone to number 1 in more than 60 countries already.
— Vanessa Francone (@VanessaFrancone)
Katy B, 'Honey'
Katy B is a known quantity in her native U.K., but with her third album approaching she’s still mainly known in North America by tastemakers and artist peers. Maybe hanging out more often with Canadians will change that? She recently duetted with Alessia Cara while the Brampton, Ont., native was in London for a gig and “Honey,” the title track from Katy B's upcoming new album, is produced by Montreal beat maven Kaytranada. While we restlessly wait for his debut album to surface, the gently propulsive foundation Kaytranada constructs gives Katy B some artistic freedom to gradually ratchet up the vocal layering and intensity, showcasing a return to underground sounds from the pop aspirations of her sophomore album, Little Red. If anything, “Honey” and the formidable collaborators she’s lined up for the album of the same name indicate Katy B is back, forcefully immersing herself in the cutting-edge mix of garage, 2-step and R&B that garnered her attention on her Mercury Prize-nominated debut, On a Mission, albeit now with a much more sensual artistic approach.
— Del Cowie (@vibesandstuff)