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Case/lang/Veirs, Andrew Bird with Fiona Apple, more: songs you need to hear this week

Editorial Staff

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.

Case/lang/Veirs, 'Atomic Number'

Neko Case! k.d. lang! Laura Veirs! The debut single from my new favourite supergroup devastates and soothes, harmony by harmony and line by line: "Well if your mercy's lost, I have enough for us."

— Andrea Warner (@_AndreaWarner)

Vivek Shraya, 'Girl It’s Your Time'

Earlier this month, Toronto artist Vivek Shraya made an announcement on Facebook: “35 today. New chapter. Using female pronouns. She & Her. Wrote a song … #GirlItsYourTime.” Also a filmmaker and author, Shraya had mostly only written about love in her music, while her other work explored themes like gender, sexuality, race and religion. “When I returned to music last year, I made sure it felt OK to write from a place of more honesty. The music industry has changed so much. There’s room for these conversations, of my struggles as a brown, queer artist.”

“Girl It’s Your Time” is a personal anthem for Shraya, a reflection of the bumpy ride transitioning to female pronouns. All proceeds from the single’s release will go to Supporting Our Youth’s Trans_Fusion Crew program, a grassroots drop-in group in Toronto that supports trans and questioning youth. Listen to the song here

— Aparita Bhandari (@aparita)

Foy Vance, 'She Burns'

The Northern Irish musician returns with a steady, simple, soft track and the announcement of his new record. “She Burns” is a perfect introduction to people who may not currently be aware of Foy Vance, as it showcases his ear-catching vocals. I'm especially digging the part when he sings, “She likes to lay under the covers though,” as it has a Bon Iver vibe to it. Vance was the second artist to be signed to Ed Sheeran's new label, Gingerbread Man Records, which will be releasing the new album, The Wild Swan, May 13.

— Matthew Fisher (@MattRFisher)


Andrew Bird feat. Fiona Apple, 'Left Handed Kisses'

There’s a polished ease to Andrew Bird’s musical delivery that rarely gets challenged by an outsider. But enter Fiona Apple on “Left Handed Kisses,” from Bird’s upcoming album, Are You Serious, a striking counterpoint that leads to an incredibly fascinating dynamic. As Bird sings about writing love songs, Apple is there at every turn to indict him for his “backhanded” efforts. The result of this “long whisky-fuelled night” session is one of the most compelling duets of the year so far. Although this is the only collaboration between the two on Bird’s new album, I don’t think anyone would object to a full album’s worth of charming folk melodies like this. Another round of whisky, please.

— Melody Lau (@melodylamb)

Rome Fortune, 'Love'

Atlanta rapper Jerome Raheem Fortune (a.k.a. Rome Fortune) toils away on the fringes of hip-hop culture, but if he continues to make tracks like "Love," from his latest, self-titled album, he's liable to break into the mainstream. Its cool electronic production combines with his TMI style of conversational rap to create something unique and strangely addictive.

— Robert Rowat (@rkhr)

Editor’s note: strong language warning.


Richard Ashcroft, 'This is How it Feels'

We've heard very little from the former Verve frontman for several years, so it was a welcome drop to get this brand new track last week. "This is How it Feels" is an amalgam of several sides of Ashcroft's work, mixing swelling strings of the Verve aside the poppy electronics of his last record with United Nations of Sound. The song is the first from Ashcroft's forthcoming solo album, These People, out this May. 

— Brad Frenette (@BradFrenette)

 Glen Hansard, 'Let Me In'

It's pretty. Oh, it's so pretty. It's only been six months since Glen Hansard gifted us with his beautiful album Didn't He Ramble, and now he has released a four-track EP, called A Season on the Line. My advice: carve 17 minutes and 46 seconds out of your day today and enjoy the masterful beauty that is Hansard's music. This album has full-band anthems, introspective acoustic pieces and folk-rock tunes that make you want to drive your foot through the floor while stomping along. Listen to "Let Me In" now, but listen to all four tracks right here.

— Kerry Martin (@OhHiKerry)

Moss feat. Eternia, 'Day & Night'

Moss and Eternia last teamed up on their 2011 Polaris Prize longlisted album, At Last. The Toronto duo has reunited on "Day & Night" a track from Moss's 2015 album, Marching to the Sound of My Own Drum, and it’s like they haven't been away. Eternia lays down her inimitably soul-baring rhymes while Moss's probing production — known for underscoring tracks by Ghostface Killah, Slum Village and Obie Trice, among many others — provides the moody, skeletal backdrop and room needed for Eternia's rhymes while aligning with the song's thematic thrust.

— Del F. Cowie (@vibesandstuff)

Mark Johns, 'Rehab' (Amy Winehouse cover)

Mark Johns's cover of Amy Winehouse's soulful classic, "Rehab," is not only original, it's refreshing. This Canadian-born artist, who resides in L.A., took the classic song and made it her own, but left some of the old elements from the original that made it great. Produced by Canadian duo Tennyson, the track has a bubbly, electronic yet R&B vibe. Currently signed to Skrillex's record label, OWSLA, this up-and-coming musician is making her presence known. Her music is a unique hybrid of many different genres, and she’s creating a social following of fans by just being herself — a characteristic that can definitely be heard in her music.

— Kiah Welsh (@simplykiah)


The 1975, 'The Sound'

The 1975's music has evolved since the band’s 2013, self-titled release. This time around, it's a bit poppier, a bit synth-ier and a little less dark. But that doesn't make it any less good. Lead singer Matthew Healy has drawn comparisons to Michael Hutchence, and while his penchant for going shirtless might have something to do with that, the band's vibe also evokes an '80s feel without sounding stale. “The Sound,” the third single from the 1975's newest album, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It, is a catchy electro-pop offering. If you haven't already caught it onSaturday Night Live or Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, you're in luck: the band just released the video for the track.

— Nicolle Weeks (@nikkerized)