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Braids, the Kills, Sarah Jarosz, the Stone Roses, 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.

Sarah Jarosz, ‘House of Mercy’

Sara Jarosz's new song is a study in the slow burn, a fire that refuses to die down, ash that smoulders with a secret heat. Over simple, perfect, acoustic guitars, Jarosz's magnificent voice conveys the determination and dignity of her character's narrative, the warm lilt of  no-nonsense strength derived from years of hard living. You feel the dirt in these roots and taste the grit in her goodbye, and she'll call you back to the "House of Mercy" again and again. Jarosz’s new album,Undercurrent, arrives on June 17.

— Andrea Warner (@_AndreaWarner)

The Stone Roses, ‘All For One’

I was 11 when the Stone Roses' debut album came out, the perfect age to buy into their "Baggy" anthems. It was love at first listen. It took another five years for a followup studio album, and their Second Coming arrived with my 16th birthday. By my 18th, I'd witnessed them play what has been described as one of the worst gigs of all time, then watched them break up.

Two decades later and just in time for my 38th birthday, the Roses are back. They've returned to the sound that made them so loved in the early '90s, leaning heavily on the soaring guitar licks of John Squire and the magical moaning of Ian Brown. New single "All For One" sees  Manchester's favourite sons in fine form. Let's hope a third Stone Roses album follows shortly.

— Pete Morey (@cbcpetemorey)

The Kills, ‘Siberian Nights’

From the moment this song starts, I’m convinced I’m in an intense slasher film, about to run for my life. Those piercing strings set the tone, the heavy drop of a drum beat sets the pace — it’s all illustrated in the opening scenes of the Kills’ new music video for “Siberian Nights,” featuring a beam of light shining on a wolf and group of people sprinting to, or perhaps from, something. Alas, the song is actually about Vladimir Putin, as songwriter Jamie Hince told Zane Lowe on Beats 1: “I wanted to imagine him as a tyrant that’s got a bit of time off. He’s with this man, and he just wants the warmth of a masculine body. They’re cuddling and he says, ‘Look, we can get back to being tyrants tomorrow.’” So, turns out it’s a less violent and more lustful affair, but it’s an intimate, vivid experience nonetheless.

— Melody Lau (@melodylamb)

Braids, ‘Joni’

On the heels of their Juno Award-winning 2015 album, Deep in the Iris, Braids have released Companion, a 19-minute EP that builds beautifully on themes and styles that the Montreal band has worked so hard to capture over the past few years. Thanks to the poetic imagination of vocalist Raphaelle Standell-Preston, and the crunchy yet elegant musical arrangements, the emotional waves in Braids' music have never seemed more palpable. Standell-Preston describes the video for "Joni," which is directed by Maria Ines Manchego, as an exploration of "the end of a relationship, with a couple striving to reclaim their individuality while remaining close." Listen to this track a few times, and enjoy all of the layers to this masterful work.

— Kerry Martin (@OhHiKerry)

Brooke Bentham, 'Oliver'

I have probably had this Brooke Bentham's track on repeat more than any other song the last couple weeks. I keep finding myself returning to it, unable to escape her enchanting voice. It's raw, and so powerful, especially when she uses that power to hold back at just the right time. "Oliver" will definitely be on my summer road-trip playlist, a perfect track to go along with the early evening summer nights as you drive by the dark forests on the way to the cottage. You can purchase "Oliver" through Trellis Music

— Matt Fisher (@MattRFisher)


Ian Kamau, 'An Ocean Between Us'

Ian Kamau is a Toronto poet, spoken-word and musical artist. Not only has he co-written an essay being published in Coach House Books' new Subdivided anthology, Kamau recently released "An Ocean Between Us," a heart-wrenching ode to his sister Roxanne, who died in Trinidad earlier this year. Kamau is the son of documentary filmmakers Roger McTair and Claire Prieto, and his attention to truthful and vivid storytelling does not err, even when addressing a deeply familial and personal issue. Over a loop of Brazilian guitarist Bola Sete's track "Bettina" (used on A Tribe Called Quest's "8 Million Stories" in a nod to the late Phife Dawg), Kamau's dedication is tinged with regret, meditating on death and diaspora. There are no easy resolutions. Book-ended by a conversation with his father replete with tense pauses, “An Ocean Between Us” encapsulates the range of emotions family deaths can often bring. "I guess it was a complex relationship," McTair says, on the track. "Does that make any sense?" Listen to the song here.

— Del F. Cowie (@vibesandstuff)