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.
Chance the Rapper feat. 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne, 'No Problem'
"If one more label try to stop me," Chance the Rapper declares off the top of "No Problem," one of the standout tracks from his recent, record-breaking mixtape Coloring Book. It serves as a dare and a boast from the young Chicago rapper, highlighting on one hand Chance's deep mistrust of major labels and, on the other, the fact that's he able to do it all without them. Not only is Coloring Book — a free release — one of the strongest rap albums of the year, outshining ambitious works from the likes of Drake and Kanye West, but it's also the first album ever to chart on the Billboard 200 based entirely on streams. "No Problem," for its part, makes a good case for song of the summer status, with its sped-up, Kanye-esque gospel samples, impressive features from 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne and an upbeat chorus that's as confident as it is catchy: "You don't want no problem/ want no problem with me."
— Jesse Kinos-Goodin (@JesseKG)
Editor’s note: strong language warning.
Nomadic Massive, ‘Duty’
“Duty” is the lead single from The Big Band Theory, the new album from Montreal’s multilingual, multicultural hip-hop supergroup Nomadic Massive that drops June 2. Its smart, high-energy fusion of hip-hop, big band jazz, and mariachi horns establishes a tremendous party groove for three of the group’s rappers: Waahli, Lou Piensa and Tali Taliwah. “Duty” is a sure jam for fans of the Robert Glasper Experiment, the Black Eyed Peas and even ‘80s hip-hop, which gets a nostalgic nod with the line “You know what time it is” in the chorus. This is the top-down, tunes-up song your summer has been waiting for.
Listen to ICI Musique's stream of the album here.
— Robert Rowat (@rkhr)
Thanks to my colleague, Alexandra Byers, I can't go a day without listening to Nao. Her music is passionate, raw, heart-wrenching and truly speaks to the soul. I love that Nao's sound transcends beyond the label of a particular genre; she mixes up her style, making her music appealing to anyone. Her song "Girlfriend" is a great example of this: the tune has a '90s feel, infused with funky guitar licks and electronic surges, but bears the stamp of her own sound. Nao's debut album, For all we Know, is set to be released July 29. Press the play button below, you won't be disappointed.
— Kiah Welsh (@simplykiah)
The Strokes, 'Oblivius'
The fate of New York’s rock 'n' roll saviours cemented the moment critics branded them a "sound” of an era. From that tipping point, the Strokes' output was judged too similar (Room on Fire) or too dissimilar (all other albums) to its “classic” sound to make any impact. Some 15 years later, the accusations have softened enough for singer/songwriter/figurehead (and now label boss) Julian Casablancas to return to the fold that he was so eager to jettison.
“Oblivius,” the lead single off new EP Future Present Past, wouldn’t seem out of place on the band’s third album, First Impressions of Earth, complete with bouncy, too-cool-to-care verses and energetic crescendo chorus juxtaposition. Add a touch of dual-guitar counterpoint and a nod to the classical influence of Casablancas’ solo albums and you’ve got a piece of music that’s canon enough to please old fans and different enough to keep the man himself interested.
— Jon Dekel (@jondekel)
Listen to the new Strokes track here.
E.S.L., ‘Liar’s Bridge’
I'm a sucker for trumpet and violin, and right now there's no other folk-pop band using those two instruments to such devastating effect as Vancouver's E.S.L. This simple, evocative cover of Geoff Berner's "Liar's Bridge" is from the quartet's Heart Contact, their first new release in eight years (!). The four-song EP, which also features a guest spot from Dan Mangan, is as big and small as the world, a comfort and a wonder to tuck inside one’s self and share with everybody you know. Listen to the song here.
— Andrea Warner (@_AndreaWarner)
Allie, 'Move like a Mystic'
As Toronto's reputation for futuristic R&B continues to burgeon internationally, the fortunes of Toronto singer Allie are accordingly on the upswing. Allie's recent, ethereal "Wound Up" collaboration with noted Flying Lotus-affiliated L.A. producer Tokimonsta recently landed in the season finale of Nashville and she's slated to release her debut album later this fall. "Move Like a Mystic" is the first song to emerge from Allie's forthcoming full-length and it finds the singer connecting with frequent collaborator 2nd Son and the Kount, deploying her feathery vocals in various arrangements from measured staccato to spoken word, staying true to the elusiveness alluded to in the title.
— Del F. Cowie (@vibesandstuff)
Brianna Gosse and Tim Chaisson, 'It's on You'
I was lucky enough to be in Charlottetown this year for the Canadian Song Conference and May Run Music Festival. Part of the festival is the Canadian Song Challenge, which pairs musicians from all over Canada to write with local musicians over a two-day recording session, creating new songs to present to music supervisors who are in town from all over the world. One of my favourites was a track released by Newfoundlander Brianna Gosse and P.E.I. native Tim Chaisson entitled "It's on You" which you can listen to below. For all the other tracks, including a couple from Searchlight Top 4 Dylan Menzie, click here to listen.
— Matt Fisher (@MattRFisher)
Ariana Grande, 'Leave me Lonely'
If you've been listening to Ariana Grande's new album, Dangerous Woman, since its May 20 release, you'll have heard a familiar, smoky voice on the track "Leave me Lonely": Macy Gray's. The '90s R&B singer lays a soulful bed over which Grande's vocals soar, giving us a sultry song that'll either welcome your lover back that one last time or (finally) kick them to the curb.
— Holly Gordon (@hollygowritely)
Super Furry Animals, 'Bing Bong'
"Bing Bong," the first single in more than seven years from the band Super Furry Animals, is performed completely in Welsh and sung in support of the Welsh national soccer team. In June, Wales will compete in the UEFA Euro 2016 soccer tournament, the country's first major tournament in almost 60 years. Super Furry Animals, being proud Welshmen and soccer fans, wrote "Bing Bong" as the team's alternative anthem (check out all that fancy soccer footwork in the video below). "Bing Bong" is, according to the band's lead singer,Gruff Rhys, "a Welsh folk idiom that the band have appropriated and paired with the sonic speech motif of the talking robot, Twiki, from the late-'70s sci-fi series, Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century." All that to say, you don't need to be a talking robot, a European soccer fan or speak Welsh fluently to fall in love with the strange cosmic disco that is "Bing Bong."
— Pete Morey (@cbcpetemorey)