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CBC, NPR, BBC, Triple J and RTÉ choose the songs you need to hear right now

Holly Gordon

Each week at CBC Music, our staff members pick a list of songs you need to hear, writing passionate words with the hopes that you’ll add said artist to your playlist. Once a month, though, we do something different.

This time around, public broadcasters from across the world weigh in on those must-hear songs. NPR MusicBBC Radio 1Australia’s triple jIreland’s RTÉ and CBC hosts give an international voice toSongs You Need to Hear, choosing a song from an artist you shouldn’t miss.

In this fourth instalment, NPR Music's Robin Hilton, BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, triple j's Zan Rowe, RTÉ's Dan Hegarty and CBC's own Grant Lawrence and Laurie Brown make a case for six artists who should be on your radar.

To hear some of these voices make the case on-air, tune in to Radio 2 Drive at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9.

Host: Robin Hilton, NPR Music, All Songs Considered
Song you need to hear: "Colors," Genevieve

When preparing for the South By Southwest music festival this year, we came across a young pop star in waiting named Genevieve and her debut single, “Colors.” In fact, of all the tunes the All Songs Considered team inspected before we headed down to Austin, Texas, for the festival, "Colors" was the team favourite. Genevieve’s charming and charismatic live sets in Texas backed up the potential we heard on her debut EP, Show Your Colors, so we invited her to perform a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Check out to see Genevieve let loose in our office.

Host: Dan Hegarty, RTÉ 2fm/2XM, The Alternative
Song you need to hear right now: "Distance=Distance," Flecks

If you've been lucky enough to stumble across "Distance=Distance," it may form a special part of your soundtrack to what is summer 2015. It's a track from Dublin-based band Flecks, and it comes with a wonderfully nostalgic video of some of those hazy summer days that have slipped into the distant past. The five-piece band is Freya Monks (vocals, violin), Scott Halliday (keys, guitar), Jay Wilson (keys), Paul Kenny (drums), and Alan Elliot (bass).

Think of the first time you heard "She Cries Your Name" by Beth Orton, Buck 65's "Whisper of the Waves" or "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star; this track has a similar hypnotic intensity. In a time when popular music is governed by big production values and sugar-coated visuals, Flecks remind us that there is still a place for subtlety and beauty.

Host: Zan Rowe, triple j, Mornings
Song you need to hear: "Flux 98," Kucka

Pronounce her name "kutch-ker" and you’re on the right track. This singer and producer from Perth, Australia, has just released this new song and it’s an absolute dream. Quite literally, she wrote the song"about that really nice state when you're asleep and awake in the morning and trying to stay there as long as you can." Laura Jane Lowther is the woman behind this project, and she’s really starting to blow up. Her Unconditional EP is coming out in August.


Host: Grant Lawrence, CBC Music
Song you need to hear:
 "Belly Button," Orange O’Clock

My pick is a young band from Sherbrooke, Que., called Orange O’Clock. They just won our 2015 Searchlight contest for Canada’s best new artist, where both listeners and judges helped determine Canada’s best new band from more than 3,300 entrants. And when I say this rock 'n' roll power trio is young, I’m not kidding. Their drummer is only 16 years old, while the other two members top out at 20. Orange O’Clock’s sound is a hybrid of then and now, conjuring up images of 1960s organ-fuelled crunchy garage rock, turn-of-the-millennium dance punk and modern-day indie rock. I hope you’ll love their song "Belly Button."

Host: Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1
Song you need to hear:
 "Islander," Robyn Sherwell

We play a lot of great new music from around the world and a lot of that comes from BBC Introducing’s network of new music shows that are spread all across the U.K. on our different local radio stations. No matter where you are around the country, there’s a local show near you that listens to and, where appropriate, shares some of those songs with national stations and shows like mine. That’s how we found this month’s star: Robyn Sherwell. Discovered by BBC Introducing in Guernsey, which is one of the islands surrounding mainland Britain, we think she has a wonderful voice. I hope you like this track, "Islander."

Host: Laurie Brown, CBC Radio's The Signal
Song you need to hear: "Short Movie," Laura Marling

Laura Marling's last album spent more time between my ears than anything else last year. I'm pleased to report that her newest, Short Movie, is just as tasty and addictive. People who fall for Marling fall hard. The music and the words go deep. She mainlines right to the deepest part of being a woman: the things you think to yourself, the feelings that you hide from everyone else. Marling is her own woman, but I can hear a musical homage to Chrissie Hynde in Short Movie. She razes the male/female dynamic to the ground without knowing quite how to rebuild it. But she's determined to equal the playing field.