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NPR, CBC, BBC, triple j and RTÉ choose the songs you need to hear right now

Editorial Staff

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 globe 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 sixth instalment, NPR Music's Katie Presley, BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, triple j's Zan Rowe, RTÉ's Dan Hegarty and CBC's own Grant Lawrence make a case for five artists you should have 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, Aug. 11.

Host: Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1
Song you need to hear: "Where You At," the Bohicas

We at BBC Introducing came across this month’s band thanks to the crew in Essex, a county not too far from the capital of London, where these guys originally came from. They’re called the Bohicas and they’re now signed to the legendary Domino Record label, who have brought us all sorts of great acts such as Pavement, Elliott Smith (for the first time in the U.K.), Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys. This is from their forthcoming debut album, The Making Of. We hope you like it as much as we do over in the U.K.!

Host: Katie Presley, NPR Music
Song you need to hear: "Molly," Palehound

I’m always looking for new music from women who rock, so the arrival of Boston band Palehound on my radar was a dream come true. The band’s name makes it seem like it will be typical beardy indie-folk, but it’s actually the project of Massachusetts musician Ellen Kempner, who’s got  the kind of vocal moxie that can’t be stifled by her gritty, lo-fi production. She’s a vivacious, infectious performer, and a keen lyricist. This song, "Molly," isn’t playful, but it’s sharp and bright and hard to resist. And pay attention: beneath all that garage-rock fuzz, Kempner is doing masterful guitar work.


Host: Zan Rowe, triple j, Mornings
Song you need to hear: "Never Be," Meg Mac

A rising star locally and internationally, this 25-year-old has the soulful weight of someone twice her age with her incredible voice. Meg Mac’s songs always have a stunning gospel soul sound to them, but this new collaboration with Melbourne producer M-Phazes (who has worked with Kimbra and Eminem) brings her sound into stonking new territory. Meg Mac is just going to get bigger and better, one to watch for sure.


Host: Dan Hegarty, RTE 2fm/2XM, The Alternative
Song you need to hear right now: “Too Young to Live,” All Tvvins

Here's a track that has really made an impact in Ireland over the last couple of months. All Tvvins are made up of former members of two excellent bands: Adebisi Shank and Cast of Cheers. "Too Young to Live" is one of those tunes that both the über hipster and more conservative music fan can actually agree on. Play it between "Uptown Funk" and "Blue Monday," and it'll have found its right place. All Tvvins won a lot of new admirers at the 2015 Eurosonic festival in the Netherlands, as part of the Irish contingent that played the annual festival. "Too Young to Live" is a song that is quite all right obsess over; you'll be among many.

Host: Grant Lawrence, CBC Music
Song you need to hear: "Julia," Fast Romantics

When I sift through songs, there are a few elements I always listen for: a solid hook, a great chorus and, being a fan of guitars, some sort of cool guitar line. This song by Calgary-cum-Toronto band Fast Romantics has all that in spades. "Julia" is a wonderfully triumphant tune with a Motown beat that could be a lost hit for Elvis Costello and the Attractions. It's chiming, hi-fidelity indie rock with an awesome dirty guitar line throughout that hooked me right away. I hope it does the same for you. To paraphrase the band, Fast Romantics’ goal is to make music meant to last longer than just one night. I think they succeeded with this one.

Listen to Katie Presley, Huw Stephens and Grant Lawrence on Radio 2 Drive for the radio version of Songs You Need to Hear at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11. 

What is your favourite discovery from our international edition of Songs You Need to Hear? 

Find me on Twitter: @hollygowritely