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 Music, BBC Radio 1, Australia’s triple j, Ireland’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 seventh instalment, NPR Music's Robin Hilton, BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, RTÉ's Dan Hegarty, triple J's Zan Rowe 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, Sept. 15.
I've got new music from an artist named Andy Shauf, a singer-songwriter from Saskatchewan. He's most often compared to the late singer Elliott Smith, and you'll understand why when you hear Shauf's voice. But that voice is not the only thing that Shauf shares in common with Smith: his music has a lot of the same themes. They're story-driven songs about people with simple dreams that never seem to come true, and there's a lot of heartache and disappointment at every turn. And — also like Smith — Shauf plays nearly every instrument on his new record, called The Bearer of Bad News. He wrote and recorded it in his parents' basement, and he came up with what I think will definitely be a top-10 record for me this year. Listen to the track here.
What's more important, having a smart-looking video or a good tune? The latter is always essential, but when you have both, your chances of gaining momentum shift into a much higher gear. After a couple of years writing new material, the collective known as Overhead, the Albatross has shared this uncompromising beast of a track with us. "Big River Man" comes armed with a video that is every bit as epic as the tune itself. It's marvellous stuff — set aside the next seven minutes and become engrossed.
This month I had to share a band from the city of Liverpool, who are no strangers to creating hit bands and tunes (the Beatles anyone?), and BBC Introducing in Merseyside were first on the scene with future stars Clean Cut Kid. They’ve been gigging for a little while now, mixing a blend of irresistible melodies and intriguing lyrics as you’ll hear here on their debut single, "Vitamin C."
Each year, we hold a national contest called Searchlight: the hunt for Canada's best new artist. And each year, we find plenty of excellent artists who don't win, or even make it into the national top 10. One of those bands from 2015 is the Royal Foundry, from Edmonton, Alta. They are married couple Jared and Bethany Salte, who met just five years ago with no aspirations to form a band. But, being musical, it happened naturally within the first year of their marriage. Since then, they have seen huge growth in their band in the form of songwriting awards, radio play and national contests. They have also created a huge sound for just two people: if Mumford & Sons ever held a superjam with Arcade Fire, it might sound something like the Royal Foundry's new single "Running Away." Except that would be about a dozen people — and the Royal Foundry is only two. And yes, if you listen closely, the banjos are still in there.
Here in Australia it’s starting to warm up. Days are getting longer, end-of-year festival plans are being made and, in Melbourne, a 23-yea- old producer by the name of Dion Tartaglione is busy crafting the beats that I know will be the soundtrack to many a late night. Listening to the music of Planète (rhymes with baguette) recalls the playful beats of Bonobo and Four Tet. When Planète hits the four-minute mark in "Altair," you can almost feel yourself transported to that moment at 2 a.m. at an outdoor festival, surrounded by your mates and never wanting the set to end. Bring on summer.
What is your favourite discovery from our international edition of Songs You Need to Hear? Let us know in the comments below.
Find me on Twitter: @hollygowritely