Every week, CBC Music producers come together to bring you some of Canada's best new releases. The rule: if it's a song you need to hear, you'll find it on this list.
This week, we have songs from R&B star Charlotte Day Wilson, Montreal composer Tambour, a Nashville collective featuring Canadian members and more. Scroll down to find out why you need to hear each song — and hit play to hear it.
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'Nothing New,' Charlotte Day Wilson
Over the past year, Toronto artist Charlotte Day Wilson has been gradually inching her way into the spotlight with her soulful R&B tracks and notable collaborations with fellow Canadians BadBadNotGood, Daniel Caesar and River Tiber. While fans are still waiting on a full-length debut from Wilson, she will deliver another EP next month entitled Stone Woman featuring last year’s stellar single, “Doubt,” and the newly released “Nothing New.” The latter finds Wilson pushing her limits in writing, performing and producing as she confidently sings atop layers of synths and keyboards that build into a satisfyingly dramatic peak. It’s consistently great releases like this that keep us begging for something new from one of Canada’s most promising musicians. — Melody Lau
Stop what you’re doing and watch this haunting short film set to a new piece called “Silhouettes” by Montreal pianist/composer Simon P. Castonguay, a.k.a. Tambour. The wistful, two-movement composition is scored for piano, celesta, horn, percussion and the “Mommies on the run” string quartet (regular collaborators of Patrick Watson). Director Vincent René-Lortie and choreographer Brittney Canda's dream-like video depicts a girl and a woman playing a game of hide-and-seek that morphs into a compelling, devastating pas de deux, abetted by Tambour’s cinematic score. — Robert Rowat
'Time's Up,' Song Suffragettes
As the #MeToo movement continues to gain momentum, people from various parts of industries are opening up about systemic sexism, sexual harassment and misconduct. A Rolling Stone article earlier this month detailed years of this behaviour in the country music scene, an often machismo genre that has long struggled to highlight women. Now, a number of female artists have come together to remind everyone that time’s up.
Song Suffragettes is a Nashville-based songwriting collective that includes Canadian expats Madison Kozak and Tenille Arts, and the group recently put out a track called “Time’s Up,” a rallying cry that strongly warns those still working to suppress women’s voices: “Our time is here, our time is now, our time is come.” It’s a simple but powerful anthem led by a stomping beat and a chorus of voices ready to enact some change. We appreciate your efforts, Keith Urban, but Song Suffragettes will take it from here. — ML
'Paid,' Saya feat. Kris
It's been two years since pop-R&B singer Saya sashayed onto the scene with "Wet Dreams" — a glittery single that showcased her carefree coo and the ability to craft a stylish, yet gory, music video. On the reggae-infused earworm "Paid," Saya (with help from fellow Torontonian Kris) has found her most accessible lane yet, leaving us longing for summer, sand and maybe a few of those "benjamins" that "fly like paper planes." — Jess Huddleston
'Under My Wing,' Young Galaxy
Montreal band Young Galaxy is not afraid to take risks. From overhauling its sound over the years to now becoming an independent act for its upcoming album, Down Town, the band is constantly striving to achieve something authentically its own. It’s a feat Young Galaxy accomplished on 2015’s Falsework, and continues to refine on the new track “Under My Wing.” A sleek, meditative groove, singer Catherine McCandless’s voice simmers over the six-minute track as synths bubble up from underneath. Young Galaxy has described its new album as a “night-drive record” and this song makes the perfect case for such a contemplative occasion. — ML
'The Middle,' Rich Aucoin
In 2016, Halifax artist Rich Aucoin’s computer was stolen and on it were the songs to a new EP. With the exception of one track that he sent to his manager, Aucoin had to start anew, but that process pushed him to work even harder. “The Middle,” an energized piano number, is one of those new songs. Unlike the first single from his upcoming Hold EP, “Release,” this track veers closer to Aucoin’s signature pop sound, a steady marathon that builds with each verse. It’s also accompanied by a visually fun stop-motion music video directed by illustrator Meags Fitzgerald. — ML
More to explore