Each week, CBC Music producers come together to highlight Canada's best new tracks.
This week, we have songs from Toronto rapper Drake, Calgary songwriter Rae Spoon, Gulf Islands rocker Art d'Ecco and more. Scroll down to find out why you need to hear them.
What are the Canadian tunes you're currently obsessed with? Share them with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.
‘Summer Games,’ Drake
If you’re one of the billion-plus people who’ve been streaming the new Drake album, then “Summer Games” has probably already struck you as Scorpion’s emotional core: a vulnerable break-up song that asks, “How can you be angry on a night in July/ And be warm with me when it's freezing outside?” What starts as a typical EDM track never actually fulfills those expectations with emotional builds or epic drops. Instead, the song stays on the same plane — an apt musical manifestation of the narrator’s self-pitying wallow — and even comes close to falling apart, structurally, on “brea-brea-breaking my heart.” The concluding one-minute instrumental bed provides just enough time to dry your tears and pull yourself together.
— Robert Rowat
‘Do Whatever the Heck You Want,’ Rae Spoon
“Should I be a man or a woman?,” “Should I be an artist even after I turn 40?,” “Should I date men and/or women, and/or non-binary?” Canadian artist Rae Spoon’s latest single asks a lot of questions, but it offers a catch-all response to each: “Do whatever the heck you want.” Spoon, who is non-binary, has spent a lifetime contemplating these societal limitations and has documented a lot of this in their work in music, documentary and writing. So this lead single off of their upcoming album, bodiesofwater, feels like a joyful summation of their journey. It’s a message that is meant to be passed onto others, especially younger generations, with its sing-song vibrancy, to encourage freedom of thought and expression. So, break out if you’re feeling boxed in — as Spoon does in their music video — and do what feels right for you.
— Melody Lau
'12 Days,' Gill Bondy
Toronto indie-rock outfit Gill Bondy move from electro-pop into richer, more experimental territory on their latest single, “12 Days.” Comprising multi-instrumentalists Hayden Stewart and Binod Singh, Gill Bondy achieve a Ra Ra Riot-meets-Tame Impala melodicism on this sunny comeback single, alluding to a more layered, complex direction for their upcoming fall debut.
— Jess Huddleston
‘I Feel Free,’ Dilly Dally
It’s been almost three years since we last heard Katie Monks’ guttural howl, the centrepiece that drives the down-and-dirty grunge sounds of her band, Dilly Dally. On their newest single, “I Feel Free,” it takes a moment before Monks unleashes that gut-punch, shifting quickly from a soft whisper into a full-fledged vocal attack. It’s cathartic and powerful, and a welcome return from a band who has openly discussed the tough, and sometimes seemingly impossible road to a sophomore release. In the music video for this song, Monks is seen excavating her band members, trying to bring them back to life. Now that they’ve successfully returned from the brink, we can’t wait to hear what else they have in store for us.
'Nobody’s Home,' Art d’Ecco
Mysterious rocker Art d’Ecco is back with “Nobody’s Home,” a nostalgic trip through the artist's memories of a “woman on the run from an abusive relationship.” Although telling a disturbing story, the glittery track sonically resembles a buoyant blend of Arcade Fire and New Order, and d’Ecco manages to singlehandedly sound like a multi-person supergroup — with each voice equally fascinating and worthy of your time.
More to explore: