Each week, CBC Music producers come together to highlight Canada's best new tracks.
The songs that stood out this week come from Michael Bublé, Jennah Barry, Said the Whale and Odie. Scroll down to find out why you need to hear them, too.
What new Canadian tunes are you currently obsessed with? Share them with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.
‘Forever Now,’ Michael Bublé
“Forever Now” is the only original song off Canadian crooner Michael Bublé’s new album, Love. As such, it serves as a centrepiece of sorts for the album, which Bublé has described as a feel-good treat for trying times, whether personal or political. In Bublé’s case, it’s more of the former as this record marks his return to music since his then-three-year-old son, Noah, was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. (Noah is now in remission.)
This original track, lodged in the middle of his many renditions of classics like “Unforgettable” and “La vie en rose,” is a tender love letter to his son as Bublé reminds him, “I’m always gonna have your back/ you’re never gonna be alone.” For all of Bublé’s charm and charisma, it’s moments like this that can truly touch listeners. And while the rest of Love may be a cheerful good time, “Forever Now” may cause you to shed a tear or two.
— Melody Lau
‘Roller Disco,’ Jennah Barry
This is the first new music from Nova Scotia's Jennah Barry in more than six years, and it’s the sound of sweet relief. From the coastal town of Mahone Bay, Barry has an unsettling ability to capture the warmth of an evening (possibly seaside) while slowly cracking into that cozy façade with the tap-tap of insistent heartbreak. "Round and around/ to the sound of the radio/ caught in a turn/ 'til I learn how to let you go," she sings on the chorus, using gentle guitar, flute and strings to tread a spiral of slow realization that the person you love is not, in turn, thinking of you. Produced by Colin Nealis (Andy Shauf), "Roller Disco" is the first single from an upcoming 2019 album, and it's just enough to remind us how much we've been missing Barry's voice.
— Holly Gordon
‘No Signs,’ Odie
Odie’s “No Signs” is the standout song from the soundtrack for They Fight, a new boxing-themed documentary co-executive-produced by Common. (It’s the only song from the soundtrack to be featured in the film’s powerful trailer.) Over a rhythmic bed of inhalations and exhalations, the song creates an expectant mood. “I got no time/ I got shit to do/ I got things to lose/ I got life to choose,” Odie sings on a repeated fifth, flipping between chest and head voice — a mantra for the film’s protagonists who defy the odds of Washington, D.C.’s impoverished Ward 8 neighbourhood by entering a boxing program for youth.
This is Odie’s second song to be included in a film this year: “Bliss City” was featured in The After Party, a Netflix comedy released in August.
— Robert Rowat
‘Cascadia,’ Said the Whale
Vancouver band Said the Whale is gearing up for a big 2019 with its upcoming album, Cascadia, so to cap off the current year, they’ve released a number of snippets to drum up excitement. One of those previews is the album’s title track, which refers to a place the band made up that encompasses their home province as well as the western U.S. “That’s the physical manifestation of our music,” vocalist Tyler Bancroft notes in a press release. And it’s that combination of California pop, guitar riffs inspired by iconic Pacific Northwest rock scenes and the scenic beauty of their home that coalesces into “Cascadia,” a track that uses some of Said the Whale’s best attributes to project a bright, melodic future. We can’t wait to hear what else is hidden in the magical world of Cascadia in the new year. Till then, we can fill our fantasies with this instant jam. — ML