Here at CBC Music, we're always on high alert for new songs by Canadian artists.
This week, we're listening to new tracks from Partner, Gabrielle Papillon, LocoCity and a remix of Loud Luxury's single by Pitbull. 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.
‘Angel’s Wings,’ Partner
On Partner’s Polaris Music Prize shortlisted debut album, In Search of Lost Time, the Sackville, N.B., duo leaned into a '90s guitar-rock sound that many compared to Weezer and Veruca Salt with a dash of oddball humour. On their followup EP, though, Josée Caron and Lucy Niles are stretching their musical palette. On “Tell You Off,” they go full country, and on their latest, “Angel’s Wings,” they channel their inner Céline Dion with a powerful piano ballad, which is also available in French. While it’s easy to read this song as a parody at first, Caron and Niles say that they had to “face our greatest fears as artists” while creating “Angel’s Wings.” The result is surprising, charming and still features one of the band’s signature moves: a killer guitar solo.
— Melody Lau
‘What do I Know,’ Gabrielle Papillon
Gabrielle Papillon's 2017 album, Keep the Fire, was cinematic in its arrangement, as the Halifax singer-songwriter drew from her pop influences in a big way while opening up about some difficult, personal struggles. The first single since then, "What do I Know" builds on that direction both musically and lyrically, with Papillon's opening vocals and keys tiptoeing toward a crashing sound that feels like the bridge to something altogether different. "What do I know? Where do I go? What can I show?" the singer asks in rapid succession, listing questions we can all recognize within ourselves. Co-written with U.K.-based composer/producer Jonas Persson and produced by Neon Dreams' Corey LeRue, "What do I Know" is "in every way the embodiment of a lot of choices I made in the last year and a half," Papillon says. "Perhaps the most important of these choices was to trust my gut."
— Holly Gordon
‘Body on My’ (remix), Loud Luxury feat. Brando, Pitbull, Nicky Jam
Pitbull and Nicky Jam have climbed aboard Loud Luxury’s unstoppable “Body” train for a remix sure to please fans of the Juno Award-winning dance recording of the year. The original song is fertile ground for Pitbull’s one-track mind (“Mami gotta be a chiropractor the way she break necks with that body”) and Nicky Jam’s attempts at dirty talk (“The way that you movin’ that body, I know that you’re naughty”) and together they amp up the bacchanalia factor of this already spirited track.
— Robert Rowat
‘Never Know,’ LocoCity
When a leaked photo of Toronto rapper LocoCity, bleeding on a stretcher, made its rounds on social media, fans feared the worst. In reality, the image was from the video set for “Never Know,” the 20-year-old Eritrean-Canadian’s latest release. Alternating between shots of the sidewalk, an ambulance and a church, the track ruminates on the way life can change instantly.
LocoCity recently appeared in Mustafa the Poet’s documentary Remember Me, Toronto to discuss similar themes of gun violence, systemic oppression and legacy. Much like Mustafa the Poet, who wants to “rewrite our memories and the memories of those we lost” in Remember Me, LocoCity considers his own experience growing up in the Toronto neighbourhood of Bleecker Street and the ephemerality of life throughout “Never Know.” The last lingering line of the music video sums it up: “Tell your loved ones you love them before it's too late because in this life you never know.”