At CBC Music, we’re always on the lookout for the best new songs from Canadian artists.
This week we are listening to new tracks from:
- Omah Lay and Justin Bieber.
- Avril Lavigne with Mark Hoppus.
- So Owls.
- Fefe Dobson.
- Fit pillow.
Scroll down to find out why you should listen too.
What new Canadian tunes are you currently obsessed with? Share them with us on Twitter @CBCMusic.
Tune into CBC Music Mornings every Thursday to hear CBC Music’s Jess Huddleston and Saroja Coehlo reveal which of these tracks is the most notable new Canadian song.
“Beware”, Omah Lay, Justin Bieber
Lately, Justin Bieber has made a specialty of pop-Afrobeat fusion, calling on Nigerian talents, in particular, for exceptional collaborations: Burna Boy was featured on “loved by you“, a highlight of 2021 Justiceand Bieber took a solo ride on Wizkid’s dream”Gasoline” last summer. The trend continues with “Attention”, a preview track from Omah Lay’s upcoming album, single boy. Bieber looks relaxed and at home as he sings the opening verse and chorus over a seductive dancehall beat and a gently cooing synthesizer. “Should I drink, smoke? / Need a little freedom, show me a little care” – this hook expands, rather than grabbing you, and the song’s energy never rises above a soft simmer, perfect for poolside or rooftop patio scenarios that invite warmer months ahead. —Robert Rowat
‘All I Wanted’, Avril Lavigne feat. Marc Hoppus
Three years later Head above watera low-key album that became a surprise hit on the Christian rock charts, Avril Lavigne is back with her new album, Love Sux. Lavigne’s goal on her seventh studio album was clear, as she said Billboard last month: “I want to do a pop-punk record, a rock-and-roll record. I don’t want to be at the piano. I don’t want ballads, really. I really want to rock. ”
The result is perhaps the most pop-punk album Lavigne has ever released. (Although many young pop-punk-influenced artists today cite Lavigne as an influence, the Canadian star’s comfort zone has always leaned more toward mid-tempo anthems than amped-up rock tunes.) .) sounds and production, handled by Travis Barker. Sometimes it can get too close to Blink-182 territory — like on “Kiss me Like the World is Ending” — but surprisingly “All I Wanted” a Love Sux Highlight with fellow Blink-182 member Mark Hoppus avoids this trap. Always a throwback to pinnacle early 2000s pop-punk, “All I Wanted” uses buzzing guitars, over-the-top drums and an explosive chorus to frame Lavigne and Hoppus’ sweet duo. While Lavigne has a beautiful voice that’s always in evidence on the slow-motion “Dare to Love Me,” it’s electrifying to hear her cover up-tempo melodies, delivering a much-needed punch to lines like “J’ was still stomping on the bad boys / I was still screaming when I should have been sitting down.” Sometimes screaming is good, and we’re glad Lavigne isn’t holding back this time. — Melody Lau
‘Above the sun’, so the owls
It’s not mine so I don’t speak,
It’s not mine so I’m not saying it,
That’s what we tell them and what we tell them.
Erika Angell’s vocals are stunning on a saxophone trio, opening “Above the Sun” by taking center stage with her reflection on the social justice reckonings of the past two years. So Owls, the Swedish-Canadian indie-rock band based in Montreal, released their fifth (and double) album on March 4, titled Who would hold you back if the sky betrayed us?, digging into the isolation of the last two years and creating a work at the crossroads of poetry, improvisation, experimental rock and jazz. Wife-husband duo Erika and Simon Angells rely heavily on a bass saxophone and two tenor saxophones to ground the album, which comes across beautifully on “Above the Sun,” shifting from trio saxophones to their almost breathy sound alongside of percussion and synth, then underpinning a sharp yet meandering guitar solo from Simon in the back half of the song. Putting it all together, the band said of “Above the Sun”: “This song is a note to ourselves, a reminder of the complexity of ecosystems, how everything is connected and there are many perspectives to consider. By continually seeking by communicating and asking questions, and by constantly educating ourselves, we will help make the right choices and take steps in the right direction.” —Holly Gordon
‘F–kn in Love’, Fefe Dobson
Hard spring, young lovers! The great Fefe Dobson returns with a fun pop jam romp about post-coital bliss. “Damn you in your birthday suit” is a gift of lyrics: funny, real, and exactly what our own personal hormonal monsters might say as blood surges through our bodies. When Dobson pauses around the two-minute mark and offers the list of things she would do for that person – “I’d walk to the end of the earth for you/Buy a one-way ticket for you/I’d equip yourself and go work for you” – it’s a time to catch our breath and take stock. It’s a genuinely exciting list of metaphorical and practical offerings and it’s a good foundation in this otherwise heady and intoxicating song. —Andrea Warner
‘Good Life (2022),’ Idman
On her latest single, Toronto-born, Los Angeles-based R&B singer Idman doesn’t want to hear all about her ex’s “good good good life,” and who could blame her? Sometimes karma doesn’t work and those who hurt us continue to win and excel, no matter how cruel. Idman wrote a song about how hard it is to watch that person blossom, while you’re still working through how they left you. She taps into a vulnerable and uncomfortable space, the tension in her voice making itself felt as she sings about an extractive partner: “Left me dry and sitting on E/ Who do that?/ You do that .” The video opens in a technicolor world of pink and purple hues, the lightness of the visuals balancing the heartache of the lyrics. The video itself pays tribute to the late Ronnie Spector and the abuse she suffered while married to Phil Spector. There’s a scene where Idman is in a car with a model smoking a cigarette in the passenger seat – a direct reference to one of the few times Ronnie was allowed out on her own, the caveat being that she had to drive with a dummy that looked like Phil. — Kelsey Adams
‘Half Moon’, Fite Pillow
A brief drum roll in a minor chord verse sets the tone for Pillow Fite’s new and third single, “Half Moon,” which comes from a particularly difficult place for the new folk-pop duo from Halifax: the singer Art Ross wrote the lyrics during lockdown, after their partner was diagnosed with melanoma. “‘Half Moon’ is an ode to the grief of seeing a loved one struggle with this life changing event,” they wrote. After singing their fears on every verse (“I’m half scared to death/stuttering in my beard”), Ross’ chorus goes, “You light up the room/the half moon is coming out soon,” they sing, so which guitarist Aaron Green matches with backing guitar, shifting gears from the melancholy opening. “Half Moon” is honest and vulnerable, relying on its grunge influence for a grittier backdrop than previous Pillow Fite singles. It’s perfect for feeling your feelings, then letting the chorus lift your spirits. —HG
“If he rules the world”, Kallitechnis
Juno-nominated Kallitechnis’ latest single is a lament about suffocating, one-sided relationships. “No time to be my own friend,” she sings in the pre-chorus over a softly waltzing doo-wop beat, “Always deal with the shitty ending / I don’t mean to please, I’m just pretending.” Her normally confident voice takes on a fragile character here, emphasizing the interiority of her monologue and the despair it expresses. It’s an interesting detour for Kallitechnis, whose pop/R&B songs usually exude confidence bordering on arrogance, so it’s impressive to see her expand her range and adopt a rather vulnerable tone in such a convincing way. — RR