It’s time for Your First Listen, where we show you songs you need to discover this week!
Each week we feature five remarkable songs that you need to hear on Your First Listen on air. In case you miss them on air, you can catch up on the weekly tracks right here. Your First Listen airs Monday to Friday during the following times: 1:50pm / 6:50pm / 8:50pm.
Online, we expand the list with a couple more tunes. This week, we’ve gotten some amazing fresh cuts from Stars, Tame Impala, Kurt Vile, and more.
Check out 15 songs you need to discover this week below.
Florence + The Machine – “King”
Florence + the Machine are back with a video for their new single, “King.” On the epic new tune, frontwoman Florence Welch is looking at her identity as a woman in music. The vulnerable, yet powerful anthem sees Welch belting lines like “I am no mother, I am no bride, I am king” in her signature powerhouse vocals. “As an artist, I never actually thought about my gender that much,” Welch explains. “I just got on with it. I was as good as the men and I just went out there and matched them every time. But now, thinking about being a woman in my 30s and the future, I suddenly feel this tearing of my identity and my desires. That to be a performer, but also to want a family might not be as simple for me as it is for my male counterparts. I had modeled myself almost exclusively on male performers, and for the first time I felt a wall come down between me and my idols as I have to make decisions they did not.”
Toro y Moi – “The Loop”
Chaz Bear is back with a video for his new single as Toro y Moi, “The Loop.” The track comes from his forthcoming album, Mahal, out April 29th via Dead Oceans. Today’s release, “The Loop,” is quintessential Toro y Moi. It’s a psychedelic, funky bop with a slow, brooding bassline and deep groove. Lyrically, Toro y Moi delivers lines like, “Oh my where did the weekend go?/ Oh man, Monday snuck up so fast/ No one keeps me in the loop when I get back.”
!!! – “Storm Around the World”
!!! (Chk Chk Chk) have made a comeback with their new single, “Storm Around the World.” The track comes from their freshly announced album, Let It Be Blue, out May 6th via Warp. “Storm Around the World,” is a catchy bop featuring Sink Ya Teeth’s Maria Uzor. “‘Storm Around the World’ is a song we’ve had since the last album that didn’t really come into focus until Maria Uzor from Sink Ya Teeth added her part and we turned it into a duet,” !!!’s Rafael Cohen explains. “Originally an acid workout about parents who leave on tour, it became much more than that with her vocal, which is equal parts sing-song and spoken word and whose lyrics helped add both a familiarity and a mystery to the song.”
David Byrne, Montaigne – “Always Be You”
David Byrne has teamed up with Australian pop star Montaigne on their new collaborative single “Always Be You.” “Always Be You” is a perfectly peculiar pop song, with catchy melodies and delightfully unpredictable vocals. Directed by Nick Ward, the bright video verges on technicolor and is definitely a must-watch. “It’s a dream come true to be able to work with David Byrne (if only remotely),” Montaigne explains. “Everything he’s done from the Talking Heads to solo work and one-off collaborations has been so influential to me. It’s absolutely buck wild to me that he has assented to singing lyrics and melodies I’ve written, as well as contributing his own fabulous sense of humour and writing voice. Such a treat.”
Stars – “Pretenders”
Montreal’s Stars have shared “Pretenders.” The track comes as part of the announcement of their first new album in five years, From Capelton Hill. “Pretenders” is a romantic tune that is all about seeing things through, even to an extreme Thelma and Louise level. Written by Amy Millan, the track is a “love letter” to Torquil Campbell and Star’s origins. The track is a shimmering, yet melancholic anthem.
Porridge Radio – “Back to the Radio”
Porridge Radio have shared a video for their new single, “Back to the Radio.” The song comes as part of the announcement of their forthcoming album, Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky, out May 20th via Secretly Canadian. The new track is a powerful return for Porridge Radio. The cinematic tune slowly builds from simple guitar lines and sweet melodies into an explosive anthem. The accompanying video sees the band making their way through a stunning, surreal set as singer Dana Margolin sings along to the tune.
Gang Of Youths – “Spirit Boy”
Gang Of Youths have shared a new single called “Spirit Boy.” The track comes as the final preview of their forthcoming album, angel in realtime., out this Friday, February 25th. “Spirit Boy” features contributions from musician Shane McLean. It’s a sprawling 6-and-a-half minute tune all about a transformative experience. “We were fortunate to have Shane McLean, an outstanding musician and Taonga Pūoro facilitator, write and perform a spoken verse in Te Reo Māori,” Gang Of Youths’ Dave Le’aupepe explains. “A wonderful Māori woman performed “rongoā” on me — a sacred healing practice. It was a transformative experience, and I’m still not quite sure why. There was a moment when this wonderful woman looked at me and said ‘you’re a wairua boy’ — wairua in Te Reo means something like ‘spirit’.”
The Lumineers – “Where We Are”
The Lumineers’ new track “Where We Are” was inspired by frontman Wesley Schultz’s near-death car crash with his wife nearly 10 years ago. “It started raining and it started snowing at the same time, that mix,” Schultz explains. “We flew off this highway going 70 miles an hour. The car rolled two and a half times and ended up on its side. We were lucky to be alive,” the vocalist reminisced to the live audience. “In an instant, you’re left to pick up the pieces. It’s like we’ve all been in a collective instance, car crash together, the last 18 months, almost two years from now. We feel like this song has a weird resemblance to this feeling.”
Girlpool – “Dragging My Life Into a Dream”
Los Angeles duo Girlpool have shared a video for their new single, “Dragging My Life Into a Dream.” “Dragging My life Into a Dream” is a melancholic, guitar-driven tune with dreamy harmonies. Alongside the new single, they shared a self-directed video for the tune, which follows band member Avery Tucker on a roadtrip, singing along to the tune. “I wrote ‘Dragging My Life Into a Dream’ after going out to a party,” Girlpool’s Avery Tucker explains. “I had spent the last year confronting being on my own in a way I had been avoiding for a long time. Although I knew that I was growing and still needed to heal from past relationships, I missed feeling connected to somebody and inspired. This song is about romanticizing a past time and also longing for my heart to feel open and innocent again.”
Sofi Tukker – “Original Sin”
In celebration of the announcement of their sophomore album, Wet Tennis, Sofi Tukker have shared a video for their new single, “Original Sin.” “‘Original Sin’ is the perfect way to introduce the world of Wet Tennis and it’s very emblematic of ‘the freak fam,’ our community,” Sofi Tukker’s Sophie Hawkey-weld and Tucker Halpern explain. “It says: we aren’t meant to be saints. We aren’t born sinners. We’re just a bunch of freaks who make mistakes and keep trying to do our best. ‘Wet Tennis’ is an acronym that stands for: ‘when everyone tries to evolve, nothing negative is safe’ and that’s what this song is all about.”
Sister Ray – “Visions”
Edmonton songwriter Ella Coyes (they/she) has shared a video for their new single as Sister Ray, “Visions.” The track comes from their freshly announced debut album, Communion, out May 13th via Royal Mountain Records. The vulnerable, emotional new track is a perfect preview of the forthcoming album. Packed with melancholic guitar riffs and brooding vocals, “Visions” is sure to move you. The accompanying video opens with Sister Ray backlit in a gloomy, orange-tinged room before cycling through cinematic clips of them singing along to the track.
Crystal Eyes – “Don’t Turn Around”
Alberta psych-rockers Crystal Eyes are back with a video for their new track, “Don’t Turn Around.” “Don’t Turn Around” is a brooding track with bold vocal lines, driven percussion, and pulsing synths. The accompanying video for the track comes packed with vintage clips of people parasailing at a picturesque beach. “We wrote this track starting with the synth line and formed all the other parts around that,” singer/guitarist Erin Jenkins explains. “The drums are actually built off a loop of the live drumming (played by Kenny Murdoch), that our producer, Andrew Woods, built. The guitar part (that guitarist Jordan Tettensor) wrote felt incredibly Joy Division – this is one of the darker tracks on the record. We were definitely going for something moody and also sanguine.”
Boyish – “Congratulations”
Queer Brooklyn-based indie duo Boyish are back with their new single “Congratulations.” The new tune comes on the heels of the announcement of their new EP, My Friend Mica, out May 6th. “‘Congratulations’ is about falling for someone who you are close to,” Boyish explain. “It’s the moment when you cross the line between friends and something more and the fear that once you cross that line there’s no going back. It’s written from the present day after things have fallen apart but reflects back to the moment when you become more than just friends.”
Georgia Harmer – “All In My Mind”
Toronto artist Georgia Harmer has shared a video for her new single, “All in My Mind.” The track comes in celebration of the announcement of her debut album, Stay In Touch, out April 22nd via Arts & Crafts. The preview is an upbeat, guitar-driven anthem. Lyrically, Harmer looks back on a relationship where she was being gaslighted. Alongside “All In My Mind,” Harmer has shared a self-directed and self-edited video. The video comes packed with dark, brooding clips of the band performing along to the tune.
Sam Fender – “Seventeen Going Under”
Sam Fender’s “Seventeen Going Under” is an anthemic track that’s all about the hardships young people face today. Serving as the title track of his new album, the track details Fender’s own coming-of-age process. The thunderous track is definitely a must-listen and has recently gone viral on TikTok. With stunning, guitar-driven instrumentals and rousing melodies, “Seventeen Going Under” is a must-listen.
Listen to our Best New Indie playlist below!