Music

Morgan Toney's fire fiddle medley, and 4 more songs you need to hear this week

Listen to fresh new tracks from Jon Vinyl, Naya Ali, Softcult and more.

Listen to fresh new tracks from Jon Vinyl, Naya Ali, Softcult and more

Morgan Toney faces to the right but looks at the camera, wearing a leather jacket.
Morgan Toney released his new EP, Resilience, on Nov. 10. (Matthew Ingraham)

Songs you need to hear is CBC Music's weekly list of hot new Canadian tracks.

Scroll down to find out what our producers are listening to this week.


'Numb,' Jon Vinyl

Maybe we should stay one more night,
Save me from that thing we call life.

Love as distraction is the theme of "Numb," a highlight from Jon Vinyl's beautiful new album, Heartbreak Hill. The R&B singer crafts a serene mood here, focusing less on catchy vocal lines, and more on subtly sophisticated rhythmic interplay. While the chorus comprises a single line — "Let's drink 'til we're numb, numb, numb, numb" — just listen to the syncopation and pointillistic melodic contour he creates with that repeated word, low in his register. Shout out to Chris Yonge for the rich, seamless production on this track in particular, and the album in general. Vinyl will take the project on the road in March 2024 for his first-ever North America headlining tour. — Robert Rowat


'What's the Move,' Naya Ali

Montreal rapper Naya Ali counts her blessings on this second single from her forthcoming album. As an artist who has always been outspoken about an unwavering belief in herself — she ditched a corporate job to chase a career in music — Ali's lyrics on "What's the Move" prove that she's continuing to let grit drive her craft. It's a fast-paced listen that glides along thanks to Ali's confident delivery, which drips in her signature swagger. She plays with Auto-Tune and trap beats as she calls out envious "devils" who are itching to steal her shine. "I felt some around me feel entitled to the lemonade of my career without fully understanding how many batches of lemons I was given to get there," Ali explained in a press release. "I didn't stumble into courage, I cultivate it every day." — Natalie Harmsen


'Haunt you Still,' Softcult 

There are always two sides to every story. When friendships or relationships end, it's natural for us to demonize the other person or create our version of events — "a reactive way of protecting ourselves," as Toronto rock band Softcult explained in a press release for its latest single, "Haunt you Still." The dreamy, shoegaze-inspired track finds Phoenix and Mercedes Arn-Horn taking accountability for the roles they might've played in the aftermath of failed relationships. "When you think of me, is it fondly?" they ask on the chorus, "or do I haunt you still?" Their voices float amid the reverberated guitars throughout the track like ghosts echoing from the past as they ask you: "When you dream, am I there beside you/ lingering like a sad reminder?" — Melody Lau 


'Netukulimk' and 'Dear, Alex,' Morgan Toney

Morgan Toney has been honing his craft on the fiddle for a mere handful of years, but you'd never know that the musician from both We'koqma'q and Wagmatcook First Nations in Cape Breton hadn't grown up on the instrument. Since releasing his debut album in 2021, Toney has been gathering awe and accolades with his nimble playing (from the Canadian Folk Music Awards as well as the East Coast Music Awards), and this month he returns with Resilience, an EP made in collaboration with fellow East Coasters Keith Mullins and Ryan Roberts that showcases some new fiddle pieces as well as Toney's growing confidence with his voice. "Netukulimk," a teaching song named after the Mi'kmaq word for sustainability, vibrates with communal swagger, as Toney sings of preserving the Earth while bending his fiery fiddle playing around each verse. "Netukulimk" is paired with the closing fiddle medley "Dear, Alex," which invigorates and demands more, even though it's meant to bring things to a close. You can hear the Cape Breton Highlands in Toney's fiddle on this release, but it's a different generation on the bow: one that twines Mi'kmaq and Celtic traditions for a new chapter in the region's storied history. — Holly Gordon


'Stop,' Marci 

Marta Cikojevic, keyboardist of the Montreal indie-pop band Tops, continued to pave her way as a solo artist this year with a pair of new tracks under her moniker Marci. "Stop," her latest, is an excellent example of the irresistible dance music she's perfected in the past couple of years. Over shimmering synths, Cikojevic weaves a catchy melody that's centred on the idea of obsession. "'Stop' is that incessant yet addictive thought that's parked itself inside your head," Cikojevic said in a statement. "Will you let it take over?" It's a song that rides a steady beat throughout, never making any dramatic leaps, but its constant rhythm is guaranteed to seep into your brain by the end of its three-minute run; a slow-burning earworm that you'll return to over and over again. — ML 


To hear more about these standout songs, tune in to CBC Music Mornings every Thursday (Canada-wide) with producer Ryan Chung and host Saroja Coelho, and Here and Now with Gill Deacon every Wednesday afternoon (in Toronto). Both are available via CBC Listen.

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