The 10 Best Canadian Songs of the Month: August 2020

From TOBi to Robin Banks to Charlotte Day Wilson, these were the best Canadian songs that scored this summer’s coda.

best canadian songs august
Complex Original

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best canadian songs august

Congratulations. We’ve made it to Q4 of one of the most unpredictable years in recent memory. Because traditional summer merriment was put on pause this year (for rule-abiding folks), it’s hard to peg one definitive summer song—especially since a lot of summer songs feel like they came out eons ago. Remember when Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé dropped the "Savage Remix" and your coworkers started saying "Demon Time"? Remember when everyone posted videos dancing to "Do It" by Chloe x Halle on TikTok? Remember that song that Drake dropped before the one that he just dropped? Yeah, those all came out this summer too. These are the best Canadian songs that scored this summer’s coda.

Charlotte Day Wilson f/ Syd, "Take Care of You"

It has been almost one year since Charlotte Day Wilson released her last single but her follow-up has been well worth the wait. This month she shared a two-song EP that expounded on her soulful, intimate take on contemporary R&B. She teamed up with The Internet singer Syd on the more tender track of the two, "Take Care of You." Anchored by a tightly-plucked guitar loop, the breeziness of Syd’s tone brings levity to the track, but the textured broodiness of Charlotte’s vocals gives it depth, creating the perfect contrast. —Sumiko Wilson

TOBi & Juls, "Dollas and Cents"

In his debut as a signee, newly-minted RCA artist TOBi linked up with UK producer Juls on "Dollas and Cents." Between the infectious bassline and the jazzy saxophone sprinkled throughout the track, Juls’ production sets the tone for TOBi to step into his star power with effortlessly expert flows. —Sumiko Wilson

Ramriddlz, "Skittlz"

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This song captures Ramriddlz’s brand of raunchiness perfectly. The Mississauga, Ontario native describes his lust with tropical fruits and candy to a melody that won’t leave your head. The lyrics are both overtly sexual and hilarious with lines like "How come she call me daddy/never met her mom” and “She want potassium give a little drizzle.” —Brian Capitao

Audré, "96'"

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Despite the genre’s density, "96’" is Audré’s R&B standout. As the title suggests, the track has a nostalgic vibe and Toronto producer/Audré’s frequent collaborator MSRY’s work behind the boards enhances that. But Audré’s irreverent lyrics give the track a distinct personality, like a new-age slow jam. —Sumiko Wilson

Robin Banks, "I Got Myself"

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For a while, it seemed like Somali-Canadian rapper Robin Banks was going to be the next big thing out of Toronto. He solidified himself as a staple in the underground scene and even coined the phrase "TT" (or "Too Turnt"). But that all changed after Banks was tragically left paralyzed after he was attacked by two gunmen. “I Got Myself” is a reflective lament about not being caught in the hype and learning to be your own man. Banks proves he hasn’t lost his touch for making a hit song. —Brian Capitao

Drake, "Laugh Now Cry Later"

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Just when you think Drake’s finally plateaued, he comes out with the visuals for “Laugh Now Cry Later” to elevate the song. The video is essentially a giant ad for Nike and sees superstar athletes like Kevin Durant, O’Dell Beckham Jr., and Marshawn Lynch give Aubrey a whooping. Not-taking-himself-seriously Drake is our favourite Drake. —Brian Capitao

Manila Grey, "Shibuya"

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A song using a yellow Lambo with suicide doors as its primary motif should not be as affecting as this. Yet here we are. On "Shibuya," Vancouver R&B duo Manila Grey build a yearning heartbreak jam that's all soul-stirring synths (courtesy of producer azel north) and butter-smooth croons about a supercar drifting sideways as two souls drift apart. Sounds terrible on paper, yes, but it makes my heart go skrrt nonetheless.  —Alex Nino Gheciu

JV, "The Good Part"

The title track on JV’s six-track EP is the ultimate feel-good song. The minimalist instrumental is bouncy and the lyrics are uplifting: on the chorus Toronto-born rapper and spoken-word artist sings “Life’s been hard, but it’s a good hard. And I can’t quit now ‘cause it’s about to be the good part.” But the content is contrasted by its context. The track’s spoken outro was recorded days before JV suffered a fatal asthma attack last summer. One year later, JV is delivering good vibes posthumously, with this track serving as the EP’s optimistic thesis. —Sumiko Wilson

Goody Grace f/ G-Eazy and Juicy J, "Nothing Good"

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Juicy J is anything but predictable. So while I couldn’t have predicted a Goody Grace collab for him, I’m not surprised. Strangely, with G-Eazy bridging the gap in his verse, it works. The Manitoba-born rocker gives the track an eerie essence with an inherently catchy hook and the accompanying video, which stars an animated version of Uncut Gems actress Julia Fox. —Sumiko Wilson

Merkules, "Demons"

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“Demons” is a Lil Peep-esque introspective track for anyone who’s gone through troubling times. It is both haunting and cathartic. The song will resonate with anyone who has suffered from anxiety and depression or drug addiction. To those who have felt like outcasts and have had to deal with painful trauma in their life, Merkules offers a lucid song about the negative self-talk (a.k.a. demons) living inside of our heads. —Brian Capitao

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