The 10 Best Canadian Songs of the Month: July 2020

From DijahSB to Clairmont The Second to Drake, these were this month hottest Canadian summer bangers.

best canadian songs
Complex Original

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best canadian songs

Lockdown is slowly lifting, but no one could have predicted that virtually all summer fun would be a COVID casualty. Though we can’t see our favourite Canadian artists at concerts and festivals or dance to their new songs at the club, they’re still bringing summer heat. Here are some of this month’s standouts.


DijahSB, "Frontin' Like Pharrell"

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In the same vein as Vince Staples, DijahSB is equal parts Twitter personality and rapper. But when their community came together to crowdfund their latest project, 2020 the Album, it was a testament to the depth of their online impact. The entire project is a skip-free listen but "Frontin’ Like Pharrell" is the upbeat standout. Between the infectious instrumental and DijahSB’s effortless flow, the track is reminiscent of its namesake. —Sumiko Wilson

Clairmont The Second, "Dream"

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In the penultimate track on Toronto rapper Clairmont The Second’s latest album It’s Not How It Sounds, he takes a soulful turn by flexing his muscles as a singer on a smooth R&B instrumental. The neo-soul production is reminiscent of D’Angelo/Jill Scott/Erykah Badu’s work in the '90s and early 2000s, perfectly suited for summeralmost like the soundtrack to a hazy fever dream. —Sumiko Wilson


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On “OH NO,” KILLY tries to distance himself from a past lover. Producer Y2K channels a Final Fantasy-esque beat that has KILLY reflect on how he’s growing apart from his former flame. The melody is reminiscent of Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO Tour Life,” as Killy conveys it’s over between them. —Brian Capitao

Shay Lia, "Love Me, Love Me Not"

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Montreal-based songstress Shay Lia and production duo Kenz tapped on island and afrobeat inspo to create the perfect summer anthem. The warmth of her vocal tone heats up the bouncy track that was inspired by a trip to Ivory Coast over the holidays last year. —Sumiko Wilson

Pressa & Houdini, "Mansion"

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Houdini’s first posthumous release. The song has Pressa and Houdini representing Toronto’s Jane and Finch neighbourhood from Toronto to the Hollywood Hills. It has them reflect on their come-up for 6ixBuzz’s upcoming compilation album, Canada’s Most Wanted. It’s nostalgic and bittersweet given the recent events surrounding Houdini’s death. —Brian Capitao

Savannah Ré, "Where You Are"

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Savannah Ré’s “Where You Are” is about longing. It’s a story of a relationship fraught with problems, but the love is real. Speaking from her own experiences of a long-distance relationship, Ré recounts her passion. "Distance may change, I’ll still feel the same,” she sings. The songwriter, now a protegé of Boi-1da, feels comfortable in her own skin as she gets sexual, emitting her desire. Brian Capitao

DJ Khaled f/ Drake, "POPSTAR"

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"POPSTAR" is definitely good enough to make you overlook the weird cover art. Sometimes DJ Khaled’s collabs can sound like music made by an AI robot specifically to perform well on the charts. But "POPSTAR" is an exception. Yes, the hook is catchy and will probably do well on mainstream radio, but Drake is in his bag rapping about the fallacies of fame. —Sumiko Wilson

Idris Lawal, "Hey Colonizer"

“Hey Colonizer,” is a jazzy ode to Blackness. Nigerian singer Idris Lawal is unrepentant in being pro-Black and displaying his Africanness. The song is about living life on your own terms as Lawal sings he is no “Django for hire.” With references to popular dances like the Zanku and the Shoki and the Azonto, Lawal connects these cultural movements to a larger African diaspora. —Brian Capitao

Kaytranada & Lucky Daye, "Look Easy"

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Kaytranada and Lucky Daye are a match made in electro-R&B heaven. Fresh off the release of his pre-COVID LP, BUBBA, Kaytranada is back behind the boards with his signature electronic sound. This time, the expert collaborator has teamed up with Louisiana vocalist Lucky Daye with a track that will definitely make you miss going out. —Sumiko Wilson

Eva Shaw f/ Kris the $pirit & DillanPonders, "Bop"

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“Bop” is a high-octane banger. Rappers Kris the $pirit and DillanPonders create so many memorable lines over Eva Shaw’s souped-out bass beat to make this a standout turn up track. It most certainly is a bop. —Brian Capitao

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