Canadian legend Patrick Norman, in celebration of his 45 years in music, has released his 29th album, Après la tombée du Rideau, and it’s profoundly beautiful. Although classified as country, a more accurate description would be 1970s soft rock compositional style, drenched in modern atmospherics, and sprinkled with cowboy country seasoning. Augmenting the sound are contributions by a legion of young greats like François Lafontaine, Marie-Pierre Arthur, and Marilou. Patrick is a multiplatinum artist and has been nominated twice at the JUNOs. iTunes
From its launch in mid-2007 to the present time, we have ranked the 30 biggest hits by domestic artists on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 using a points system. Total points were determined by subtracting each weekly chart position from 101 and then totalling the results. Note that “Paralyzer” by Finger Eleven was already on the charts when the Hot 100 was launched and that “Rude” by MAGIC! is still on the charts. This is simply a current snapshot of chart success and gives an idea of the bigger Canadian hits in terms of both radio airplay and purchase since mid-2007. Click on the image to enlarge it.
Active since 2004, folk pop trio Elliott Brood has released its latest LP, Work and Love. 2011’s Days Into Years won the JUNO Award for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year (Group). The new guitar driven album bubbles over with energy and has a more modern sheen to it. Guests on the work include Aaron Goldstein (pedal steel), John Dinsmore (bass), and Michael Louis Johnson (brass). We have embedded live performance of track “Jigsaw Heart” below. Work and Love is available in both standard and deluxe editions. iTunes
RK – CanCon rank TW – This week’s chart position LW – Last week’s chart position RE – Re-entry WC – Weeks on the chart PP – Peak chart position OR – Provincial origin of the artist CE – Gold/platinum certification by Music Canada G – Gold certification (40,000 units sold) P – Platinum certification (80,000 units sold) xP – Multiplatinum certification 🍁 – Canadian artist 🍁 – Partly Canadian artist 🍁 – Featured Canadian artist
From the west coast of Canada, we salute our fine recording artists getting the rock and snowball rolling on the east coast. MusicNL has announced winners of its annual awards for 2014. A full list can be found at its website here. We feature a couple of them in this post. Brianna Gosse released a smashing debut album back in July called Aera. This young artist has a voice that sounds good in just about any genre of music which is why this LP, named album of the year by Newfoundland and Labrador’s music industry, is an eclectic mix of soul, reggae, jazz, AC, and traditional parlour pop. Aera is available on iTunes. Chris Kirby‘s “Leave of Absence” was named music video of the year. Check it out below.
Toronto JUNO-nominated band Die Mannequin releases one of the best rock albums of the year, Neon Zero, as it moves from the punk of its past to full-on modern rock. Montreal gold-certified artist, Stefie Shock, a former disc jockey, launches Avant l’aube, a danceable new wave treat. Hull, QC’s 8-time JUNO winner, Daniel Lanois, U2’s former producer, dishes out an experimental electronica blast titled Flesh and Machine. Montreal multiplatinum country rock legend, Patrick Norman gives us the beautiful Après la tombée du rideau.
Rumours of Glory is a box set from Ottawa folk legend Bruce Cockburn. It includes nine discs one of which contains rare and unreleased tracks. Also included is a concert video featuring three 2008 performances. The box set is intended as a companion to the new memoir book of the same title.
Valse 333 is an alternative effort from Julien Sagot. Ils chantent Louvain is a various artists compilation paying tribute to Michel Louvain’s six decades in music. Montreal DJ Dan Desnoyers serves his latest compilation of dance tracks, In da House 2015. Also from the city, Ought releases EP Once More With Feeling, an alt rock sizzler.
Montreal gold certified male soloist Stefie Shock (Stéphane Caron) is a creative genius and has dabbled in various styles of music since he went from a disc jockey to a recording artist in Y2K. His new bilingual album Avant l’aube is essentially a new wave gem though he mixes in a few surprises. Those tired of male voices in falsetto or auto-tuned to a higher register will love his deep, authentic baritone. His voice is perfect for a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows,” and he tailors it into a dance floor smash with rhythm guitar, funky bass, and a sumptuous beat.
The album version of “Want You To Want Me” is a clubified remix of the previously released single, which is one of our favourite songs of the year. Splendid “Joséphine” has been declared Song of the Week by iTunes. “Coups de fusils” is a wonderful electro-pop anthem echoing some of the grandeur of Alfa Rococo. Other standouts are the cinematic “Sondez mon âme,” 80s-themed “Madame rêve,” and video arcade celebration “Everything’s in Everything”. The album closer brings back the fun we had with 80s German band Trio. The album features the sweet backing vocals of Amélie Mandeville. iTunes
JUNO nominated Die Mannequin has just released one of the finest rock albums of the year. The Toronto band has smoothly slithered from the punk proclivities of its past into full on modern rock with plundering beats, measured synth touches, and loud, mangled metal guitars, all led by the shimmering vocals of Care Failure (one of our favourite singers by the way). The rock group invades the dance club from the mosh pit and re-rivets EDM as Evil Dance Metal. “When I started in music I was 14 and 15,” says Care, “and I kind of got stuck in this teenage punk hell of having to play the same songs for 10 years. I made this album because I want to kick down doors. I want to be able to really evolve and grow as an artist and not have to do the same old thing again.” Neon Zero bristles with high octane ecstasy and potent adrenaline throughout. This is what modern rock should sound like, and with this solid album, Die Mannequin one-ups nearly all other acts chugging out such tunes in 2014. iTunes
2014’s main ADISQ gala was held tonight honouring the best in Canadian Franco music. Most of the Félix Awards were handed out on Wednesday at L’Autre Gala, the winners of which are here. Below is a list of nominees in selected categories with tonight’s winner bolded in red. You can find a complete list (in French) of nominees and winners here. ADISQ is the music industry organization in Quebec that hands out awards named in honour of Canadian folk superstar Felix Leclerc. While awards are mainly given out to Quebec artists performing music in the French language, the industry also awards Anglo works from Quebec, Franco works from other provinces and internationally. The awards were created in 1979 in response to sentiment that the JUNO awards did not pay adequate attention to Francophone Canadian artists.
ADISQ OCTOBER 26 MAIN GALA NOMINEES AND FELIX WINNERS
SONG OF THE YEAR Emmène-moi by Marie-Pierre Arthur Sans regret by Brigitte Boisjoli Le rendez-vous by Valérie Carpentier Tout le monde en même temps by Louis-Jean Cormier Comme on attend le printemps by Jérôme Couture Mappemonde by Les sœurs Boulay Les amoureux qui s’aiment by Les Trois Accords On leur a fait croire by Alex Nevsky Marie-Jo by Karim Ouellet L’amour c’est pas pour les peureux by Vincent Vallières
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – ADULT CONTEMPORARY L’été des orages : Valérie Carpentier Serge Fiori : Serge Fiori Les callas : Pierre Lapointe Feutres et pastels : Lynda Lemay Aimer les monstres : Émile Proulx-Cloutier
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – FOLK Je poursuis ma route : Wilfred LeBouthillier Mon Homesick Heart : Les Hay Babies Le feu de chaque jour : Patrice Michaud Ornithologie, la nuit : Philippe B Roi de rien : Michel Rivard
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – POP Fancy Ghetto : Alexandre Désilets Sally Folk : Sally Folk Pleurer pour rire : Kaïn Himalaya mon amour : Alex Nevsky Fabriquer l’aube : Vincent Vallières
GROUP OF THE YEAR Kaïn Les sœurs Boulay Les Trois Accords Marie-Eve Janvier et Jean-François Breau Radio Radio
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR Brigitte Boisjoli Isabelle Boulay Cœur de pirate Lisa LeBlanc Marie-Mai
MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR Daniel Bélanger Serge Fiori Éric Lapointe Alex Nevsky Vincent Vallières
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR Valérie Carpentier Sally Folk Les Hay Babies Klô Pelgag Émile Proulx-Cloutier
COMPOSER OF THE YEAR Jimmy Hunt David Marin Philippe B Klô Pelgag Émile Proulx-Cloutier
Portage La Prairie, MB country band Doc Walker has been active since 1997. During the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 era, 11 singles have made the chart. Current membership is Chris Thorsteinson and Dave Wasyliw with Brent Pearen and Steve Broadhurst joining on tour. Aptly titled The 8th, the new album is just that. As one would expect from the veteran act, the LP is filled with gems including the smooth “Put It Into Drive”, classy “Western Wind” with spoken word segments, romantic “Park the Car”, party rock anthem “Shake It Like It’s Saturday Night”, salty ditty “That’s What I Call Love”, and catchy, string-infused closer “Celebration”. Doc Walker justifies its long-term presence on the country scene with this excellent work. iTunes
JUNO nominee Jenn Grant is from Lake Echo, NS, and began her recording career in 2005. Her fifth album Compostela is out now, inspired by a trip to Spain. Essentially adult contemporary enriched by an unorthodox approach and creative dabbling, there is much to be admired. Jenn went all out, inviting a legion of instruments to participate in the recording – the charango, congas, flutes, harps, lap steel, piano, violins, and the Wurlitzer. A number of fellows pop up on the disc as well including Sarah Harmer, Buck 65, and Ron Sexsmith. iTunes
As progressive rock has been out of the loop for a while, it make take a few listens of this before the music burrows its way into the brain’s pleasure centre. Chocolat released album Piano Élégant in 2008 which was nominated by ADISQ for the Alternative Album of the Year. The band’s Jimmy Hunt went solo in 2010. In fact this past Wednesday, he won a pair of Félix awards. He is back at the chocolate helm, and new album Tss Tss sees the outfit flip over from the roots rock leanings of Piano Élégant to full-on synth inflected progressive rock, and it’s wonderful. Its energy never wanes and is surrounded by theatrical atmospherics, strong writing and ripples through the airwaves in a laser light jam. Superb album. iTunes
For both albums and digital singles released from May 1, 2008 onwards, definitions are: Gold = 40,000 units sold, Platinum = 80,000 units sold, Double Platinum = 160,000 units, Triple Platinum = 240,000 units, etc. Prior to that, Gold = 50,000 units and Platinum = 100,000 units.
Babette Hayward and Tynan Dunfield are New Brunswick duo Vogue Dots, now based in Halifax. Self-described as performing experimental pop, the sound is melancholy, melodic electronica with deep moods and dark ambiance. The pair has released 4-track EP Mauka, a strong followup from last offering Toska, released earlier this year. The new record is tightly structured with solid composition, and when Babette’s vocals smack the synth chill, the sonic landscape fills with frozen honey. It’s a great start and we’re excited for Vogue Dots’ future. iTunes
Oh Susanna is Suzie Ungerleider. She grew up in Vancouver, has been nominated for a JUNO twice, and began her recording career in 1997. Namedropper is her fan-funded sixth album released under Hamilton record label Sonic Unyon (under Sony). While undergoing treatment for cancer, her producer Jim Bryson suggested getting other artists to write its songs but only artists that Suzanne knew personally. She decided to make things more interesting by asking them to write songs that they would not normally associate with her music.
Submissions poured in. Two days after she contacted Ron Sexsmith, he sent her “Wait Until The Sun Comes Up”. Joel Plaskett delivered “Into My Arms”, Melissa McClelland “Mozart For The Cat”, and Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy “Dying Light”. More contributions were made by Royal Wood, Old Man Luedecke, Amelia Curran, and the Good Lovelies. In general, Oh Susanna shifts gears from past weep worthy alternative country into a more hearty roots sound. The songs on Namedropper are beautiful gems containing captivating stories perfectly delivered by Ungerleider’s sweet voice. iTunes