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
The story of Roch Voisine’s rise to international superstardom is quite an amazing one. The New Brunswick born artist began his recording career in 1986 after a knee injury dashed his professional hockey hopes. Since then, his list of achievements is astonishing. He is the first Canadian to score a diamond-certified Franco album in France. Albums in both official languages have attained multiplatinum sales in Canada spawning a slew of hit singles. He has won multiple JUNO and Félix Awards. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
For the past few years, Roch has been releasing cover and compilation albums and has finally returned with his first Anglo album of original songs in 12 years, Movin’ On Maybe. In true Acadian fashion, the disc contains a hearty blend of pop, rock, folk, and country songs. Roch brought a number of international personnel on board including Taylor Swift producer Chad Carlson. Glass Tiger’s Alan Frew and Nashville singer Katie Armiger lend their voices on tracks “I Will Remain” and “The Gift” respectively. First single is “Catch Me”. We particularly enjoyed tracks “Multiplied” and “While I Was Waiting For You”. Roch is currently on a cross-Canada tour to promote the new album. iTunes
The first of the 2014 ADISQ galas was held tonight honouring the best in Canadian Franco music. Most of the Félix Awards were handed out, with the main gala happening on the 26th. Below is a list of nominees in selected categories with the 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 22 L’AUTRE GALA NOMINEES AND FELIX WINNERS
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – ALTERNATIVE Les Ombres Longues : Antoine Corriveau Casablanca : David Giguère Maladie d’amour : Jimmy Hunt Le voyage d’hiver : Keith Kouna L’Alchimie des monstres : Klô Pelgag
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – ANGLOPHONE Reflektor : Arcade Fire Loved Me Back To Life : Céline Dion I’m Leaving You : Florence K All These Lines : Ian Kelly All things pass : Pascale Picard
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – CRITICAL ACCLAIM Montréal $ud : Dead Obies Serge Fiori : Serge Fiori Maladie d’amour : Jimmy Hunt Himalaya mon amour : Alex Nevsky L’Alchimie des monstres : Klô Pelgag
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – COUNTRY Annie Blanchard : Annie Blanchard Ronds-points : Canailles Je reviens de très loin : Georges Hamel Les Chercheurs d’or : Les Chercheurs d’or Motels : Miracles
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – BEST SELLER L’été des orages : Valérie Carpentier Serge Fiori : Serge Fiori Jour de nuit : Éric Lapointe Noël à deux : Marie-Eve Janvier et Jean-François Breau L’Album du peuple – Tome No 9 : François Pérusse
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – ROCK Tant qu’il restera du rhum : Bodh’aktan Gazoline : Gazoline Jour de nuit : Éric Lapointe Cri primal : Mordicus Vie de velours : Panache
QUEBEC ARTIST WITH THE MOST SUCCESS OUTSIDE THE PROVINCE Arcade Fire Céline Dion Half Moon Run Pierre Lapointe Lisa LeBlanc Karim Ouellet
VIDEO OF THE YEAR Je t’aime comme tu es : Daniel Bélanger Bull’s eye : Louis-Jean Cormier Le monde est virtuel : Serge Fiori L’étrange route des amoureux : Pierre Lapointe Je me souviens : Manu Militari Calorifère : Philippe B
ADDITIONAL ALBUM WINNERS
Original Soundtrack – Le Chant de Sainte Carmen de la Main : Various Artists
Classical Orchestral/Large Ensemble – Blanc:Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà
Classical Solo/Small Ensemble – Scènes d’enfants : Daniel Clarke Bouchard
Classical Vocal – Lettres de Madame Roy à sa fille Gabrielle : Marie-Nicole Lemieux, Symphony Orchestra of Trois-Rivières, Jacques Lacombe
Rap – Rue des saules : Koriass
Instrumental – Missing Time : Pawa Up First
Jazz Originals – Chercher l’équilibre : Trio Jérôme Beaulieu
Jazz Interpretations – Noël : Julie Lamontagne
Children’s – Arthur L’aventurier en Afrique : Arthur L’aventurier
Electronic – Bellevue : Misteur Valaire
World Music -Adouna : Karim Diouf
Reinterpretation/Covers – La symphonie rapaillée : Various Artists