Selected New Releases: May 26, 2017

Among new releases from Canadian artists May 26, 2017, we have the latest album from multiplatinum six-time JUNO winner Serena Ryder. Utopia is jam packed with delicious folk-rock tunes and currently sites at #2 on the iTunes Albums chart. Another ace player is singer-songwriter Oh Susanna who presents A Girl in Teen City. She has a pair of JUNO nominations to her credit, and the new album has some very impressive writing.

We wish to highlight Aum from Guelph’s Minotaurs which is a sumptuous fusion of electronica, jazz, and other flavours. It should hit the spot for those seeking something different that sounds splendid. We loved Catherine Leduc‘s last album, and her new one, Un bras de distance avec le soleil, is also a winner. It’s a little more airy and relaxed than her last one. Female producer Ouri should be the envy of the nation judging by her new album Superficial. It’s chillout electronica at its finest.

Find a list of this week’s selected new releases below.

Aum Minotaurs Alternative Guelph Group
Big Beets Martin Goyette Blues Montreal Male
Un bras de distance… Catherine Leduc Alternative Montreal Female
Erosion Cydemind Prog-Metal Montreal Group
Faux Real Fake Shark Alternative Vancouver Group
A Girl in Teen City Oh Susanna Singer-Songwriter Toronto Female
Hard Won… John Cody Singer-Songwriter Ottawa Male
669 Anders Rap Toronto Female
Superficial Ouri Electronic Montreal Female
Utopia Serena Ryder Folk-Rock Peterborough Female
Key West (EP) Adam Strangler Alt-Rock Montreal Group
7 Years of Blood (EP) Peeling Alt-Rock Toronto Group

Canada’s Queen of Pop Just Dropped the Song of the Summer

Released last night, this morning a brand new song entered the iTunes Top 100. This afternoon it vaults itself up to #41. Remarkably, it is doing even better in The United States at #25! Canada’s Queen of Pop, recently taking in the sights in Italy, just dropped a pop tour de force destined to become the song of the summer. It will be featured in the soundtrack of the movie Leap. What is it? Well, let’s cut to the chase, or shall we say let’s cut to … the feeling? … oh yeah. Three-time JUNO award winner and multiplatinum superstar Carly Rae Jepsen rips through some recent disappointments from other artists (we won’t mention any names) with a pop banger that is smoking hot pure fire, her new track “Cut to the Feeling”. The song contains a chorus so bombastic, it brushes the sky. Is it as good as everyone is saying? Of course. Carly co-wrote the track with “Sir” Nolan Lambroza and Ottawa’s Simon Wilcox.  iTunes

Emmalyn Likes the Phone Off

Canadian recording artist Emmalyn (Estrada) is making the transition from member of popular group G.R.L. to soloist. G.R.L. scored international hits “Wild Wild Love” with Pitbull, “Ugly Heart”, and “Lighthouse”. Emmalyn is the younger sister of Vancouver’s Elise Estrada who reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 with beautiful song “Unlove You”. Emmalyn is definitely a gifted vocalist and is dabbling in the R&B – pop – electronic style which is very much in vogue. Her latest offering is “Phone Off”. Yes, we’ve all experienced that annoying date when the object of our adoration is busy texting and playing with a cell phone while we’re trying to enjoy a nice conversation over dinner. The song was recently named by Glamour Magazine as one the 15 tracks that deserve song of the summer honours. “Phone Off” is listed among choice cuts by Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. It’s very catchy.  iTunes

Lust For Life on The Weeknd

Whether you say “at the weekend” or “on the weekend”, one thing is for sure: The Weeknd likes to perform songs with American women. “Love Me Harder” with Ariana Grande was his breakout hit and resulted in Google no longer counting Weeknd as a misspelled word. Now he teams up with Lana Del Rey in “Lust for Life”. The music video has been released. It’s a simple one that sees the pair frolicking on top of the Hollywood sign. The Weeknd, in true Canadian fashion, wears his sunglasses at night and seems to convince Lana that it’s a cool idea. The song includes spoken word bits by Lana reminiscent of Blackbox Recorder. Have a look below.  iTunes

This Week’s Chart Highlights and Other News

“I just want to send my love to everybody affected by this and to Ariana and the team. Concerts are events people should never be afraid to attend. They are places for love and complete happiness, and I am so sorry that things took an opposite direction last night. I hope I speak for every artist by saying that we will not stop spreading positivity and love through music no matter the situation.” —Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes‘ “There’s Nothin’ Holding Me Back” reaches a new Billboard Hot 100 peak position at #15 this week. New on the chart is Scott Helman‘s “Kinda Complicated” at #96.

No Canadian artist albums debuted in the Top 10 this week.

Allan Rayman enters the Emerging Artists’ Top 30 with song “13”. The Ottawa Valley’s Kelly Prescott receives a feature in Nielsen’s artist spotlight for her country song “Hillbilly Jewels”.

Dallas Smith‘s latest “Sky Stays So Blue” debuts on the Country Airplay chart at #41.

New Brunswick’s Roch Voisine has the best-selling Franco song with “Tout me ramène à toi”. Right behind him is Roxane Bruneau with “J’pas stressée” off upcoming album Dysphorie (June 2). On the airwaves, Andréanne A. Malette takes the cake with “Fou”.

Toronto Pop Duo LOLAA Releases Debut EP

Sisters Lex Valentine and Nadia Valerie King formed pop duo LOLAA last year launching debut single “Always Been” with backing vocals by Love Inc.’s* Simone Denny. The duo put on some live shows around the GTA supporting such acts as MSTRKRFT.

Lex and Nadia are not necessarily new to the game; they were part of rock trio Magneta Lane which has put out some albums. On board the LOLAA project is producer Jon Drew (Tokyo Police Club). The duo cites Gloria Estefan, Kim Carnes, Laura Branigan, Debbie Harry, and Donna Summer as influences.

On the EP, find six radio quality pop charmers with memorable melodies, pleasant vocals, and addictive beats. We regard LOLAA as one of the three best EPs released thus far in 2017.  iTunes

* From 1998 to 2000, first-rate dance/house music group Love Inc. scored five Top 30 hits: “Broken Bones”, “You’re a Superstar”, “Who Do U Love”, “Homeless”, and “Here Comes the Sunshine”. The first two became Top 10 hits in the United Kingdom, and Love Inc. won two JUNO Awards. Platinum certification was awarded to the outfit’s debut eponymous album.

A Comparison of Drake’s Hits Among the Major Anglo Markets

There’s no question that Drake completely cleaned up at last night’s 2017 Billboard Music Awards breaking the record with 13 trophies. As a sole main artist, Drake here at home has thus far placed 74 tracks onto the Billboard Hot 100. Forty of these have made the Top 40, nine the Top 10, with his lone number one hit being “One Dance”. Another way of looking at it is that 19 of the tracks spent more than 20 weeks on the chart, six more than 30, and two more than 40. His success on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 has been even more impressive. In the beginning of his music career, Drake’s success in the United States far exceeded success elsewhere including Canada. As he frolicked his way from rapping over to singing and from rap music over to R&B, dance, and pop, his tracks, while retaining success in the US, did better in the other Anglo markets (The United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia). The following table shows this. All Top 10 hits in any of the four major Anglo markets are included. There are a total of 15.

Best I Ever Had 24     2
Forever 26 99 42 8
Find Your Love 10   24 5
Make Me Proud 25 95 49 9
Take Care 15 9 9 7
Started from the Bottom 36 93 25 6
Hold On, We’re Going… 5 8 4 4
Hotline Bling 3 2 3 2
Summer Sixteen 12 25 23 6
One Dance 1 1 1 1
Too Good 9 3 3 14
Fake Love 10 16 10 8
Passionfruit 2 4 3 8
Portland 6   27 9
Blem 8   10 38

BBMAs 2017: My Drake Will Go On

Nominated for 21 Billboard Music Awards, Toronto rapper Drake was the champion of this year’s affair taking 13 trophies back to his crib. This is a new record. He won Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album (Views), Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Streaming Artist, Top Streaming Song Audio (“One Dance”), Top R&B Song (“One Dance”), Top R&B Collaboration (“One Dance”), Top Rap Artist, Top Rap Album (Views), and Top Rap Tour.

The performances at the show had some major wow factors. Two of them were by Canadians: Céline Dion and yes Drake.

In 1997, Canadian director James Cameron launched Hollywood motion picture Titanic (Paramount). It had cost $200 million making it the most expensive in the history of cinema. The film had an international cast including Canadian actor Victor Garber. Parts of it were shot in Vancouver and Halifax. From December 19, 1997 to April 2, 1998, Titanic was the number one movie at the US box office, a new record at 15 weeks. It was so popular that Paramount had to send out replacement reels to cinemas which had literally worn out their copies.

Titanic became the first movie in history to pull in a billion dollars. Global box office totals eventually reached $1.8 billion USD, and Titanic captured the title of the most successful movie released in the 20th Century. The film’s theme song was performed by Canadian singer Céline Dion. “My Heart Will Go On” was the biggest song of 1998 and sold an estimated 15 million copies. The song was all over the airwaves that year, and just about everyone went to see Titanic. It was a phenomenon.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Dion performed the song at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. She sang from inside a sky-high chandelier that hung from the venue’s ceiling. As it elevated, so did Dion’s vocals. While she sang the heart-tugging lyrics, scenes from the movie played on the screen behind her. And as the song reached its emotional climax, shimmering lights fell over the crowd.

Canadian rapper Drake delivered a memorable performance as well. He did the honours from inside the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas. The selection was “Gyalchester” from his 2017 album More Life. Surrounded by water, fire, and dressed all in white, Drake did his duties while fireworks exploded and blended with the fountain’s geysers above him.

According to Billboard, Drake now has the most U.S. Hot 100 hits by a solo artist in the history of the chart at 154.

Alexe Gaudreault Creates an Echo

Canadian pop artist Alexe Gaudreault, a native of Dolbeau-Mistassini, QC, has released a new music video for her current hit single “Echo” off her debut, eponymous album. The LP received praises from iTunes staff and was named by Canadian Music Blog as 2016’s Album of the Year among 570 releases, beating out Drake and Céline Dion.

Alexe came to the attention of the masses in 2013 when she was selected as a contestant on The Voice Season 1. While the JUNO Awards often struggle to attract more than 1.2 million viewers, Alexe Gaudreault’s performance of Jacques Brel’s classic “Quand on a que l’amour” on The Voice was watched by two million strong.

Gaudreault hooked up with musical director and composer John Nathaniel and lyricist Mariane Cossette-Bacon releasing a three-track EP which contained the song “Placebo”. The song went ballistic: a BDS Top 10 hit for 47+ weeks, striking number one in the fall of 2015 where it remained for seven weeks. This was a first in 15 years for an independent artist. The song won for Alexe the No. 1 SOCAN Award.

On May 20, 2016, Alexe Gaudreault released her debut, self-titled LP. Track “Éclat” broke into the BDS Top 3. In June, she performed at home of The Habs, The Bell Centre, opening for Marc Dupré.

With very well written songs, expert production, and savory vocals, Alexe’s album is a winner, one of the best pop albums to come out of Canada in the last few years. The current hit single is “Écho” and a music video has been released which we have embedded below. The MV was shot in New York. This gal’s on fire.  iTunes

Selected New Releases: May 19, 2017

Below is a table of this week’s new releases including a very rough genre designation. Highlights include four-time JUNO nominee and author of two platinum albums, Isabelle Boulay. She releases her tenth studio album, En vérité, an adult contemporary work showcasing her rich vocals. Elizabeth Powell and her JUNO nominated alternative rock band Land of Talk contribute Life After Youth, a very good album. Roots & traditional specialist Daniel Romano, a two-time JUNO nominee, examines Modern Pressure on his new work. The Arion Baroque Orchestra and JUNO nominee Alexander Weimann interpret the works of Johann Joachim Quantz and Georg Philipp Telemann, a beautiful classical album. A couple of newcomers somewhat steal the show with highly impressive LPs. Duo She-Devils present debut self-titled “cave-rock” album. The duo stirred up lots of buzz with an EP released early last year. Also noteworthy is La Minerve from new rock artist Rémy Caset which includes a number of catchy tunes.

City Nights The Junction Alternative
Danse encore Doloréanne Pop
Dirt Road Confessional Jeffery Straker Singer-Songwriter
En vérité Isabelle Boulay Adult Contemporary
Life After Youth Land of Talk Alternative
Les Malcommodes invitent Les Malcommodes Jazz
La Minerve Rémy Caset Rock
Modern Pressure Daniel Romano Roots
Rebelles baroques Arion Baroque Orchestra & Alexander Weimann Classical
She-Devils She-Devils Alternative
Summery Slates Punk
This Is Someday The Royal Oui Alternative
PS. Merci pour le love – EP Yes Mccan Rap

Nielsen SoundScan Top 40 Hits in Canada, 2002

Find below all Top 40 hits in Canada for year 2002 during the Nielsen SoundScan era. There are 153 of them, 26 from Canadian artists. Based on the chart performance through the year, we can say that the biggest of the Canadian hits was “Hero” by Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger, off the Spider-Man soundtrack. In the tables below, sorted by peak position and then alphabetically by song title, we have included the nationality of the artist as well as the date of the chart in which the song reached its peak. More charts…







Top 100 Singles of 2002 in Canada (Unofficial)

From the Niesen SoundScan charts, we have created a Top 100 singles in Canada for the year 2002. It is important to note that it is unofficial.

This chart does not represent radio airplay but strictly the week to week sales of CD singles in Canada. As a number of them continued to sell well for many years, we have excluded singles released prior to 2001 for the chart below. Note that a number of popular songs on the radio were not released as singles, availability was limited, or Canadians opted to buy the full album rather than the single. Thus, take this chart with a grain of salt. It is a snapshot view of the relative popularity of CD single purchases through the calendar year of 2002. We determined the rankings by a points system, taking each weekly Top 40 position, subtracting it from 41, and tallying the results. For example, if a song was in the Top 40 for two weeks in the year, first at #1 and then #31, its points would be 41-1+41-31=50.

From this, we can say that Faith Hill had the biggest song of 2002 (again in terms of CD singles sales) with “There You’ll Be” which was featured in the soundtrack for Hollywood blockbuster film Pearl Harbour starring Kate Beckinsale and Ben Affleck. The top Canadian artist song was “Hero” by Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger. It was featured in motion picture Spider-Man. Sixteen of the Top 100 are from Canadians. We have bolded the artists’ names in red. More charts…

1 There You’ll Be Faith Hill
2 Hero Chad Kroeger
3 Hot in Herre Nelly
4 Rapture IIO
5 Canadian Man-Hockey Paul Brandt
6 Stuck in a Moment U2
7 Heaven DJ Sammy
8 Murder on the Dance Floor Sophie Ellis-Bextor
9 Without Me Eminem
10 Hindu Times Oasis
11 Girlfriend NSYNC
12 Hands Clean Alanis Morissette
13 Just Like a Pill Pink
14 Days Go By Dirty Vegas
15 Gotta Get Thru This Daniel Bedingfield
16 By the Way Red Hot Chili Peppers
17 Hero Enrique Iglesias
18 Soulbreaking The Tea Party
19 Electrical Storm U2
20 Knives Out Radiohead
21 In My Place Coldplay
22 Moment Like This/B4 Your Love Kelly Clarkson
23 I Won’t Be Home For Christmas Blink-182
24 A Little Less Conversation Elvis vs. JXL
25 I Need a Girl P. Diddy
26 Where’s Your Head At Basement Jaxx
27 Love at First Sight Kylie Minogue
28 Everyday Bon Jovi
29 Super Sex World One Ton
30 A New Day Has Come Celine Dion
31 Whenever Whereever Shakira
32 What It Feels Like For a Girl Madonna
33 Somebody Like You Keith Urban
34 Baby’s Got a Temper The Prodigy
35 Insatiable Darren Hayes
36 Don’t Say Goodbye Paulina Rubio
37 Ketchup Song Las Ketchup
38 In Your Eyes Kylie Minogue
39 Revolution Stone Temple Pilots
40 Cry Faith Hill
41 Points of Authority Linkin Park
42 Life Goes On Leann Rimes
43 Greatest View Silverchair
44 Stop Crying Your Heart Out Oasis
45 Bring It Home Swollen Members
46 Die Another Day Madonna
47 Just a Friend Mario
48 Precious Illusions Alanis Morissette
49 Pyramid Song Radiohead
50 Little by Little Oasis
51 All Rise Blue
52 Star Guitar Chemical Brothers
53 I Am Mine Pearl Jam
54 Nothing Could Come Between Us Theory of a Deadman
55 Hey Sexy Lady Shaggy
56 O Canada Fabian/Foster
57 I’m Gonna Getcha Good Shania Twain
58 Whatchulookinat Whitney Houston
59 A Sorta Fairytale Tori Amos
60 Surrender Laura Pausini
61 Dirrty Christina Aguilera
62 Prayer Disturbed
63 Uh Huh B2K
64 Underneath Your Clothes Shakira
65 What’s Your Flava Craig David
66 Hard to Explain/NYC Cops The Strokes
67 Eternal Flame Atomic Kitten
68 My Friends Over You New Found Glory
69 Zephyr Song Red Hot Chili Peppers
70 Elevation U2
71 Radio Mark Farina
72 Through the Rain Mariah Carey
73 Movin’ On Boomtang Boys
74 Always on Time Ja Rule
75 Jenny from the Block Jennifer Lopez
76 Your Song  Elton John ft. Alessandro Safina
77 Dilemma Nelly
78 Thoughtless Korn
79 From a Lover to a Friend Paul McCartney
80 Marry Me Amanda Marshall
81 Help Me Nick Carter
82 It’s Over Tuuli
83 Get the Party Started Pink
84 Like I Love You Justin Timberlake
85 Home and Dry Pet Shop Boys
86 I Want Love Elton John
87 Landslide Dixie Chicks
88 I’ve Been Waiting for You David Bowie
89 Legal Snow
90 U Got It Bad Usher
91 Survivor Destiny’s Child
92 Wanderland Kelis
93 Stillness of Heart Lenny Kravitz
94 Wherever You Will Go The Calling
95 You Rock My World Michael Jackson
96 Feel It Boy Beenie Man
97 Complicated Avril Lavigne
98 In My Memory Tiesto
99 Come Into My World Kylie Minogue
100 Drowning The Backstreet Boys


2017 MMVAs: The Nominees Are…

Grimes, Shawn Mendes, and A Tribe Called Red are each nominated for four Much Music Video Awards. The outdoor spectacle will take place in Toronto June 18 at 9 p.m. local time. Mendes and ATCR are going head to head for the most prestigious award, Video of the Year which is an all-male nominees affair, the other three being Coleman Hell, Kaytranada, and Pup.

Earning three nominations apiece are Alessia Cara, Drake, Ed Sheeran, Lorde, Pup, The Weeknd, and Zeds Dead.

Booked performers thus far include no one from the United Kingdom and only two Canadian acts: Arkells and Jazz Cariter. International performers are DNCE (USA), Iggy Azalea (Australia), Imagine Dragons (USA), Julia Michaels (USA), Lorde (New Zealand), Niall Horan (Ireland), and Post Malone (USA).

View the nominations below.


“R.E.D.” – A Tribe Called Red
“Fireproof” – Coleman Hell
“Glowed Up” – Kaytranada
“Sleep In The Heat” – PUP
“Mercy” – Shawn Mendes


“Undone” – Coeur De Pirate
“Miracle” – Darcys
“Seeing Double” – Sleepy Tom
“Move Together” – Somewhere Else
“Too Young” – Zeds Dead


“Stadium Pow Wow” – A Tribe Called Red
“Indomitable” – Dj Shub
“Easy Go” – Grandtheft & Delaney Jane
“Venus Fly” – Grimes
“Runaway” – MSTRKRFT


Kevan Funk, “Stadium Pow Wow” – A Tribe Called Red
Didier Charette, “Rush” – CRi
Claire Boucher, “Venus Fly” – Grimes
Michael LeBlanc, “Spirit” – Wintersleep
Adam Beck, “Stardust” – Zeds Dead


“Fireproof” – Coleman Hell
“Venus Fly” – Grimes
“Can’t Slow Down” – Hedley
“Mercy” – Shawn Mendes
“No Warm Up” – SonReal


“Knocking At The Door” – Arkells
“Beck + Call” – July Talk
“Sleep In The Heat” – PUP
“In A World Possessed By The Human Mind” – The Tragically Hip
“Spirit” – Wintersleep


“Disconnected” – Derek Wise
“Red Alert/100 Roses” – Jazz Cartier
“81” – Sean Leon
“Picasso Leaning” – Tasha The Amazon
“Let’s Go” – TassNata


“Rush” – CRi
“With Me” – DVSN
“Sleep In The Heat” – PUP
“Small Talk” – Majid Jordan
“Acid Test” – River Tiber


Alessia Cara
Justin Bieber
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd


Ed Sheeran
Iggy Azalea
Kendrick Lamar
Lady Gaga


Charlotte Day Wilson
Daniel Caesar
Jessie Reyez


Chance The Rapper
Camila Cabello
Lil’ Yachty
Niall Horan
Post Malone


“Scars to Your Beautiful” – Alessia Cara
“One Dance” – Drake
“Starboy” – The Weeknd


Ed Sheeran
Katy Perry
Kendrick Lamar


Twenty One Pilots
Imagine Dragons
The Chainsmokers


“R.E.D.” – A Tribe Called Red
“Shutter Island” – Jessie Reyez
“Venus Fly” – Grimes
“Too Young” – Zeds Dead
“Knocking At The Door” – Arkells (WILDCARD WINNER)


Ed Sheeran
Katy Perry


Justin Bieber
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd
Alessia Cara (WILDCARD)


Amanda Rach Lee
Jaclyn Forbes
Candace Leca
Mike on Much

Zeynep Ozbilen Gives Us Zest

Turkish Canadian songstress Zeynep Ozbilen (Toronto) continues to expand the frontiers of world music. She not only brings in Turkish influences but, as one who has studied music from around the world, shakes a multitude of international spices into her zesty sound. Backed by a talented band, Zeynep has released her second album, Zest. The allophone disc (there are a couple of Anglo tracks) although very graceful musically deals with some weighty topics. “Papa, Don’t Give Me Away” addresses the practice of child marriage and abuse of women in various cultures around the world. She handles such issues with sensitivity and class. All in all, Zest will enrich your day like nothing else. Wonderful album.  iTunes

Yvan Pedneault Is Excited to Launch Debut Album

Finalist of The Voice Season 4 (2016) Yvan Pedneault (Sept-Îles, QC) has launched his debut album, a self-titled, bilingual affair. That he has a good voice is a given. It is essentially a modern folk disc with accents of adult contemporary, pop, blues, and soul. A squadron of songwriters wrote or co-wrote the lyrics and music with Yvan including Jean-François Breau and Jérôme Couture. The album is a solid effort with lots of good tunes. A standout track might be the second, “Au bout de nous”, a sonorous power ballad which is very nicely done.  iTunes