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New Carly Rae Jepsen: “Trouble in the Streets”

Swedish Grammy-nominated composer, producer, and musician Patrik Berger has formed a project with songwriter Markus Krunegård called BC Unidos. No, they are not from BC; however, featured on one of the tracks on new EP Bicycle is a British Columbian singer. The disc includes British singer Charli XCX, and track “Trouble in the Streets” is sung by none other than Carly Rae Jepsen. The disc has a post-punk feel to it. It is very good and lots of fun. Check it out.  iTunes

25 Canadian Artist 2017 Albums Have Made the Top 10

Three Canadian artist albums debut in the Top 10 this week. Leading the batch is retro adult contemporary Revival from Johnny Reid at #4. Mario Pelchat and Les Prêtres team up to release a second 2017 album. The first one, Agnus Dei, has been certified gold. Now the team releases Christmas album Noël Ensemble which features a number of guest singers. The album debuts at #6. Right behind at #7 is excellent pop album La vie qu’il nous reste from Marc Dupré.

This brings the tally up to 25 Canadian artist albums released in 2017 making the Top 10, five of which hit #1. Two albums have gone gold, one platinum, and one double platinum. Eleven of the 25 are from Quebec artists, nine Ontario, three British Columbia, and two Alberta. Edmonton’s Ruth B struck gold with her album Safe Haven despite its not reaching the Top 10. Drake‘s More Life is the most successful to date achieving double platinum sales and debuting at #1. Second is Arcade Fire‘s Everything Now, also a #1 album and attaining platinum status. View the albums below.

Shawn Mendes Wins 4 MTV EMAs, Breaks Billboard Record

The lad from Pickering, Ontario is really on a roll. Teen superstar Shawn Mendes was the lone Canadian performing at this year’s MTV Europe Music Awards, and he won four trophies – Best Song “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”, Best Artist, Best Canadian Act, and Biggest Fans.

Mendes recently made Billboard history setting a new record. At just 19-years-old, he has scored three number one songs on the Billboard U.S. Adult Contemporary chart before turning the age of 20. No other artist in history has accomplished this.

The 2017 MTV EMA Best song winner has been certified triple platinum in Canada. A JUNO award winner, Shawn Mendes has a following of 14.9 million on Twitter, and both of his albums have achieved platinum sales.

Gold/Platinum Certifications: Alessia Cara Hits Quadruple Platinum

Find a list below of the latest gold/platinum certifications from Music Canada. As we mentioned previously, “Despacito” featuring Justin Bieber is now a diamond (i.e. 10x platinum) single. “Stay” featuring Alessia Cara has vaulted up to quadruple platinum. Album Everything Now from Quebec’s Arcade Fire makes it to Platinum. Saskatchewan boogie-rock outfit The Sheepdogs scores a platinum single with “I Don’t Know”.

“Die for You”, The Weeknd – Gold Single
“Despacito”, featuring Justin Bieber – Diamond Single
Everything Now, Arcade Fire – Platinum Album
“Stay”, featuring Alessia Cara – Quadruple Platinum Single
Summerland, Coleman Hell – Gold Album
“Get You”, Daniel Caesar – Gold Single
“Friends”, Justin Bieber – Platinum Single
“Stompin’ Ground”, Tim Hicks – Gold Single
“Ooh Love”, Ria Mae – Gold Single
“Signs”, Drake – Double Platinum Single
“Might Not”, Belly Ft. The Weeknd – Double Platinum Single
“I Don’t Know” by The Sheepdogs – Platinum Single

Remembrance Day 2017 Releases: 2Frères, Buffy, Blaine

The big release this week is the highly anticipated sophomore album from molten hot platinum folk-pop duo 2Frères. La route is giving Taylor Swift a run for her money, currently sitting at #3 at iTunes behind the new comedy album from funny Canuck François Pérusse.

Legendary Saskatchewan singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie is back with a new disc. She combines new songs with re-recordings of some of her old ones she felt sounded dated having been recorded with archaic technology. The new album is called Medicine Songs.

Country music’s Jason Blaine has propped 7 songs up into the Billboard Hot 100. Boy with a Guitar is the Name of his new EP.

New age artist Teen Daze, stage name of Abbotsford, BC’s Jamison Isaak, has been working hard this year, as he drops his second 2017 album, Themes for a New Earth which follows February’s Themes for Dying Earth.

Find these and more Canadian artist albums in the table below.

Une année record Loud QC Rap
Apu peikussiaku Shauit QC Reggae
Awakening Yiannis ON World
La gymnastique de l’amour Anthony Roussel QC Folk
It Don’t Get Better Than This Norm Brunet ON Country
Mautaditement Bori Edgar Bori QC AC
Medicine Songs Buffy Sainte-Marie SK S-S
Occasion Yoël Diaz & Cubarteto OC Cuban Jazz
Place Holder Vissia AB Folk Rock
The Quiet Erosion Cardinals Pride QC Metal
La route 2Freres QC Folk Pop
Subduction Julie Thériault QC Classical
Themes from a New Earth Teen Daze BC New Age
Boy with a Guitar (EP) Jason Blaine ON Country
Chronicles from the Cave (EP) Val Thomas QC Folk

Nico Lelièvre Searches for Treasure in the Lowlands

Nico Lelièvre recently dropped his latest offering, alternative rock album Le trésor des bas-fonds. While we took to melancholy closing track “Un monde parfait” immediately, the album as a whole grew on us. Nico’s vocals often taken on a mopey stance and are at times abrasive in an attempt to personify the spirit of the song lyrics (think of Stromae in “Alors on danse”). Nico was born in Nice, France but emigrated to Canada as a youngling. He names The Cure and Sigur Ros as influences. The new album musically is quite brilliant with expert musicianship including exciting rock drumming.  iTunes

Ria Mae Is on Fire

Nova Scotia’s Ria Mae is one of the hottest new songwriters out there. Four of her songs have landed in the Billboard Hot 100 including “Clothes Off” (#31), a platinum single. Ria’s latest disc is EP My Love. It exposes her knack for writing catchy songs and does a nice job at fusion pop – hear touches of new wave, folk, blues, you name it, all blended into an amalgam of choiceness. The disc includes her current Billboard Hot 100 hit “Bend” and on “Broken” features Calgary’s Tegan Quin (one-half of Tegan & Sara). Ria Mae is Ralph, Serena Ryder, and Shawn Mendes rolled into one. My Love is a very good pop EP. Below is the MV for “Bend” currently at 440k views which is quite something.  iTunes

Marc Dupré Launches Album #6

Canadian superstar Marc Dupré recently launched his sixth album La vie qu’il nous reste. It swiftly scrambled into the iTunes Top 10. Two of Marc’s previous albums have gone gold. Five of his songs have appeared in the Billboard Hot 100 including Félix song of the year winner “Nous sommes les mêmes” at #47. The new album is one of the best pop albums of 2017, chock full of very enticing tracks enhanced by sharp production and an uplifting delivery. Embedded below is the lyric video for opener “Du bonheur dans les étoiles” which should whet your appetite.  iTunes

Charts Update November 7, 2017: Edmonton’s Kapri on the Rise

Gord Downie Scores No. 1 Album

Gord Downie’s solo record Introduce Yerself debuts at #1 on the Albums chart this week selling 9,000 copies. It’s the Kingstoner’s first chart-topping solo album outdoing his last effort, 2016’s Secret Path which peaked at #4. Introduce Yerself is the 5th 2017 Canadian artist album to reach the summit of the chart.

Theory of a Deadman Croaks into the Hot 100

British Columbian rock band Theory of a Deadman enters the Billboard Hot 100 with “Rx” at #90. It is the group’s 7th excursion into the chart, the most successful song being “All or Nothing” which peaked at #22 in early October 2008.

Boys Prefer Brunettes

“Boys and Blondes” the new single from Albertan modern rock duo Dear Rouge blisters into the Rock Airplay chart to #30.

The Luck of the Patrick

Meghan Patrick is the hottest name in country music these days after scooping up multiple CCMA awards including Female Artist of the Year. Her second full-length album will be out January 12, and its title-track “Country Music Made Me Do It” enters the Country Airplay charts at #47.

Kapri Is Digging Deeper

Albertans are unstoppable these days. The latest slayer from the province is Edmonton’s Kapri. She receives the Artist Spotlight feature in this week’s Nielsen Update newsletter for her delicious new song “Deeper”. She echoes the vibes from her fellow Albertan Kiesza in a deluxe R&B inflected EDM with a 90s feel. The track is bubbling under CHR Airplay. Her incredible talents have led to her being scooped up by Universal Music and is now based in Toronto. View the MV below.

Musique Francophone

“Comme Avant” by white hot folk pop duo 2Frères dominates radio airplay in Quebec. Brigitte Boisjoli’s Signé Plamondon is the hottest album and Patrice Michaud’s Félix winning “Kamikaze” the most purchased song.

Chart Rewind to 50 Years Ago

Fifty years ago, the following were the Top 10 songs in Canada, from the RPM chart of November 4, 1967:

1. People are Strange, The Doors
2. Hey Baby, The Buckinghams
3. Soul Man, Sam and Dave
4. Hole in My Shoe, Traffic
5. Your Precious Love, Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
6. How Can I Be Sure, Young Rascals
7. Even the Bad Times Are Good, Tremeloes
8. Holiday, The Bee Gees
9. Let Love Come Between Us, James & Bobby Purify
10. You Can’t Do That, Nilsson

By comparison, the Top 10 Songs (from the Billboard Hot 100) in Canada for November 7, 2017 are the following:

1. Havana, Camila Cabello Ft. Young Thug
2. Rockstar, Post Malone Ft. 21 Savage
3. Gucci Gang, Lil Pump
4. Perfect, Ed Sheeran
5. Mi Gente, Balvin & William Ft. Beyonce
6. Too Good at Goodbyes, Sam Smith
7. …Ready for It?, Taylor Swift
8. Despacito, Fonsi & Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber
9. Wolves, Selena Gomez X Marshmello
10. Feel It Still, Portugal The Man

Nov 3 Releases: Johnny Reid, Marc Dupré, Jess Moskaluke…

New releases this week number at least 22 LPs and 5 EPs. Find at the end of this post a listing of the 27. Our year-to-date totals are 620 Canadian artist albums and 118 extended plays. Artists from Quebec have been the most industrious this year accounting for 40.6% of the albums, Ontarians 32.6%, and British Columbians 9.8%. Albums from groups (3 or more musicians) make up 34.4%, male soloists exactly the same (34.4%), female soloists 21.5%, and duos 9.0%. The remainder are various artist compilation discs. The genres of choice for recording artists in Canada, as we have determined before, are singer-songwriter/folk and alternative which together account for 45.8% of the works with the remainder spread fairly evenly among the other genres. At the end of 2017, we will provide a final and more detailed analysis of the stats. Before getting to the table of new releases, we wish to highlight six of them. Four of this week’s batch are Christmas albums which we will feature in a separate post closer to the holiday.

Andréanne A. Malette, releases a self-titled folk pop tour de force including her mega hit “Fou”. The Granby singer has a beautiful voice, and the vitamin-popped songs frolic along ever so charmingly. This is a wonderful album, Malette’s second.

Our acquisition from the United Kingdom, Johnny Reid of Brampton, Ontario, is a multiplatinum five-time JUNO winner and lays his latest on the banquet table – Revival. He goes for a David Clayton-Thomas’ retro sound with all the fusion adult contemporary trimmings.

Popular for his imaginative brand of alternative folk, Montreal’s Philippe Brach contributes Le silence des troupeaux in which he muses on the state of the world and offers some tips on how to deal with it. Find a little bit of blues and rock in the mix. The album is selling well.

With two gold albums achieved, Marc Dupré is back with another one worthy of the milestone – La vie qu’il nous reste. It is currently sitting comfortably in the iTunes Top 10. The disc is a very good pop album, one of the best releases this week, filled with catchy songs.

Just as great as Marc’s as far as pop goes is an EP from Halifax’s Ria Mae, My Love, featuring her current hit single “Bend”. The platinum JUNO nominee is a very good songwriter, and her brand of pop offers a nice fusion of flavours.

Country superstar Jess Moskaluke from Saskatchewan has a brand new EP out – Past the Past. The seven-track unit features her hits “Drive Me Away” and “Kill Your Love”. Jess is a JUNO winning, platinum recording artist.

Acts of Love Maylee Todd R&B ON
Andreanne A. Malette Andreanne A. Malette Folk Pop QC
Apatheia DJ Brace Rap MB
Cassiopee Mara Tremblay Alt Rock QC
Coconut Christmas The Lost Fingers Xmas QC
Consolez-vous De Temps Antan Folk QC
Les corps infinis La Bronze Alt QC
Deluxe La Famille Ouellette Pop QC
Long Hot Summer Days Jim Byrnes Blues BC
Lumieres d’hiver Emilie-Claire Barlow Xmas ON
Martin Valois Martin Valois Pop-Rock QC
Mercy Works Casper Skulls Alt ON
Murphy The Carn Davidson 9 Jazz ON
Nevahland Liam Corcoran S-S PE
Noel Ensemble Mario Pelchat & les Prêtres Xmas QC
Old School Yule! Matt Dusk Xmas ON
Le pain le pays la paix Benoît LeBlanc Folk QC
Revival Johnny Reid AC ON
Le silence des troupeaux Philippe Brach Alt Folk QC
To Love the Coming… The Deep Cove Alt Rock BC
Ubiquite M. Lizotte & M. Desy Classical QC
La vie qu’il nous reste Marc Dupre Pop QC
Hot Three (EP) Alex Pangman Jazz ON
Mark Times (EP) Mark Times Country AB
My Love (EP) Ria Mae Pop NS
Past the Past (EP) Jess Moskaluke Country SK
Wild Eyed Wanderer (EP) Alessia Cohle Country ON

“Despacito” Is Now a Diamond Single

“Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Canadian recording artist Justin Bieber has hit the diamond mark as announced by Music Canada. It is Bieber’s first diamond single (albeit as a featured artist) and only the 8th track in all history to reach diamond (i.e. 10x Platinum) status. The first to do so was digital download “I Gotta Feeling” from The Black Eyed Peas in April 2010. Now that the Canadian Gold/Platinum program has redefined the certification type from digital download to single and included streaming data, seven more tracks have gone diamond, the lone Canadian as the main artist entry being Drake’s “One Dance”. Besides the aforementioned three are Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk”, Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”, The Chainsmokers’ “Closer”, Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop”. View the cover art for the eight greats below.

Blinker the Star Twinkles on 8 of Hearts

Since the mid-90s, Pembroke, Ontario’s Blinker the Star has been concocting some delicious music. The band releases its latest effort, 8 of Hearts. We could classify this as alternative rock; in addition, you will hear a good dose of a retro progressive rock kneaded into the dough. At times, there are surprises, like a banjo on track “Heather” and haunting piano with fluttering analog synth on “Caves and Shadows”. We have embedded the official audio for the album’s first two tracks below. Blinker the Star’s 8 of Hearts is a standout among 2017 releases in the genre, well written songs that are highly enjoyable to listen to. We’re lucky to have this great band aboard Team Canada.  iTunes

The Space Between Majid Jordan

It’s the Canadian duo that does R&B right. Majid Jordan brings us sophomore effort The Space Between. The Toronto pair is best known for giving Drake his first Top 5 hit as a main artist – “Hold On, We’re Going Home”. Majid Jordan’s new album sees the former crooning smoothly over the latter’s downtempo musicianship. It is chillout music with ground-shaking bass, addictive beats, cool grooves, and (thankfully) clean lyrics. Both those heavily into R&B and those not typically taken by the genre will find this little nugget diggable. We were immediately taken by track #2 “Gave Your Love Away” which is just superb. The album features well-known artists dvsn and PartyNextDoor.  iTunes

2017 GALA ADISQ WINNERS: Bélanger & Michaud Win 2 Each

Daniel Bélanger and Patrice Michaud each won a pair of Félix awards at the 2017 ADISQ gala which recognizes the best music coming out of the industry in the province of Quebec. Daniel who was the favourite coming into the soiree in Montreal won the awards for Singer-Songwriter Show of the Year and for Pop Album of the Year thanks to his album Paloma. Patrice picked up the coveted award for Song of the Year thanks to megahit “Kamikaze”, and he was also named Male Artist of the Year.

Klô Pelgag added a third trophy to her 2017 collection (she won two at the Permier ADISQ gala on Thursday night), this time for Composer of the Year recognizing her work on album L’étoile thoracique. Big names Leonard Cohen and Céline Dion picked up awards, the former was given the Honourary Félix trophy and the latter took Adult Contemporary Album of the Year for multiplatinum Encore un soir.

In the exciting category of New Artist of the Year, the award was given to Émile Bilodeau. Safia Nolin was named Female Artist of the Year, and Les sœurs Boulay Group/Duo of the Year. Find a list of nominees and winners from tonight’s gala below.

Leonard Cohen

Pour Rosie, Valérie Carpentier
Autre monde, Luc De Larochellière
Encore un soir, Céline Dion – WINNER
La pluie entre nous, Catherine Durand
Univers parallèles, Damien Robitaille

Paloma, Daniel Bélanger – WINNER
Almanach, Patrice Michaud
Nos eldorados, Alex Nevsky
Noir éden, Peter Peter
Le temps des vivants, Vincent Vallières

Les frères cueilleurs, Alaclair Ensemble – WINNER
Le retour de Jacobus, Jacques Jacobus
Long jeu, KNLO
Chasser ses demons, La Carabine
Petit prince, RYMZ

Alaclair Ensemble for Les frères cueilleurs
Avec pas d’casque for Effets spéciaux
Daniel Bélanger for Paloma
Klô Pelgag for L’étoile thoracique – WINNER
Peter Peter for Noir éden

Émile Bilodeau – WINNER
Alexe Gaudreault

Valérie Carpentier
Céline Dion
Ariane Moffatt
Safia Nolin – WINNER
Klô Pelgag

Daniel Bélanger
Patrice Michaud – WINNER
Alex Nevsky
Vincent Vallières

Les Cowboys Fringants
Les sœurs Boulay – WINNER
Les Trois Accords
Marie-Eve Janvier et Jean-François Breau

Il y a tant à faire, Daniel Bélanger
Tu ne sauras jamais, Ludovick Bourgeois
Les échardes, Charlotte Cardin
Encore un soir, Céline Dion
Oiseau, Fred Fortin
Marine marchande, Les Cowboys Fringants
Fais-moi un show de boucane, Les sœurs Boulay
Kamikaze, Patrice Michaud – WINNER
Polaroid, Alex Nevsky
Tout me ramène à toi, Roch Voisine

Paloma, Daniel Bélanger – WINNER
L’osstidtour, Koriass, Alaclair Ensemble, Brown
4488 de l’Amour, Les soeurs Boulay
Almanach, Patrice Michaud
Les horizons nouveaux, Richard Séguin

2Frères, 2Frères
Mary Poppins – La comédie musicale, Various Artists – WINNER
60 ans de bonheur avec vous, Michel Louvain
Nous, Renée Martel et Patrick Norman
Quatre, Tocadéo

New Releases Oct 27: Downie, TOAD, Wanting

This week sees at least 26 Canadian artist LPs and 5 EPs bringing our year-to-date totals to 597 LPs and 113 EPs. Before we get to the new discs, there are a couple of newsworthy items to talk about.

Drake Does Not Submit to the Grammys

Drake stirred things up in some media circles recently because he did not submit his album More Life for consideration to the U.S. Grammy Awards. The diamond recording artist also did not submit any tracks from the album. More Life debuted at #1 on the official charts and has gone double platinum spawning four Top 10 hits: “Passionfruit”, “Portland”, “Blem”, and “Fake Love”. Nominations for the flagship U.S. music awards gala will be announced November 28. The rapper from Toronto has won three Grammys to date, and did not attend this year’s show despite winning two. His PR folks haven’t offered comment. It remains to be seen whether the album will be submitted to the JUNOs.

Kristina Maria Explains Her Absence

Highly successful, JUNO nominated Ottawan dance pop star Kristina Maria has been largely absent from social media over the past few years, and fans have been worried, including us. Kristina’s debut album Tell the World spawned an incredible 6 charting singles on the Billboard Hot 100; five of which made the Top 40, and three of which went gold. Maria finally spilled the beans on what has happened in a recent post. We quote it below.

I feel like I’ve been hiding from you guys, and it’s not what I wanted to do, I promise. I spent that last 2 years working on my new album and I had to walk away from the project because somethings weren’t feeling right. I’m not going to go into detail but I left my label to pursue music independently, well at least for now. I’ll be forever thankful for everything my previous label has done but my focus needs to be on me giving my fans 100% of who I am. I’ve hyped you guys up and then left you out in the dark and it hurts me to not be able to share what I’ve worked so hard on. I’m starting over from the ground up and to all my fans that stuck around, honestly I owe you the world!! I’m not going to rush a release or make any promises, all I can say for now is thank you.

New Releases: What’s Hot

His final album, a sensitive double disc effort, is a beauty. Gord Downie‘s Introduce Yerself tops iTunes as fans across the country mourn the Kingstoner’s passing from glioblastoma.

JUNO winning Delta, BC rock band Theory of a Deadman gives us a Wake Up Call on the new album sitting comfortably in the iTunes Top 10.

Toronto R&B duo Majid Jordan examines The Space Between. Between what, we do not know. The album is very impressive, rich and catchy with downtempo grooves and perky beats.

New Releases: What’s Cool

Some of you may remember Pembroke, Ontario’s Blinker the Star‘s nifty brand of alternative rock in the 90s. Well, guess what, the band is still active, presenting fresh album 8 of Hearts which is a treat.

Vancouver based Wanting serves up her third album with the Nettwerk Music Group, LLL, which stands for Love, Loss, Latitude. One of the finest songwriters in the land, Wanting provides a neapolitan flavour disc of singer-songwriter, pop, and adult contemporary.

Toronto jazz group Turboprop wants to Rev things up, and does just that. Ernesto Cervini recruits expert players Tara Davidson, Joel Frahm, William Carn, Adrean Farrugia, and Dan Loomis on this great disc.

Saskatoon double JUNO nominated group The Deep Dark Woods is never short of ideas. Yarrow continues the creative journey in the realm of picturesque alternative folk.

There are a couple of Children’s albums out this week. Three-time JUNO winner Jack Grunsky outdoes himself on the highly engaging Theatro Muppiloo which is super fun for folks of all ages.

Finally, those who dig alternative modern rock will find plenty of savoury treats on Le trésor des bas fonds from Nico Lelièvre.

Lexi Strate

Western Canadian award-winning pop artist Lexi Strate has released brand new single “Going Going Gone” complete with a VHS-themed music video which we embed below. After that, find the above albums plus plenty more in a table of new releases.

…Rocheuses Arthur L’aventurier Children’s QC
Winnowing Bird City Folk ON
8 of Hearts Blinker The Star Alt Rock ON
Influence Brain Size 61 Punk Rock QC
Transistor The Brood Alt NS
Apollo Les Chercheurs d’or S-S QC
Gaspericana Dans l’Shed Roots QC
High Times Dan Talevski Pop ON
Yarrow The Deep Dark Woods Alt Folk SK
Introduce Yerself Gord Downie Alt ON
Theatro Muppiloo Jack Grunsky Children’s ON
Post Meridiem Jasper Sloan Yip S-S BC
Cabanon Jean-Marc Couture Rock NB
Priere Kaas Sky Yassong Reggae QC
Working Man’s Blues Kat Goldman S-S ON
Requiem Kristina & A. Stanké World QC
The Space Between Majid Jordan R&B ON
Les Monsieurs Les Monsieurs Rock QC
Le trésor des bas fonds Nico Lelièvre Alt Rock QC
This Trip Petra Glynt Alt QC
Wake Up Call Theory of a Deadman Rock BC
Rev Turboprop Jazz ON
Fifteen Wailin’ Jennys Folk MB
LLL Wanting Pop BC
A Stare Ajar Whimm Punk ON
De Cienfuegos a Montreal Yordan Martinez World QC
Zero (EP) Runaway Angel Country ON
Do You (EP) Pony Alt Rock ON
On a Chain (EP) Heavy Hearts Alt Rock ON
Songs for Georgia (EP) Dan Davidson Country AB
All In (EP) Clay Ravens Folk Rock BC