Michelle Treacy: From Lady Gaga Duet to Debut Single

michelle treacy - armageddonOur radar screen picked up a new major blip, a very bright one! We are excited to tell you about Michelle Treacy. She’s a 20-year-old who hails from the nation’s capital. In 2014, Michelle, attending Lady Gaga’s concert at Montreal’s Bell Centre, was brought onstage to sing a duet with her. Her brother filmed the scene and had to apologize for the shaky recording because he was bawling the whole time. Michelle is now signed to major label Sony Music and working on her debut album. Treacy’s debut single “Armageddon” is out. It was produced by Canadian whizzes Todd Clark and Steve Kozmeniuk (Phillip Phillips, Kendrick Lamar). The song is currently getting added to radio and at #47 on Nielsen BDS. The national broadcaster featured Michelle in an article July 11.  We have embedded the official audio of “Armageddon” below. You want talent? You’ve got it!  iTunes

Canadian Hot 100, 26 July 2016

Hot 100 - 26 July 2016 copy

More Canadian Hot 100 charts here…

NOTES:

Nielsen SoundScan compiles weekly data on sales of digital singles from a comprehensive pool of Canadian retailers. Nielsen BDS compiles weekly data on spins of singles from 137 radio stations nationwide electronically monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These two charts are combined in the Canadian Hot 100 which is published by Billboard. Beginning 17 September 2014, Nielsen included streaming data from online services in determining the Hot 100.

Here we list all entries from the chart that are in whole or in part by Canadian artists.

The date of the chart corresponds to the release of Nielsen Music’s Canadian Update newsletter which is normally 10 days earlier than the date on the online Billboard chart.

We have used the artwork for the singles where we can. In the case where one doesn’t exist or is unavailable, we have used artwork for the album on which the song appears.

KEY:

RK – Rank among Canadian artist entries
YE – Position on Billboard Canada’s 2014 year-end chart
PP – Peak position on Billboard Canada’s weekly Hot 100
GPC – Gold/platinum certification by Music Canada at time of chart’s publication
OR – Provincial origin of the artist
RY – Release year of the record
G – Gold certification (40,000 units sold)
P – Platinum certification (80,000 units sold)
xP – Multiplatinum certification
Red maple leaf – Canadian artist
Magenta maple leaf – Partly Canadian artist
Blue maple leaf – Featured Canadian artist

A Beast Down in the Dark Divorces the Operator

collage copy

A pair of all caps, vowel deprived group names join a beast down in the dark for this week’s new releases. There are just four majors to talk about. Dancey electronica can be felt like frenzied trumpet blasts on Operator, an exciting album from Toronto’s MSTRKRFT. Vancouver’s JPNSGRLS, via energetic laser-beam guitars, give the gift of indie rock on Divorce. Hear some boss drumming among other animated pursuits, in alt-rock extravaganza Down in the Dark from Ontario collective Safe To Say. For those who pine for the ultimate cacophony of berserk, Montreal heavy metal heroes in Despised Icon contribute album Beast.

Brutus Begins in an Uncanny Valley

brutus begins - uncanny valleyPortuguese Canadians are a talented bunch when it comes to music: Desman, Mendes, Furtado, and more have seen great success. Ricardo Temporao is a name to bookmark, or perhaps his recording alias Brutus Begins. His 2016 album Uncanny Valley strikes us as what may result if The Beatles’ Rubber Soul era consolidated itself with the early music of The Cars. Indie folk-rock joins electronic new wave in a modern version of Steve Miller. It is a juggernaut of a debut and waiting to be discovered like a treasure trove. Running the danger of overemphasizing its unique sound, we assert what is always more important: very strong songwriting. Put Uncanny Valley on for an adventurous, very enjoyable ride.  iTunes

Graph Draws Some Lipstick Graphiti

graph - lipstick grphitiToronto female soloist Graph has been gradually honing her sound over the past few years and has at long last released the fruit of such labours in debut LP Lipstick Graphiti. It is a unique album for a couple of reasons. First off, amid a plethora of artists claiming to have recaptured the 80s sound, hers is strikingly authentic especially as defined by a sound that pleases those who grew up in the 80s in addition to the youth of today. Its sound is unique especially compared with other Canadian artist albums so far this year. Secondly, the album is one of those rare instances where all tracks are good. It has the potential to overhaul the current mainstream mould for a change of climate, and her playfully delivered vocals make this a very fun record to listen to. Lipstick Graphiti is one of our favourite records of 2016.  iTunes

Crystal Castles Emerge From Charred Concrete

crystal castles

Canada has made praiseworthy contributions to both the light and dark sides of electronic music. And it is time to talk about the latter, specifically the haunting vocal wails, dungeon trapped beats, and powerful synth shivers of progressive spook duo Crystal Castles. The Toronto outfit has been nominated thrice for a JUNO, and former vocalist Alice Glass is replaced with Edith Frances who joins Ethan Kath for the upcoming fourth studio album, Amnesty (I), due out August 19. Two tracks have been released, “Char” and “Concrete”, and we embed the black lit MV of the latter for your viewing pleasure. It is approaching half a million views. The duo is perhaps best known for “Not In Love” with guest vocalist Robert Smith of The Cure.  iTunes

Nelly Furtado Prepares to Turn On the Light

nelly furtado

In the autumn of Y2K, Victoria’s Nelly Furtado rocketed to global superstardom with the release of fresh and delightful single “I’m Like a Bird”. Further hit singles helped propel her debut album Whoa, Nelly! to quadruple platinum sales. In 2001, Furtado won four JUNO awards: Best New Solo Artist, Best Producer, Best Songwriter, and “I’m Like a Bird” was named Single of the Year. It was a magnificent start. Rather than follow up with a pop album along similar veins, however, Nelly surprised all by dropping a folk fusion album that paid partial homage to her Portuguese roots.

But it was in 2006, and the magical collaboration with producer Timbaland, that saw Nelly Furtado drop the bomb. The album was Loose, one that sold an estimated 12 million copies worldwide and that spawned several international hit singles. JUNO awards were plentiful: Album of the Year, Pop Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, the JUNO Fan Choice Award, and Single of the Year (“Promiscuous”). Being groupies of the star-spangled republic, an important achievement the Canadian media fails to cite is that Nelly Furtado was the only Canadian artist to win a Brit Award through the noughties decade.

Nelly again startled the public by following up with a Spanish language album. The U.S. media commented that a Canadian artist of Portuguese descent pulling off a credible Spanish language album when many American artists of Spanish descent had no grasp of the language was a justifiable call for sigh-inducing envy on the part of the latter. The album Mi Plan took home a Latin Grammy. While Nelly Furtado’s 2012 album The Spirit Indestructible saw some success (single “Big Hoops” scratched the Top 30 and went gold), it wasn’t the big comeback her fans wanted. More successful was her collaboration with K’Naan on “Is Anybody Out There?”

Nelly Furtado recently announced a new studio album expected out in November 2016. She is releasing a more experimental track “Behind Your Back” that won’t appear on the album. Her vocals also appear, along with her British Columbian sister Carly Rae Jepsen’s, on a track from Dev Hynes’ recent album. Can she pull off a big comeback? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime enjoy the blast from the past below. 218 million views isn’t too shabby, eh.

Your Girl Is the Best Plan

quwanting

Originally from Harbin, China, singer-songwriter Wanting Qu (female soloist) has been based in Vancouver since age 16. Both CBC and CTV have televised documentary features on her. Wanting hit the music scene as a breath of fresh air, for in the midst of a western music industry that stands largely as a Blacks and Whites only club, she became in 2009 the first Chinese artist to be signed to the Nettwerk label. As the city of Vancouver is roughly 30% ethnically Chinese with about 20% through the metropolitan area, such a recruitment was long overdue. It came with recognition of a songwriter that had an extraordinary gift. Wanting’s songs are just beautiful. Terry McBride was the man who awakened to this reality and took it upon himself to manage her. In the west, Wanting’s music is being absorbed gradually, while in her native country, she became an overnight superstar. Her debut album, Everything In the World, achieved platinum sales within its first week of release largely owing to her multiple award winning song “You Exist in My Song”. Wanting’s first two albums were bilingual releases with songs in English and in Chinese. While the media likes to consult the grapevine in writing about her for a couple of reasons, it is her music that we find the most worthy of attention because it is so good. Wanting is working on her third studio album and recently released two brand new tracks, the English “Your Girl” which is sweet and fun, and the Chinese “Best Plan” which is powerful and uplifting. We embed them below to whet your appetites.

Canadian Hot 100, 19 July 2016

Hot 100 - 19 Jul 2016 copy

More Canadian Hot 100 charts here…

NOTES:

Nielsen SoundScan compiles weekly data on sales of digital singles from a comprehensive pool of Canadian retailers. Nielsen BDS compiles weekly data on spins of singles from 137 radio stations nationwide electronically monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These two charts are combined in the Canadian Hot 100 which is published by Billboard. Beginning 17 September 2014, Nielsen included streaming data from online services in determining the Hot 100.

Here we list all entries from the chart that are in whole or in part by Canadian artists.

The date of the chart corresponds to the release of Nielsen Music’s Canadian Update newsletter which is normally 10 days earlier than the date on the online Billboard chart.

We have used the artwork for the singles where we can. In the case where one doesn’t exist or is unavailable, we have used artwork for the album on which the song appears.

KEY:

RK – Rank among Canadian artist entries
YE – Position on Billboard Canada’s 2014 year-end chart
PP – Peak position on Billboard Canada’s weekly Hot 100
GPC – Gold/platinum certification by Music Canada at time of chart’s publication
OR – Provincial origin of the artist
RY – Release year of the record
G – Gold certification (40,000 units sold)
P – Platinum certification (80,000 units sold)
xP – Multiplatinum certification
Red maple leaf – Canadian artist
Magenta maple leaf – Partly Canadian artist
Blue maple leaf – Featured Canadian artist

Shawn Mendes All Set to Illuminate

shawn mendes - illuminate banner

On the night of June 25-26, 2014, a new 15-year-old signee to Island Records topped the iTunes charts in both Canada and the U.S. with his debut single. Shooting to stardom via Vine, the Pickering, Ontario native had by that time accumulated just over 1 million Twitter followers (he now has close to 7 million). The single, which now stands at double platinum certification, was “Life of the Party” and its singer, teen star Shawn Mendes. Besides that single which reached #9, his string of hits includes “Something Big” (#11, platinum), “Stitches” (#10, double platinum), and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” with Fifth Harmony’s Camila Cabello (#19, gold). In the United States, the four songs peaked respectively at #24, #80, #4, and #20. While “Life of the Party” barely made the charts in Britain (#99) and “Something Big” did not, following promotional efforts, “Stitches” reached #1 with “Last Summer” peaking just outside the Top 40 at #42. The two singles were #4 and #33 respectively Down Under.

Shawn Mendes released his debut album Handwritten in April 2015 with re-issue Handwritten Revisited in November of that year. The album went platinum. He received a JUNO nomination for the 2015 gala and four for 2016 and opened for former country, pop makeover superstar Taylor Swift on her world tour.

Shawn plans to drop his second album Illuminate on September 23, 2016, and he has already released two lead singles, “Treat You Better” and “Ruin”. From the sounds of it, he is reaching for a richer, more sophisticated sound than the simple, stripped down ditties of his debut. “Treat You Better”, currently on the charts, is #10 in Canada, #4 in Australia, #13 in the UK, and #34 in the States. We have embedded its dark music video below which has attained 9 million views in its first 4 days. The sumptuously catchy song is about being in love with a girl who has an abusive boyfriend.

Mendes will promote the new album at a showcase on September 10 at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden. Prior to this, he tours the U.S. and Canada, and afterwards he plays for fans in Manila and Sydney.  iTunes

Céline Dion Releasing New Album August 26, 2016

celine encore copy

Céline Dion, CC, who started out as a teen star, became through the years the best-selling Canadian recording artist of all-time having sold some 200 million records worldwide. At home, she has scored six diamond albums (i.e. 10x Platinum) and won 20 JUNO awards. To her name are 31 Top 40 hits, about half of which (16) have made the Top 10. Céline has released both French and English language albums, totalling 26, since her first in 1981. She will be releasing a new Anglo album in 2017. Following the sad passings of her brother and husband, Celine is now ready to gift the world with new music. Her new Franco album Encore un soir (One More Night) is set to drop August 26, 2016. The album follows the single of the same name which topped the charts in France. The album will contain 12 songs with the deluxe version including 3 additional bonus tracks. Most of the songs are original compositions from some of the world’s top songwriters. It will contain a cover of Canadian artist Robert Charlebois’ “Ordinaire” as well as a re-recorded version of Celine’s own “Trois heures vingt” from her 1984 album Mélanie. Lead single “Encore un soir” was composed by French superstar Jean-Jacques Goldman. Celine’s official website ran a song submission contest open to all fans. The winner is “À la plus haute branche” written by Daniel Picard which will be included on the album.  Dion is promoting the album in a summer concert series with dates in key cities around the world.  Other writers of the album tracks include French legendary singer-songwriters Francis Cabrel and Serge Lama, Algeria’s Zaho, and Canada’s Marc Dupré. Full track listing below.  iTunes

TRACK LISTING
1. “Plus qu’ailleurs” Writers Francis Cabrel, Serge Lama
2. “L’étoile” Writers Mutine, Florent Mothe, Grand Corps Malade
3. “Ma faille” Writer Zaho
4. “Encore un soir” Writer Jean-Jacques Goldman
5. “Je nous veux” Writer Marc Dupré
6. “Les yeux au ciel” Writers Celine Dion, Mutine, Mothe, Malade
7. “Si c’était à refaire” Writer Jacques Veneruso
8. “Ordinaire” Writers Robert Charlebois, Pierre Nadeau, Mouffe
9. “Tu sauras” Writer Zaho
10. “Toutes ces choses” Writer Marc Dupré
11. “Le bonheur en face” Writers Mutine, Mothe
12. “À la plus haute branche” Writer Daniel Picard

DELUXE EDITION
13. “À vous” Writer Zaho
14. “Ma force” Writer Vianney
15. “Trois heures vingt” Writers Eddy Marnay, Patrick Lemaitre

Selected New Releases July 15, 2016

new releases banner

This week’s new releases include Winnipeg’s Ash Koley and her LP Elements which includes her hit single “Criminal”. Essentially a pop album, it is released under Nettwerk. Heaven for Real is an alternative rock artist from Halifax; the new album is Kill Your Memory. Your Boy Tony Braxton is an alias of guess who? Yes, it’s Shad! Rather than doing his characteristic rap, he surprises with a strong pop/rock record, Adult Contempt, with a slight R&B flavour. Shad grew up in London.

On the EP side are a self-titled alt-rock disc from Hamilton trio Basement Revolver. As the CMB previously heralded Big Boy is the new EP from Montreal-based Charlotte Cardin, an adult pop effort. Edmonton’s Daniela Andrade contributes a nice alternative disc entitled Shore.

A few new tracks of note are “Feels Right” from Calgary electo-pop specialist Jocelyn Alice which follows her hit “Jackpot”. She has signed a deal with Sony so expect a high profile album in the works. A Tribe Called Red has released “We Are the Halluci Nation”, title track off The Aboriginal EDM outfit’s upcoming album, dropping September 16. Crystalyne is launching third EP Follow on August 10. New track “Let’s Do Something Crazy” is out now. Coming out in the latter half of July are new albums from MSTRKRFT and Billy Talent. The biggest news of all is that Céline Dion‘s new Franco album Encore Un Soir is due to drop August 26!

The Sea Named “Polaris”

polaris short list

The Polaris group recently announced the short-list of 10 nominated albums up for their annual naming of the year’s most artistic album. This short list was the result of the whittling down of the longer list of 40 albums announced earlier.

The winner will be revealed at a gala on September 19, 2016 in Toronto and receive a cash prize of $50,000. The nine other short-list nominees are guaranteed $3,000 prize money. The 10 nominated albums are BC’s Black Mountain for alternative work IV released April 1, 2016; Ontario singer-songwriter Basia Bulat for Good Advice released February 12, 2016; BC alternative pop artist Grimes for Art Angels released November 6, 2015; Emotion by BC pop artist Carly Rae Jepsen released August 20, 2015; Quebec R&B artist Kaytranada for 99.9% released May 6, 2016; Oh No by Ontario alternative artist Jessy Lanza released May 13, 2016; Ontario punk group Pup for The Dream Is Over released May 27, 2016; Saskatchewan singer-songwriter Andy Shauf for The Party released May 20, 2016; American soloist Meghan Remy under alias U.S. Girls for alternative album Half Free released September 24, 2015; BC punk group White Lung for Paradise released May 6, 2016.

Saddle Up for the 2016 CCMA Award Nominations

brody moskaluke kissel copy

This year’s Canadian Country Music Association Awards will be held in London, Ontario on Sunday, September 11, 2016. Today, the nominations were announced. During the late summer gala, hosted by funny lady Jessi Cruickshank, eight of the awards will be given out. British Columbia bred Dean Brody and Alberta’s Brett Kissel lead the nominations with five each. The Washboard Union has the most for a group or duo at four, while the leading female is Saskatchewan’s Jess Moskaluke with three.

Regarding the latter, we are moved to share Jess’ reaction which she shared earlier today on social media:

“When I was about 14 years old, I sang at my first ‘solo gig’. … I remember later that day telling my mom that someday I wanted to have my very own backup singer. … Well, here I am almost 12 years later and I have a backup singer. In fact, I have 3. And 3 guitar players. And a bass player. And a drummer. And a sound guy. And 3 managers. 2 labels. Agents. Publicists. Radio trackers. Web designers. Publishers. Producers. A ton of other support staff. Not to mention I have fans. And now, today, I have … THREE CCMA Award nominations. …”

Below are the artist nominees. Find musician, radio, and industry nominations at the Official CCMA Website. You can vote for the Fans’ Choice award HERE.

FANS’ CHOICE
Dean Brody
Brett Kissel
Johnny Reid
Dallas Smith
Yoan

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Edge Of The Storm – Wes Mack
Hearts On Fire – Chad Brownlee
I Got This – George Canyon
Tin Roof – Gord Bamford
Tougher Than Love – Bobby Wills

FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Lindsay Ell
Kira Isabella
Madeline Merlo
Jess Moskaluke
MacKenzie Porter

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Gord Bamford
Dean Brody
Brett Kissel
Johnny Reid
Dallas Smith

GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Autumn Hill
Cold Creek County
High Valley
The Road Hammers
The Washboard Union

ROOTS ARTIST OF THE YEAR
The Lovelocks
Jessica Mitchell
Lindi Ortega
The Washboard Union
The Western Swing Authority

RISING STAR
Alee
Cold Creek County
David James
River Town Saints
The Washboard Union

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Airwaves – Brett Kissel
Bring Down The House – Dean Brody
Cheap Seats – Dallas Smith
Don’t Let Her Be Gone – Gord Bamford
Won’t You Be Mine – Bobby Wills

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Bring Down The House – Dean Brody
Hearts On Fire – Chad Brownlee
Kiss Me Quiet – Jess Moskaluke
Maybe It’s The Moonshine – The Washboard Union
Our Town – Cold Creek County
What Love Is All About – Johnny Reid

SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR
Chad Kroeger, Meghan Patrick
Song: Bow Chicka Wow Wow (Performed By: Meghan Patrick)
Dean Brody
Song: Bring Down The House (Performed By: Dean Brody)
Deric Ruttan, Craig Wiseman
Song: Came Here To Forget (Performed By: Blake Shelton)
Gord Bamford, Wade Kirby, Phil O’Donnell
Song: Heard You In A Song (Performed By: Gord Bamford)
Matt Johnson, Michael Pyle, Bobby Wills
Song: Won’t You Be Mine (Performed By: Bobby Wills)

INTERACTIVE ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
Leah Daniels
Tim Hicks
Brett Kissel
Wes Mack
Jess Moskaluke
Dallas Smith

Nielsen Mid-Year Report, 2016

Nielsen Entertainment has released Canadian data for the first half of 2016. As expected, streaming is inversely proportional to sales. Total streams were up to 18.6 billion from 10.5 in the first half of 2015. Video streams increased by 1 billion (8.4 in 2015 to 9.4 in 2016) while audio streams skyrocketed from 2015’s 2.1 billion to 2016’s 9.2 billion.

Sales of albums dropped 19% from 12.3 million in the first half of 2015 to 9.9 million in 2016’s. The superior audio quality of the compact disc remains the preferred format over digital and other physical forms. Sales of albums with TEA (i.e. track-equivalent albums with ratio of 10:1) sunk from 17.4 million to 13.9. The total consumption of albums (sales + TEA + SEA or streaming equivalent albums with ratio 1500:1) rose a tad from 24.5 million in the first half of 2015 to 26.3 in 2016. Digital track sales plummeted 23%, from 51.6 million to 39.8. Below, enjoy some Top 10 lists.

Album Consumption

Albums

albums with tea

digital albums

digital songs

on-demand streams

audio streams

video streams

airplay