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Justin Bieber Set For Comeback

justin bieber screen shot mv

After a period of reflection, Justin Bieber has been serenely gearing up for a comeback after his multiplatinum ace pop album Believe from 2012. He has been participating in strategic events and promotional activities to continue his slaying the international scene, now as an adult. With his new Vancouverite wife, manager Scooter Braun is raking the American press over the coals: “No more sensationalism — if you enjoy the music, thank you, and if you don’t, there’s nothing more to talk about.”

Justin made a number of appearances on Ellen, an American chat show, appeared in ads for Calvin Klein undergarments, was the star of a Comedy Central Roast, and teamed up with EDM gurus Skrillex and Diplo on platinum seller “Where Are U Now”. “I think the ‘Where Are U Now’ record gave him confidence,” says Braun. “That was a very personal record that he wrote. To see it doing so well, and to see Skrillex and Diplo embrace him… He feels like he’s found his lane.”

Bieber performed at the recent Billboard Hot 100 Fest to a sold-out crowd asking, “You guys miss me?” which met with a deafening affirmative response. With a new album due out November 13, the Biebs is releasing a new single tomorrow entitled, “What Do You Mean?” plugged with a stellar social media campaign of celebrities participating in a daily countdown from 30. Big Sean, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Shaquille O’Neal, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, and fellow Canadians Carly Rae Jepsen and Michael Buble were among the lineup holding up signs indicating the number of days until Justin Bieber’s new single.

What Do You Mean Countdown copy

Justin Bieber by the Numbers

Billboard Hot 100 Hits:  47
Billboard Top 40 Hits:  32
Billboard Top 10 Hits:  11
JUNO Awards: 5
Recordings with Gold/Platinum Certification:  15
Vevo Certified MVs:  14

With two days to go before release of the new single, Bieber announced he will be performing its live debut at the MTV Music Video Awards (VMAs) on Sunday where he joins fellow Canadian superstar The Weeknd.

Justin Bieber’s upcoming November 13, 2015 album, like Believe, will contain a mix of R&B, EDM, pop, and ballads. There will apparently be more collaborations with Skrillex and Diplo. Also contributing are Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Mason “MdL” Levy and Semi Precious Weapons’ Justin Tranter. We can expect an extensive blitz for the rollout of the album. There is also speculation that Bieber will announce a 2016 world tour. His Believe tour grossed $79 million CAD in 2013. 

An Avalanche of Praise For Kalle Mattson

Kalle Mattson - AvalancheOntario singer-songwriter Kalle Mattson follows up his 2014 album Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold with superb new EP Avalanche. The 6-track work was signalled by its title-track single, the MV for which generated some media buzz with its clever set creation of 35 classic album covers. The EP is one of the year’s best, studded with beautiful gems. The catchiest is perhaps track 2, “Lost Love” which bristles with crisp upbeat tones. There are some stripped down ballads where the poetry shines through more clearly and some ambient shimmers providing auditory captivation. At the core of all tracks is a songwriting prowess which, with a little luck, will summon recognition for Kalle as one of our aces.  iTunes

Headlines and Footdots for Late August, 2015

Jocelyn Alice Hits the Gold Jackpot

jocelyn alice

Calgary electropop artist Jocelyn Alice has scored her first gold single – “Jackpot”. Music Canada recently awarded the song for sales reaching 40,000 units. It is the singer’s first Billboard Top 40 hit as well. Jocelyn began her career as a finalist in Popstars. Her music was licensed by a number of TV shows and commercials, as well as the movie Dear Santa, and she was in the duo Jocelyn & Lisa with Lisa Jacobs.

Coleman Hell Places 2 Heads in the Top 40

colemanhell_thewalleye_ca

Another significant milestone was passed by Thunder Bay born Coleman Hell, as neo-trad single “2 Heads” entered the Billboard Top 40 this week at #39.

Alan Frew Suffers Stroke

alan frew

All were shaken by the news that Alan Frew, frontman of one of Canada’s most beloved 80s bands Glass Tiger suffered a stroke on Thursday. We wish him a speedy recovery.

The CCMA Announces Gala Performers

kira isabella

The Canadian Country Music Association has announced that performers on the awards show this year will be Gord Bamford, Dean Brody, Kira Isabella, Wes Mack, Steven Lee Olsen, MacKenzie Porter, Johnny Reid, Autumn Hill, Paul Brandt, Florida Georgia Line, Tim Hicks, High Valley, Brett Kissel, Jess Moskaluke, Thomas Rhett, and Dallas Smith. The 2015 CCMA Awards will take place in Halifax on September 13. Eight awards will be presented at the gala, hosted by television personality Jessi Cruickshank. More information on the performers can be found here.

Industry Executives Play Musical Chairs

Jeffrey Remedios

The business side of the Canadian music industry was giddied by the news today that Universal Music Canada head Randy Lennox has thrown in the towel to fill a new position at Bell Media, president of entertainment production and broadcasting. Bell is Canada’s largest television, radio and digital media company. The void at Universal, Canada’s largest record label, was filled by the head of indie label Arts & Crafts, Jeffrey Remedios. Stepping into Jeffrey’s shoes is Arts & Crafts former VP Kieran Roy. More details can be found here.

Taylor-Made from Alanis

swift alanis

We may know it as home of the Kings, but at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, USA, country crooner turned pop star Taylor Swift paid tribute during her show there on Monday to Ottawa’s Alanis Morissette. During her third night of five, Swift told the crowd that Morisette’s music had a major impact on her life and career path during the 90s, saying she “defined the music of her decade”. The two performed together on stage.

Lorde Endorses Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion

carly rae jepsen album release

New Zealand superstar Lorde was in attendance at Carly Rae Jepsen’s release party for third album Emotion held in West Hollywood, USA. With a dash of kiwi reverse sarcasm, Lorde posted an Instagram photo with the caption, “e•mo•tion is one of those annoying records where every song is good. kills me, but i hid my frustration for a night and just danced. the release show was so much fun carly killed it…” The new album was named by Time magazine as frontrunner for pop album of the year and received a strong Metacritic rating of 78/100. By comparison, album 1989 by the aforementioned Taylor Swift scored 76.

Arkells Find Record Store Romance at 11:11

Max to 1D

After Zayn Malik parted ways with One Direction, Max Kerman of Hamilton group Arkells announced he was joining the British boy band. We surmise he received a phone call from Marianas Trench’s Matt Webb who sent him in the … right direction … by staying with Arkells. We’re glad for that because the band’s latest music video for “11:11” is a romantic charmer and blossoms at the grand place of a record shop. We leave you with this fab MV.

Raghav Brings Solar Light to a School in Tanzania

According to international charity SolarAid, over a billion people in the world live without electricity. Close to 600 million of them live in Africa. Canadian RnB/pop singer songwriter Raghav was intrigued by the organization’s work, saying, “I just can’t believe that in 2015 so many people still live without a reliable source of electricity.” Raghav has associated his latest single “Until the Sun Comes Up” and its music video to a project he undertook to donate 300 solar lights to students at the Shubugubwen Secondary School in a town of Tanzania. This will help them with extra study time and save their families money from the cost of kerosene and candles.

“While the western world have been connected to the grid for nearly a hundred years, and walk around with powerful computers in their pockets, millions in Africa and around the world have to use a tin can and some kerosene to light their homes at night. This is a tragic injustice and one I wanted to bring attention to in my video,” Raghav explains. The solar lights are brighter than kerosene lamps, do not give off fumes, and the light lasts all night long. Extra star power join Raghav in both the song and video: American urban artist Nelly and Bollywood superstar Abhishek Bachchan. The previously launched lyric video surpassed 1 million views. We have embedded the brand new official music video below, shot on site in Tanzania.  iTunes

Canadian Hot 100, 24 August 2015

Canadian Hot 100 - 24 Aug 2015

The current Billboard Canadian Hot 100 is HERE

HOT 100 KEY

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
Red maple leaf – Canadian artist
Magenta maple leaf – Partly Canadian artist
Blue maple leaf – Featured Canadian artist

Album Releases by Provincial Origin of Artist

We have tracked 373 Canadian albums released in 2015 to date. That is quite a few. One may wonder where all these artists are coming from in the land of 36 million people. We have traced the provincial origin of the artist behind each album — not where the artist is based (chances are that would be Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, or abroad) but where the artist grew up. If it is a band or duo, where did the group form? The results are presented in the pie chart below. Given the big populations in Ontario and Quebec, that most artists are from those two is not surprising. That BC and Alberta follow is not a shocker either. However, look at what province comes next. It is not Saskatchewan or Manitoba, but Nova Scotia. There are more Nova Scotians making music than either Saskatchewaners or Manitobans! Considering per capita album releases, the territories would rank 1st followed by PEI, then Nova Scotia. Quebec would rank fourth. Alberta would rank last. We will do a similar analysis at the end of the year on all 2015 albums which should give a more accurate picture.

Canadian albums by Artist Origin

New Releases: 21 August 2015

New Releases 21 August 2015 copy

We begin this week’s new releases with Montreal’s Patrick Lehman. His third album Butchy’s Son continues his adeptness at old-school flavoured R&B. Formerly recording under Alice and the Intellects, Ariane Bisson McLernon, under Alice, gives us latest alternative album Climbing Away. Superb rock band from Charlottetown, Racoon Bandit, launches Close Your Eyes.

Easily living up to the hype, Carly Rae Jepsen slays with alt-pop masterpiece Emotion, her third LP. Winnipeg’s JP Hoe presents wonderful singer-songwriter album, Hideaway. With members from Mississauga, Guelph, Milton, and Toronto, fabulous Ontario alt-rock group Before the Flood releases Hole in the Sky.

The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra hails from Victoria and contributes delicious folk album Love. Seasons from Fredericton’s Andy Brown contains some amazing songwriting with catchy triple-A tunes. Another fine singer-songwriter is Simon Kearney from Quebec whose artistic album bears the title La vie en mauve.

Three EPs this week are Ottawa/Sault Ste. Marie singer-songwriter Kalle Mattson with Avalanche, Oshawa energetic rock band The Standstills with From the Devil’s Porch, and Milton, ON country-rock ace Steve Rivers with No Boundaries.

Enjoy the new music!

Get Into Emotion with Carly Rae Jepsen: an Early Review

Carly Rae Jepsen - Emotion

It is being called by many entities pop album of the year. Emotion is LP number three for Canada’s pop superstar. Carly Rae Jepsen deserves much credit for being able to reinvent her sound on each album to date. Hopping from the measured folk beats of the Tug of War era to the catchy bops of the Curiosity EP and the sugary vibes of Kiss, she now dabbles in ambient pop inflections in new album Emotion. It has been called a tribute to the 80s which calls for comment. The 1980s witnessed a since-forgotten variety of styles. Consider that #1 hits of the decade included “Coward of the County” by Kenny Rogers, “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett, and “I Can’t Wait” by Nu Shooz, all very different. Qualifying as a particular reference point from the decade for Emotion might be Hall and Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That”. Combine that with the work of a more contemporary artist, Robyn, and we have a fitting description of the new album.

EIGHT-HIT THUNDER

We take a moment to straighten out the facts which the media never seems to get right despite supposed university journalism degrees obtained after shovelling over tens of thousands of dollars in tuition fees to be educated by others. To date, Carly Rae Jepsen has herself a total of eight top 40 hits, including two number one singles. She has one gold album and five gold singles, one of which went multiplatinum. She has three JUNO trophies, 13 million Facebook likes, and 11 million Twitter followers. Her route to these dizzying numbers was more daunting than a trek up the Grouse Grind.

carly rae jepsen 3 juno awards1

CARLY’S MISSION SHOULD SHE CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT

Carly Rae Jepsen was a typical girl next door growing up in the Fraser River district municipality of Mission, British Columbia with a population of under 40,000, and she headed to the big city to pursue her dreams. In her early days of struggling to make it as an artist, Carly was living with a French Canadian girl, sleeping on a pull-out couch, and not making enough money as a coffee barista to pay the rent. When the pastry chef left for Norway to meet her internet love interest, Carly became the assistant baker, learning how to make cheesecake. She must have acquired quite a knack for it; Vancouver photographer Cameron Brown claims Carly Rae Jepsen makes the world’s best blueberry muffins. To make ends meet, she doubled as a bartender knowing virtually nothing about how to mix drinks. She could not figure out how on earth she passed the exam until the manager asked her out on a date.

Carly Rae Jepsen Trees Organic Coffee Vancouver

Carly remembers her sister helping her put up posters around Vancouver to advertise an upcoming gig. She never got the mixture quite right for the homemade glue of milk and flour saying that it looked as though someone had vomited on the posters. A company volunteered to make stickers for her, but she still had to fold her own shirts on the merch table to sell at her gigs. She could not afford to hire someone to work the table and was worried the shirts might get stolen while she was performing. She was a beautiful, young woman getting heckled by drunken lechers in the crowd, trying to make her own way as a DIY singer-songwriter.

It was in the back of a rented van on a cold Canadian winter day while on tour with Hanson that Carly’s cell phone rang with a call from her management team. They told her Interscope Records was offering her a recording contract.

Carly on Billboard Magazine

AN EMOTIONAL REVIEW

Carly’s instant global superstardom in 2012 put her in a position to summon any songwriter or producer she so desired to work on Emotion. Rather than filtering out all but CHR hit-makers, she also mustered those thriving on the cutting edge of pop. The result of all labours is an album that is very much Carly’s signature style deposited in a rich blend of retro, current, and future worlds and is as mainstream as it is alternative.

Opener “Run Away With Me” opens like a safari sunrise, switches on super catchy beats, and explodes into a kaleidoscopic chorus. Hooks flourish as in a fishermen’s convention on title-track “Emotion”. Upbeat “I Really Like You” was the lead single that struck gold certification. “All That” wafts a soft, romantic glow with Steve Miller accents and Simply Red grooves. “LA Hallucinations” provides us with a fun ride, in which Carly elbows “Buzzfeed­buzzards and TMZ crows” for spreading false rumours about her, before entering the dream world of perhaps our favourite track “Warm Blood” wherein we hear many voices of Carly. While bonus tracks often water down the overall ability of an album to engage, they prove essential in this case. “Black Heart” harnesses new wave currents, “I Didn’t Just Come Here To Dance” is a club anthem, and “Favourite Colour” gives us some glorious vocoder. Whether or not any of the album tracks end up whirring all over the radio airwaves, one thing is for certain. With Emotion, Carly Rae Jepsen has slayed. The new album touches down on Friday.  iTunes

Carly Rae Jepsen Emotion track listing

Canadian Hot 100, 17 August 2015

Canadian Hot 100 - 17 Aug 2015 copy

The current Billboard Canadian Hot 100 is HERE

HOT 100 KEY

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
Red maple leaf – Canadian artist
Magenta maple leaf – Partly Canadian artist
Blue maple leaf – Featured Canadian artist

SONG OF THE SUMMER HERE, 1966-2014

vancouver beach

Tired of the Canadian media determining the song of the summer using not even the United Kingdom, but United States chart data? So are we. That’s why we’ve gone through the Canadian charts to determine the song of the summer in Canada each year. The Canadian charts are a reflection of Canadian tastes in music.

There are different ways we could determine the song of the summer using the chart data. First off, we need to define when summer is. True summer is from the solstice around June 20 to the autumnal equinox around September 23. However, we usually think of summer as the two months of July and August as that’s when we enjoy(ed) school holidays. We decided to look at songs that spent the most weeks at number 1 (which we have put in parentheses), all weeks occurring from the solstice to equinox, with at least 1 week from July 1 to August 31. If there was a tie, we looked at which song finished higher on the year-end chart. If there was no year-end chart, we took the song closest to the mid-point of the summer (we needed to do this only for 2007).

The authoritative charts for Canada are RPM to 2000, The Canadian Singles chart to 2006, and thereafter the Billboard Canadian Hot 100. Songs by Canadian artists are in red, partially Canadian in purple. All songs in 1965 spent only 1 week on top, and there was no year-end chart, so we haven’t included it or 1964 below, but the song of the summer in 1964 was “Rag Doll by The Four Seasons (4 weeks). Don’t get too hung up on arguing a song was bigger using other methods. The purpose of creating this list is to celebrate some of the big hits during the summer months in Canada over the years. Big hit or not, any song that brings back happy memories of a past summer for someone is precious. What song does it for you?

Spinning Sixties

1966: “Summer in the City”, Lovin’ Spoonful (2 weeks)
1967: “White Rabbit” Jefferson Airplane (2 weeks)
1968: “Lady Willpower”, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap (4 weeks)
1969: “Spinning Wheel”, Blood, Sweat & Tears (3 weeks)

Logical Seventies

1970: “Close To You”, The Carpenters (2 weeks)
1971: “Sweet City Woman”, The Stampeders (3 weeks)
1972: “Alone Again (Naturally)”, Gilbert O’Sullivan (3 weeks)
1973: “Playground in My Mind”, Clint Holmes (3 weeks)
1974: “Rock the Boat”, The Hues Corporation (2 weeks)
1975: “I’m Not in Love”, 10cc (2 weeks)
1976: “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, Elton John and Kiki Dee (3 weeks)
1977: “I Just Want to Be Your Everything”, Andy Gibb (3 weeks)
1978: “Baker Street”, Gerry Rafferty (4 weeks)
1979: “The Logical Song”, Supertramp (2 weeks)

Emotional Eighties

1980: “Emotional Rescue”, The Rolling Stones (5 weeks)
1981: “Stars on 45 Medley”, Stars on 45 (12 weeks)
1982: “Eye of the Tiger”, Survivor, (6 weeks)
1983: “Every Breath You Take”, The Police (2 weeks)
1984: “When Doves Cry”, Prince (3 weeks)
1985: “Never Surrender”, Corey Hart (4 weeks)
1986: “Sledgehammer”, Peter Gabriel (2 weeks)
1987: “Always”, Atlantic Starr (2 weeks)
1988: “Together Forever”, Rick Astley (4 weeks)
1989: “Right Here Waiting”, Richard Marx (4 summer weeks, 5 total)

Mysterious Nineties

1990: “Vision of Love”, Mariah Carey (4 weeks)
1991: “I Do It for You”, Bryan Adams (8 summer weeks, 9 total)
1992: “I’ll Be There”, Mariah Carey (5 weeks)
1993: “That’s the Way Love Goes”, Janet Jackson (3 summer weeks, 6 total)
1994: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, Elton John (4 weeks)
1995: “I’ll Be There for You”, The Rembrandts (5 weeks)
1996: “Change the World”, Eric Clapton (5 weeks)
1997: “Building a Mystery”, Sarah McLachlan (6 summer weeks, 8 total)
1998: “Iris”, Goo Goo Dolls (8 weeks)
1999: “If You Had My Love”, Jennifer Lopez (6 weeks)

Heavenly Noughties

2000: “Bent”, Matchbox Twenty (5 weeks)
2001: “Elevation”, U2 (5 weeks)
2002: “A Little Less Conversation”, Elvis Presley vs. JXL (10 weeks)
2003: “Bridge over Troubled Water”, Clay Aiken (13 weeks)
2004: “I Believe”, Fantasia (10 weeks)
2005: “Inside Your Heaven”, Carrie Underwood (8 weeks)
2006: “Do I Make You Proud”, Taylor Hicks (13 summer weeks, 15 total)
2007: “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, Fergie (3 weeks)
2008: “I Kissed a Girl”, Katy Perry (9 weeks)
2009: “I Gotta Feeling”, Black-Eyed Peas (12 summer weeks, 16 total)

Blurred Tens

2010: “Love the Way You Lie”, Eminem (7 weeks)
2011: “Moves Like Jagger”, Maroon 5 (5 summer weeks, 10 total)
2012: “Payphone”, Maroon 5 (5 summer weeks, 8 total)
2013: “Blurred Lines”, Robin Thicke (10 summer weeks, 13 total)
2014: “Stay with Me”, Sam Smith (7 weeks)

What Genres of Music Are Being Made Most in Canada?

Music is like food. Some will eat anything while others are picky eaters. A healthy music scene, like a banquet, is one that has as much variety as possible as all have different tastes. Most of us will try at least several dishes (genres) and enjoy them all. A few might just eat one or two dishes. Some dishes will be far more popular than others. We imagine the chocolate cake would rank high while something like escargot may rank low. Does this mean that all should make chocolate cake? While the most popular, few would attend a banquet if that was all that was offered. Does it mean that no-one should make escargot? Not necessarily. There may be a couple of people that hold it as their absolute favourite. Each artist has to decide what kind of music they want to make. Some artists will go with what kind of music they personally like. Others will go with the genre that they are good at even if they don’t particularly like it. Others will make what they feel will sell well. Each artist has the freedom to decide.

All that aside, what genres of music are being made in Canada? Based on all 363 LPs that have been released so far in 2015, we have created a pie chart based on the genres of those albums. Take it with a grain of salt as what sounds like blues to one may sound like rock to another. At what point does pop become dance or R&B? Where is the line drawn between punk and metal? It’s all very subjective. But we do see a bit of a pattern emerging which shows that when it comes to making music, Canadian artists’ primary two genres of choice are folk/singer-songwriter and alternative. Alternative is distinct from rock and pop. It can be more experimental or more electronic (or both). Singer-songwriter is in fact folk, but folk we think of as a more traditional style of singer-songwriter. Interestingly dance LPs are scarcely made in Canada. However, dance EPs and singles are more common. Pop songs usually get remixed with stronger beats more suitable for club play. The “other” category includes children’s, OST/musical, and reggae.

Canadian Albums by Genre

..How to Sell Records

cdcllctn3Here’s an idea we came across which sounds effective from what we have observed. In a consumer-based, materialistic, instant society, many (we didn’t say all) people will get the format that is first available and easiest to obtain and will be unwilling to wait. Based on this principle, below is an idea of how to release music to maximize sales. Many would rather fork over the dough for the CD to have it now than wait a month to purchase individual tracks. These days, when artists release all the best songs as singles first and then follow that with an album, it stands to reason that album sales will be low. Releasing an album in different countries at different times is also a bad move as those from the country wherein the album is first released will upload it onto platforms like YouTube from which those from other countries will rip it to MP3.

These days things are practically being done the opposite way, which obviously isn’t working, from the 6-point recommendation below . We imagine the suggested two week periods may be experimented on and adjusted accordingly for best results. At first we questioned the wisdom of CD before whole digital (iTunes cut versus cost of manufacturing compact discs and retail cut?), but we realized that this may help bring back more record shops which are becoming scarce. It is becoming increasingly difficult too to find albums on CD, even best-sellers. The 1141 kbps is much better quality than the 256 on iTunes.

1. Keep album off all streaming services, including YouTube.

2. Don’t release an album after several singles, only one or none.

3. Release album on CD with effective accompanying promotion.

4. Release album in all countries at the same time.

5. Two weeks later, release album digitally as a whole without individual tracks available.

6. Two weeks after that, make individual tracks available on digital platforms.

Words of Encouragement from Britain’s Gary Numan

Electronic rock pioneer Gary Numan who scored global ripper “Cars” back in 1979/80 recently posted a photo of one of his band Tubeway Army’s earliest reviews by a music critic which we have embedded below. Numan addresses new artists with the words, “Never let an opinion stop you from doing what you love. A year after this review we were UK Number 1, and I’m now working on my 21st album.” The UK #1 was of course “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” which arguably began the entire 80s new wave/synth pop trend, beginning in the UK and spreading globally, that continues to influence music today. Gary ended up doing work in the early 80s with the late, great Nash the Slash from Canadian synth pioneer outfit FM. These days, there are still many wet blankets like Robin Smith out there. Numan humorously adds regarding the critique, “Still don’t have any grandchildren though.”

Gary Numan early review

Headlines and Footdots for the Ides of August, 2015

Nikki Yanofsky Is Something to Live For

Felix_Nikki

Vancouver EDM maker Felix Cartal, best known to date for cut “Don’t Turn On the Lights,” has teamed up with multiplatinum artist Nikki Yanofsky in new single “Something to Live For”. He says the song was inspired by missing out on real life experiences due to heads buried in cell phones and social networking timelines. Nikki’s voice sounds superb as always, scraping the sky on the big chorus before a plundering of beats. The MV out later this month Felix says is a modern take on The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony”. His debut LP Life Online, via Universal Music, follows in the autumn.  iTunes

Johnny Reid Back in the Game

Johnny-Reid-2013

Another ace player frisbeeing out a new single this week is multiplatinum soul singer Johnny Reid. While known mostly for country, there are indications that he is veering over to the adult contemporary field, and that is where new song “A Picture of You” is framed. Johnny is even sporting a Dan Hill beard these days. After only two days, the song has broken into the iTunes Top 40. In the words of Chuck Berry, “Go Johnny go, go”.  iTunes

Francesco Yates’ Debut EP

francesco-yates

Hot, fresh teen star Francesco Yates has announced that his debut EP will be out September 11 and is now available for pre-order on iTunes. The 6-track, self-titled disc will include three previously released singles, “Call”, “When I Found You”, and Billboard Top 40 hit “Better To Be Loved”. Opening track “Honey, I’m Home” available now.  iTunes

Carly Rae Jepsen Has Billboard Seeping in Emotion

crj

Billboard Magazine’s recent feature on Mission, BC pop superstar Carly Rae Jepsen remarks on the progression she has taken from “the squeaky-clean, high-school-crush pop” of Kiss to “edgier, more mature alt-pop territory” on upcoming album Emotion. During the Manhattan (New York) interview, Carly stated, “There’s a stereotype idea of what a pop star is, and I don’t really fit into that. … The expectation that every song you’re putting out is doing well on radio — that’s stuff that you can’t control. To try would drive you insane.” Lead single “I Really Like You” went gold and reached #14 on the charts with little radio support. The pop artist took a detour from the mainstream to reel in indie specialists like Dev Hynes, Ariel Rechtshaid and Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij on the new album. “I wanted to be brave and [record] music that was really me rather than just putting out what I thought would sell. I would’ve regretted more not doing what I did — making a passion project come to life.” Emotion will be out August 21, 2015. The CMB will publish an early review in the next few days.

Drake Breaks Silence on Toronto Shootings

Drake

Toronto rapper Drake broke his silence regarding the two shooting deaths that occurred at the afterparty of his OVO Fest in Toronto. Bystander Ariela Navarro-Fenoy, 26, was killed in outside crossfire after being refused a taxi ride home because of the short distance. Drake says he was caught in the dilemma of pressure for making a statement by Crime Stoppers, the victims’ families and public posts online and pressure against it by his PR team worried that misinterpretations would damage his public image. He decided to go with his heart and stated the following (it is unknown whether he came up with these words himself or they were written for him):

“I am plagued and pained by the violence that continues to escalate in our city. I stare into the eyes of so many young people and I wish to see them all shine as bright as they possibly can in this lifetime. I encourage my generation to show as much value and gratitude as you can for the lives we have been gifted.

“My deepest condolences go out to the Navarro-Fenoy and Hibbert families for their loss of Ariela and Duvel. Along with them I send my condolences to all of the families that have lost loved ones to the senseless violence that has and continues to occur in our city.

“Although Toronto is globally viewed as a major city, at the core we are still a small close-knit community, and it is our public responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of one another. We need each other to further our communities for generations to come.

“I pray for better times and better understanding.”

Bring Down The House With Gold

dean brody

Country music A-lister Dean Brody has a new gold single. “Bring Down the House” received the certification by Music Canada just 8 weeks after release. It is his fourth single to be graced with a precious metal, the others being “Bounty” (gold), “It’s Friday” (gold), and “Canadian Girls” (platinum). Dean’s album Dirt has gone gold. In Canada, gold certification is given for sales reaching 40,000 units.

Mia Martina at Virgin Radio Beach Ball

Mia Martina Virgin Radio Beach Ball

New Brunswick empress of EDM, Mia Martina was on the West Coast recently to perform at a summer Beach Ball hosted by Vancouver’s number one CHR station Virgin Radio 94.5 (formerly The Beat). During a televised interview on CTV Morning Live, she revealed plans in the works to release a Franco album with a team of Francophone writers and producers. Fluently bilingual, she wishes to make a contribution to the Franco realm in honour of her Acadian roots. We look forward to it. Martina joined Shawn Hook, Dragonette, and Trevor Guthrie at the concert which was held at classic venue The Commodore Ballroom.

Dear Rouge Tongues

We leave you with the latest MV by synthrock duo Dear Rouge for “Tongues”: