A baker’s dozen new maple-glazed discs hit the shelves this week: 12 LPs and an EP. Bravestation has managed to create a very impressive album of feel-good new wave entitled Goddess. Triple JUNO nominee Jill Barber contributes singer-songwriter extravaganza Metaphora. Also a three-time nominee at the JUNOs, hot country quick-draw Tim Hicks surfs up a sailor’s mark, New Tattoo; it includes a track featuring the sizzling Lindsay Ell. And if all that isn’t enough, BC’s JUNO nominated Yukon Blonde scores a Critical Hit, another new wavy album this week. Find these and more in the table below.
|Blues on the Brain||Frankie & Jimmy||Blues|
|Critical Hit||Yukon Blonde||Alternative|
|Emperor Twilight||The Autumn Stones||Alternative|
|Have a New Name||Wax Mannequin||S-S/Folk|
|New Tattoo||Tim Hicks||Country|
|Take Me||Sean Jones||R&B|
|The Becoming||Isla Craig||Alternative|
|Un dernier shooter||Sir Pathetik||Pop|
|Sweet Nothing (EP)||Summerteeth||Punk|
It was the start of summer 1978 only 40 years ago. Comic strip Garfield was brought into being. Heartbreak permeated youth culture as both The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman television series had recently been cancelled airing their final episodes. Cinema didn’t offer much of an alternative, as poorly received sequel Jaws 2 ruled the box office. The music at the time however was uninterruptedly excellent. The top album was the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, and the late, great, somewhat forgotten Andy Gibb scored #1 hit “Shadow Dancing”.
Fast forwarding to the summer solstice of 2018, “Body” by Loud Luxury featuring Brando has achieved a new peak position on the Billboard Hot 100. The EDM charmer by the Canadian outfit now stands at #5. It is the new artist success story of the year, curiously overlooked by Canadian media which seems intent instead on hyping new artists that few seem to like. “Body” is #1 at Hot 100 Airplay, #1 at CHR/Top 40 Radio, and #5 at Hot Digital. Here’s an impressive stat from Nielsen music regarding the players: “They are the first Canadian act to top the CHR chart with their first charted song since Avril Lavigne’s ‘Complicated’ in 2002.”
Alessia Cara‘s “Growing Pains” and Delaney Jane‘s “Feel Good” enter the CHR Airplay chart at #33 and #35 respectively. It is Cara’s highest debut position to date on the radio format. Returning to #1 at Rock Radio is “T-Shirt” by The Beaches. Gord Bamford‘s “Dive Bar” dives into Country Airplay at #43.
Talented star Alyssa Reid, Edmonton-born, Brampton-raised, follows up her acclaimed acoustic album Phoenix from 2015 with pop EP Burnout, a smashing disc. The JUNO nominee has placed seven songs on the Hot 100 (including two as a featured artist). Among them all is the delicious “Satisfaction Guaranteed”.
Four years ago, “Jealous” by Chromeo was at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Quebec dance-funk duo returns with album Head Over Heels. It features celebrated fretless bassist Pino Palladino who has done work with Gary Numan, Tears for Fears, and many others. Chromeo has received four JUNO nominations to date. The new album is splendid.
Don’t underestimate the self-released albums this week; they are impressive to say the least. Below is a table of this week’s Canadian artist releases. After that is the lyric video for Alessia Cara‘s highly anticipated new single, “Growing Pains”. Enjoy.
|Atlas||Bears in Hazenmore||Alternative|
|Golden Hour||Quote the Raven||S-S/Folk|
|Good Place to Start||Drew Gregory||Country|
|Head Over Heels||Chromeo||Dance|
|Keeping Time||The Ennis Sisters||S-S/Folk|
|Old Stock||Ben Caplan||S-S/Folk|
|Queen City Jubilee||The Slocan Ramblers||S-S/Folk|
|Screamo||Sean Nicholas Savage||Alternative|
|Wolves! Cried the Maid||Oxlip||S-S/Folk|
|Burnout (EP)||Alyssa Reid||Pop|
|Homemade (EP)||Matthew Chaim||Pop|
|J’espere que tu vas mieux (EP)||Ariane Zita||S-S/Folk|
|Meditations I (EP)||Foxtrott||Alternative|
The folks over at the Polaris Music Prize have unveiled their 2017-18 Long List of “nominees” which consists of 40 albums in contention. A jury of 203 whittled down 225 discs to reach the batch of 40. The next stage will be paring down this list to the so-called Short List of 10 on July 17. The winner, announced September 17, will receive a cash prize of $50,000 at a gala in Toronto’s The Carlu. The nine runners-up will receive $3,000 each.
No pop, jazz, dance, or country albums made this year’s Long List which includes albums from artists who are not Canadian citizens and a couple of EPs. The broad alternative genre accounts for 15 of the 40. The split between 2017 and 2018 releases is 22 and 18 respectively. Ontarians make up half of the batch with Quebeckers at 11. Half of the nominees have received JUNO nods with six winning a trophy and 14 nominated but not yet winning one. There are 13 male soloists, 11 female, 11 groups, and 5 duos.
Understanding what tickles the fancy of the Polaris collective, we would say that Jeremy Dutcher’s remarkable Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa is the heavy favourite on the conduit to the prize.
Below is the Long List.
Everything Now, Arcade Fire
Queens of the Breakers, The Barr Brothers
Puff: In the Air…, Bernice
Lush Life, Bonjay
Weekend Rocker, Booji Boys
Cadence Weapon, Cadence Weapon
Stone Woman, Charlotte Day Wilson
Lil Mont from The Ave, Clairmont the Second
Freudian, Daniel Caesar
Both Ways, Donovan Woods
Try, Faith Healer
Basic Behaviour, Frigs
Introduce Yerself, Gord Downie
Darlène, Hubert Lenoir
The Fight Within, Iskwé
Dans ma main, Jean-Michel Blais
Angels of Death, Jennifer Castle
Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, Jeremy Dutcher
The Siren’s Song, Kacy & Clayton
Une année record , Loud
Premier Juin, Lydia Kepinski
Radyo Siwèl, Mélissa Laveaux
Deception Bay, Milk & Bone
In Search of Lost Time, Partner
Le silence des troupeaux, Philippe Brach
Makanda…, Pierre Kwenders
La Science du coeur, Pierre Lapointe
Victory Lap, Propagandhi
The Average Savage , Snotty Nose Rez Kids
New Mistakes, Terra Lightfoot
In A Poem Unlimited, U. S. Girls
Part-Time Woman, Vivek Shraya & QSO
The Weather Station, The Weather Station
Wide Open, Weaves
Dirt, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan
The Secret Life of Planets, Zaki Ibrahim
On this day 20 years ago, i.e. June 12, 1998, the FIFA World Cup was underway in France. On its own turf that country defeated Brazil 3-0 to take the prize. Tops at the box office was Peter Weir’s sci-fi satire The Truman Show starring Canadian actor Jim Carrey. The best-selling album was various artists compilation Now3 with tracks from Aqua, Great Big Sea, Jewel, and The Verve among others. “The Way” by Fastball, a somewhat forgotten song, crowned the singles chart, while Sarah McLachlan owned the top Canadian entry “Adia” at #3.
The best-selling album this week, June 12, 2018, is Coeur De Pirate‘s En Cas De Tempête Ce Jardin Sera Fermé, though it settles for 4th place in terms of consumption units which includes track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). It is her fourth straight album to debut in the top five. At the summit of the Top Albums chart is Ye by American rapper Kayne West.
On the Billboard Hot 100, Drake‘s “Nice for What” is bumped to #2 by the new track from Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B, “Girls Like You”. No new Canadian artist entries appear on the chart this week. Marie-Mai‘s “Empire” slays the Franco airwaves in Quebec.
Excitement abounds, as Alessia Cara will be dropping a new track this Friday entitled “Growing Pains” lifted off her upcoming second studio album. Also out on Friday is the newest album from duo Chromeo, Head Over Heels. In 2014, the outfit’s song “Jealous” made it to #12 on the Hot 100.
The number of weekly album releases is cooling down as we head into summer which is the usual order of business. This week, we have five Canadian artist long plays plus an EP. Perhaps the highest profile release however is a single and MV by the first Canadian band to ever top the British singles chart. Before we get to those, here are some stats.
Number of 2018 Canadian artist studio albums so far (to June 8): 267
Number of 2018 Canadian artist EPs so far (to June 8): 71
Vancouver group Bend Sinister contributes a delightful album called Foolish Games. It’s a combo of progressive rock and power pop. Montreal’s Ragers gets down and rappy on Raw Footage. Toronto singer and songwriter Emilie Mover folkifies the landscape with Night Owl while Mt. Pearl, NL’s Dave Whitty shuffles along similar avenues in Talkin’ Back Fool. For a country-folk-rock extravaganza, check out Romaine from Mack et Ro. We place all our chips on the square owned by Vancouver’s Catlow (alias of Natasha Thirsk) and first-rate EP Main of Nowhere, an alternative pop/rock disc.
MAGIC! with global smash “Rude” became the first Canadian band to top the British singles chart in all history. The outfit has been a favourite of Canadian radio managing to place five additional songs on the Billboard Hot 100. Besides “Rude”, the most successful was “Let Your Hair Down” which peaked at #20 and spent a strong 25 weeks on the chart. Well, the reggae-pop specialists led by Nasri are back with new single “Kiss Me”. We embed the MV below.
Thirty years ago this week, Crocodile Dundee II was tops at the box office, probably not the best of sequels. The number one single was “Beds Are Burning” by Midnight Oil, while the top Canadian artist track was “I’m Still Searching” from Glass Tiger at #2. Kick by Australia’s INXS ruled the albums chart.
Fast forward from early June 1988 to early June 2018, and Shawn Mendes enters the albums chart at #1 with his eponymous disc. It earned 32,000 consumption units. This means that all three of the teen star’s albums have debuted at the summit of the chart. Speaking of threes, Shawn Mendes is the third 2018 Canadian artist album to reach #1, the other two being The Weeknd‘s My Dear Melancholy and Tory Lanez’s Memories Don’t Die. Several tracks from the Shawn Mendes album land on the Hot 100.
“Nice for What” by Drake retakes the top spot on the Hot 100 while his latest single “I’m Upset” enters at #13. “Body” by Loud Luxury edges to #5. The presumptuous “What You Want” by Belly & The Weeknd debuts on the chart at #47.
As has been the case for many weeks now, only the top couple of songs in the Emerging Artists chart appear on the Hot 100.
“The Bad Guy” from Meghan Patrick debuts on All-Format Airplay’s Top 50 at #43. Scoring a #1 hit at Rock Radio with “T-Shirt” is all-female rock band The Beaches. New at Country is Brett Kissel‘s “Guitars and Gasoline” (#41), while Scott Helman causes a “Ripple Effect” at AC (#36).
Éric Lapointe continues to dominate Franco albums with gold-certified Délivrance. Loud enjoys hot sales for digital track “Toutes les femmes savent danser”. The top Franco radio hit in Quebec is “Au sommet” by 2Frères.
In terms of Canadian music slaying on the international charts, Drake’s “Nice for What” is #1 in the USA, #2 in the UK, and #5 in Australia. Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood” is #10 down under. His self-titled album debuted at #1 in both the USA and Australia and #3 in the UK. Americans love Drake. Besides the aforementioned “Nice for What”, “God’s Plan” is #3 on the U.S. Hot 100 and “Yes Indeed” with Lil Baby is #6.
Céline Dion has confirmed a new batch of shows in her Las Vegas residency from October 30 lasting into January of 2019. Shawn Mendes has a residency of his own – guesting on James Corden all this week. Here are what some of our other stars are up to.
Tegan and Sara Honoured at Governor General Awards
Calgarian identical twin-sister pop duo Tegan and Sara capped off a 20-year music career as recipients of the prestigious Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. The sisters have opened for superstars such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, performed at the 2015 Academy Awards, collaborated with EDM heavyweights Tiesto and Morgan Page, scored a trio of JUNO awards, and achieved gold/platinum certifications on nine recordings. Following the ceremony, Tegan and Sara were featured on CBC’s The National in an interview with Rosemary Barton. Those medals look smashing. They were pressed at the Canadian Mint.
Drake Ties MJ for U.S. Weeks at #1
According to Gary Trust over at Billboard, Drake has tied Michael Jackson for the second-most weeks at #1 on the U.S. Hot 100 among male soloists. The Torontonian tops the chart for the sixth week with “Nice for What” placing him in a tied position with the so-called “king of pop”. With 37 weeks on top for each of them, the two trail leading male soloist Usher who has 47. In the States, Mariah Carey is the champ, having spent 79 weeks at #1 through various hits. Here is the ranking.
Most Weeks at #1 in U.S. Hot 100’s History:
1. Mariah Carey, 79 weeks
2. Rihanna, 60
3. The Beatles, 59
4. Boyz II Men, 50
5. Usher, 47
6. Beyonce, 42
7. Drake, 37
7. Michael Jackson, 37
9. Elton John, 34
10. Janet Jackson, 33
10. Katy Perry, 33
Grimes Dabbles in K-Pop
Grimes is featured in track “love4eva” by K-pop girl group Loona yyxy. The song appears on recently released EP beauty&thebeat. A music video (now over a million views) has been launched, though it does not see an appearance from the Vancouver native. You can view it here.
Find Jess Moskaluke in Camouflage
Jess Moskaluke has released track “Camouflage” as a single, sending it to country radio. It is off her latest disc, Past the Past and the second most downloaded track by radio this week after Maroon 5!
Victoria Duffield Addresses My Mistake
No, we haven’t made a mistake. “My Mistake” is the name of Victoria Duffield‘s latest single. It’s pop music gold and co-written by fellow British Columbian Tyler Shaw. Have a listen below.
Beatrice Deer is a Canadian recording artist originally from Quaqtaq, QC and now based in Montreal. She is of Inuit and Mohawk descent and in the past 14 years has become a natural at blending Indigenous flavours with contemporary pop-rock. She refers to her resulting folk-rock style as Inuindie. Beatrice’s latest LP My All to You (2018), her fourth, showcases such a marvellous sound with songs performed in three languages: English, French, and Inuktitut. Being more involved in the songwriting herself, than on previous works, she still managed to pull in some high-profile collaborators including members of The Barr Brothers, Land of Talk, Stars, and Timber Timbre.
Hear modern alternative rock and folk with traditional throat singing and the stuff of Inuit legend. My All to You is a collection of eight original pieces with Beatrice Deer’s interpretation of two traditional songs. Thematically, it is, in the author’s words, about reconciliation with oneself, “the hardest thing to do.” The wistful “1997” contains some nostalgic guitar strums that might remind one of Travis or Smashing Pumpkins. Title-track “My All to You” asserts an irresistible, steady beat. Closer “You’re with Me” acknowledges the importance of companionship along life’s treacherous journey. On My All to You, Beatrice Deer, embarked on a voyage of personal reconciliation, and sounds as if she came out of it with pure resilience. iTunes
Celebration organizers of La fête du Canada Day have announced the lineup for the Parliament Hill concert on July 1 as well as supporting shows in the capital. Below is a list of performers. Note that some performers will appear in multiple showtimes. Find more info here.
Major’s Hill Park, June 30
2 p.m. – Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine
4 p.m. – Megaphono showcase
7 p.m. – Andréanne A. Malette
8:30 p.m. – River Town Saints
? – Silla and Rise
? – Rise Ashen
Major’s Hill Park, July 1
11 a.m. – Noubi Trio
2 p.m. – The Beaches
4 p.m. – Logan Staats
7:30 p.m. – La Bronze
7:30 p.m. – Jacobus
8:45 p.m. – Charlotte Cardin
? – Yao
? – Miss Shelton
Parliament Hill, July 1, Noon
Martina Ortiz Luis
Parliament Hill, July 1, 8 p.m.
The Dead South
Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine
Ten long plays and five extended grace the shop shelves of maple this week. Highlights are as follows.
Platinum singer and triple JUNO nominee Coeur de pirate leads the sales pack. Her fourth album en cas de tempête, ce jardin sera fermé, arguably the best of her decade-long career, is a gorgeous offering of adult contemporary jewels.
Pietro Amato of The Luyas and Mathieu Charbonneau of Timber Timbre (3 JUNO nominations) as well as Avec pas d’casque team up to give us a sizzling disc of instrumental electronica in Synth Works Vol. 1.
Heavy metal complete with laser burning guitars and mangled up vocal growls rips forth from JUNO winning group Kataklysm and album Meditations. It is the death metal outfit’s 13th studio album since its career launch in 1995.
Wold music champ and multilingual double JUNO nominee Florence K returns with mini album Estrellas, her first since joining forces with Matt Dusk on 2016’s Quiet Nights. Three of her albums have gone gold.
Find these and other new releases in the table below.
|Cite d’or||Funk Lion||Rock|
|en cas de tempete…||Coeur de pirate||AC|
|La Jeunesse||Animal Parts||S-S/Folk|
|Ride Out the Storm||Bodh’aktan||Celtic Rock|
|Spirit Mode, Vol. 1||Kris the Spirit||Rap|
|Synth Works Vol. 1||Charbonneau / Amato||Electronic|
|Estrellas (Mini Album)||Florence K||World|
|Control Freak (EP)||Monowhales||Alternative|
|Freewheelin’ Walking (EP)||The Brooks||Funk|
|Island Time (EP)||Yitzy||S-S/Folk|
|Le shack a souvenirs (EP)||Jeando||S-S/Folk|
Roots specialist Jim Cuddy, boogie rock outfit The Sheepdogs, JUNO no-show rapper Tory Lanez, pop/AC ace Jann Arden, and international R&B superstar The Weeknd have all released albums in 2018, and not one of these has been certified gold to date. To figure out who has beat them all to the gilded disc award, you have to think of the realm of rock and a veteran of the genre. With his own eponymous band whose sound is punctuated by guitarist Stéphane Dufour’s signature riffs, the man has sold in excess of a million albums since his first, Obsession, in 1994. Returning with his 8th LP, Délivrance, his first since 2013, Éric Lapointe strikes gold. Lapointe’s work is featured on movie soundtracks such as Les Boys and the ever-popular Bon Cop, Bad Cop. He has also served as a coach on The Voice.
At 48 years of age, Éric retains a teenage heart singing of hopes and dreams, conflicts and desires. He says fatherhood has taught him much about himself. “With children,” he points out, “We rediscover life and see it differently through their eyes.” The 2018 album is varied in style having power ballads juxtaposed with nuggets of hard rock. Opening things up with “La nuit,” his extra gruff vocals wash in like whitecaps on oceanic guitar riffs. “Belle folie,” released as a single back in March, calmly and confidently surfs upon the waves setting things up for a wild ride offered by “Ma rose”. In the middle of the album, find some string arrangements and Tom Petty chords on “Besoin de toi” and “Rien ne s’endort” respectively. Lapointe mellows at the album’s close with a couple of ballads including piano-led finale “Sans vous”. On Délivrance, Éric Lapointe has delivered the goods. iTunes
Shawn Mendes is only 19 years old, and he has already released his third studio album. The May 25, 2018 release is a self-titled affair and has topped the iTunes albums chart. The acoustic pop superstar from Pickering, Ontario has won three JUNO awards including single of the year for “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” which has been certified quintuple platinum by Music Canada. Mendes’ previous two albums have both achieved platinum. Critics have given the new disc generally favourable reviews.
Hailing from St. John’s, singer-songwriter duo Fortunate Ones would like to Hold Fast. The album is doing quite well … fortunately. One JUNO nomination has helped bolster the duo’s credibility.
A major name in Canadian country music is back with a new one: Southside of Heaven by Nova Scotia’s George Canyon. He has three gold albums and two JUNO trophies under his cowboy tuque.
One of the coolest synthpop acts around, For Esmé, releases Righteous Woman. Lead singer Martha Meredith, whose voice is a perfect fit for the genre, explores the effects of sex role socialization through the album based on her observations in the world around us and studies in psychology at Queen’s University.
BC’s champion of electronic mood music sheds his alias Teen Daze for his real name Jamison Isaak for EP2. He is continuing to manage ample quality output. This one’s yet another winner.
Another electronic EP that shines is It Says New Chance from … New Chance, an up and coming female DJ. Chill out with this ethereal and downtempo delicacy.
Not included in the table below are some albums of cover material worth mentioning. Country superstar Lindsay Ell reinterprets a John Mayer album on The Continuum Project. The talented Annie Blanchard, on Welcome soleil, opens her disc with a Franco version of The Bellamy Brothers’ “Let Your Love Flow”. Find lots more treats therein.
Building an Empire
Marie-Mai sounds great and looks fabulous in her new music video for “Empire”. We embed it below. After that, find a table of selected Canadian artist releases this week.
|D’ou je viens||DawaMafia||Rap|
|Found the Setting Sun||Long Branch||Alternative|
|Good Luck Rassco||Lost Love||Punk|
|Hold Fast||Fortunate Ones||S-S/Folk|
|Insecurities in Being||L Con||Alternative|
|Love, Heels||The Heels||Country|
|Natural Weather||Michael Feuerstack||S-S/Folk|
|Puff: In the Air Without a Shape||Bernice||Alternative|
|Righteous Woman||For Esme||Alternative|
|Shawn Mendes||Shawn Mendes||Pop|
|Soufflette||Obia le Chef||Rap|
|Southside of Heaven||George Canyon||Country|
|Their Prime||Jo Passed||Alternative|
|Toutes les libertes Vol. 2…||Jamil||S-S/Folk|
|Tumeur a l’ego||Maggie Savoie||S-S/Folk|
|It Says New Chance (EP)||New Chance||Alternative|
|The Story (EP)||Leah Daniels||Country|
|You’ve Heard the Noise (EP)||The Bright Road||Alternative|
Justine Laberge and David Bussières are duo Alfa Rococo. The recently released L’amour et le chaos is the pair’s fourth album and continues a brand of synthpop that is a little sparse, perky, funky, and always enjoyable. “Danser dans l’ombre” captures the classic Alfa Rococo style complete with a glittering bridge. Austra-esque “Monde idéal” lets things fly with punctuated beats and irresistible grooves. “Le temps qu’il faut II”, another standout, benefits from a nicely done instrumental segment. Hear some choice bass that plays as if in hot pursuit on “Éthyle”. You want good Canadian Franco pop? Alfa Rococo is your best bet. Embedded is a clip from the album launch featuring popular track “Incendie”. iTunes
Toronto’s Andrew Rathbun recently released a remarkable big band jazz album, Atwood Suites, which features the poetry of famed Canadian author Margaret Atwood. Already a great saxophonist and composer, Andrew proves highly adept as a large ensemble band leader here. Atwood’s poetry, more on the evocative side than the literary penning of Canada’s most hailed bards like Archibald Lampman and EJ Pratt, works perhaps better as vocalized lyrics. The album does contain instrumental pieces with some discreet scatting for those who prefer wordless jazz.
Most tracks have been given a generous length which allows players of various instruments to take turns in the lead (with some spine-tingling solos) and the backing music to be sculpted into dynamic, rich layers. Rathbun brought in vocalists Luciana Souza and Aubrey Johnson, trumpeter Tim Hagans, and drummer Bill Stewart. Also find clarinets, flute, flugelhorns, trombones, piano, rhodes, guitar, bass, and of course saxophones. The album is a double CD set containing three suites and a total of 10 tracks. Enjoy the featurette below, with snippets of the tracks, as Andrew describes his work and introduces the orchestra. Atwood Suites is a beauty.