Nominations are out for the 2017 Gala ADISQ, the music awards for the industry in the province of Quebec. The premier gala will take place Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 5 p.m. local time when most of the awards will be given out (like the JUNO gala dinner and awards). The big televised ADISQ gala where the remainder of the awards will be presented will happen Sunday, October 29, at 8 p.m. local time. It will be hosted for the 12th consecutive year by funny man Louis-José Houde. Below is a list of nominations in selected categories. Klô Pelgag and Daniel Bélanger have the most nominations. To view the entire slate, go here.
ADULT CONTEMPORARY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Pour Rosie, Valérie Carpentier
Autre monde, Luc De Larochellière
Encore un soir, Céline Dion
La pluie entre nous, Catherine Durand
Univers parallèles, Damien Robitaille
POP ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Paloma, Daniel Bélanger
Almanach, Patrice Michaud
Nos eldorados, Alex Nevsky
Noir éden, Peter Peter
Le temps des vivants, Vincent Vallières
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER OF THE YEAR
Alaclair Ensemble for Les frères cueilleurs
Avec pas d’casque for Effets spéciaux
Daniel Bélanger for Paloma
Klô Pelgag for L’étoile thoracique
Peter Peter for Noir éden
NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
GROUP/DUO OF THE YEAR
Les Cowboys Fringants
Les sœurs Boulay
Les Trois Accords
Marie-Eve Janvier et Jean-François Breau
SONG OF THE YEAR
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
Polaroid, Alex Nevsky
Tout me ramène à toi, Roch Voisine
Keeping an ace up one’s sleeve has reached new heights. Left off the album Emotion, not included as a bonus track, and not even appearing on the Emotion Side B extras disc, Carly Rae Jepsen pulled the best song from the Emotion era and released it as a stand-alone single at the end of May this year. It is on its way to becoming known as the best pop song of 2017. Carly finally treats us to its official music video, half a million views in three days. The MV was shot in a studio in Los Angeles. Enjoy. iTunes
Find below a table of September 15, 2017 releases (sorted in random order) which includes 24 LPs and a pair of EPs. Some highlights are as follows.
Leading the pack for iTunes sales is Welcome Bonheur from Drummondville, Québec JUNO nominated and platinum selling folk-rock group Kaïn. Metric frontwoman Emily Haines of Toronto returns to her Soft Skeleton solo project with Choir of the Mind, a softer presentation than the high centigrade leanings of Metric; the album is selling well. Emily earned a JUNO nomination in 2010 for Songwriter of the Year thanks to work on tracks from Metric’s album Fantasies. For those who dig world music, Toronto’s Jesse Cook has a treat for you. The new album is called Beyond Borders. His album Free Fall took home the Instrumental Album of the Year JUNO in 2001 and went platinum. Ottawa’s Bruce Cockburn adds another disc to his mammoth catalogue: Bone on Bone. Interestingly, of all his creative works and fabulous poetry, his 1993 Christmas album was by far his best-seller at 6x platinum. Bruce has chocked up an impressive 12 JUNO awards.
Our favourite LP of the week is Across the Dark from Toronto’s JUNO nominated The Wilderness of Manitoba, the brain child of Will Whitwham. Combining roots music with smatterings of progressive sauces and reminding us at times of so-called yacht rock, it is quite an impressive disc. JUNO winner and one of the nation’s finest when it comes to roots music is Toronto trio Elliott Brood; the exquisite new album is Ghost Gardens. Fredericton’s Alicia Toner presents beautiful atmospheric country album I Learned the Hard Way worth checking out. As far as EPs go, we have the excellent First Move from Toronto’s Stacey with crystal clear vocals and dreamy keyboard sequences.
Table of New Releases
|Intersections||Emie R. Roussel Trio||Jazz||QC|
|H.I.M. History in the Making||Flawless Gretzky||Rap||QC|
|Joie de vivre||Julie Aubé||Rock||NB|
|There’s a Place||Sean McCann||Folk||NL|
|The Great Blue Heron||Friendly Rich||Alt||ON|
|Choir of the Mind||Emily Haines||Alt Pop||ON||1JN|
|Ghost Gardens||Elliott Brood||Roots||ON||1JW|
|Across the Dark||Wilderness of Manitoba||Rock||ON||1JN|
|Bone on Bone||Bruce Cockburn||Folk||ON||6xP, 12JW|
|Real Love||David Myles||Roots||NB|
|Talk Is Cheap||The Karpinka Brothers||S-S||SK|
|Pure Mind||Fake Palms||Alt Rock||ON|
|Follow That Fire||Lynn Jackson||SS/Folk||ON|
|Two||Sunday Wilde & Reno Jack||Blues||ON|
|Queen of Swords||Queen of Swords||Alt Rock||ON|
|À jamais privé de réponses||Paupière||Alt Pop||QC|
|Death at More Door||The Creepshow||Punk||QC|
|Welcome Bonheur||Kain||Folk Rock||QC||P, 1JN|
|I Learned the Hard Way||Alicia Toner||Country||NB|
|Casualties||Break the Trend||Rock||ON|
|Beyond Borders||Jesse Cook||World||ON||P, 1JW|
|Country Sorta Way (EP)||Danielle Bourjeaurd||Country||ON|
|First Move (EP)||Stacey||Alt Pop||ON|
Key: Highest certification on a recording (P=platinum), JN=JUNO nominations, JW=JUNO wins.
Vancouver group The Belle Game launches Fear / Nothing, its second LP. While the debut was an adventurous trek of a band trying out different things, everything gels on #2, and the group hits its stride. The music packs quite a punch, with its appreciable energy, dreamy crooning from lead singer Andrea Lo, rich, piercing synthesizers, and addictive percussion. Track “Spirit” is one of best songs of 2017 released anywhere in the world; it’s the kind of uplifting number with which any artist would love to close out a show (see MV below). Onboard the Belle Game team for this album are producers Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene) and Dave Hamelin (The Stills). Fear / Nothing is both dynamic and dramatic encompassing a sound described by the band as “crush pop”. Count this one as a winner. iTunes
Toronto group Alvvays recently pressed its sophomore album, Antisocialites. The band is helmed by Nova Scotian raised Molly Rankin. Its debut album, hyped by certain critics, received a favourable Metacritic score of 78/100. While production on that one tended to drown out Molly’s beautiful vocals, which seemed muffled, the new album production team of O’Hanley and Congleton do a smart job. In keeping with the genre, the mixing appropriately obscures the vocals slightly on the shoegaze tracks, such as delicious opener “In Undertow”. And on jangly pop tracks, like “Dreams Tonight,” they shine through. Molly purposefully sings in a deadpan style which works well with the Alvvays design. The writing is strong and the fusion of flavours is seamless, as heard on songs like decade defying “Plimsoll Punks”. Although the cubby-hole genre does not have broad spectrum appeal, the musical composition here will waft onto many wanderers its charms. No one can resist a good tune, and Alvvays has the savvy to craft more than a few. Nicely done! iTunes
Calgary’s Bobby Wills is back with a stellar EP, In Comes the Night, heralded by two singles, “Get While the Gettin’s Good” and the title-track. The writing, vocal delivery, and production are all top-notch making this 7-track disc a gem among country releases. The EP soothes, exhilarates, and has us cheering as great track follows great track. It’s a fabulous late summer release that will have you welcoming the fall. Bobby Wills won the CCMA Rising Star Award in 2013 and the following year released his music through MDM Recordings. iTunes
COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
FANS’ CHOICE AWARD
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Beautiful Freakshow – Dean Brody
Dear Life – High Valley
Game On – James Barker Band
Grace & Grit – Meghan Patrick
Side Effects – Dallas Smith
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Cold Creek County
James Barker Band
The Road Hammers
The Washboard Union
ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
The Washboard Union
James Barker Band
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Autograph – Dallas Smith
Cool With That – Brett Kissel
Lawn Chair Lazy – James Barker Band
Take Me Home – Jess Moskaluke
Time – Dean Brody
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Chills – James Barker Band
I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair – Brett Kissel
That’s When You Know – Chris Buck Band feat. Kira Isabella
Time – Dean Brody
When A Momma’s Boy Meets A Daddy’s Girl – Aaron Pritchett
SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR
James Barker, Gavin Slate, Travis Wood, Donovan Woods
Song: Chills (Performed By: James Barker Band)
Ted Hewitt, Brett Kissel, Phil O’Donnell
Song: Cool With That (Performed By: Brett Kissel)
Clayton Bellamy, Dan Davidson
Song: Found (Performed By: Dan Davidson)
Song: Time (Performed By: Dean Brody)
Patricia Conroy, Jessica Mitchell, David Thomson
Song: Workin’ On Whiskey (Performed By: Jessica Mitchell)
INTERACTIVE ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
We have put together a list of 29 selected Canadian artist discs released yesterday. They represent 3 from New Brunswick, 10 from Quebec, 5 from Ontario, 2 from Manitoba, 5 from Alberta, and 4 from BC. Three EPs are included. There are 11 groups (of 3 or more), 3 duos, 5 female soloists, and 10 male soloists. Of the 29 acts, 6 have been nominated for a JUNO award, 2 of which have won. Four of the albums sit in the iTunes top 10 at this writing. See the table below.
Montreal’s popular and very beautiful Charlotte Cardin has the best-selling Canadian disc of the bunch, new pop EP Main Girl. See the title-track MV below. Another EP to swoon over is In Comes the Night from Calgary’s Bobby Wills; something those not normally into country music can get into, its music is so good.
Antisocialites, the sophomore record from Toronto’s Alvvays is a standout among the LPs and a big improvement over the group’s much hyped debut. Equally impressive as far as alternative music goes is Fear/Nothing from Vancouver’s The Belle Game, less subdued and more electronic than the Alvvays disc. Track “Spirit” is one of the best songs of 2017 released anywhere in the world. Expect in-depth reviews on both albums later.
Winnipeg’s Neil Young is back with an unearthed album of songs recorded in 1976—Hitchhiker; it’s vintage Young displaying his matchless prowess at crafting singer-songwriter jewels. For those who need something that gets the adrenaline flowing, Toronto JUNO winning duo Death from Above 1979 kicks it in overdrive on Outrage! Is Now.
Three JUNO nominations for Calgary’s Chad VanGaalen; he should get more and maybe a win with Light Information, a nice blend of roots and progressive music. Congolese-Canadian Pierre Kwenders makes a rich cocktail that includes African style music, and his efforts attracted a JUNO nomination with his last effort; the new disc is Makanda at the end of space, the beginning of time. Genius songsmith and JUNO nominee Peter Katz returns with Franco album La somme de tous nos efforts.
|The Beautiful||Laura Sauvage||Alt||QC|
|Canadiana Grotesquica||Geoff Berner||Folk||BC|
|Do the Right Now||Lowest of the Low||Rock||ON|
|Fais-moi la musique||Andreanne Martin||AC||QC|
|In Search of Lost Time||Partner||Rock||NB|
|In 3/4||The Hypochondriacs||Rock||NB|
|Julie & The Wrong Guys||Julie & The Wrong Guys||Alt||ON|
|Light Information||Chad VanGaalen||Alt||AB||3N|
|Makanda at the end of space…||Pierre Kwenders||World||QC||1N|
|Mon Doux Saigneur||Mon Doux Saigneur||Alt||QC|
|The OBGMs||The OBGMs||Punk||ON|
|Outrage! Is Now||Death from Above 1979||Rock||ON||1W|
|La somme de tous nos efforts||Peter Katz||S-S||QC||1N|
|There Goes the Neighbourhood||Nice Horse||Country||AB|
|Uncommon Good||Busty and the Bass||R&B||QC|
|Walk in the Dark||Rob Lutes||Folk||NB|
|Wildflower Blues||Holland & Parton||Roots||BC|
|Women of Soul||Sylvie Desgroseilliers||R&B||QC|
|Grounded Star (EP)||Grounded Star||Rock||AB|
|In Comes the Night (EP)||Bobby Wills||Country||AB|
|Main Girl (EP)||Charlotte Cardin||Pop||QC|
This week, hurricane Irma nabs the headlines; it’s the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever with winds nearing 300 km/h. An evil clown takes over the box office. And Lonely Planet gives Edmonton a harsh review which has city councillors hitting back especially since it gave very positive reviews of Calgary. Ouch.
Onto this week’s charts…
On the Billboard Hot 100, “Despacito” featuring Justin Bieber ends its reign at the summit after 16 weeks. “Look What You Made Me Do” by U.S. singer Taylor Swift takes its place at the top. “Unfazed” by Lil Uzi Vert featuring The Weeknd is new at #71.
Mendes holds the title on Hot 100 Airplay with “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” at #1. Swift takes the crown at Hot Digital. Hyped R&B newcomer Daniel Caesar debuts at three spots in the Top 10 on the Emerging Artists chart.
In the artist spotlight this week is Van. And, no, she isn’t from Vancouver, but Montreal. Bubbling under CHR airplay and Emerging Artists is her single “Lock My Love Down”. She’s only 17 and full of spunk. Vanessa Piunno spent her childhood in music videos and commercials. Festival performances led to her hooking up with producer Tino Izzo (Bobby Bazini). We previously featured her here. See lyric video below.
“Problems” by SonReal has squeaked into the All-Format Top 50. Aside from that, not much new CanCon on the radio charts.
Toronto’s Joseph Salusbury, under stage name Joseph of Mercury, has the thermometer visibly rising with the release of his superb new EP. It’s 80s synth pop combined with 50s velvet crooning. He has the theatrical good sense of Freddie Mercury, captures the excitement of Future Islands, and dishes out the echo heavy proclivities of Roy Orbison. With the Joseph of Mercury disc, the man is named artist of the week by Apple Music in both The United States and Canada. The beats are well done, and the ride is one of unexpected twists; the whole package sounds fresh and is as engaging as fireworks on the 1st of July. This is quite the ace in the hole and we look forward to a full-length from this super talented artist. MV for “Find You Inside” embedded below to give you a taste. iTunes
For those of you sad to see that we are suddenly in September, no worries, there is lots of good music coming out. First, a few bits of news…
Diamond certified Ontarian rocker Avril Lavigne is back in good spirits after her battle with enervating Lyme disease and is working feverishly on her sixth studio album. The seven-time JUNO award winner issued a statement thanking fans for their patience, explaining she wants the music to be perfect, and promising the album will be done “before you know it”.
Rapper Drake has donated 200 thousand dollars to the Hurricane Harvey relief fund in Houston.
The Biebs is playing catchup to Katy Perry. The latter became the first to surpass 100 million followers on Twitter; Justin Bieber has now achieved the milestone.
Skip Prokop, Hamilton drummer and co-founder of group Lighthouse has died at age 74. Skip saw success in early 60s group The Paupers which dissolved and left him as a studio musician for such A-listers as Carlos Santana; Janis Joplin; and Peter, Paul, and Mary. Prokop envisioned rock music backed by an orchestra and was assisted in realizing its creation through meeting jazz pianist and soundtrack composer Paul Hoffert. The two co-founded Lighthouse in 1968 adding guitarist Ralph Cole and drawing 10 other musicians from the jazz, rock, and classical fields. Lighthouse is best known for hits “One Fine Morning” (#30 of 1971), “Hats Off” (#88 of 1971), and “Pretty Lady” (#60 of 1973).
A torrent of new releases is set to come out September 8. This week, there are just a few to talk about.
Jean-Fernand Girard of Jonquière, QC contributes a fine instrumental jazz album entitled Jazz Waves. Perky, brisk, and alert, the album is set to add some sparkle to any atmosphere.
Jason Bajada is a wonder. The man has a handsome voice on him and is never short of ideas, as evidenced by the volume of music he is making. He follows up 2016’s excellent Volcano with Blondie & the Backstabberz, a 20-track singer-songwriter sequel to his 2008 album.
From Montreal, we swing over to the Vancouver suburb of Coquitlam, hometown of multi-talent Alexz Johnson. A Stranger Time veers over to the singer-songwriter genre a little and is as engaging as one would expect from the expert songstress.
Fans of folk ought to be very impressed with Topaz, the new set from Toronto’s Shawn William Clarke: captivating poetry sung clearly with clever playing and nice writing.
More jazz as we head back to Canada’s capital of jazz—Montreal. Rachel Therrien Quintet presents the rollicking Why Don’t You Try, a blast for lovers of the genre.
This week’s pleasant surprise is the self-titled EP from Toronto’s Joseph of Mercury. This ace in the hole will have fans of alternative music done right dancing and drooling: theatrical vocal delivery, catchy beats, and some unexpected twists.
Country superstar Dean Brody is now officially a multiplatinum recording artist, as his single “Bring Down the House” was recently certified double platinum by Music Canada. His “Bush Party” single has gone gold.
United States viewership of this year’s MTV Video Music Awards gala was down to 5.68 million from 6.5 million in 2016 and 9.8 million in 2015. The show featured performances by Shawn Mendes and Alessia Cara, the latter taking home two trophies.
Scotiabank has figured out what to do with all the money it has accumulated from the service charges with which it nastily dings us. The bank paid 800 million dollars to ensure that Toronto’s 20,000 seat Air Canada Centre in 2018 becomes known as the Scotiabank Arena. The deal is for 20 years.
Victoria, BC’s Skye Holland is featured in this week’s Nielsen Canadian Music Update newsletter. Her new song “We Could Be” is bubbling under the Hot AC airplay chart and the Emerging Artists chart. As a featured artist, Skye’s vocals have been highly sought after by others in both the U.S. and Canada. Hear the song below.
Justin Bieber‘s collaboration in “Despacito” has kept it at the summit of the Hot 100 for 16 weeks now. Speculation is that the new Taylor Swift song will … shake it off … from the top spot next week. Bieber’s “Friends” with BloodPop skyrockets from #96 to #4.
For “Carnival Hearts”, Kayla Diamond is new on the Emerging Artists chart at #29.
Find below a table of Canadian artist releases over the past two weeks.
Premier guitarist Liona Boyd releases her latest adult contemporary work, No Remedy for Love. The former frontwoman of electronic band Crystal Castles, Alice Glass, serves up her eponymous debut solo EP. Both releases from last week’s batch were popular. This week, the hottest discs are Freudian from R&B specialist Daniel Caesar and La joie from rap duo Eman X Vlooper. A standout work for us is Car Ride from Guy Bergeron & Christelle Cotnam. The former wrote the tracks and plays acoustic guitar, the latter accompanies with violin. The arrangements are simple, and yet the writing and playing are so good, the new age disc will captivate you with its beauty and charm. Most of the albums below are quite good especially the alternative discs. We wanted to give a special shout out to R&B up and comer Chris LaRocca for his surprisingly exquisite EP Voila which is one of the better works of the genre in quite some time. It’s a little bit 80s, deep, rich, and dreamy.
|Lost in Your Head||The Royal Foundry||Alternative||AB|
|Music on the Grey Mile||Camille DeLean||Folk||QC|
|No Remedy for Love||Liona Boyd||AC||ON|
|The Siren’s Song||Kacy & Clayton||Folk||SK|
|Alice Glass (EP)||Alice Glass||Alternative||ON|
|Aron D’Alesio||Aron D’Alesio||Alternative||ON|
|Car Ride||Guy Bergeron & Christelle Cotnam||New Age||QC|
|Deserve to Die||Woolworm||Rock||BC|
|La joie||Eman X Vlooper||Rap||QC|
Many are in a frenzy with the announcement of a new Taylor Swift album and record companies are no doubt rescheduling releases away from November 10. The announcement from the gal who walked away from country music coincides with that of Country Music Television’s ceasing the play of music videos effective August 27. We don’t buy the assertion that video streaming is the culprit in dwindling viewership tuning in to watch MVs, interviews, and live performances. Radio stations haven’t thrown in the towel due to the existence of audio streaming. The real reason probably has more to do with the fact that showing broad-spectrum appeal programming like Terminator 2 and The Avengers makes more money for the avaricious suits.
Those savouring hat music can tune in to the CCMA awards Sep 10. The list of performers is now complete. See international cowboys Brett Young and Blake Shelton; female slayers Jess Moskaluke, Madeline Merlo, and Meghan Patrick; groups James Barker Band, High Valley, and The Washboard Union; and gents Dallas Smith, Chad Brownlee, Gord Bamford, Tim Hicks, Dean Brody, and Brett Kissel.
And now, onto this week’s charts…
1. “Despacito” spends its 15th week at No. 1 tying Marc Ronson’s “Uptown Funk”. The record for the most weeks at the top of the Hot 100 is claimed by both The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” and Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” at 16 weeks. “Despacito” has already slipped to #3 in Australia where Pink is more popular and #5 in Britain where Dua Lipa is all the rage.
2. “Reminding Me” by Shawn Hook spends its 16th week on the Hot 100. Music Canada recently certified it platinum which is the British Columbian’s second single to make the grade.
3. Three tracks by Canucks debut on the Hot 100: “Figures” by Jessie Reyez #95, “Friends” by Justin Bieber (& BloodPop) #96, and “Bend” by Ria Mae #100.
4. The aforementioned “Friends” by the Biebs debuts on Hot Digital Songs at #15.
5. 2Frères are #1 for song sales in Quebec with “Comme avant”. Tops at BDS continues to be Andréanne A. Malette’s “Fou”.
6. Shawn Mendes champions Hot 100 Airplay, Hot AC, and All-Format Airplay with “There’s Nothing Holding Me Back”.
7. SonReal enters the Emerging Canadian Artists chart at #16 thanks to some “Problems”.
8. Girl rock band The Beaches (not to be confused with Beaches) receives the Artist Spotlight feature in Nielsen Music’s newsletter. New single “Money” is bubbling under the Modern Rock airplay chart.
9. Madeline Merlo’s “Motel Flamingo” debuts on All-Format Airplay at #48.
10. “Despacito” featuring Justin Bieber is tops at CHR and his “Friends” debuts at the radio format at #36.
11. “Drop Me in the Water” by Our Lady Peace graces Rock Radio at #38.
12. Vancouver newcomer Shawn Austin ventures onto the Country charts with “Paradise Found” (#49) and Pembroke, ON’s Jason Blaine squeaks in at #50 c/o “Born to Love”.
The Canadian Hot 100 debuted in mid-2007, and since that time 67 French-language songs by Canadian artists have made it onto the chart. Nielsen/Billboard’s particular tweaks to the criteria over the years do not seem to have fallen towards Franco song favour, as fewer tracks have made the chart since 2007. The last French language song to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 was Céline Dion’s “Encore Un Soir” which spent a week at the end of May 2016. In 2008, 14 Franco songs made the chart. We have ranked the songs using a points system in which we subtracted each weekly chart position from 101 and summed the results. We broke a tie by looking at which song had the higher peak position. The most successful song of all was “Toi+Moi” from the 2012 Star Académie finalists which shimmied up to #31 and spent 18 weeks on the chart. The success of some songs is difficult to assess. For example, Coeur de Pirate’s “Oublie Moi” had the Anglo version “Carry On” and presumably stats for both were counted together. We have included it nonetheless.