Feb 21, 2020 Releases: 2Frères, Sarah Harmer…

This week sees a number of acclaimed artists drop new works: five JUNO Award winners and an additional four nominees. Find below a list of 17 new albums and six EPs. The most successful of all these at iTunes is new album À tous les vents from folk pop duo 2Frères. The JUNO award winners are electropop wizard Grimes whose release bears the title Miss Anthropocene, singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer and Are You Gone, Matthew Good and Moving Walls, and folk specialist Rose Cousins and Bravado. Hawksley Workman teams up with JUNO nominee Sarah Slean on These Two, an EP. Other nominees are Storry who contributes CH III: The Come Up, country artist Tim Hicks and Wreck (EP), and The Franklin Electric and In Your Heart (EP). Many of the other discs in the list are just as savory as these, so listen away.

TITLE ARTIST GENRE
A tous les vents 2Frères  Folk Pop
Abducted Bitter Harvest Electronic
Apres Midi Le Grand Dam  S-S
Are You Gone Sarah Harmer (JW) S-S
Beige Ariane Zita  Pop
Bravado Rose Cousins (JW) Folk
Cape God Allie X Pop
CH III: The Come Up Storry (JN) Soul
Forever Is a Pretty Long Time Elaquent Rap
Kinley KINLEY Pop
Loss Jean-Paul De Roover Rock
Miss Anthropocene Grimes (JW) Alternative
Moving Walls Matthew Good (JW) S-S
Quel Drag Boids Rock
The Mean Nature Of Folk
Weird Ones Matt Holubowski Alternative
Zoo Baby Zoo Baby Pop
In Your Heart (EP) The Franklin Electric (JN) Alternative
J’me dompte pas (EP) Grand Fanal  Rock
Sainte-Colere (EP) Etienne Dufresne Pop
These Two (EP) H. Workman (JW) & S. Slean (JN) Alternative
Vietnam (EP) Fullum  Punk
Wreck (EP) Tim Hicks (JN) Country

2020 JUNO Performances Set to Rock the Ides of March

CARAS (The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) has announced details, including performers, concerning the two upcoming JUNO galas. Find these below.

JUNO Gala Dinner and Awards Details

The JUNO awards recently announced the lineup of performers girded up to wobble the stage in Saskatoon in mid March. Prior to the main televised gala will be the JUNO Gala Dinner and Awards night where most (36) of the statuettes will be dispensed. That evening will be hosted by country slayer Brett Kissel and broadcast personality Amanda Parris. Performers scheduled include Half Moon Run, Hunter Brothers, Riit, Irish Mythen with Catherine MacLellan and Miranda Mulholland, and JUNO Master Class selected artist Aiza. Besides the latter newcomer, tidbits about these established artists are as follows:

HALF MOON RUN
– Four-member alternative music group
– From Montreal
– A gold single, gold album, and platinum album
– Received airplay at BBC Radio One
– This year nominated for Adult Alternative Album of the Year

HUNTER BROTHERS
– Five-member country group
– From Shaunavon, SK
– In 2019, song “Lost” was #1 at country radio, #100 on Hot 100, and went gold.
– This year nominated for Breakthrough Group and Country Album of the Year

RIIT
– Inuk musician and TV personality
– Host of children’s series Anaana’s Tent
– From Pangnirtung, NU
– This year nominated for Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year

IRISH MYTHEN
– Born in Ireland, moved to PEI in 2007
– Has performed with Rod Stewart, Gordon Lightfoot, and Lucinda Williams
– This year nominated for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year

CATHERINE MACLELLAN
– From Summerside, PE
– Won a JUNO award in 2015
– This year nominated for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year

MIRANDA MULHOLLAND
– From Guelph, ON
– In addition to solo work is a member of Great Lake Swimmers
– This year nominated for Traditional Roots Album of the Year

How to watch: The JUNO Gala Dinner and Awards will be live-streamed on March 14 starting at 6 p.m. CT on cbcmusic.ca/junos, the free CBC Gem streaming service and CBC Music’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.

JUNO Main Gala Details

The main televised JUNO gala is geared up to shake the city of Saskatoon to its foundations on March 15. As previously announced, Alessia Cara will handle emcee duties and Jann Arden will be inducted into the Music Hall of Fame. Alessia will no doubt offer a sensitive performance, while Jann’s will be … “insensitive” perhaps?

Additional performers are neoclassical pianist Alexandra Stréliski, urban legend Ali Gatie, acclaimed singer-songwriter City and Colour, R&B specialist Daniel Caesar, bluegrass ensemble The Dead South, rock splitter The Glorious Sons, Indigenous artist Iskwē, airwaves rider Lennon Stella, wagonwheeler Meghan Patrick, and rap ’til he naps Tory Lanez.

ALESSIA CARA
– From Brampton, ON
– Historically nominated for 19 JUNOs including 6 this year, has won two
– Has four Top 40 hits as the lone main artist
– Has two triple platinum singles as the lone main artist
– Has a platinum album

JANN ARDEN
– From Calgary
– Historically nominated for 27 JUNOs winning nine
– Has a quintuple platinum album
– Has released 12 albums
– Has 16 Top 40 hits

ALEXANDRA STRÉLISKI
– From Montreal
– Album Inscape has gone gold
– This year nominated for three JUNOs

ALI GATIE
– Born in Yemen, based in Mississauga, ON
– Song “It’s You” (double platinum) was Top 40 in many countries including Canada
– This year nominated for JUNO Fan Choice and Breakthrough Artist of the Year

CITY AND COLOUR
– From St. Catharines, ON
– Placed nine songs on the Hot 100
– Scored two double platinum albums
– Historically nominated for seven JUNOs winning one.
– This year nominated for Adult Alternative Album of the Year

DANIEL CAESAR
– From Oshawa, ON
– Has two double platinum singles
– Has a gold album
– Historically nominated for four JUNOs winning one
– This year nominated for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year

THE DEAD SOUTH
– Four-member bluegrass band
– From Regina
– Landed a gold single
– Historically nominated for three JUNOs winning one
– This year nominated for Traditional Roots Album of the Year

THE GLORIOUS SONS
– Five-member rock band
– From Kingston, ON
– Certified four gold singles and a gold album
– Historically nominated for three JUNOs winning one
– This year nominated for Rock Album of the Year

ISKWĒ
– From Winnipeg
– Historically nominated for a pair of JUNOs
– This year nominated for Adult Alternative Album of the Year

LENNON STELLA
– From Oshawa, ON
– Has placed three songs on the Hot 100 as the main or featured artist
– Two of these singles have gone platinum
– This year nominated for Breakthrough Artist and Single of the Year

MEGHAN PATRICK
– From Bowmanville, ON
– Historically nominated for three JUNOs
– This year nominated for Country Album of the Year

TORY LANEZ
– From Toronto
– Has a Top 40 hit as the lone main artist (“Luv”) which went platinum
– Has placed 16 tracks on the Hot 100 as the lone main artist
– Historically nominated for 12 JUNOs winning two
– This year nominated for five

Canadian icon Anne Murray will return to induct Jann Arden into the Hall of Fame (she did the honours for kd lang in 2013).

How to watch: The 2020 JUNO Awards will be broadcast live from the SaskTel Centre, Saskatoon, SK on Sunday, March 15 at 6 p.m. CT across the country on CBC, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music, and the CBC Listen app.

Fans of Canadian music outside of Canada can enjoy watching the show via streaming at cbcmusic.ca/junos.

Marilou Tops iTunes with “Rose pâle”

Longueuil, QC’s Marilou (Bourdon) was discovered in 2001 at age 11 when she sang a duet with Natasha St-Pier. After singing children’s songs for film and television, she signed with Sony BMG Canada in 2004, opened for touring soul singer Garou, and released her debut album La fille qui chante the following year when she was 15, co-authoring its tracks. It spawned hits “Chante” and “Tu es comme ça” (with Garou). Marilou’s second effort, a self-titled affair, placed two songs on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2007 – “Danser sur la lune” and “Emmène-moi”. In 2013, her Franco vocals replaced Ashley Monroe’s feature in “Bruises” by Grammy award winning US band Train, and that version of the song peaked at #59 on the Hot 100.

Marilou returns in 2020 with new song “Rose pâle”, a piano ballad. It has surged past the new James Bond song “No Time to Die” by Billie Eilish and Tones and I’s “Dance Monkey” to take the top spot at iTunes. Of the new song, Marilou says:

“I started writing music again in 2017, after many years of silence. Sitting comfortably in the little studio that my friend Fred helped me set up in my room…”

Lyrically, “Rose pâle” explores conflicting feelings that went through her body during pregnancy. Apparently, the song title is a reference to the pale pink tip of her baby’s nose. Proceeds from the song are going to various services in her hometown. Check out “Rose pâle” below.

2020 Valentine’s Day Releases: Justin Bieber, Florence K…

JUNO winner and multiplatinum recording artist Justin Bieber releases his latest album Changes. In terms of style, it follows his Journals era with downtempo R&B. Double JUNO nominee Florence K drops Florence, an artistic adult contemporary effort. In terms of EPs, east coast slayer Alan Doyle returns with Rough Side Out. Country superstars Jess Moskaluke and Dean Brody join him in a couple of tracks. Find these and more in the listing below.

De pire en pire – William Hennessey – Pop
A chacun son Waterloo – Orloge Simard – Pop
Little Misty – Little Misty – S-S/folk
Florence – Florence K (JN) – Alt-AC
Entre deux paradis – Charles Landry – S-S
Changes – Justin Bieber (JW) – R&B
Boniface – Boniface – Alt-Pop
Hollow – Elephant Stone – Alternative
Chickaboom! – Tami Neilson – Americana
Perfectionism – Hotel Mira – Alt Rock
Elephant in the Sea – Wes Carroll Confabulation – Jazz
Love Writes Itself – Dralms – Alternative
Tripolaire (EP) – O Linea – Rock
Rough Side Out (EP) – Alan Doyle (JN) – Country

February 7, 2020 Releases: William Prince, Tenille Townes…

Manitoban JUNO winner William Prince has released a new album entitled Reliever, a splendid folky singer-songwriter effort. Joining him from the Prairies is Albertan country star Tenille Townes with EP Road to the Lemonade Stand which contains all her recent hits. Tenille is up for two JUNO awards this year. Toronto’s JP Saxe has a sizeable Top 30 hit with “If the World Was Ending” and drops pop EP Hold It Together. Another great extended play is Hidden Gems from R&B artist Tasha Angela. Back to albums, we have U kin B the Sun from JUNO nominee Frazey Ford of Vancouver. Ludovick Bourgeois, winner of The Voice Season 5 has landed his sophomore record, aptly titled … 2. A couple of other beautifully done Franco LPs are Maude Audet‘s folk pop Tu ne mourras pas and Julie Blanche‘s alternative disc Le Grand Spectacle. Check out these are more in the listing below.

2 – Ludovick Bourgeois – Pop
Arthur L’aventurier au bout du monde en Australie – Arthur l’aventurier – Children’s
Big Inhale – Penny Diving-Rock
En cher et en noces – Salmine – Rap
Everything Can Change – Adam Karch – Blues
First Lite – Json Born – Rap
Just Words – Lynne Hanson – Country
Kora Flamenca – Zal Sissokho – World
Le Grand Spectacle – Julie Blanche – Alternative
Nos jours ne sont plus les memes – Ludo Pin – S-S
Pret – Marcus Quirion – S-S
Rechauffe II – Mononc’ Serge – S-S
Reliever – William Prince (JW) – S-S/folk
Tu ne mourras pas – Maude Audet – Folk Pop
U kin B the Sun – Frazey Ford (JN) – S-S/folk
Auroville (EP) – Rose Bouche – Pop-Rock
Caballero (EP) – Les Chercheurs d’or – Alternative
Embers (EP) – Joshua Hyslop – S-S/Folk
Hidden Gems (EP) – Tasha Angela – R&B
Hold It Together (EP) – JP Saxe – Pop
Road to the Lemonade Stand (EP) -Tenille Townes (JN) – Country
Self Aware B**** (EP) – Anna Sofia – Pop

Caveboy Spends a Night in the Park with a Kiss in the Dark

Canadian female trio Caveboy recently released debut LP Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark. It fills a void in current times of pop-rock with a progressive edge and reminds us a little of Lillix’s Tigerlily album. The songs are well written, and the album is impressively produced. In fact, Derek Hoffman has been nominated for the producer of the year JUNO thanks in part to his work on previously released album track “Hide Your Love”.

Opener “Silk for Gold” should get you hooked right away, but beyond its initial cool sweep, when the guitar kicks in, feel a rush of ecstasy heading into a wallop of a chorus. “I Wonder” is a superb track to follow. Again, what starts off as a slick pulled back groove hurls itself like a slingshot. “N.Y.P.” should satisfy those who like things more synth heavy while “Obsessed” bops itself right into the 80s. Just when you think things are about to fizzle out, the album gets injected with energy. Find impressive composition on “Guess I’ve Changed” and a great synth-led driving rhythm on “Landslide”. Atmospheric ballad “Up in Flames” serves as a perfect conclusion.

Caveboy has landed a winner, and we have marked Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark as a contender for one of the best albums of 2020. The album is available on the usual digital and streaming platforms, and physical copies can be ordered from the band’s website. Find the “Silk for Gold” lyric video embedded below.

January 31, 2020 Releases: Caveboy, TOAD, …

Eighteen Canadian acts dropped albums and EPs at the end of January 2020. Find them listed below. The most prominent of the artists is JUNO winning band Theory of a Deadman presenting album Say Nothing. Crafter of alternative tunes, Destroyer, a triple JUNO nominee, shares his latest, Have We Met. It is female trio Caveboy, however, responsible for our favourite new release so far of 2020, debut LP Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark. It reminds us of Lillix‘s Tigerlily album: pop-rock with a progressive edge. Very nicely done. Expect a review soon.

Blue Wine, John Borra, Roots Rock
Comment ca file a Valleyfile, Massicotte, Alternative
Dawn Comes Crashing, Cheshire Carr, Folk
Etes-vous-doux, Les Vieux Criss, Alternative
Fruit-Dieu, Fuudge, Rock
Have We Met, Destroyer (JN), Alternative
Horizon, Mon Doux Saigneur, Alt-Folk
If I Am Only My Thoughts, Loving, Alternative
J’connais rien a l’astronomie, Dany Placard, Alternative
Morning Light, Elk Run + Riot, S-S/folk
Nes pour aimer, Mort Rose, Alternative
Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark, Caveboy, Pop-Rock
Say Nothing, Theory Of A Deadman (JW), Rock
Urduja, Han Han, Alt-Rap
Grouillades (EP), Clay and Friends, Pop
L’ascension (EP), Matriciel, Alternative
New at Drugs (EP), Jackie, Rock
Wishes, Vol. 1 (EP), Famba, Dance

Alessia Cara Leads 2020 JUNO Nominations and Will Host

The JUNOs are coming! This year’s shindig is taking place in Saskatoon on March 15. Brampton Italian-Canadian R&B star Alessia Cara leads the nominations’ slate with six nods, and she will host the show. Six performers have been announced with more to be later confirmed. In addition to Cara, urban artist Daniel Caesar, rock band The Glorious Sons, 2020 Music Hall of Fame inductee Jann Arden, newcomer Lennon Stella, and rapper Tory Lanez will be electrifying the stage.

Alessia Cara has scored five gold/platinum certifications on singles as the lone, main artist. Nine of her songs have landed on the Hot 100. Her debut album Know-It-All went platinum. Cara is the only Canadian artist in history to win a Best New Artist Grammy award in the USA. She has previously won two Junos.

This year, Alessia is nominated for the following awards:

JUNO Fan Choice
Single of the Year (“Out of Love”)
Album of the Year (The Pains of Growing)
Artist of the Year
Songwriter of the Year
Pop Album of the Year (The Pains of Growing)

Below is a partial list of 2020 JUNO nominations.

JUNO FAN CHOICE AWARD
Alessia Cara
Ali Gatie
Avril Lavigne
bbno$
Justin Bieber
Loud Luxury
Nav
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd
Tory Lanez

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Out of Love, Alessia Cara
Sweet Little Lies, Bülow
La Di Da, Lennon Stella
Hang Ups, Scott Helman
Señorita, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The Pains of Growing, Alessia Cara
Inscape, Alexandra Stréliski
Shine a Light, Bryan Adams
Love, Michael Bublé
Bad Habits, Nav

COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
V, Aaron Goodvin
The Fall, Dallas Smith
Black Sheep, Dean Brody
State of Mind, Hunter Brothers
Wild as Me, Meghan Patrick

POP ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The Pains of Growing, Alessia Cara
Head Above Water, Avril Lavigne
Crystalline, Bülow
8:47, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine
Here We Go!, Walk Off the Earth

ROCK ALBUM OF THE YEAR
…but for the sun, Big Wreck
Peopleskills, Headstones
Order in Decline, Sum 41
Master Volume, The Dirty Nil
A War on Everything, The Glorious Sons

FRANCOPHONE ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Après, Fred Pellerin
L’étrange pays, Jean Leloup
La nuit des longs couteaux, Koriass
La nuit est une panthère, Les Louanges
Tout ça pour ça, Loud

DANCE RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Love Me Felix Cartal & Lights
Only When It Rains, Frank Walker x Astrid S
I’m Not Alright, Loud Luxury and Bryce Vine
Gravity, RALPH
We Found Love, Sultan + Shepard x Showtek

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Bun Dem, Caraz (Sarahmée)
Record Shop, Johnny Jansen (Said the Whale)
Topographe, Jonathan Robert (Corridor)
Back Off, Le GED (Laurence Nerbonne)
Little Star, Sarah Legault (Iskwē)

INDIGENOUS ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Stories from a Downtown Apartment, Celeigh Cardinal
Yellowstone, Digawolf
Nipiy, Nêhiyawak
Siqinnaarut, Northern Haze
Ataataga, Riit

ELECTRONIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Battle Lines, Bob Moses
Memory Emotion, Electric Youth
Dawn Chorus, Jacques Greene
A Beat Tape For Your Friends, Keys N Krates
Beyond The Senses, REZZ

ADULT CONTEMPORARY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Shine a Light, Bryan Adams
Unplugged Vol. 1, Lauren Spencer-Smith
Both Sides, Marc Jordan
Melt, Nuela Charles
Empower, Renee Lamoureux

A complete list can be found here.

Two-Time Juno Nominee Marie-Pierre Arthur Is Back

Singer and bassist Marie-Pierre Arthur, on the scene since 2009, recently dropped her fourth album, Des feux pour voir. Her previous two efforts were both nominated for Juno awards. The new work switches on flashlights to peek into a number of departments and backrooms in the genre spectrum. It opens with “La guerre” offering at first piano rock balladry and then breaking into the ominous thuds of a fuzzy dream. The reverie continues on “Les nuits entrières” adding the sizzle of cutting orchestral strings. “Tiens-moi mon coeur,” a hard-hitting new wave nugget, could well be the standout track. Things take a playful turn on the funky “Dans tes rêves” and get punky on the title track. Jean-Louis Cormier joins her on the atmospheric sweep of the closeout number. Marie-Pierre remains loyal to her primary instrument – the bass – which, along with her soothing vocals, stitches the album tracks together and gives the overall presentation satisfying vigour.

The First Releases of 2020

2020 was off to the races with country music leading the charge in albums from Brett Kissel, Tenille Arts, and Linda Arsenault. Music in other genres was soon to gallop into the arena: metal, punk, jazz, R&B/soul, electronic, singer-songwriter, alternative, pop, folk, and rap. Below is a list of 21 LPs and 10 EPs from January 1 to January 24.

Albums Released January 1-17

Now or Never, Brett Kissel, Country
Love, Heartbreak, & Everything…, Tenille Arts, Country
Redneck Girl, Linda Arseneault, Country
Pillars, Becoming the Bully, Metal
Deleter, Holy F***, Electronic
Your Perfect Matador, Jay Aymar, S-S
Sunset on Mars, Terry Draper, Rock
Kaleidoscope, Eddie Bullen, Jazz
Character, Will Bowes, Pop
Bob Guido, Bob Guido, Electronic
Little Joy, Death Party Playground, Alternative

Albums Released January 24

Thin Mind, Wolf Parade, Alternative
King of This Town, Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, S-S
The Neon Skyline, Andy Shauf, Alternative
Des feux pour voir, Marie-Pierre Arthur, Alternative
Paydirt, The Henrys, Folk
Frankenhorn, Audrey Ochoa, Jazz
RIP, We Are The City, Alternative
Do the Damn Thing, The Soul Motivators, R&B/Soul
Demain c’etait hier, La Faune, Alternative
Tous musiciens, Henri Godon, Folk

EPs Released January 1-24

L’au-dela, Double Date with Death, Punk
Notre histoire…, Alex Météore, Alternative
Burden on Your Shoulders, Brandon Wolfe, S-S
Adaptation, Vol. 1, Julien Manaud, S-S
All the Things I Never Said, Tate McRae, Pop
Bye Bye, Sophie Pelletier, Pop
Off, Psycadelick, Rap
Le plein de reconfort, Marie-Ange, S-S
Les chansons-polaroid, Jordane, S-S
Straight to the Core, The Matchup, Alternative

Music Sales Top 10 Lists, 2019, Canada

Putting aside data from the stream farms, we have Top 10 lists of the best-selling albums in Canada for 2019 by total sales, digital album sales (excluding so-called TEA – track equivalent albums), and CD sales. We also include the Top 10 digital song sales. Radio spins are determined by program directors and streaming by checking out music being promoted. The only way to tell if people truly like a song or album is if it is actually bought. Sales speak louder than streams. All data here is from Neilsen Music Canada.

Among all albums from both Canadian and international artists, it is Céline Dion who emerges victorious with her album Courage. It sold 83,000 physical and digital copies in Canada in 2019. It was also the best-selling CD with 78,000 discs sold. Billie Eilish is champ when it came to digital albums. When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? sold 24,000 digital copies. CD sales were also strong for the album which finished the year in 6th place for 37,000 copies. In the songs department, unsurprisingly, Lil Nas X’s blockbuster hit “Old Town Road” reigns supreme with 210,000 digital downloads. Check out the four Top 10 lists below. Canadian artists have been inked in red.

TOP 10 ALBUMS IN CANADA, 2019 BY TOTAL SALES

1 Celine Dion Courage 83,000
2 Billie Eilish When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? 69,000
3 Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper A Star is Born Soundtrack 65,000
4 Bryan Adams Shine A Light 61,000
5 Backstreet Boys DNA 61,000
6 Taylor Swift Lover 61,000
7 Harry Styles Fine Line 42,000
8 Jonas Brothers Happiness Begins 40,000
9 Tool Fear Inoculum 37,000
10 Queen Bohemian Rhapsody (The Original Soundtrack) 37,000

TOP 10 ALBUMS IN CANADA, 2019 BY DIGITAL SALES

1 Billie Eilish When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? 24,000
2 Tool Fear Inoculum 20,000
3 Taylor Swift Lover 19,000
4 Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born Soundtrack 17,000
5 Ed Sheeran No. 6 Collaborations Project 14,000
6 Corey Hart Dreaming Time Again 14,000
7 Queen Greatest Hits I 12,000
8 P!nk Hurts 2b Human 12,000
9 Ariana Grande thank u, next 11,000
10 Billie Eilish Dont Smile At Me 8,000

TOP 10 ALBUMS IN CANADA, 2019 BY CD SALES

1 Celine Dion Courage 78,000
2 Bryan Adams Shine A Light 60,000
3 Backstreet Boys DNA 55,000
4 Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born Soundtrack 45,000
5 Taylor Swift Lover 38,000
6 Billie Eilish When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? 37,000
7 Jonas Brothers Happiness Begins 35,000
8 Harry Styles Fine Line 34,000
9 Post Malone Hollywood’s Bleeding 28,000
10 Passe-Partout Coucou Passe-Partout 27,000

TOP 10 SONGS IN CANADA, 2019 BY DIGITAL SALES

1 Lil Nas X Old Town Road 210,000
2 Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper Shallow 134,000
3 Billie Eilish bad guy 103,000
4 Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello Senorita 99,000
5 Lewis Capaldi Someone You Loved 96,000
6 Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber I Don’t Care 91,000
7 Post Malone & Swae Lee Sunflower 72,000
8 Blanco Brown The Git Up 65,000
9 Jonas Brothers Sucker 61,000
10 Ariana Grande 7 Rings 57,000

Higher Bit Rate CDs Outsold Digital Albums in 2019

When it comes to buying albums, Canadians still prefer the high sound quality of CDs over lower bit rate digital, scratchy vinyl, and hissing cassette as 2019 data reveals. Nielsen Music Canada has released the numbers for the year 2019. Through the year, Canadians purchased a total of 10.4 million albums. The majority of these, 5.5 million or 52.9%, were compact discs (CDs). Second in format rank is digital; downloads accounted for 36.5% or 3.8 million albums. The third most popular format is vinyl; a total of 1 million of those or 9.6% were sold. Finally, we have the cassette. Nielsen did not carry numbers for those but gave a 0.1 million higher in the total figure than the sum of the three prior formats. We’ll be generous and, rather than writing it off to the result of rounding, give the 0.1 or 1% to the trusty cassette and present the pie chart below.

Another way of looking at the numbers is that 63.5% of albums sold were in any physical format, while 36.5% were digital.

It is important to note that availability influences the numbers. For example, if an album is not available on CD, those wanting a copy may settle for a digital download.

Album sales as a whole have been in decline since 1997 with blame being directed at first to MP3s and internet piracy, followed by the enticing option of downloading some individual tracks only, and now to streaming services where people pay regularly for access (if they choose to subscribe and kill the ads) rather than owning copies of albums.

Nielsen Music Canada Releases Decade-End Charts

In its year-end report for 2019, Nielsen Music Canada also published some decade-end data including a batch of Top 10 lists. Find them below with introductory comments. Canadian artists in the charts appear in red.

Fuelled by the success of albums 21 and 25, Adele crowns the Top Artists by Album Sales chart. Three Canadians make the top ten. Michael Bublé (3rd overall) released four albums. All sold well, but particularly Christmas which has been certified diamond. Justin Bieber (5th overall) also released four including his Christmas album, Under the Mistletoe. Céline Dion (7th) launched four as well, the most successful of which, at quadruple platinum, was Loved Me Back to Life.

TOP 10 ARTISTS – ALBUM SALES
1 Adele 2,966,000
2 Eminem 1,948,000
3 Michael Bublé 1,774,000
4 Taylor Swift 1,738,000
5 Justin Bieber 1,539,000
6 Beatles 1,224,000
7 Celine Dion 1,177,000
8 Elvis Presley 1,052,000
9 Mumford & Sons 1,048,000
10 One Direction 998,000

As far as song sales go, Taylor Swift is the champ. She began the decade with “Today was a Fairy tale” topping the Canadian Hot 100 in February 2010. It was one of six #1 hits for the Pennsylvanian through the 2010s. The only Canadian artist to make the Top 10 was Drake. His “One Dance” was certified diamond and was one of four chart toppers through the decade.

TOP 10 ARTISTS – SONG SALES
1 Taylor Swift 6,591,000
2 Eminem 6,440,000
3 Rihanna 6,040,000
4 Katy Perry 5,813,000
5 Pitbull 5,022,000
6 Maroon 5 5,006,000
7 Drake 4,421,000
8 Ed Sheeran 4,287,000
9 Bruno Mars 4,244,000
10 Adele 4,164,000

People were more interested in streaming Drake songs in audio and video than buying them, as he finished the decade as the most streamed artist with over 3 billion. We are not sure about the numbers for these, as they should be much higher. For example, Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” music video has racked up over 3.2 billion views, higher than Drake’s tally of 3.1 billion. Perhaps the numbers are weighted (“track equivalent streams”). The Weeknd is a second Canadian artist to make the Top Ten at 6th overall.

TOP 10 ARTISTS – ON-DEMAND STREAMS (audio+video)
1 Drake 3,063,535,000
2 Eminem 1,922,883,000
3 Ed Sheeran 1,891,517,000
4 Post Malone 1,814,483,000
5 Ariana Grande 1,383,661,000
6 The Weeknd 1,332,176,000
7 Taylor Swift 1,263,757,000
8 Rihanna 1,054,367,000
9 Xxxtentacion 988,155,000
10 Kanye West 985,501,000

In terms of audio only streams, Drake again reigns supreme with The Weeknd a notch higher at 5th.

TOP 10 ARTISTS – ON-DEMAND STREAMS (audio only)
1 Drake 2,610,926,000
2 Post Malone 1,441,119,000
3 Eminem 1,199,499,000
4 Ed Sheeran 1,184,126,000
5 The Weeknd 1,002,886,000
6 Ariana Grande 871,752,000
7 Kanye West 849,112,000
8 Kendrick Lamar 758,162,000
9 Xxxtentacion 744,480,000
10 Travis Scott 730,674,000

Drake (5th) and The Weeknd take drops when streams are determined by video only. Justin Bieber appears in this Top Ten chart at 8th.

TOP 10 ARTISTS – ON-DEMAND STREAMS (video only)
1 Eminem 723,384,000
2 Ed Sheeran 707,391,000
3 Taylor Swift 558,380,000
4 Ariana Grande 511,909,000
5 Drake 452,610,000
6 Katy Perry 448,239,000
7 Maroon 5 431,486,000
8 Justin Bieber 426,819,000
9 Rihanna 415,834,000
10 Imagine Dragons 390,321,000

Although he scored no Top 40 hits through the decade, 80s-90s icon Bryan Adams is the most spun artist at radio. Rock bands The Tragically Hip (6th) and Nickelback (7th) join him in representing Canada for this chart.

TOP 10 ARTISTS – AIRPLAY SPINS
1 Bryan Adams 2,747,000
2 Maroon 5 2,623,000
3 U2 2,362,000
4 P!nk 2,341,000
5 Taylor Swift 2,281,000
6 The Tragically Hip 2,254,000
7 Nickelback 2,073,000
8 Katy Perry 2,060,000
9 Rihanna 2,019,000
10 Aerosmith 1,883,000

In terms of Airplay Audience, Bryan retains the title while The Hip(3rd) and Nickelback (5th) inch up a bit. Shania Twain enters the Top Ten at 9th being the must radio audience reached country act.

TOP 10 ARTISTS – AIRPLAY AUDIENCE
1 Bryan Adams 16,786,134,000
2 U2 14,193,754,000
3 The Tragically Hip 12,888,560,000
4 Maroon 5 12,858,977,000
5 Nickelback 11,772,806,000
6 P!nk 11,411,506,000
7 Rihanna 11,337,927,000
8 Madonna 10,948,682,000
9 Shania Twain 10,574,318,000
10 Katy Perry 10,487,833,000

Adele one-twos the 2010s with her blockbuster albums 21 and 25 respectively. Michael Bublé’s Christmas is the top Canadian disc at #3.

TOP 10 ALBUMS – ALBUM SALES
1 Adele 21 1,582,000
2 Adele 25 1,093,000
3 Michael Buble Christmas 968,000
4 Eminem Recovery 613,000
5 Taylor Swift 1989 542,000
6 Mumford & Sons Babel 431,000
7 Mumford & Sons Sigh No More 395,000
8 Katy Perry Teenage Dream 376,000
9 Ed Sheeran X 375,000
10 Imagine Dragons Night Visions 357,000

The following list looks very suspect. Although digital downloads have been in decline, the songs that made the Top Song Sales chart are all recent ones. Songs like “Blurred Lines” and “Call Me Maybe” have received 8 or 9 times platinum certification indicating sales of 700, 000 copies, far ahead of the chart’s #1 entry “Despacito”. This chart could be a complete flub by Nielsen or the data collector may have used a different kind of metric in determining the numbers and rankings.

TOP 10 SONGS – SONG SALES
1 Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber Despacito 577,000
2 Ed Sheeran Shape Of You 491,000
3 Ed Sheeran Perfect 434,000
4 Imagine Dragons Believer 317,000
5 Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug Havana 274,000
6 Imagine Dragons Thunder 264,000
7 Chainsmokers feat. Halsey Closer 231,000
8 The Chainsmokers & Coldplay Something Just Like This 231,000
9 Lady Gaga & Bradley Copper Shallow 224,000
10 Lil Nas X Old Town Road 210,000

The next chart makes more sense. As streaming increased in popularity through the decade, the songs that made the final Top Ten cut are recent ones. In terms of both audio and video, “Despacito” featuring Justin Bieber wins the race, while Drake’s “God’s Plan” finishes in 9th.

TOP 10 SONGS – ON-DEMAND STREAMING (audio+video)
1 Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber Despacito 300,890,000
2 Ed Sheeran Shape Of You 294,647,000
3 Lil Nas X Old Town Road 244,096,000
4 Ed Sheeran Perfect 231,232,000
5 Post Malone feat. 21 Savage Rockstar 211,703,000
6 The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey Closer 208,910,000
7 Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug Havana 202,608,000
8 Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars Uptown Funk 197,165,000
9 Drake God’s Plan 181,295,000
10 Imagine Dragons Believer 179,282,000

Audio only song streaming sees Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” bump “Despacito” off the top spot. Drake’s “One Dance” (7th) joins his “God’s Plan” (6th).

TOP 10 SONGS – ON-DEMAND STREAMING (audio only)
1 Ed Sheeran Shape Of You 147,112,000
2 Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber Despacito 145,239,000
3 Post Malone feat. 21 Savage Rockstar 142,507,000
4 Lil Nas X Old Town Road 128,635,000
5 Ed Sheeran Perfect 122,572,000
6 Drake God’s Plan 120,836,000
7 Drake One Dance 120,494,000
8 The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey Closer 115,059,000
9 Kendrick Lamar Humble. 111,939,000
10 French Montana feat. Swae Lee Unforgettable 111,843,000

With 6.6 billion YouTube views and 156 million video streams, “Despacito” is tops for video streaming with Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” coming in 8th. It had 106 million video streams and 3.2 billion YouTube views.

TOP 10 SONGS – ON-DEMAND STREAMING (video only)
1 Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber Despacito 155,651,000
2 Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars Uptown Funk 150,163,000
3 Ed Sheeran Shape Of You 147,535,000
4 Lil Nas X Old Town Road 115,461,000
5 Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth See You Again 111,570,000
6 Ed Sheeran Perfect 108,661,000
7 Taylor Swift Shake It Off 106,516,000
8 Justin Bieber Sorry 105,676,000
9 Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug Havana 105,067,000
10 Maroon 5 Girls Like You 97,180,000

Carly Rae Jepsen’s 8x platinum “Call Me Maybe” (6th) was the top Canadian artist song spun at radio across all formats with 262,000 spins. Although “Run to You” was the bigger radio hit from his Reckless album back in the day, modern DJs prefer Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69” (7th). 2009’s “I Gotta Feeling” from the Black Eyed Peas crowns the chart.

TOP 10 SONGS – AIRPLAY SPINS
1 Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling 283,000
2 Kid Rock All Summer Long 276,000
3 Avicii Wake Me Up 274,000
4 The Police Every Breath You Take 271,000
5 Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars Uptown Funk 265,000
6 Carly Rae Jepsen Call Me Maybe 262,000
7 Bryan Adams Summer Of ’69 261,000
8 Lumineers Ho Hey 261,000
9 Bon Jovi Livin’ On A Prayer 258,000
10 Adele Rolling In The Deep 256,000

A song about predatorial stalking was loved most by the decade’s radio disc jockeys; The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” triumphs the Airplay Audience chart. Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” leads a string of Canadian artist entries from 3rd to 8th which you can view below.

TOP 10 SONGS – AIRPLAY AUDIENCE
1 The Police Every Breath You Take 1,748,060,000
2 Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling 1,677,367,000
3 Avril Lavigne Complicated 1,660,880,000
4 Bryan Adams Summer Of ’69 1,658,915,000
5 Daniel Powter Bad Day 1,502,363,000
6 Carly Rae Jepsen Call Me Maybe 1,493,499,000
7 Tom Cochrane Life Is A Highway 1,474,510,000
8 Nelly Furtado Say It Right 1,458,021,000
9 Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) 1,456,005,000
10 U2 I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For 1,451,528,000

Spins at the Contemporary Hit Radio format see “This Is What It Feels Like” featuring North Vancouver’s Trevor Guthrie take the cake. Five entries by Canadian artists back it.

TOP 10 SONGS AT CHR – SPINS
1 Armin Van Buuren ft. Trevor Guthrie This Is What It Feels Like 78,000
2 Drake feat. WizKid & Kyla One Dance 72,000
3 Loud Luxury feat. Brando Body 70,000
4 Ed Sheeran Shape Of You 69,000
5 Avicii Wake Me Up 68,000
6 Drake feat. Majid Jordan Hold On, We’re Going Home 66,000
7 The Weeknd Can’t Feel My Face 65,000
8 The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey Closer 64,000
9 Justin Bieber Sorry 63,000
10 Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars Uptown Funk 63,000

The next chart is a valuable one as Francophone charts are hard to come by. The Top 10 Francophone songs at radio place Alex Nevsky’s “On Leur A Fait Croire” at #1 with 46,000 radio spins through the decade. All but one of the artists are Canadian, the lone foreigner being Belgium’s Milow who howls at the moon in 3rd.

TOP 10 FRANCOPHONE SONGS AT RADIO – SPINS
1 Alex Nevsky On Leur A Fait Croire 46,000
2 Patrice Michaud Mechaniques Generales 42,000
3 Milow Howling At The Moon 42,000
4 Karim Ouellet L’amour 42,000
5 Alex Nevsky Les Colories 39,000
6 Vincent Vallieres On Va S’aimer Encore 39,000
7 Jean Leloup Paradis City 39,000
8 Coeur De Pirate Carry On/Oublie-Moi 36,000
9 Alex Nevsky Polaroid 36,000
10 Alexe Gaudreault Placebo 34,000

The Hot Adult Contemporary format, supposedly targeting young adults, witnesses Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” in first place. Songs from Alessia Cara, Serena Ryder, and Magic! also make the Top Ten.

TOP 10 SONGS AT HOT AC – SPINS
1 Carly Rae Jepsen Call Me Maybe 76,000
2 Armin Van Buuren feat. Trevor Guthrie This Is What It Feels Like 66,000
3 Alessia Cara Scars To Your Beautiful 66,000
4 Adele Rolling In The Deep 65,000
5 Avicii Wake Me Up 65,000
6 Justin Timberlake Can’t Stop The Feeling! 64,000
7 Serena Ryder Stompa 64,000
8 Magic! Rude 63,000
9 Taio Cruz Dynamite 63,000
10 Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars Uptown Funk 63,000

Adult Contemporary radio preferred The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” with Carly Rae Jepsen (3rd) being the only Canadian in the Top Ten.

TOP 10 SONGS AT AC – SPINS
1 Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling 55,000
2 Train Hey, Soul Sister 52,000
3 Carly Rae Jepsen Call Me Maybe 51,000
4 Lady Antebellum Need You Now 47,000
5 Adele Rolling In The Deep 47,000
6 Justin Timberlake Can’t Stop The Feeling! 46,000
7 Avicii Wake Me Up 44,000
8 Taio Cruz Dynamite 44,000
9 Kelly Clarkson Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) 44,000
10 Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars Uptown Funk 44,000

Emerson Drive is the only Canadian act to appear in Country radio’s Top Ten most spun songs of the decade; “That Kind of Beautiful” makes 8th. Eric Church one-twos the 2010s.

TOP 10 SONGS AT COUNTRY – SPINS
1 Eric Church Drink In My Hand 62,000
2 Eric Church Springsteen 61,000
3 Florida Georgia Line Cruise 61,000
4 Jake Owen Barefoot Blue Jean Night 60,000
5 Kip Moore Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck 60,000
6 Darius Rucker Wagon Wheel 59,000
7 Thompson Square Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not 58,000
8 Emerson Drive That Kind Of Beautiful 57,000
9 Zac Brown Band Homegrown 57,000
10 Blake Shelton Honey Bee 57,000

Mainstream Rock flew the flag of Nirvana which takes the 1st and 3rd spots. No Canadian act made the Top Ten.

TOP 10 SONGS AT MAINSTREAM ROCK – SPINS
1 Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit 41,000
2 Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine 39,000
3 Nirvana Come As You Are 38,000
4 Guns N’ Roses Welcome To The Jungle 37,000
5 Metallica Enter Sandman 37,000
6 Ozzy Osbourne Crazy Train 37,000
7 Pink Floyd Another Brick In The Wall (Part II) 37,000
8 AC/DC You Shook Me All Night Long 36,000
9 Aerosmith Sweet Emotion 36,000
10 AC/DC Back In Black 36,000

Modern Rock loved the Arctic Moneys’ “Do I Wanna Know?” As with “mainstream rock”, no Canadian act made the Top Ten at “modern rock”.

TOP 10 SONGS AT MODERN ROCK – SPINS
1 Arctic Monkeys Do I Wanna Know? 22,000
2 AWOLNATION Sail 21,000
3 Foster The People Pumped Up Kicks 21,000
4 Black Keys Tighten Up 20,000
5 Cold War Kids First 20,000
6 Mumford & Sons I Will Wait 19,000
7 Milky Chance Stolen Dance 19,000
8 White Stripes Seven Nation Army 19,000
9 Franz Ferdinand Take Me Out 19,000
10 Black Keys Lonely Boy 19,000

Tenille Arts Lassos Rising Wave with a Savoury New Album

There is evidence that Canadian country is growing in popularity at home and abroad. And Canadian women in country are gaining momentum. With Shania Twain’s remarkably good comeback album, Now has come waves of good things for the cowgirls. Among the achievements (there are more), are the following.

  • Jess Moskaluke scored a platinum single in 2016 and won the JUNO for Country Album of the Year in 2017.
  • Lindsay Ell topped the Country Airplay charts in 2018 and the US charts in 2019.
  • Meghan Patrick crowned country airplay in 2018.
  • Tenille Townes also scored a #1 and won four Canadian Country Music Association awards in 2019.
  • MacKenzie Porter scored two back-to-back number one hits at Country Radio in 2019.

Selected as one of 10 Country Artists to Watch in 2020 by Atlanta, Georgia, USA’s Paste Magazine is Weyburn, Saskatchewan’s Tenille Arts. And judging by her newly released album (her second) Love, Heartbreak, & Everything in Between, not only is she one to watch but is one to hear. Her vocals are splendid, perhaps a cross between Kacey Musgraves’ and Kira Isabella’s. The disc opens with standard hit single country fare, “Somebody Like That”. And right away, things swoop into heart massaging emotional slow swinging territory via “Slow It Down”. As many modern artists, Tenille doesn’t shy away from making things more progressive, as we hear on the next couple of tracks, both of which are superb, “Wild Love” and “Butterfly Effect”. “I Hate This” is a rollercoaster with things rising and falling as the winds blow your hair in an easy breezy flight. The album contains a piano ballad, “Another Life” which explores the great expectations theme. Lyrically, the album remains faithful to its title trotting through the pathways of flowery love and thorny heartbreak as well as everything in between. And Arts’ strength lies in her ability to take things beyond common country pop into the picturesque, moving meadows of sincerity. Just when you think the album has given its all, the final tracks may raise some arm hairs – “Missing You” packs a serious punch and “Everybody Knows Everybody” bursts with rollicking fun.

All Quiet on the Northern Front: 2019 Recap

Amidst a year of Brexit, im-peach-ment, and driving im-pear-ment, an Old Town Road led, for its featured artist Billy Ray Cyrus, to a co-hosting stint at the Canadian Country Music Association awards in Calgary. Country radio spun singles from homegrown artists in dizzying numbers, as a dozen of them topped the charts, an unprecedented occurrence in many years. While some may have wondered when the last time Post Malone took a bath was, the less petty minded questioned why only nine Canadian artists appeared in the Top 40 through the year. Shawn Mendes continued to do well in the singles department, at times with a little help from a Cuban beauty. French language (Franco) songs fared better this year which saw six appear in the Billboard Hot 100. The year’s biggest album was the soundtrack to a movie that has been done and re-done how many times now? The top Canadian artist album released in 2019 made it only to #41 on the year-end chart. None went platinum; three went gold. Eleven Canadian acts scored their first charting singles in 2019. The JUNO Awards raised standards of nobility by showcasing a French language performance. The Félix Awards paid more attention to women. Five icons were inducted into the Music Hall of Fame.

The Singles That Sizzled

As far as 2019 singles went, the number of Canadian artists appearing on the charts through the year continued its downward spiral which has been in motion since streaming data was factored into things in September 2014. The final year before the streaming era was 2013 and that year saw 26 unique Canadian artists release songs that year that reached the Top 40. In 2019, that number has dropped to nine. A mere thirteen Canadian artist songs representing these nine artists made the Top 40. Chief among them was triple platinum “If I Can’t Have You” by Shawn Mendes’ Yvonne Elliman treatment “If I Can’t Have You” and no, it wasn’t a cover. It peaked at #2 and spent 29 weeks in the Hot 100. The song was 21st on the Billboard year-end chart.

Also reaching #2 was new wave number “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd, though, being released at the end of the year, time will tell how well it fares into 2020. The music video was essentially a maxi-ad for Mercedes Benz. If 2019 was about promoting the sale of automobiles, then roads needed to come into play. And, in fact, the biggest hit of the year was Lil Nas X’s novelty tune “Old Town Road”, #1 on the year-end chart and certified diamond by Music Canada.

Twelve additional songs reached the Top 40 with Canadians as co-credited artists, whether a collaboration as the main artist or an appearance as a featured artist. Of these, the only one to hit the top was quintuple platinum “Senorita” by Shawn Mendes and Cuban singer Camilla Cabello. It finished the year in 10th place. Two-upping it was Justin Bieber‘s collaboration with the UK’s Ed Sheeran. Quintuple platinum “I Don’t Care” was 8th of 2019. It peaked on the weekly charts at #2.

If there was to be a silver lining, Franco songs appeared in greater numbers on the Hot 100: six in all. “Tu Trouveras La Paix” from various artists with proceeds to Alzheimer’s research reached the highest peak position of #51. The song was dedicated to Canadian singer Renée Claude who was diagnosed with the illness. Two Franco tracks (still on the charts as of December 31, 2019) have managed to remain for 12 weeks each: “L’amerique pleure” from Les Cowboys Fringants and “Coton Ouate” from Bleu Jeans Bleu. Musique francophone was embraced in other ways (see section on the JUNO Awards).

The Albums That Chiselled

According to the year-end Billboard Canadian Albums chart Drake‘s Scorpion was the top Canadian artist album (5th of the year), though it was released in 2018. As far as 2019 releases go – surprise! – Nav takes the cake with his Bad Habits (41st of the year). While this ranking is based on weekly chart performance of the albums through the year, Nielsen tallied up the total figures for album consumption, and Courage by Céline Dion with 93,000 units was the biggest Canadian artist album released in 2019. Only three 2019 Canadian albums were certified gold by the end of the year; none went platinum. The gilded discs are Nav’s Bad Habits, Bryan Adams’ Shine a Light, and La Voix 2019 from various artists.

Seven Canadian artist albums topped the weekly Album Chart through 2019, two more than last year. They are the aforementioned Bad Habits and Shine a Light plus Jean Leloup‘s L’etrange Pays, Drake’s Care Package, City and Colour‘s A Pill for Loneliness, Céline Dion‘s Courage, and Leonard Cohen‘s Thanks for the Dance.

While 22 albums made the weekly Top Ten in 2018, only 19 had the distinction in 2019. (These numbers do not include albums released in previous years that made comebacks, like Michael Bublé’s perennial favourite, Christmas). Albums authored by homegrown talent have declined in number on the charts over the past few years summarized below with the number of Top 10 Canadian albums per year.

2016 – 36
2017 – 26
2018 – 22
2019 – 19

First-Time Charting Artists

Eleven Canadian artists from six provinces made the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in 2019 either as the main or as the featured artist. They are Mississauga’s Ali Gatie; Vancouver’s bbno$ (pronounced baby no money); Montreal’s Bleu Jeans Bleu; Halifax’s Famba; Aurora, Ontario’s Frank Walker; Toronto’s JP Saxe; Shaunavon, Saskatchewan’s Hunter Brothers; Oshawa’s Lennon Stella; Cambridge, Ontario’s The Reklaws; Vancouver’s Sarah Jeffery; and Grand Prairie, Alberta’s Tenille Townes. The most successful of these was “Lalala”, bbno$’s collaboration with producer Y2K which has so far peaked at #10. In terms of tracks exclusively credited to a Canadian artist, Ali Gatie’s “It’s You” fared best peaking at #25.

The Year in Country: Beefed Up Radio Support

There are two names to pay attention to in the coming little while – Tenille Townes and MacKenzie Porter. Both are women from Alberta and both slayed in 2019. But before we get to them, the big story of the year was an about face pulled by country radio who began supporting homegrown artists … like nobody’s business. This is demonstrated by the fact that 12 Canadian artist songs topped the charts through the year. We compare that with 2016 that saw only one. In 2017 there were four and 2018 seven. We list the Canadian artist country number ones below in chronological order.

Feels Like That – The Reklaws
Somebody’s Daughter – Tenille Townes
You Are – Aaron Goodvin
Rhinestone World – Dallas Smith
Better When I Do – Aaron Pritchett
Lost – Hunter Brothers
Forever’s Gotta Start Somewhere – Chad Brownlee
About You – MacKenzie Porter
Keep It Simple – James Barker Band
What a Song Should Do – Tim Hicks
Drop – Dallas Smith
These Days – MacKenzie Porter

On a side note, Justin Bieber’s collaboration with Dan+Say, “10,000 Hours”, topped the December 31 chart at the end of the year.

Tenille Townes cleaned up at the 2019 Canadian Country Music Association awards (CCMAs) hosted by Dallas Smith and Billy Ray Cyrus. Tenille won four awards. Her #1 country radio hit “Somebody’s Daughter” took both Single of the Year and Video of the Year. And for this Top 30 US country hit, Tenille and her co-writers snatched the Songwriter(s) of the Year award. Townes picked up a fourth trophy for Female Artist of the Year.

Joining her on the girl power locomotive was MacKenzie Porter who over the past few years has been chalking a name for herself in the acting field. She made a startling comeback in music with two back-to-back number one country radio hits (listed above). It is the first time a Canadian female artist has done this in … are you ready? … 22 years. The last one was Shania Twain.

2019 JUNO Awards Bedazzle Swinging London

2020’s JUNO awards will honour 2019 music. The main gala will take place in Saskatoon on Sunday March 15. The 2019 JUNO awards, honouring the best in 2018 music, took place March 17 in London and was hosted by Sarah McLachlan. It was perhaps the most diverse night in the history of the awards show with performances across the genre spectrum, the inclusion of indigenous and Asian Canadians, and, perhaps most significant of all, performances in French! Francophone rapper Loud joined Coeur de pirate on stage for a French language performance.

Corey Hart was inducted into the Music Hall of Fame. It was good timing as his “Never Surrender”, the number one song of 1985, was featured in Season 3 of popular TV series Stranger Things which stars Vancouver actor Finn Wolfhard who plays the character Mike Wheeler.

The JUNO gala was opened by hometown heroes – the duo Loud Luxury. Its song “Body” was certified diamond in 2019. Over the two nights of trophy distribution, Shawn Mendes was the big winner taking home five including Single of the Year for “In My Blood” and album of the year for his eponymous work. Avril Lavigne‘s head popped up above water, as she robbed the male icons by winning the coveted JUNO Fan Choice award.

2019 Gala ADISQ: Women Gain Ground

Women fared better this year than last. The 2019 Félix awards presented at the Gala ADISQ honoured the best music to come out of the province of Quebec. Among the winners were Ginette Reno‘s À Jamais, named Adult Contemporary Album of the Year; Cœur de Pirate’s En cas de tempête, ce jardin sera fermé, Pop Album; Alexandra Stréliski‘s Inscape, Instrumental Album; Roxane Bruneau‘s “Des p’tits bouts de toi”, Song of the Year; and Elisapie‘s Ballad of the Runaway Girl, Allophone Album.

2019 Music Hall of Fame Inductees

Following Corey Hart’s induction into the Music Hall of Fame, four more Canadian acts were picked to receive the honour. Bobby Curtola, a teen idol and superstar of the rock-a-ballad in the early 1960s, was named posthumously, which is unfortunate. Originally from Thunder Bay, Bobby passed away three years ago in Edmonton. His string of hits includes “Hitchhiker” and “Fortuneteller”. British Columbian rock band Chilliwack, known for a slew of hits including “My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)”, received an induction as well. Andy Kim who recently received a star on the Walk of Fame was the third. He is partly responsible for the classic “Sugar Sugar” by The Archies. But Kim also scored his own hits like “Baby, I Love You” and “Rock Me Gently”. Finally, we have alternative country outfit Cowboy Junkies. The group’s collection of radio hits includes “Angel Mine”. The induction of these four took place at a ceremony held at Calgary’s Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, on October 27.

The Year’s (and Decade’s) Best Music

There seemed to be little agreement on the best music of 2019, be it works from Canadian or international artists. Canadian Music Blog revealed its favourite EPs (7 of 196 tracked), albums (21 of 588 tracked), and songs (21 of several thousand tracked) of 2019. Ruth B.‘s Maybe I’ll Find You Again was named EP of the Year, Kiesza‘s “Sweet Love” Song of the Year, and Electric Youth‘s Memory Emotion Album of the Year. CMB also generated lists of the 100 best songs and albums of the 2010s decade. These lists were inclusive of international works. Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Curiosity” (Original Version) was named Song of the Decade and LightsSiberia Album of the Decade.