As we celebrate coming off of a successful summer Olympic games and our athletic heroes, most notably Penny Oleksiak, Rosie MacLennan, Erica Wiebe, and Derek Drouin and as some of us prepare to return to school, some fantastic new music has been released these last two weeks of August 2016 to serve as the soundtrack of our journey into September and beyond.
On August 16, Vancouver Island native Stef Lang gifted the world with EP Arrows Part 2, a sequel to last year’s extended play record. If nothing else, the new pop EP confirms our belief that she is incapable of writing a subpar song.
On August 19, dark wave electronic duo Crystal Castles of Toronto launched full-length album Amnesty (I). It is filled with hauntingly chilling anthems sounding like they were recorded in a dark, mouldy dungeon (that’s meant as a compliment). Also from Toronto, urban music specialist Tory Lanez, a Billboard Hot 100 charting artist, released LP I Told You which is selling well. Vancouver project Every Last Chance rewarded us with self-titled EP containing a couple of singles which created some buzz and one of which we named the best song of 2015. This is essential fresh sounding EDM that will pump up your day.
On August 26, a batch of gems, plugged as back to school releases no doubt, grants us pure pleasure. We begin with Allan Hurd. He’s from off-island Montreal suburb Saint-Bruno-de-Montarvill. In Tdah Vol I. he presents some delightful, folky singer-songwriter tracks. His fellow Canadian Céline Dion, as promised, gets the world’s oceans a-swirl with her latest album Encore un soir currently at the summit of the iTunes chart. The Charlemagne, QC singer has done it again with mostly original tracks composed by both Canadian and international songwriters.
Those who like to lap up the rap can check out Ça vient du Coeur by Montreal’s Fuccè as well as Résiste by Psycadelick. Well, yes, Whitehorse, YT is a team player, thanks to Old Cabin. Mini-album Saturn Return is a nicely done eclectic blend of good tunes. Selling quite well is the self-titled album by Toronto’s Tuns replete with catchy Beatles-esque tunes or more generally 60s pop. Also from Toronto, but more interested in making shoegazing alternative rock is duo Twist presenting new album Spectral. Remarkably good is the new disc from Montreal DJ, whom we acquired from Venezuela, Vito V. The dance album is entitled Illusions of Grandeur and is very much worth checking out.
Neither a studio album nor an EP is Emotion Side B by Mission, BC’s Carly Rae Jepsen, a companion disc to her Polaris shortlisted, critically acclaimed 2015 album Emotion. As has been said, though the tracks are album outtakes, any one of them is better than 90% of the pop songs of 2016. It is currently sitting in the iTunes Top 10.
Another beautiful work is the very classy R&B inflected EP CDW by Toronto’s Charlotte Day Wilson. New wave synth pop is done exquisitely by Montreal’s HWYS on new EP Beaches.
No country discs out this week so we leave you with the lyric video from talented Edmonton indie artist Andrea Nixon, “Innerglow” hot off the video press. Over the next week we will provide more in-depth reviews of some of the LPs and EPs above.