Selected New Releases: 2017 Chinese New Year Edition


Wishing all, Chinese Canadians in particular, a big gong xi fa cai, eh. The year of the beloved rooster is upon us to make sure we’re up and at ’em every day. Get your mornings kickin’ with congee, Longjing tea, and the following brand new releases from Canadian recording artists. Two currently sit in the iTunes Top 10.

Alphabetically by title, we begin with a very impressive album. Montreal’s Ludovic Alarie has been busy crafting every detail of L’appartement. It’s folky, electronic, and in spirit reminds us a little of Ennio Morricone’s score to Once Upon a Time in America. The music is very pacified, so nighttime listens might be best. For alternative country Toronto style, check out the new Chris Gostling & the Tempo album Breath, Blood & Tempo. This week’s sole rap release is Chasser ses démons from Montreal duo La Carabine, more on the fun side like Radio Radio.

A former participant in The Voice 2014, Saint-Rémi, QC’s Julie Lefebvre debuts in the long play arena with Déjouer le temps, a solidly sung pop-rock effort filled with good tunes. Americanadian duo Thorcraft Cobra contributes more alternative country on The Distance. Bill is from Calgary and Tammy the States. For something quite different and unexpected, guitarist of The New Pornographers (Todd) Fancey lacquers 70s disco pop with a modern psychedelic indie pop coat. The resulting Love Mirage is fascinating.

A staple of music blogs, Vancouver duo Japandroids (not sure which one is the Roboto Industries’ R2 unit) provides straight shooting punk on Near to the Wild Heart of Life. It’s currently the best-selling maple-glazed album at iTunes. Calgarian trumpeter Al Muirhead releases beautiful jazz album Northern Adventures bringing in a host of players for some soothing grooves. Toronto contemporary folk artist Andrea Ramolo contributes Nuda, that comes with a bonus disc of simpler presentations of the tracks.

The lone truly pop album of the week belongs to Quebec City group Automat and album Pandora which is, in a word, excellent. Calgary’s JJ Shiplett finds himself in the iTunes Top 10 thanks to Something to Believe In, sort of a country/roots rock effort and a good one. Toronto’s Alejandra Ribera is back with her brand of singer-songwriter flavours on This Island.

Three EPs worth mentioning are as follows. For rock, we have Spruce Grove, AB’s The Red Cannons doing a good job on Always Something. The very pleasant Les yeux comme deux boussoles from Caplan, QC’s Cédrik St-Onge is doing well on the musique Francophone charts, a folk/singer-songwriter disc. Finally, US-based PEI country artist Whitney Rose offers more traditional country music on South Texas Suite which is wonderful.

Enjoy the new music!