Andrew Rathbun Does Big Band Jazz Right on Atwood Suites

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.


15 New Canadian Artist Albums, May 18, 2018

We have 15 full-length Canadian artist albums released May 18, 2018. Find them in the table below. So far this year, there are 232 plus 58 EPs.

Angels of Death Jennifer Castle S-S/Folk
Canyon Diablo Patiently Awaiting the Meteorite Alternative
In Bad Faith Feel Alright Alternative
It’s a New Day Tonight Michael Rault Alternative
Let’s Be Wilderness POSTDATA Alternative
Mystic Rain Junior Bourcier  Classical
Phase of the Moon Matthew Barber S-S/Folk
Presse-jus Donzelle Alternative
Reckless NAV Rap
Run to Waters Justin Nozuka S-S/Folk
Strange Prison Astral Swans S-S/Folk
Sweet Old Religion Pharis & Jason Romero S-S/Folk
Trick of the Light Dana Sipos S-S/Folk
Valery Vaughn Valery Vaughn Alternative
Violet Psalms Frog Eyes Alternative

May 11, 2018 Releases: Loreena McKennitt, Beatrice Deer…

Marie-Mai has a hot new single out – “Empire”. The Barbers (Jill and Matthew) will each be releasing new albums in the next little while. Coeur de pirate‘s upcoming disc (June 1) is titled en cas de tempête, ce jardin sera fermé (roughly, The garden will be closed in case of a storm). Shawn Hook will be embarking on a headlining tour in the autumn, joined by Neon Dreams. And lest we forget, soul singer Yama Laurent won The Voice Season 6 (2018).

Some good releases are out this week. Highlights are as follows.

Fresh country music artist Jessica Mitchell launches Heart of Glass, her debut full-length. (No, it doesn’t contain a cover of a Blondie song.) The album’s a beauty.

World music specialist Loreena McKennitt‘s latest is Lost Souls. It is the two-time JUNO winner’s 10th album and first in eight years.

JUNO winning jazz vocalist Molly Johnson contributes the splendid Meaning to Tell Ya.

Referring to her style as Inuindie, Montreal-based Inuk recording artist Beatrice Deer has perhaps the most enjoyable album this week. She mixes English and Inuktitut and pop/rock with indie folk making it accessible enough for the mainstream but different enough to draw interest. The ace songwriting is what makes everything engaging. Check out the catchy title-track “My All to You”.

Finally, let’s talk about Kandle. She’s a JUNO nominee originally from BC and offers up EP Damned If I Do of fine indie rock with a touch of blues.

Find these and more in the table below.

Boomtown Café Abbittibbi S-S/Folk
Dans ma main Jean-Michel Blais Classical
De ville en aiguille Dave Harmo  S-S/Folk
Heart of Glass Jessica Mitchell Country
Hi Little Junior Alternative
Laisse aller Nos Deux  S-S/Folk
Lost Souls Loreena McKennitt World
Meaning to Tell Ya Molly Johnson Jazz
My All to You Beatrice Deer World
Nick&Astro’s Guide to the Galaxy Potatohead People Alternative
Portrait Julie Kim R&B
Shoddy, GLD, L Nino Bardy Boyz Rap
Spoiled Sunday Greg Ball Rock
Born to Do This (EP) Angee Wings R&B
Damned If I Do (EP) Kandle Alternative
Stay (EP) Drew Thomson Foundation Alternative

New Releases May 4, 2018: Kiran Ahluwalia, Éric Lapointe, Felix Cartal…

Canadian music makers are going to need to create more pop songs if they want to capitalize on the current state of affairs, and more pop albums have hit the markets in this week’s batch of new releases.

In a snapshot of the twenty most purchased tracks at iTunes Canada, we drafted the following chart showing that pop hits are the most liked, followed by rock, then rap, and finally country. Points were tallied for each of the four genres. The genre of the #1 song was awarded 20 points, 19 points for the #2 song and so on, down to 1 point for the genre of the 20th most popular song. We’ve kept things simple so that pop includes songs designated as “dance”, rock includes “alternative”, rap “R&B”, and country “folk”.

Highlights of this week’s new Canadian artist releases include the following. Kiran Ahluwalia is a double JUNO winner and specialist of world music. The new album is entitled 7 Billion. Among the choicest of Franco music is fresh disc L’amour et le chaos from electropop duo Alfa Rococo. For a little atmosphere check out the artistic Arms of a Dream from Alberta’s Reuben and the Dark. Two-time JUNO nominee and rocker Éric Lapointe tops iTunes albums with his latest effort, Délivrance. BC punk band D.O.A. is still at it and contributes Fight Back. Also from the west coast is 3-time JUNO nominee Felix Cartal and EDM LP Next Season. Legendary 70s rock group Offenbach is all about a Renaissance. Finally, definitely give a listen to nicely done synthpop EP Voyager léger from double JUNO nominee Yann Perreau. Find these and lots more goodies in the table below.

7 Billion Kiran Ahluwalia World
L’amour et le chaos Alfa Rococo Pop
Arms of a Dream Reuben and the Dark Alt
Daniel Jesuslesfilles Alt
Délivrance Éric Lapointe Rock
Driving in the Dark Mariel Buckley S-S
Fight Back D.O.A. Punk
Home Away from Home The Lay Awakes S-S
In City & Country The Young Novelists S-S
Next Season Felix Cartal Pop
Renaissance Offenbach Rock
La chute de Sparte (EP) La Bronze Pop
Voyager léger (EP) Yann Perreau Pop

We leave you with exquisite new track “Anybody Out There” from Vancouver platinum recording artist Tyler Shaw and Toronto’s Amaal Nuux.

Dusted Settles on Blackout Summer

Dusted is a pet project of Brian Borcherd and Blackout Summer its sophomore record. Essentially a work of alternative rock, its strong suit lies in the writing. Songs often begin discreetly and grab attention when the bass and drums enter the picture. Opener “Seasons” welds the brooding hypnosis of The Psychedelic Furs’ “Sister Europe” with the ghostly yodels of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”. The more experimental “Dead Eyes” pairs subdued vocals with perky guitars oscillating between simpler arrangements and ones more sophisticated. The swaggering “No Prison” beautifully captures the jangly guitar sound of the 60s from such aces as The Byrds and beefs things up with some pleasurable pulses. Well done!  iTunes

New Releases April 27, 2018: Tebey, Claude Bégin

Toronto pop artist Bossie releases debut album Not Pictured

This week’s releases come mainly from Quebec with a few Ontarian acts and one from BC. They follow the big news that Shawn Mendes will be releasing his third album May 25 and that Shania Twain will be hosting the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) awards in September. Find a table below of 20 brand new Canadian artist releases – 14 LPs and 6 EPs.

Agora Al Right Rap
Bleu Nuit Claude Bégin Pop
Dave Chose Dave Chose Alt
Dérives Émeraude Pop
Diamond Baby Blues Lee Aaron Rock
L’école des vertiges Tristan Malavoy S-S
Floor Kids (VG Soundtrack) Kid Koala Soundtrack
Illusions Adekoa Reggae
Not Pictured Bossie Pop
La rouille se pose… Auguste S-S
Run to Me Samantha Martin/D. Sugar Blues
Tout refaire Michel Robichaud S-S
Traveler Chances Alt
Unreason in the Age… GrimSkunk Metal
#28 (EP)
Ulysses Alt
Afterglow (EP)
Talk Nice S-S
Jus’ Rite (EP)
Acid Test Alt
Last Winter (EP)
Greg Keelor S-S
Love a Girl (EP)
Tebey Country
Velvet Noise (EP) Velvet Noise  Pop

April 20, 2018 Releases: Andrew Rathbun, Donovan Woods…

Andrew Rathbun has one of the finest jazz albums we’ve heard in years. Atwood Suites contains original compositions inspired by the poetry of Margaret Atwood arranged in a large ensemble of saxophones, flutes, clarinets, trumpets, flugelhorns, trombones, guitar, piano, Rhodes, bass, and drums. The concrete jungle jazz sound is augmented by guest vocalists Luciana Souza and Aubrey Johnson.

Two-time JUNO nominee Donovan Woods has the frontrunner for folk / singer-songwriter album of the year in the beautifully done Both Ways.

Siméon‘s self-titled work is made especially appealing by the funky chillout piece “Pas loin de la vérité”, another fine singer-songwriter disc.

Michael Kaeshammer, a six-time JUNO nominee, combines vocal jazz and blues on album Something New. Guests include Randy Bachman and Colin James.

The Spark That Moves is the latest from four-time JUNO nominee Cancer Bats, a metal outfit, for those who like their music hard.

Rising country group The Washboard Union presents What We’re Made Of which is filled with gripping songs, one of the better albums of the genre to come out this year.

Find a table of selected releases from this week below.

3069: A Space Rock… Nightseeker Rock
Antigravity  iLLvibe Rap
Atwood Suites  Andrew Rathbun Large Ensemble Jazz
Both Ways Donovan Woods S-S/Folk
Grand’ Marée  Michel Villeneuve  S-S/Folk
Landscapes The Long War Rock
Raphaël Butler  Raphaël Butler  Rock
Rock N Roill Rebels Dizzygoth  Metal
Siméon  Siméon  S-S/Folk
Something New  Michael Kaeshammer Blues
Sous le ciel de Paris Rita Tabbakh  AC
The Spark That Moves  Cancer Bats Metal
What We’re Made Of The Washboard Union Country
Les amants de l’ombre (EP) Claude Marc Bourget  AC
Delta Jackson (EP) Delta Jackson S-S/Folk

Melody Stang Muses on the Wrong Side of the Moon

Red Deer, Alberta’s Melody Stang has released three-track EP Wrong Side of the Moon. It is worthy of a writeup on Canadian Music Blog, a disc of singer-songwriter songs with torrents of atmosphere thanks to smart production and the use of synthesizers. A mountain of sound plummets down on “Carousel Ride” with tasty beats and sparkling keys. Title-track “Wrong Side of the Moon” is soaked in good feels with nice backing vocals and chillout string strums. Guitar-driven ditty “Somebody Else” muses on the yearning post breakup. Melody Stang is an artist to watch given this first-rate EP.  iTunes

Selected Canadian Artist Releases, April 13, 2018

Below we list selected Canadian artist releases for the week of April 13, 2018.


“Ariane” by Choses Sauvages (Alternative)
“Loud” by Tim Hicks (Country)
“Somnambule” by Coeur de pirate (AC)


Berceuses sous la hotte by Marie Paquin (S-S/Folk)
Cue by Jaunt (Alternative)
Dates by Dates (Punk)
Wrong Side of the Moon by Melody Stang (S-S/Folk)


Arriver jusqu’à toi by Laura Gagné (AC)
Feux de bengale by Joannie Benoit (S-S/Folk)
M. Chandler by M. Chandler (Rock)
Le sage by Michel Thériault (Rock)
Science by Robotaki (Pop)
Zay by FouKi (Rap)


We leave you with the new music video for Meghan Patrick’s “The Bad Guy”. Meghan is the reigning CCMA Female Artist of the Year. The track is from her January 2018 album Country Music Made Me Do It.

To the Trees for Some Synthrock

Well, if you guys think Dear Rouge is good, wait ’til you hear brand new synthrock band To the Trees of Waterloo, Ontario. Out with brand new eponymous EP, the group contributes more choice cuts to the genre that sadly is a little on the depleted side these days. The disc offers six beautifully crafted songs, and though independently released can boast very professionally sounding production. The vocals are lovely, musicianship pleasing, and writing top notch. We are very excited to watch the career of this talented group unfold. Not necessarily the best track – they’re all good – To the Trees has created an MV for “Run from Fire”. There is a rocketman surprise at the end. Have a look below.

Experiencing Some Down Time with Young Galaxy

Electronic group Young Galaxy formed in Vancouver but relocated to Montreal where prolific album releases – six so far – have ensued since 2007. A few of these have been long or shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize. After going through a number of membership changes, YG is essentially down to the duo now of Catherine McCandless and Stephen Ramsay. 2018’s Down Time is the outfit’s first fully independent release. Stuffed with often lengthy tracks of warm, dense, mesmerizing electronic soundscapes and sophisticated percussion and effects, the disc is picking up strong reviews.

Down Time opens with the haunting bleeps and burbles of “Under My Wing” (see official audio below), complete with veiled vocals. Glittering synths animate “Show You the Valley”. The lively percussion and layered vocals on “River” feel like a Caribbean cruise while the long instrumental prologue of ethereal wisps in “Frontier” gently blow the listener up and up and outside the atmosphere. “Stay for Real” released last year was ranked by the CMB as the 14th top track of 2017. It is the album’s strongest track as far as single-suited material goes. Young Galaxy’s Down Time is one of the best albums of the year thus far. Very cool stuff.

Releases for April 6, 2018: Paul Brandt, Young Galaxy, Sloan…

Selected New Singles

Being semi-facetious, let us state … for the record … that it was a Canadian who delivered the first rap track, back in 1964. His name was Lorne Greene, and the piece in question was “Ringo”. That ought to be the standard by which all modern rap tunes are judged. Carrying on the Greene tradition is Canada’s own Drake. After dominating the Hot 100 for 10 weeks with “God’s Plan”, he drops “Nice for What”. Is it nice or not? You be the judge.

Also hot at iTunes (currently Top 25) is a new one from Arkells – “People’s Champ”. The Motown-heavy romp heralds the band’s upcoming fifth album and comments on a politician who looks like he has a puss caterpillar on his head. Guess who.

Country music’s finest voice is a matter of debate but certainly ranking high up there is Kira Isabella, and she lands a sure-fire winner, “Little Girl” as in “Don’t ever let ’em make you feel little, girl.” It continues her rally for female empowerment found on such choice cuts as “Quarterback”.

It seems like it’s been a while since we’ve heard from youthful ace of funk Francesco Yates though he did release a song back in February. He’s back with new single “Do You Think About Me”. Francesco was featured in Robin Schulz’s international smash “Sugar”, triple platinum at home.

Selected New Extended Plays

Regarded by many as the most successful Canadian country male soloist of the modern era, Calgary’s Paul Brandt is a triple platinum, 8x JUNO award winner. His new EP is The Journey YYC, Vol. 1 and presents six songs packed with more energy than a multivitamin. This one’s a keeper.

A pleasant surprise is Waterloo’s To the Trees with a self-released, self-titled affair. The band specializes in syth rock. The nifty disc seems to get better with each song; the final two hit the spot for us. This one’s worth checking out for fans of the genre.

More extended plays in the table of new releases down below.

Selected Hot New Albums

Nova Scotia’s Sloan releases its first album in four years and its 12th since things began in 1992, hence its title 12. Four of the group’s albums have gone gold and a JUNO win can be claimed. Atlantic rock doesn’t get much better – hear influences from America, The Beatles, and early Pink Floyd.

Singer-songwriter Royal Wood contributes Ever After the Farewell. He goes for a roots sound on many tracks, bringing in some gospel and folk seasonings. The album was produced by Jamie Scott (Ed Sheeran, Rag ‘n Bone Man). Royal Wood has garnered a pair of JUNO nominations thus far.

JUNO nominated pop machine Hey Ocean! of Vancouver discusses The Hurt of Happiness on its new record. Perhaps western Canada’s version of Stars, with the male-female singing combo over rich sythpop, the album is a glossy atmospheric adventure.

Annie Poulain is a JUNO nominee in the jazz field. Her Dix pianos une voix features, as the title suggests, 10 pianists who accompany her vocals. Overall, it’s a soothing record perfect for weekday evening unwinding.

Selected Cool New Albums

Blackout Summer from Dusted? Yes. The Toronto based outfit should appeal to fans of soulful alternative music, a little dark, a bit dreamy, with focussed hooks and punchy beats. As Yoda might say, “Very nicely done, this one is.”

Thomas Carbou, the genius who brings world music into jazz, dedicates three pieces to each of the four Directions, hence the album name. As you guessed, North, South, East, and West dabble in instruments, sounds, styles common in those respective parts of the globe, and it’s all fused into wonderful jazz.

Last but not least, Exclaim mag gave the following album a rating of 9/10. That’s a pretty accurate score as far as we are concerned. One of the best albums of 2018 belongs to Down Time by synth band Young Galaxy of Montreal. The album contains phenomenal 2017 track “Stay for Real”. We’ll give this one a more detailed writeup later.

Find a table of 24 selected Canadian artist LPs and EPs out this week in the table below.

12 Sloan Rock
Blackout Summer Dusted Alternative
Canada’s Global Orchestra Kune World
Chasing Clouds Camaromance S-S/Folk
Debouler vers le ciel Emile Gruff Rock
Directions Thomas Carbou  Jazz
Dix pianos une voix Annie Poulain Jazz
Down Time Young Galaxy Alternative
Every After the Farewell Royal Wood S-S/Folk
The Fifth Matthew V Pop
The Hurt of Happiness Hey Ocean! Pop
Lone Wolf Lowell Alternative
Ms. Behave Rosie & The Riveters S-S/Folk
Premier Juin Lydia Kepinski Alternative
Sa couleur Ame Pop
Salvation The Penske File Rock
Separate Rooms Megan Bonnell S-S/Folk
The Up Here Place Look Vibrant Alternative
Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa Jeremy Dutcher Classical
Amours jetables (EP) Melissa Ouimet S-S/Folk
Deslembranca (EP) Mikhaëlle Salazar  World
Homage (EP) Flash Lightnin’ Rock
The Journey YYC, Vol. I (EP) Paul Brandt Country
To the Trees (EP) To the Trees Rock

Easter Weekend 2018 Releases: The Weeknd, Ortega, Chassé…

It’s a four-day long weekend for many, but The Weeknd decided to make it a short one with the release of an EP. New Canadian releases are light this week.

My Dear Melancholy is the Weeknd’s ode to all things grievous, perhaps owing to a relationship with Selena Gomez that did not lead to marriage. In opening track “Call Out My Name”, arguably the best one, the Toronto R&B star mopes, “I almost cut a piece of myself for your life,” perhaps a reference to a proposed kidney transplant. Ironically, the song sounds very Bieberish (a good thing) but like a lot of modern urban music suffers from the lack of a chorus. It does therefore sound a bit repetitive saved a little by the spicy synths at its close.

Roots country specialist Lindi Ortega probably could not be bothered with these sorts of musical relationship chairs preferring to pay homage to the master of cinematic music Ennio Morricone on new album Liberty. It’s a plump 15-track affair that should hit the spot for spaghetti western buffs – mood music to drool over with a glass of Sarsaparilla held by a sunburnt hand on a hot summer night. It’s not all leisurely paced, however. Rousing numbers like “You Ain’t Fooling Me” with a hint of rock get the music to canter away.

Rock comes to us this week by The Voice Season 2 finalist Rémi Chassé, and his second full-length Les cris et les fleurs. He certainly has the voice for it, and the guitar work is well done. Lots of umph and gusto make this one of the better rock albums of 2018 thus far.

Other works that greet us are tour-de-force dance disc The Mass of Phoenix by Phoenix Lord; choice singer-songwriter LP from Éveline, a self-titled affair; and another rock album, though a little more indie sounding than Chassé’s, the eponymous Loïc April.

JUNO News and New Releases March 23, 2018: Yoan, Final State…

It’s JUNO weekend! Before we get to the new releases this week, let’s talk about the JUNO presenters and how you can watch the broadcast if not attending.

JUNO Presenters

The presenters at the main televised gala Sunday night include Kim’s Convenience star Andrea Bang, legendary record producer Bob Rock, veteran singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, rising singing sensation Charlotte Cardin, electronic recording artist Grimes, multiplatinum superstar Jann Arden, Jasmyn Burke of alternative group Weaves, Olympic bronze medalist snowboarder Mark McMorris, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, rappers of the “Northern Touch” project (Rascalz, Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall, Thrust, and Choclair), Atlantic Canadian Ria Mae, multiplatinum Edmontonian Ruth B., Toronto pop ace Scott Helman, and post-grunge group Theory of a Deadman’s Tyler Connolly.

Furthermore, Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene and Pearl Wenjack (sister of Secret Path subject Chanie Wenjack) will introduce a tribute performance honouring Gord Downie. Rush frontman Geddy Lee will induct Barenaked Ladies and Steven Page into the Music Hall of Fame.

Viewing the JUNOs

Saturday’s dinner and gala where most of the awards will be presented can be live streamed 6 p.m. Pacific / 9 p.m. Eastern via and CBC Music’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Sunday’s main gala with host Michael Bublé will be aired on CBC television, CBC Radio, and globally online at, 5 p.m. Pacific / 8 p.m. Eastern.

This Week’s New Releases

The long wait is over! Vocal wonder Yoan is back with country-rock album Depuis longtemps, followup to his eponymous platinum certified debut which sold like hotcakes in 2015. The new album is loads and loads of fun – not to be missed.

Pop group Final State delivers a self-titled LP crafted with solid tunes. The band is a Billboard Hot 100 charting one.

Calgary’s JUNO nominated group Viet Cong has re-christened itself, as many felt the name was in poor taste. The talent remains as strong under the Preoccupations moniker. New Material is a disc of new wave and quite a good one.

R&B slayer Keshia Chanté, JUNO winner and gold certified, serves up killer album Unbound 02 containing pop hit “Lights Out” among other treats.

Jordan Officer makes music not quite categorizable – it’s jazz, blues, some country, you name it. Graced with a JUNO nomination as a featured artist, Officer is back in top form on Three Rivers.

For the adventurous, we have Dirt from JUNO nominated Yamantaka // Sonic Titan. Synth pop is done right on Ocean Electro from BC’s Kellarissa, and beautifully written songs shine in the pop-rock field on Impossible To Hold from Nova Scotia’s Christina Martin.

A couple of EPs are out including Conversations from Jhyve who is nominated in the R&B category at this year’s JUNO Awards.

Find a table below with all the new Canadian artist releases this week after which a brand new MV and two new hit singles..

Le boss e le Hitman Ruffneck & Buzzy Bwoy Rap
Brille Brille Brille Marjorie Fiset S-S
Depuis longtemps Yoan Country Rock
Dirt Yamantaka // Sonic Titan Alternative
Final State Final State Pop
Impossible To Hold Christina Martin Pop-Rock
Limboland The Stanfields Alternative
New Material Preoccupations Alternative
Nos chansons Marc Hervieux Jazz
Ocean Electro Kellarissa Alternative
Plaza Simon Kingsbury Rock
The Record Collector The Foreign Films Alternative
Samedi soir de semaine Simon Laganière Alternative
Three Rivers Jordan Officer Jazz
Unbound 02
Keshia Chanté R&B
Conversations (EP) Jhyve R&B
Moon Machine (EP) Beat Market Eletronic

We cannot round up the new releases this week without mentioning two new singles from teen marvel Shawn Mendes; “In My Blood” and “Lost in Japan” are currently #1 and #2 at iTunes respectively.

Finally, excellent Canadian R&B singer Jenna Nation has released a music video for her choice song “Can’t Get Over You” which we embed below.

Enjoy the new music.

New Releases March 16, 2018: Jann Arden, The Avulsions…

The average child laughs 400 times per day, and the average adult only 15. I guess that’s what income tax will do to you.

Funny lady Jann Arden can help us increase the 15 by a few notches, but her new album These Are the Days proves she can pen songs in earnest when she needs to. Jann is a quintuple platinum recording artist from the Calgary area who’s won eight JUNO awards. Her song “Insensitive” cracked the British Top 40 in 1996. The new disc is a batch of thoughtfully penned tracks in the adult contemporary realm.

Jann Arden has one of only five Canadian artist major releases this week.

For something very different but just as good, comes Saskatoon outfit The Avulsions and Expanding Program. It is the group’s debut and very impressive. Find here gothic post-punk with a dense, rich atmosphere fronted by savory female vocals and backed by thundering beats. Razor sharp guitars and soul-splitting synths animate a hypnotic dystopian future. What a gem!

Next appear those talented Quebeckers. Frank Custeau presents a spirited singer-songwriter work entitled Départs d’août – expert guitar work and a sensitive delivery make “Le cimetière” and “Le vieil homme et le fleuve” a couple of standouts. In the Anglophone realm is Hold On by Sule. While essentially a singer-songwriter work, this one’s more on the bluesy side. His soulful vocals are an asset and the tunes are quite catchy.

Finally, we have an EP from British Columbian super talent Kristi Lane Sinclair. The Ability to Judge Distance swings satisfyingly between rock and singer-songwriter vibes. She describes her style as everything from “snarling guitars and warm cello”, and the whole package sounds fresh and charming.