Selected New Releases: May 26, 2017

Among new releases from Canadian artists May 26, 2017, we have the latest album from multiplatinum six-time JUNO winner Serena Ryder. Utopia is jam packed with delicious folk-rock tunes and currently sites at #2 on the iTunes Albums chart. Another ace player is singer-songwriter Oh Susanna who presents A Girl in Teen City. She has a pair of JUNO nominations to her credit, and the new album has some very impressive writing.

We wish to highlight Aum from Guelph’s Minotaurs which is a sumptuous fusion of electronica, jazz, and other flavours. It should hit the spot for those seeking something different that sounds splendid. We loved Catherine Leduc‘s last album, and her new one, Un bras de distance avec le soleil, is also a winner. It’s a little more airy and relaxed than her last one. Female producer Ouri should be the envy of the nation judging by her new album Superficial. It’s chillout electronica at its finest.

Find a list of this week’s selected new releases below.

Aum Minotaurs Alternative Guelph Group
Big Beets Martin Goyette Blues Montreal Male
Un bras de distance… Catherine Leduc Alternative Montreal Female
Erosion Cydemind Prog-Metal Montreal Group
Faux Real Fake Shark Alternative Vancouver Group
A Girl in Teen City Oh Susanna Singer-Songwriter Toronto Female
Hard Won… John Cody Singer-Songwriter Ottawa Male
669 Anders Rap Toronto Male
Superficial Ouri Electronic Montreal Female
Utopia Serena Ryder Folk-Rock Peterborough Female
Key West (EP) Adam Strangler Alt-Rock Montreal Group
7 Years of Blood (EP) Peeling Alt-Rock Toronto Group

Toronto Pop Duo LOLAA Releases Debut EP

Sisters Lex Valentine and Nadia Valerie King formed pop duo LOLAA last year launching debut single “Always Been” with backing vocals by Love Inc.’s* Simone Denny. The duo put on some live shows around the GTA supporting such acts as MSTRKRFT.

Lex and Nadia are not necessarily new to the game; they were part of rock trio Magneta Lane which has put out some albums. On board the LOLAA project is producer Jon Drew (Tokyo Police Club). The duo cites Gloria Estefan, Kim Carnes, Laura Branigan, Debbie Harry, and Donna Summer as influences.

On the EP, find six radio quality pop charmers with memorable melodies, pleasant vocals, and addictive beats. We regard LOLAA as one of the three best EPs released thus far in 2017.  iTunes

* From 1998 to 2000, first-rate dance/house music group Love Inc. scored five Top 30 hits: “Broken Bones”, “You’re a Superstar”, “Who Do U Love”, “Homeless”, and “Here Comes the Sunshine”. The first two became Top 10 hits in the United Kingdom, and Love Inc. won two JUNO Awards. Platinum certification was awarded to the outfit’s debut eponymous album.

Selected New Releases: May 19, 2017

Below is a table of this week’s new releases including a very rough genre designation. Highlights include four-time JUNO nominee and author of two platinum albums, Isabelle Boulay. She releases her tenth studio album, En vérité, an adult contemporary work showcasing her rich vocals. Elizabeth Powell and her JUNO nominated alternative rock band Land of Talk contribute Life After Youth, a very good album. Roots & traditional specialist Daniel Romano, a two-time JUNO nominee, examines Modern Pressure on his new work. The Arion Baroque Orchestra and JUNO nominee Alexander Weimann interpret the works of Johann Joachim Quantz and Georg Philipp Telemann, a beautiful classical album. A couple of newcomers somewhat steal the show with highly impressive LPs. Duo She-Devils present debut self-titled “cave-rock” album. The duo stirred up lots of buzz with an EP released early last year. Also noteworthy is La Minerve from new rock artist Rémy Caset which includes a number of catchy tunes.

City Nights The Junction Alternative
Danse encore Doloréanne Pop
Dirt Road Confessional Jeffery Straker Singer-Songwriter
En vérité Isabelle Boulay Adult Contemporary
Life After Youth Land of Talk Alternative
Les Malcommodes invitent Les Malcommodes Jazz
La Minerve Rémy Caset Rock
Modern Pressure Daniel Romano Roots
Rebelles baroques Arion Baroque Orchestra & Alexander Weimann Classical
She-Devils She-Devils Alternative
Summery Slates Punk
This Is Someday The Royal Oui Alternative
PS. Merci pour le love – EP Yes Mccan Rap

Zeynep Ozbilen Gives Us Zest

Turkish Canadian songstress Zeynep Ozbilen (Toronto) continues to expand the frontiers of world music. She not only brings in Turkish influences but, as one who has studied music from around the world, shakes a multitude of international spices into her zesty sound. Backed by a talented band, Zeynep has released her second album, Zest. The allophone disc (there are a couple of Anglo tracks) although very graceful musically deals with some weighty topics. “Papa, Don’t Give Me Away” addresses the practice of child marriage and abuse of women in various cultures around the world. She handles such issues with sensitivity and class. All in all, Zest will enrich your day like nothing else. Wonderful album.  iTunes

Yvan Pedneault Is Excited to Launch Debut Album

Finalist of The Voice Season 4 (2016) Yvan Pedneault (Sept-Îles, QC) has launched his debut album, a self-titled, bilingual affair. That he has a good voice is a given. It is essentially a modern folk disc with accents of adult contemporary, pop, blues, and soul. A squadron of songwriters wrote or co-wrote the lyrics and music with Yvan including Jean-François Breau and Jérôme Couture. The album is a solid effort with lots of good tunes. A standout track might be the second, “Au bout de nous”, a sonorous power ballad which is very nicely done.  iTunes

Current Swell Knows When to Talk and When to Listen

Victoria, BC’s Current Swell has sautéed to perfection an album … for ambiverts, the folks who know best When to Talk and When to Listen. Released under the Nettwerk Music Group, this is the quartet’s first LP in three years. The band’s popularity has grown steadily over the years as has the quality of its songwriting. Melodic rock tune “Marsha” should have you hooked right away. The pace picks up with the cantering “You Got It Easy” leading up to single “It Ain’t Right”. The album contains a nice variety of moods and tempos and is the band’s best work yet.  iTunes

Choice Indie Rock: Lubik Presents Vivant

Indie rock four-piece band Lubik presents sophomore album Vivant. The group is from La Sarre, QC. The new album puts distorted guitar riffs in your face and supercharges your nerves with its energy. Slipped into the cage cracking sound are catchy feel-good melodies making it an attractive package of tunes. Lubik allows for a respite care of tenth offering “L’infarctus”, a thriller-chiller performed on piano, before capping things off with “Apocalypse” which slices and dices the atmosphere like an untamed Tasmanian devil. Very cool stuff.  iTunes

Let’s Go John Welsh Band

Mission, BC’s John Welsh Band serves a dish of world music treats on new album Vamonos Mi Chica! (Spanish for Let’s Go My Girl!). It is a bilingual work in – you guessed it – English and Spanish. The songs capture a variety of styles from Spanish to regular Anglo pop to reggae and will have you chuckin’ and jivin’ in no time. It may remind you of hot summer nights feasting on tortillas and chilli peppers at an outdoor snack bar under bug zapping lamps or just chilling on the beach. This one is a lot of fun and we recommend checking it out.  iTunes

Eleanor McCain Explores the True North

True North: The Canadian Songbook is a new double-album project from Eleanor McCain of Toronto. As the title suggests, she covers classic Canadian songs, all presented in an easy listening style. She teamed up not with one but many different symphony orchestras across the country. You will find songs by Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell which should satisfy the boomers and Bryan Adams and Roch Voisine to hit the spot for Gen-Xers. She tackles Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind” and Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel”. Shall we go on? This is a gem for any lover of Canadian music, certainly for those who appreciate the songwriting that shines through more clearly in this softer presentation.  iTunes

Renee Wilkin Celebrates 1967 Soul

Finalist of The Voice Season 2, Renée Wilkin of the Gatineau, gets thick soul pumping through her veins to deliver her second opus, Soul ’67. What a great singer. Wilkin selected a dozen songs from 1967, Canada’s centennial anniversary of Confederation, and covers them beautifully, complete with energetic beats, dancing keys, and sassy horns. Find such classics as “Knock on Wood”, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “You Keep Me Hanging On”, and “A Natural Woman”. If soul music is your thing, you will dig it.  iTunes

The Road Hammers Feel the Squeeze

The Squeeze is album number five for The Road Hammers, platinum trio, decorated with a JUNO, and specializing in trucker themed country music. Frontman Jason McCoy says of the new album, “The band keeps growing and getting better. This record is little bit different, but we still have the edge the makes the Hammers’ sound what it is. And we had some great production work on it as well. We had Gavin Brown who produced Metric, Tragically Hip and Barenaked Ladies as well as Scott Baggett who worked with Alison Krauss, Buddy Guy, and Bonnie Raitt. So there is some diversity there and definitely some pedigree there.” The always-fun band is done playing in the “Mud” (a gold single) but still getting “Down and Dirty”. The album presents an energetic, rollicking ride through party-clad roadsides. Fellow platinum artist Tim Hicks closes out the 10-track disc with a feature in “One Horse Town”.  iTunes

The Velveteins Ride a Slow Wave

The city of Edmonton has been flexing its musical muscle as of late. The latest edition to the northern squad is alternative rock band The Velveteins and debut album Slow Wave which combines lo-fi vocals, gritty guitars, and spaced out effects. The LP follows a couple of EPs. You will hear a touch of hazy 60s influence, and the disc maintains a tight sound while conjuring feelings of meandering. The Velveteins’ players are frontman Spencer Morphy, bassist Dean Kheroufi, and drummer Addison Hiller.  iTunes

Boogie Patrol Witnesses a Man on Fire

Edmonton blues group Boogie Patrol releases its first album in six years following a couple of lineup changes and a live album last year. The band’s core three, Dan Shinnan (vocals), Yuji Ihara (guitars), and Nigel Gale (bass) have been playing together for about a decade. Joining them on the disc are drummer Emmet VanEtten and guitarist Chad Holtzman. Shinnan says the players wanted to spice things up for the new album and present a fuller sound. A horn section was brought in to add a dash of late 60s – early 70s soul. Man on Fire was recorded in Winnipeg and produced by Murray Pulver (Crash Test Dummies and Doc Walker). The album is first rate for those who enjoy blues music. Below we embed a live version of opening track “Players Blues” that shows the band in action.  iTunes

CMB Reviews Scott Helman’s Hôtel de Ville

Young platinum recording artist and two-time JUNO nominee, Scott Helman follows up his popular mini album Augusta with full-fledged full-length disc, Hôtel de Ville. With very slick production from the highly competent Tawgs Salter (Lights, Walk Off the Earth), Scott manages to churn out a delightful pop album with trickles of influence by such notables as Paul Simon and Bon Iver. The album follows the launch of singles “21 Days” and “Kinda Complicated”. Scott’s sweet and salty vocals guide Kites through a Ripple Effect of pleasing ditties like “Origami”, clapping anthems such as “You Made Her”, and driving pleasers like “Gaslight”. He makes the songwriting seem ever so easy and is as talented as they come. Check in to the Hôtel de Ville today!

Slab City, located in the Sonoran Desert of the California Badlands in the United States, is a locale often used by both recreational vehicle owners and squatters from around the land. It took its name from left-over concrete slabs from deserted World War II Marine Corps barracks of Camp Dunlap. Slab City provides the scene for Helman’s “Kinda Complicated” MV (embedded below) which was directed by Call Me Maybe’s Ben Knechtel.  iTunes

CMB Reviews René Turgeon’s Héritage

Country slicker René Turgeon is up to album #13 already! Supported by Paul Daraîche, the artist from the south shores of Quebec City offers a bilingual album that combines covers and original compositions. Besides collaborating with Paul, René presents two other duets on the record, one with Annie Blanchard and the other with his daughter Alyson. René plays his favorite country tunes including John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, “Ils parlent de nous” from Irvin Blais, and “La théière” by Tex Lecor. He pens the lyrics and music for new composition “Reste un peu grand-papa”. For those who enjoy wholesome country music, René Turgeon’s Héritage is lots of fun.  iTunes