Jennifer Gasoi Becomes First Canadian to Win a Best Children’s Album Grammy Award

Eleven Canadians were nominated for a 2014 United States’ Grammy Award (not including those credited in an artist’s nominated works), and two of them won. Michael Bublé won his 4th award thanks to album To Be Loved in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category. Montréal-based Vancouverite Jennifer Gasoi became the first-ever Canadian to win a Grammy for Best Children’s Album. This was for her second LP, Throw a Penny in the Wishing Well released in 2012. The album was nominated for a JUNO in the same category last year but lost out to Emilie Mover for The Stella and Sam Album. With a beautiful voice, and fun lyrics, Jennifer’s cheery, upbeat album incorporates genres of 1950s doo-wop, jazz, swing, folk, Cajun, and calypso.

Jennifer Gasoi - Throw a Penny in the Wishing Well Grammy

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The Most Successful Canadian Albums Released in 2012

The most domestically successful album from a Canadian artist released in 2012 was Sans Attendre by Céline Dion, the only one to be certified triple platinum by the end of the year. Star Académie 2012 and Justin Bieber’s Believe were both double platinum releases. Internationally, Believe was the year’s best-selling album from a Canadian artist.

There were an astounding number of albums released this year. With a sharp decline in record sales over the past few years, it is a huge honour just to score a gold album these days, something that was pretty much guaranteed for an album with a radio hit in years past. By the end of the year, 8 albums released in 2012 received gold certifications, 3 platinum, and 3 multi-platinum.

On the year-end Top 50 Canadian Albums chart, 15 were by Canadian artists, 7 of which were released in 2012. Of the seven, Star Académie 2012 enjoyed the highest position at #8. As far as the weekly Canadian Albums chart as published by Nielsen / Billboard is concerned, we count a total of 44 albums by Canadian artists that made the Top 10. Of these, 9 made it to #1.

Below is a comprehensive table of the most successful 2012 Canadian albums domestically. We will continue to update the certification figures through 2013 with letter in green. To be included in the list, an album had to fulfill at least one of the following criteria:

A. Gold certification or higher.
B. Appeared on the Top 50 year-end Billboard Canadian Albums Chart.
C. Was an Anglophone album that peaked in the Top 5 of the weekly Billboard Canadian Albums Chart.
D. Was a Francophone album that peaked in the Top 10 of the weekly Billboard Canadian Albums Chart.

TOP  CANADIAN ALBUMS OF 2012
TITLE ARTIST C WP YE
Sans Attendre Celine Dion 3xP 1 17
Star Academie 2012 Various Artists 2xP 1 8
Believe Justin Bieber 2xP 1 9
Old Ideas Leonard Cohen P 1 16
Fire It Up Johnny Reid P 2 22
Star Academie Noel (Various) P 3  
Adventures In Your Own Backyard Patrick Watson G 2  
Miroir Marie-Mai P 2  
Glad Rag Doll Diana Krall G 2  
Lead with your Heart The Tenors G 3  
Kiss Carly Rae Jepsen G 5  
Lisa LeBlanc Lisa LeBlanc P 8  
XX Great Big Sea G    
Dirt Dean Brody G
Harmony Serena Ryder P
Silence on Joue Angele Dubeau & La Pieta G    
Dead Silence Billy Talent G 1 50
Clockwork Angels Rush G 1  
Cabin Fever Corb Lund   1  
Havoc and Bright Lights Alanis Morissette   1  
The Sheepdogs The Sheepdogs  G 1  
Voyageur Kathleen Edwards   2  
MA Ariane Moffatt  G 2  
MixMania 3 (Various)   2  
Synthetica Metric   2  
>album title goes here< deadmau5  G 2  
Americana Neil Young & Crazy Horse   3 42
Dope Sick Madchild   3  
Confidences Roch Voisine   3  
Now for Plan A Tragically Hip  G 3  
Mes amours mes amis Paul Daraiche  P 3  
Le Québec est mort, Vive le Québec! Loco Locass   4  
Retour De Nos Idoles: En Spectacle! (Various)   4  
Transit of Venus Theree Days Grace   4  
Albatross Big Wreck   5  
A laube du printemps Mes Aieux   5  
The North Stars   5  
J’aime ta grand-mere Les Trois Accords   5  
Maree Humaine Manu Militari   6  
No. 2 Bernard Adamus   6  
Le Jour d-apres Sylvain Cossette   7  
Treizieme Etage Le Louis-Jean Cormier  G 8  
Telle Qu’elle Annie Villeneuve   9  

.C = Certification; WP = Weekly Peak; YE = Year-End

 

Billboard Canadian 50 Albums of 2012

On Billboard’s year-end chart for 2012, we find things looking similar to last year.  If fact most of the albums at the top of this year’s chart are albums released yesteryear.  Adele’s 21 is at #1 and Michael Buble’s Christmas at #2.  You will still find some fresher releases in the mix.  Fifteen of the 50 albums are by Canadian artists, that’s 1/3 of the chart.  Candian artists are in red.

BILLBOARD   CANADIAN YEAR-END ALBUMS, 2012
POS TITLE ARTIST
1 21 Adele
2 Christmas Michael Buble
3 Up All Night One Direction
4 Here and Now Nickelback
5 Under the Mistletoe Justin Bieber
6 Sorry for Party Rocking LMFAO
7 Babel Mumford & Sons
8 Star Academie 2012 Various Artists
9 Believe Justin Bieber
10 Red Taylor Swift
11 El Camino The Black Keys
12 Take Care Drake
13 Danseplus 2012 Various Artists
14 Talk That Talk Rihanna
15 Mylo Xyloto Coldplay
16 Old Ideas Leonard Cohen
17 Sans Attendre Celine Dion
18 Overexposed Maroon 5
19 Storms Hedley
20 Lioness:  Hidden Treasures Amy Winehouse
21 Bangarang (EP) Skrillex
22 Fire It Up Johnny Reid
23 Tuskegee Lionel Richie
24 The Truth About Love P!nk
25 Making Mirrors Gotye
26 Tome 8 Francois Perusse
27 Glee:  Christmas Vol. 2 Soundtrack
28 C’est un monde Fred Pellerin
29 Blown Away Carrie Underwood
30 Own the Night Lady Antebellum
31 Some Nights fun.
32 My Head is an Animal Of Monsters and Men
33 Love is a Four Letter Word Jason Mraz
34 2012 Grammy Nominees Various Artists
35 Someone to Watch Over Me Susan Boyle
36 Wicked Game Il Divo
37 Wild Ones Flo Rida
38 L’avenire entre nous Maxime Landry
39 Duets II Tony Bennett
40 MDNA Madonna
41 Heavenly Christmas Jackie Evancho
42 Americana Neil Young & Crazy Horse
43 Blunderbuss Jack White
44 Living Things Linkin Park
45 Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded Nicki Minaj
46 …Little Broken Hearts Norah Jones
47 One Night in Central Park Andrea Bocelli
48 + Ed Sheeran
49 Teenage Dream Katy Perry
50 Dead Silence Billy Talent

Serena Ryder Rides into Stompin’ Harmony

Serena Ryder - HarmonyPeterborough is known as the gateway to Ontario’s cottage country. Southwest of the city lies the town of Millbrook where several big-name motion pictures have been filmed and where 3-time JUNO-winning recording artist Serena Ryder grew up. Cottage culture is so ingrained into her blood, as ranches are to Albertans, that she installed cedar panels into her Toronto garage converting it into a recording studio and calling it “the cottage”. Ryder’s debut release appeared in 1999, and she has been churning out EPs and LPs since then. Her first JUNO came in 2008 for New Artist of the Year. Her best-known hit to date is perhaps “Weak in the Knees”, a gold single. Two of her albums have gone gold as well, one of which, Is It OK, won the JUNO in 2009 for Adult Alternative Album of the Year. Her 3rd JUNO was Video of the Year in 2010 for “Little Bit of Red”. Serena has just released her latest work, Harmony. Lead single, “Stompa”, has already appeared on the Hot 100. The new album showcases a more boot-stomping, joyful approach than her previous introspective folk.

Serena Ryder’s Official Website     Harmony on iTunes

Flesh and Bone is the New Album from Barney Bentall

Barney Bentall - Flesh and BoneBarney Bentall has released a new album called Flesh and Bone. His cross-style genre includes bits of folk, country, and roots rock. Bentall was born in Toronto and formed a Vancouver-based group called The Legendary Hearts. Their self-titled, Bob Rock produced album in 1987 went platinum, helped no doubt by Top 20 hit “Something to Live For”. In 1989, they won the JUNO for Most Promising Group of the Year. A couple more hits followed in the 90s: “Crime Against Love” and “I’m Shattered”. Their last album was released in 1997 and Bentall decided to start a cattle ranch in BC. After nearly a decade, he began itching to get back into music and released his first solo album in 2006. Flesh and Bone is his 4th solo studio album, and it sounds like he had a blast making it. Even those not normally taken by the rootsy stuff will find this a treat. The music is very well constructed and you also get drawn into the lyrics as they tell interesting stories about life in Canada.

Barney Bentall’s Official Website     Flesh and Bone on iTunes 

SELF by Stef Lang

After an EP earlier this year (Fighting Mirrors) that contained radio hit “Paper Doll” and a cross-Canada tour, Ladysmith BC’s Stef Lang reflected on what was to be her next move besides being featured in two tracks off Delerium’s new album Music Box Opera. Drawing inspiration from her idols Joni Mitchell and Ron Sexsmith, Stef realized that trying to forge her style into one that fit into contemporary hit radio moulds was blistering her heart. She decided to begin crafting the kind of music that met with her own taste. The result is the new digital album Self, her second LP. Talk about a true independent trooper, Stef wrote, played, recorded, engineered and produced the album all by herself.

Before you think she’s come out with banners waving in some bizarre musical genre that would have those accustomed to the mainstream scratching their heads, Self is actually not too far off from the CHR staple. If commercial tunes are like slices of bread, Self is like a gourmet sandwich. She has taken the basic elements and created something even more wholesome and savoury.

The album opens with Stef on her signature blood-stained acoustic guitar in “Brick Wall” and the music grows into a graceful current of subtle, melancholy R&B accented with some perky funk and urban rhythms, particularly in such beautiful tracks as “Castle in the Cloud”, “For a Minute There”, and “DNA”.

If her previous works suggested Stef Lang was a talent, her new album proves that she is a musical genius. Self is not simply another good Canadian release; it is one of the best albums of 2012.

Stef Lang Official Website     Listen to / Download Self     Self on iTunes

Crystal Castles III by Crystal Castles

Toronto’s Crystal Castles is an experimental electronic duo consisting of Alice Glass and Ethan Krath. They released their first album in 2008 for which they received a New Group of the Year JUNO nomination and their second in 2010 which was nominated for Electronic Album of the Year. Their third album was recorded in Warsaw and mixed in London, England. The album is all about the concept of oppression which one can tell from a cursory glance at the song titles. Crystal Castles began their musical odyssey by converting classic video game sounds to song. Their new album takes us on a night visit to the torch-lit, damp, cobweb-laden corridors of Dr. Frankenstein’s castle. Glass’ scream-wailing singing sounds as if it’s echoing out from a dungeon behind a wall of synthesizers possessed by ghosts. A good, solid album. But beware: crankin’ it up just may shatter any crystal you’ve got at home.

Crystal Castles’ Official Website     Crystal Castles III on iTunes

L’instant aimé by Jorane

Québec City’s Baroque-pop singer-songwriter Jorane has been called the Tori Amos of the cello; that is, classical folk pop with a dash of the avant-garde.  She has received well over 20 Félix nominations, winning one for Folk Album of the Year, (Évapore), at the 2004 gala.  She has also been nominated for 2 JUNOs.  This is the whiz’s 10th album.  She has been active since 1999.  Mostly originals, the new album also contains a cover of Diane Dufresne’s “J’ai rencontré l’homme de ma vie” as well as of Indochine’s classic “J’ai demandé à la lune”.  There are 2 instrumental (voice without words) tracks.  The album was produced by Jean Massicotte.  We’ve embedded the “teaser trailer” for the album below.

Jorane’s Official Website     L’instant aime on iTunes

Celine Dion’s Sans Attendre – The Wait is Over

Céline Dion has released something like her 25th album, Sans attendre. The Charlemagne, Québec native is the best-selling Canadian recording artist of all-time. Currently, having sold 114 million records, she ranks 11th in the world. She can out sing just about anyone under the pop/rock umbrella and always has a team of the world’s best songwriters, musicians, and producers surrounding her. Therefore, you can be assured that any album she releases is going to be good, and, certainly, her new album is no exception. The album title, literally meaning “without waiting”, is explained by Celine to be about not putting off for tomorrow what you can do today.

The standard album contains 14 tracks and a deluxe edition is available with 2 additional songs. There are 3 duets with prominent male singers: legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Jean-Pierre Ferland, Johnny Hallyday (best-selling French recording artist of all-time), and Caribbean singer Henri Salvador. As the latter is no longer with us, this is a virtual duet. The first single from the album, released earlier, “Parler à mon père” peaked at #53 on the Canadian Hot 100. It is dedicated to her father who passed away several years ago. She says that her father was always her #1 fan.

To promote the album (not that she needs to), Dion appeared on a television special in Montréal recorded on October 15 and broadcast on the TVA network. She performed selections from the new album, a duet with funny man Fred Pellerin, and a medley of her hits with Star Académie contestants. This show drew 2.3 million viewers in Canada becoming the most watched of the autumn so far. She will be appearing on a TV special in France later this month (November 24). The next single released from the album will be “Le Miracle” complete with a music video.

Speaking of miracles, there is one that’s very real, and that is the miracle of Céline Dion’s voice, dazzling us in both official languages, accompanied by fabulous, world-class music.  Since release, the album has been #1 on the iTunes chart. Her first studio album in 5 years, the wait for Sans attendre is over. Check it out today.

Céline Dion Official Website     Sans Attendre on iTunes

New Album Releases, Batch #12-1105

Psychedelic Pill by Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Neil Young needs no introduction. The man’s a legend. And we’re not even going to try determining what chronological ordinal gets placed with his new album (Wikipedia says it’s his 35th). Crazy Horse is an American rock band from Los Angeles (currently 3 members) and has released a number of albums with Neil Young over the years. Earlier this year, the collaboration released the album Americana which contained grungy roots rock reworkings of a number of traditional folk songs. Psychedelic Pill contains original compositions. Young has won 8 JUNO awards and has scored a quintuple platinum album. The Winnipegger was also the first Canadian artist to have a #1 album in the U.K., back in 1972.

iTunes     Official Website

Roll by Emerson Drive

Although originally forming in Grand Prairie, Alberta, in 1995, this country band, originally known as 12 Gauge, is now based in Nashville, USA and are 3-time JUNO nominees. In recent weeks, their single “She’s My Kind of Crazy” broke into the Top 40 on the Canadian Hot 100 which is a remarkable feat for a country tune. In fact, this is their highest charting single to date. Roll, the 5th studio album under their current monicker, was released last week. The album opener is “Let It Roll”, a collaboration with Manitoba’s Doc Walker.

iTunes     Official Website

Everything Is Expensive by Esthero

Perhaps known best for her mid-2000s hits like “Fast Lane”, the 2-time JUNO nominee from Toronto has released her 3rd studio album, Everything Is Expensive. Many of Esthero’s songs have been featured in Hollywood movies and TV series, and Nelly Furtado counts her as a big influence in her music. Moreover, because of her great vocals, she has been featured in songs by a number of popular international artists. In 2010, Esthero was one of the artists invited to be a soloist in the charity single for Haitian earthquake relief “Wavin’ Flag”. After working with Toronto’s Dylan White in his Cedar Park project, she began work on a new album. The first single was “Never Gonna Let You Go” which made the Canadian Hot 100. The album also contains “Walking on Eggshells” written by Jon Levine and Anjulie.

iTunes     Official Website

Lead with Your Heart by The Tenors

The (Canadian) Tenors is a quartet consisting currently of Remigio Pereira, Victor Micallef, Fraser Walters, and Clifton Murray. They perform classical pop of a mixture of covers and original songs. They are becoming quite well known internationally. Lead with Your Heart is their third album. Their first two achieved platinum sales. The Tenors were assembled by Jill Ann Siemens who sought exceptional male vocalists, not only sounding good individually but as a mix in singing together. The first group formed in Victoria in 2005, and they began going through a number of lineup changes. The Tenors’ first self-titled album was released in 2008, their rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” becoming the most popular track. A Christmas album followed in 2009, The Perfect Gift. They toured with David Foster and performed with Céline Dion. The new album contains with songs in English, French, Italian, and Spanish, and features a contribution by internationally renowned trumpeter Chris Botti.

iTunes     Official Website

R.E.V.O. (EP) by Walk off the Earth

Who can forget that cool one-guitar cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know”? It peaked at #13 on the Canadian Hot 100 and was certified a platinum single. Burlington, Ontario is famous for its Spencer Smith Park Ribfest. And now it’s becoming known for its mouth-watering 5-member folk-reggae outfit Walk off the Earth that has released an EP called R.E.V.O. with 4 new songs. The band is known for playing musical instruments seldom used in pop music. Their first album came out in 2007. This is their third release and was produced by the eminent Tawgs Salter.

iTunes     Official Website

Music Box Opera by Delerium

Bill Leeb was involved with Skinny Puppy in Vancouver and then created his own project, Front Line Assembly with Michael Balch.  While developing this group, they decided to initiate a side-project that would perform a more ambient, lighter style of electronica.  They called this project Delerium.  After their debut album, Faces, Forms & Illusions in 1989, Balch departed from both projects, and Leeb hooked up with Rhys Fulber releasing more albums under the Delerium name.  Perhaps feeling that their vocal talents were not up to par, they recruited a number of featured singers, mostly female, and some of them big names in the business.  Guest vocalists have included the regular Kristy Thirsk, Sarah McLachlan, The West End Girls’ Camille Henderson (the daughter of Chilliwack frontman Bill), and Metric’s Emily Haines.

In 1994, things picked up when they were signed to Nettwerk Records and 1997’s Karma was their first gold album and contained two of the band’s best known tracks.  “Euphoria” won for the band its first of two JUNO awards.  “Silence”, featuring Sarah McLachlan, regarded by some as one of the best trance recordings of all time, did not become a hit until 2000 after it was remixed.  It topped the charts in Ireland, made it to the Top 5 in Canada and the U.K., and won the JUNO for dance recording of the year.  Poem, another gold album, followed in 2000 and included “Aria” that featured The Mediæval Bæbes.  2003’s Chimera became the outfit’s only JUNO-nominated album.  Until now, Delerium’s last studio album was Nuages du Monde, released in 2006.  It appeared that the project had come to an end.  Not at all; Delerium has returned with its first original studio album in 6 years, Music Box Opera.

The vocalists on this work include Stef Lang (2 tracks), Nadina, Michael Logen, Jael, the ever-reliable Kristy Thirsk, Leona Naess, Anna-Lynne Williams, and Azure Ray.  With a dozen tracks and a run time of well over an hour, you know you’re in for a treat.  You will hear Arabic-style chants interlaced in electronic cascades, intergalactic pop, down tempo lounge beats, ballroom grand pianos, percolating synths, some Indian percussion, ground shaking bass, and sparks of bright amidst a thin sheet of darkness, like dancing glitter on black water.  On all counts, Music Box Opera is a winner.

If it took six years for a music box to transform itself into a grand opera, then it was well worth the wait.

Ingrid St-Pierre’s L’escapade, a Getaway into Canadian Autumn

Ingrid St-Pierre was new on the scene in 2011 and received a trio of 2012 Félix nominations. She has now already released her second LP. In her childhood she developed a fondness for poetry and often wrote lines of verse in her school notebooks. She learned piano and began creating music for her poetry at 17 years of age. Ten years later, armed with a piano and a recruited string quartet, Ingrid began captivating audiences in cafés around Trois-Rivières. She released her debut album, Ma petite mam’zelle de chemin, in May 2011. The enchanting MV for “Ficelles” is embedded below.

Ingrid’s genius has been described as charming, candid, and intelligent.

She has now released her second baby, L’escapade, continuing her signature style of a delicate, sweet, and pretty melancholy. She says that the album is all about the autumn and is enjoyed best while wearing some wool and eating some toffee. Ingrid has embarked on a tour to promote the album with dates until May 2013, mostly in Québec and New Brunswick. Bursting with creativity, she is planning to write a book of short stories and compose music for film.

You can check out her new album on iTunes HERE. Ingrid St-Pierre’s Official Website.

Garou’s Rhythm and Blues Launched in France

Garou has launched his latest album, the bilingual Rhythm and Blues, in France, and, in fact, it is currently not available on iTunes Canada and, on CD, only as an import.  Given the very real and distasteful discrimination of Canadian broadcasters outside Quebec against French Canadian artists and the small population of Quebec in comparison with France, launching it in France first makes sense. France is, in fact, one of the most lucrative markets for music in the world.  In the meantime, Duncan shares some insights about the album below.

For his seventh studio album, and first album with Universal, Garou comes back with French and English songs entirely devoted to the spirit of rhythm and blues. Recorded in London, he is surrounded by exceptional musicians who made the English rapper Plan B a new representative of English soul, including the guitarist and bassist Eric Appapoulay, the drummer Cassel the Beatmaker, and sound engineer David McEwan.

Those not so familiar with the genre, will find certain classics resurrected in orginal ways. “Quand tu danses” from the French singer/composer Gilbert Becaud is one, with rock drums and a brass section that replace the original piano and jazz clarinet. The same spirit of rediscovery for “I put a spell on you”, that strikes a balance between the rude masculinity of the Creedance Clearwater Revival version, and the indolent femininity of the Nina Simone version.

Or the surprising “If I ain’t got you” of Alicia Keys, accelerated and more vigorous for the occasion. Under the auspices of Garou, “Marie-Jeanne” of Joe Dassin, to the breathtaking whirlwind of violins, keeps all it’s impressive country-blues, just like “Lonely Boy” of Black Keys, keeps it’s inspired and primitive rock energy. “Hard to handle” of Otis Redding is funky, and “Cash City” of Luc de la Rochellière, croons like Elvis. As for “Bad Day” of Daniel Powter, it has the impression of being written in 1962, recorded under the mythical Stax label.

Finally, “Le jour se lève”, originally sung by Esther Galil, sheds light on the whole album. “Because it’s an undying classic,” Garou says. “It has a neutrality and at the same time a exceptional depth.” This is in the image of this new album, instinctive and cerebral at the same time.

Update:  The album is now available in Canada, having been released on February 12, 2013.

Elisapie’s TRAVELLING LOVE Has Us Completely Stunned

THE ARTIST

The northern third of Québec is known as Nunavik, 90% of whose inhabitants are Inuit living in some 14 villages around the coast. The second northernmost of these is Salluit, on the Sugluk Inlet, with a population of about 1,350 and apparently rapidly growing. It is not accessible by road, only by air. This is where Canadian recording artist Elisapie Isaac grew up. Her mother was Inuk and father from Newfoundland. Adopted at birth, she was raised by an Inuit family and was no doubt enriched by learning this beautiful culture. She is now based in Montréal. The press has commented that, although from the icy north, she has a voice and a stage presence that succeeds in melting the hearts of her audience.

Elisapie first appeared in a duo with Alain Auger called Taima whose self-titled (and only) album won the JUNO for Aboriginal Recording of the Year in 2005. Her solo debut, trilingual, jazzy folk album, There Will Be Stars, was released in 2009 and sold 25,000 copies which was enough to attract attention south of the border; the album was released in the United States, and she performed in New York City and Los Angeles.

THE NEW ALBUM

For her second work, Elisapie decided to move to a more pop/rock sound while retaining some of her folk roots. The list of personnel who worked on the album, Travelling Love, is quite impressive and includes JUNO winner Jim Corcoran as well as associates of Karkwa and Patrick Watson. The album opens with a tour de force pulsating electro-pop ice-breaker, “The Beat” followed by “The Love You Gave” which was named by iTunes as “single of the week” and offered as a free download. The disc includes “It’s All Your Fault”, a tribute to Leonard Cohen of whom Elisapie is a huge admirer. She commented in an interview that rather than sing with Cohen, she would rather serve him tea. Elisapie delivers a hauntingly gorgeous ballad about her hometown that makes you yearn to fly up there. And if the album closer fails to rouse your spirits, then you ought to get them checked by your local soul doctor.

Of its many strengths, one of the biggest reasons why this is such a stunning album is that, on all levels, the music on Travelling Love is unpredictable. You anticipate things will go one way, and they take an unexpected turn to something more exciting, all carried by a sweet voice and a perfectly balanced wall of sound. With more creativity and song-writing finesse than snowflakes in the north, Elisapie’s Travelling Love is one of the best albums of the year. It is absolutely brilliant.

iTunes     Official Website

New Album Releases, Batch #12-1025

Pour Toi by Nicola Ciccone

Félix-winning, JUNO-nominated Italian-Canadian Nicola Ciccone, based in Montréal, has released his 7th album, Pour Toi.  Evviva!  This gifted adult contemporary singer has already scored one platinum and two gold albums.  For his new work, he teamed up with producer Louis Côté who has worked with Shym and K-Maro.  The title-track has already been released as a single complete with a music video.  The video was filmed at the Pont des Arts in Paris showing love locks on a chain-link fence.  This is a ritual popular in France and some other spots around the world in which padlocks bearing names of lovers engraved are attached to a public fixture as a symbol of everlasting love.

Official Website     iTunes

J’aime ta grand-mere by Les Trois Accords

Alternative rock band Les Trois Accords have scored a number of big hit singles and have opened for The Rolling Stones for some of their Canadian shows.  They have won multiple Félix awards and been nominated for a JUNO twice.  Although originally from Drummondville, QC, they have shown some Canadian love by writing a song about Saskatchewan.  The band has always emphasized art over logic adding dashes of humour and idiosyncrasy bordering on the absurd.  With one gold and one platinum album, they have just launched studio album number 5, J’aime ta grand-mere.  The new album pays tribute to some indie and garage rock, punk, and British new wave.  As well, country legend Renée Martel makes an appearance on one of the tracks.

Official Website     iTunes

Free Dimensional by Diamond Rings

Diamond Rings is in fact a solo artist named John O’Regan from Toronto.  His debut album earned him a JUNO nomination for New Artist of the Year and enabled him to open for Robyn.  For his second album, he recruited producer Damian Taylor who has worked with Bjork and The Killers.  For those of you who grew up in the early 80s and are pining for some new music that echoes those new wave synths of Blancmange and Simple Minds look no further than Free Dimensional.  “I’m Just Me” is the first single, the music video showcasing his glittery space cadet wardrobe, square shades, Bowie haircut, dry ice, green laser beams, and black lights.  But his flashy stage persona is not all that is to be admired.  The music on this album is a big move forward from his last work.

Official Website     iTunes

Modern Superstitions by Modern Superstitions

The band describes going through quite a bit of sweat, toil, and turmoil cooking up the tracks that made the final cut, changing jobs, homes, lovers, and seasons.  The result is that Toronto’s new alternative rock band Modern Superstitions has released its debut (self-titled) album as followup to an EP two years ago.  This is actually a very good album presenting a jingly indie rock quality like Siouxsie and the Banshees after swallowing a mouth-full of vitamins.  The album was tweaked by a pair of JUNO-nominated producers: Brian Borcherdt and Ben Cook.  The band is led by singer Nyssa Rosaleen who on tracks like “String to the Sun” proves she has the vocals to stir up a board room of corporate executives. 

Official Website     iTunes