Tim Toishi “Girl of My Dreams” MV

Toronto’s Tim Toishi has released a new music video, the visual manifestation of track “Girl of My Dreams” from his fabulous debut EP, Make You Mine. Tim is a singer-songwriter, trilingual (English, Japanese, and Cantonese), and classically trained in piano since age 6. Seeking inspiration, opportunities, and growth as an artist, Tim relocated to the other T.O. (i.e. Tokyo) in November 2014. We’re keeping our eyes on the emergence of this talented Canadian artist.  iTunes

“Electric” by Emily Rowed

It begins with a standard roots, blues-rock vibe, but as the song carries on, interesting details and twists pour in and a progressive current begins to flow. The beat, which takes us through the ride, is quite infectious. This is a smartly done track, but one might have to swoop down beneath the radar to discover it, as its author is a bit new to the game. Her name is Emily Rowed, and she is based in Vancouver with 604 Records. Emily says the song is “about liking someone so much you can’t speak”. Two thumbs up from Canadian Music Blog. Official audio below.  iTunes

First Move into Glanmore by Stacey

Our story begins with wealthy banker J.P.C. Phillips who in 1882-1883 had a mansion built in Belleville, Ontario, birthplace of Avril Lavigne. Not only was the place large, but it was intricately decorated with hand-painted ceilings and ornate woodwork. In 1969 it was, for its exceptional architecture, designated a National Historic Site and opened as a museum in 1973. Extensive restoration has been done, and the mansion is home to a large collection of antique furniture, paintings, and ceramics.

Glanmore is the site where Toronto recording artist Stacey filmed the music video for her song “First Move” which she describes as a lamenting fantasy. It is a slow-burning piano rock piece dripping with sonic textures, a genre of music mastered by the Brits, and handled by her with great prowess. What makes it even more attractive is the crystal clear vocal delivery which for us conjured up some goosebumps. Stacey has a new EP coming out in the fall. “First Move” has generated an impressive 100k streams at Spotify.  iTunes

Selected New Releases June 23, 2017

It isn’t a big week in terms of the number of album releases as things begin slowing down for the summer months. Here are three…

Black Moon is a dreamy atmospheric mini-album from Toronto’s AMAARA, solo project of Kaelen Ohm, member of group Reuben and the Dark. The album is a stunning piece of work.  iTunes

Jon Stancer delivers pleasant, mature pop album For the Birds, his first as a soloist. He has served as guitarist for artists around Toronto and in some local bands. The tunes are put together nicely.  iTunes

More on the alternative rock side, we have And the Magic of Horses from Ottawa’s New Swears, a talented group as the disc demonstrates.  iTunes

Folks, a one-bedroom 439 square foot condo (i.e. cavity in a building) in working-class East Vancouver is listed at $725,000. A track at iTunes goes for $1.29. Which one are you going to buy? A host of new singles have come out, music lovers. Here are three…

Saskatchewan’s Jess Moskaluke, platinum country star and JUNO award winner, discharges new song “Kill Your Love”. It is easily the best country song of 2017 so far.  iTunes

Toronto K-Pop specialist Henry drops delicious new track “I’m Good” complete with a music video. See below.  iTunes

Gold-certified JUNO award winning electropop ace LIGHTS launches new mainstream pop single “Giants” from upcoming album (and comic book) Skin & Earth. MV below.  iTunes

Mid-June 2017 Hot Canadian Tracks

We’re closing in on summer, upon Canada’s 150th, and upon us is a tasty batch of new tracks which we present. Hopefully at least one of these will do it for ya.

Quebec’s Arcade Fire has decided to release a second track off upcoming album Everything Now. “Creature Comfort” offers a style that is punchier than the bouncy title track released not too long ago. An ultra widescreen MV complete with lyrics is out, the coolest part of which is to see Régine pull a LIGHTS and wield a keytar.  iTunes

The Great White North’s most popular pop group, British Columbia’s Hedley, has wrapped up the Hello era to launch a stand-alone single, “Love Again”. A new album is undoubtedly in the works.  iTunes

Montreal alternative group Stars releases a traditional two-track single as A-Side: “Privilege”, B-Side: “We Called It Love”.  iTunes

Ontarian Donovan Woods has crafted a super catchy singer-songwriter ditty called “All Mine”. He sounds a bit like John Mayer which we mean as a compliment. Wonderful track!  iTunes

The incomparable Pierre Lapointe cranks up the artistry on “La science du cœur” which builds to a satisfying climax. The music video (subtitled in English) has the camera slowly pulling back as Pierre stands before a beautiful set design.  iTunes

Nova Scotian Ria Mae is back with a bite on wonderful new pop song “Bend”. If she can consistently come up with songs this good, the platinum singer and songwriter has a great career in store.  iTunes

The production on Toronto’s Alvvays‘ last effort pushed Molly’s beautiful vocals into the background drowning them out into a muffle which disappointed us. Hopefully, a smarter job will be done on upcoming album Antisocialites. Lead single “In Undertow” is … in tow.  iTunes

Death from Above 1979 casts forth new song “Freeze Me”, a boss alternative rock track. The outfit has a JUNO and a gold-certified disc.  iTunes

Metric singer Emily Haines echoes the beautiful piano balladry of Emm Gryner (21st Century Ballads) while filling it with alternative ornamentation. The new track is “Fatal Gift” in which she addresses extremes of wealth and poverty.  iTunes

Shania Twain’s Life’s About to Get Good

Shania Twain is the only recording artist to have scored three double diamond albums (i.e. 20x platinum or 2 million copies); that’s how big she became. From 1996 to 2004, she won a dozen JUNO Awards, and a 13th with her induction into the Music Hall of Fame in 2011. She did release a new song that year; something about which the press has forgotten. “Today Is Your Day” peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Today, Shania releases new song “Life’s About to Get Good”. It is selling well over at iTunes, sitting at #9 at this writing. Twain penned the song herself, while Matthew Koma and Ron Aniello handled production duties. It rings of something Michael Bublé might do with a dash of countrification. The single heralds her September 29 album, Now. It will be her first LP in 15 years and is currently available for pre-order. We’ve embedded the official audio of the new track below.  iTunes

David Guetta Is the Latest to Feature The Biebs

It’s a collaboration that had broadcasters engage in a feeding frenzy. On his latest single “2U”, squinty-eyed French EDM wizard David Guetta has recruited the highest in-demand featured vocalist of the year: Canadian R&B singer Justin Bieber. In the game too, via a lip-synched MV starring its models, is multibillion dollar company Victoria’s Secret, the latter owned by L Brands. Something tells us Queen Victoria would not be amused at the immodesty of the four models, one Swedish, one Dutch, one American, and one Portuguese. Something also tells us that the models, for their efforts, will not be receiving much of the $6.1 billion L Brands’ corporate executive Les Wexner has stowed away in his offshore bank accounts.

In an interview with MTV, Guetta says that a non-brand music video will also be released. Lucky to have an album go gold in the United States, David Guetta has seen two albums hit multiplatinum sales in Canada, so it just might stand to reason why he would prefer to snatch up a Canadian vocalist. He credits Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, a key crafter on Bieber’s Purpose album, with being responsible for the hook up. David Guetta has been active since 2001 and is known for combining intense energy with emotional elation in his music: “I like making the people dance but with a tear in their eyes,” as he puts it.

Justin Bieber’s first successful feature in a track was in Far East Movement’s “Live My Life” which reached #4 on the charts in early 2012. Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Beautiful” which featured him made the Top 40 later that year. Successful 2013 features include “That Power” from will.i.am (#6) and Top 30 “Lolly” from Maejor Ali. His feature in Grammy Award winning Skrillex and Diplo’s “Where Are U Now” (#5 in September 2015) saw his reinvention and kicked off a string of smash hits: Major Lazer’s “Cold Water” (#1), DJ Snake’s “Let Me Love You” (#4), and Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” (#1). He is also one of several featured artists in the chart-topping “I’m the One” from DJ Khaled.

David Guetta’s “2U”, which topped iTunes in 45 countries, is set to become another sky-scraping hit for Justin Bieber.  iTunes

Canadians Populate Billboard’s 50 Best Songs of 2017 So Far

Billboard mag has recently published staff picks for the 50 best songs of 2017 so far, and there are a number of main or featured Canadian artist entries within. Editors point out that whenever music consumption seemed to be lagging, “the pop machine reverted to a tried-and-true formula established as a sure shot back in ’16: just throw Justin Bieber on it.” The list contains a variety of genres but is limited in terms of languages: there is no C-Pop, J-Pop, or K-Pop, and the only European language represented is Spanish. Yes, the republic is behind the rest of the world when it comes to that.

In order to find the Canucks, you have to scroll down to about the mid-way point. Japandroids‘ indie-rock “North East South West” “with frosty guitars” makes #26. Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “flawlessly constructed” “Cut to the Feeling” is in at #23. Zedd and Alessia Cara “Stay” with the Ontarian’s “booming vocals” makes #18. At #12 is “I’m the One” which features several artists including Justin Bieber, “brilliantly taking the lead on the wavy chorus”. The Weeknd‘s “I Feel It Coming” makes the Top 10 (#9), Billboard describing it as a “sultry, slinking disco-funk jam”. The “Despacito” remix which features The Biebs gets bronze at #3. The magazine points out it is the first Spanish language No. 1 on the Hot 100 since “Macarena” in 1996. This one doesn’t come with a signature dance move however. “Passionfruit” by Drake gets silver at #2, described as a “hip-swisher, as catchy and cookout-ready as anything he’s done”.

Ranked at #1 is Calvin Harris’ “Slide” featuring the heavily autotuned vocals of Frank Ocean and Migos.

Observations? Well, for one, it is interesting that Katy Perry’s dance-pop song “Chained to the Rhythm” at #40 has been all over the radio while Carly Rae Jepsen’s dance-pop “Cut to the Feeling” at #23 has disappointingly not been. Not that a nod towards Japandroids is unwarranted (far from it), but we do wonder how many Canadian indie rock bands Billboard staff is aware of. As we listen to so many Bieber features, the Spanish one was the final straw: amidst his playing the Pitbull role, we miss his making his own music.

You can view the entire Top 50 here.

Selected New Releases Jun 2, 2017

The highest-profile release this week is Little Army by Kingston’s Headstones, a platinum rock band that has been nominated four times at the JUNOs. Outselling the veterans at iTunes (currently #5 overall) however is the debut album from Roxane Bruneau, a singer-songwriter effort. Roxane has gained a large following becoming a web star first with her songs and good sense of humour. Album Dysphorie is red hot. Aliocha was born in France but grew up in Canada. He has done a lot of acting work and now launches debut LP entitled Eleven Songs, a splendid alternative music job. JUNO nominated PartyNextDoor contributes his latest urban EP, Colours 2. Both the Aliocha and PND works are currently Top 25 at iTunes.

Jean-Willy Kunz is a JUNO winning organist and presents Au grand orgue Pierre-Béique containing his sensitive interpretations of works by various composers. JUNO-nominated country group Cold Creek County from Brighton, ON releases Homemade. Also JUNO-nominated is roots duo Madison Violet serving The Knight Sessions this week.

Among this week’s releases, we at Canadian Music Blog like Aquatic by Toronto’s Adaline, a very well done alternative album. Ashleigh Ball is the frontwoman of Vancouver outfit Hey Ocean, and she delivers boss pop album Gold in You. A pleasant surprise for us is Sugar at the Gate by TOPS, a captivating, mature, laid-back indie pop disc. Sans is a beautifully done R&B EP from Toronto’s Merna.

Below is a table summarizing a selection of this week’s Canadian artist releases. Below that we have embedded two music videos. The first is the latest from Alberta’s Kiesza who is featured in new track “Don’t Want You Back” from Netherlands’ DJ/producer Bakermat. Below that is the music video for “Everything Now”, title-track off the upcoming album from Quebec’s Arcade Fire.

Enjoy the new music.

TITLE ARTIST STAGE ORIGIN GENRE
Au grand orgue… Jean-Willy Kunz 1JA Montreal classical
Aquatic Adaline Toronto alternative
Broken Sky Declan O’Donovan Whitehorse alt-folk
Controle Lary Kidd Montreal rap
Dysphorie Roxane Bruneau Laprairie s-s
Eleven Songs Aliocha Montreal alternative
Gold in You Ashleigh Ball Vancouver pop
Homemade Cold Creek County 1JN Brighton country
The Knight Sessions Madison Violet 1JN Toronto s-s
Little Army Headstones 4JN, PLAT Kingston rock
Mad Season Obey the Brave Montreal metal
Mon party Country Veronique Labbe Thetford Mines country
Sugar at the Gate TOPS Montreal indie pop
Colours 2 (EP) PartyNextDoor 1JN Mississauga urban
Hard Way Road (EP) Young James Saskatoon rock
Sans (EP) Merna Toronto R&B

JA=Juno Award; JN=Juno Nomination; PLAT=platinum artist; s-s=singer-songwriter; title in red text=disc in iTunes Albums Top 25.


Canada’s Queen of Pop Just Dropped the Song of the Summer

Released last night, this morning a brand new song entered the iTunes Top 100. This afternoon it vaults itself up to #41. Remarkably, it is doing even better in The United States at #25! Canada’s Queen of Pop, recently taking in the sights in Italy, just dropped a pop tour de force destined to become the song of the summer. It will be featured in the soundtrack of the movie Leap. What is it? Well, let’s cut to the chase, or shall we say let’s cut to … the feeling? … oh yeah. Three-time JUNO award winner and multiplatinum superstar Carly Rae Jepsen rips through some recent disappointments from other artists (we won’t mention any names) with a pop banger that is smoking hot pure fire, her new track “Cut to the Feeling”. The song contains a chorus so bombastic, it brushes the sky. Is it as good as everyone is saying? Of course. Carly co-wrote the track with “Sir” Nolan Lambroza and Ottawa’s Simon Wilcox.  iTunes

Emmalyn Likes the Phone Off

Canadian recording artist Emmalyn (Estrada) is making the transition from member of popular group G.R.L. to soloist. G.R.L. scored international hits “Wild Wild Love” with Pitbull, “Ugly Heart”, and “Lighthouse”. Emmalyn is the younger sister of Vancouver’s Elise Estrada who reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 with beautiful song “Unlove You”. Emmalyn is definitely a gifted vocalist and is dabbling in the R&B – pop – electronic style which is very much in vogue. Her latest offering is “Phone Off”. Yes, we’ve all experienced that annoying date when the object of our adoration is busy texting and playing with a cell phone while we’re trying to enjoy a nice conversation over dinner. The song was recently named by Glamour Magazine as one the 15 tracks that deserve song of the summer honours. “Phone Off” is listed among choice cuts by Katy Perry and Lady Gaga. It’s very catchy.  iTunes

Lust For Life on The Weeknd

Whether you say “at the weekend” or “on the weekend”, one thing is for sure: The Weeknd likes to perform songs with American women. “Love Me Harder” with Ariana Grande was his breakout hit and resulted in Google no longer counting Weeknd as a misspelled word. Now he teams up with Lana Del Rey in “Lust for Life”. The music video has been released. It’s a simple one that sees the pair frolicking on top of the Hollywood sign. The Weeknd, in true Canadian fashion, wears his sunglasses at night and seems to convince Lana that it’s a cool idea. The song includes spoken word bits by Lana reminiscent of Blackbox Recorder. Have a look below.  iTunes

Alexe Gaudreault Creates an Echo

Canadian pop artist Alexe Gaudreault, a native of Dolbeau-Mistassini, QC, has released a new music video for her current hit single “Echo” off her debut, eponymous album. The LP received praises from iTunes staff and was named by Canadian Music Blog as 2016’s Album of the Year among 570 releases, beating out Drake and Céline Dion.

Alexe came to the attention of the masses in 2013 when she was selected as a contestant on The Voice Season 1. While the JUNO Awards often struggle to attract more than 1.2 million viewers, Alexe Gaudreault’s performance of Jacques Brel’s classic “Quand on a que l’amour” on The Voice was watched by two million strong.

Gaudreault hooked up with musical director and composer John Nathaniel and lyricist Mariane Cossette-Bacon releasing a three-track EP which contained the song “Placebo”. The song went ballistic: a BDS Top 10 hit for 47+ weeks, striking number one in the fall of 2015 where it remained for seven weeks. This was a first in 15 years for an independent artist. The song won for Alexe the No. 1 SOCAN Award.

On May 20, 2016, Alexe Gaudreault released her debut, self-titled LP. Track “Éclat” broke into the BDS Top 3. In June, she performed at home of The Habs, The Bell Centre, opening for Marc Dupré.

With very well written songs, expert production, and savory vocals, Alexe’s album is a winner, one of the best pop albums to come out of Canada in the last few years. The current hit single is “Écho” and a music video has been released which we have embedded below. The MV was shot in New York. This gal’s on fire.  iTunes

Falling with Cat Thomson

Vancouver based singer-songwriter Cat Thomson returns to dress with her rich vocals new dramatic adult contemporary pop ballad “Falling”. Now a fully independent artist, Cat has honed her skills from a dynamic background of classical piano training, choir participation, and voice lessons. She majored in opera at Louisiana State University from a full scholarship and tacked on production and music engineering instruction at a local school in Vancouver. This has elevated her to the level of writing, recording, and producing her own music. She’s a little bit of Annie Lennox, a dash of Sarah Brightman, a slice of Sarah McLachlan, and a whole lot of Cat Thomson.

Cat penned song “Falling” following a darkly beautiful past relationship where she found herself falling in and out of love at the same time. Trying to cling onto the elements of goodness, she ultimately succumbed to the realization that it was not going to work out. The music video plays on this concept and was inspired in part by the film Groundhog Day in which the protagonist continually awakens to the same day on repeat with the opportunity to change a cause in order to alter the effect. The MV plays forwards and backwards, as in the love game the perception of time is often bent. Cat herself opted not to star in the video feeling it would “hit home too hard”. Instead, she enlisted the assistance of two local actors, Amelia Morris and Darcy Stobbe. The video was shot in one day and is directed by Matthew Popp. Have a look below. “Falling” seethes with raw emotion, as time warps, heartbeats crackle, and reality folds into a beacon of glory.  iTunes

Henry Explores “Real Love”

Canadian singer, songwriter, dancer, rapper, producer, beatboxer, guitarist, Royal Conservatory of Music level 10 pianist, and RCM regional gold medalist for level 10 violin is none other than Toronto born and raised Henry Lau, the supertalent of the century. After being scooped up by the South Korean recording industry right from under the nose of Canadian record companies, he has become perhaps Canada’s most successful K-Pop male artist, though Henry has released music in Chinese (his background language) and his native English. Style wise, though, he has mastered the electro smooth R&B sound that K-Pop is known for. Henry released single “Girlfriend” last month and at the end of April will launch his latest, “Real Love,” a splendid, mellow love song reminding us a little of David Tao or John Mayer. The music video is out, and we have embedded it below.