Catherine Durand and the Stone Roof

On her 2016 album La pluie entre nous, Canadian recording artist Catherine Durand showed us how to make a hauntingly beautiful progressive folk album. A true work of art with sweet vocals, gentle strums, and delicate electronics sprinkling down like rain, we needed a music video to convert the brilliant, rich audio to a visual masterwork. And we now have that thanks to the recent release of the MV for track “Toit de pierre”. The song was produced by Emmanuel Éthier (Jimmy Hunt, Peter Peter, Bernhari) and decked with Ariane Moffatt’s ethereal keyboards. The MV takes us into a universe of dream and a dark, snowy forest. La pluie entre nous was hailed by critics as one of the best albums of 2016, including Le Devoir, La Presse, and of course Canadian Music Blog.  iTunes

Grimes Knocks Out All Competition with One Music Video

Honestly speaking, there is no competition when it comes to recording artists; all make contributions to the great pool of music from which we all draw. But in the spirit of fun, let’s just say that Grimes has pretty much decimated everything and everyone around her.

Vancouver’s Claire Boucher, known by her stage name Grimes, can now add to her CV, which includes critically acclaimed recording artist and music producer, one of the world leaders in making music videos. Her newly released MV for “Venus Fly”, which she herself directed, is just about the most dazzling and artistic music video ever made. It features U.S. singer Janelle Monáe.

Grimes who legitimately expressed dissatisfaction with the male-heavy nominations at the 2016 JUNO Awards now finds herself nominated for three trophies at 2017’s: album Art Angels, which includes “Venus Fly” as one of the tracks, is up for Alternative Album of the Year and Recording Package of the Year. Her music video for another track, “Kill vs Maim”, is up for Best Video and also received a Top 20 nod from the Prism Prize. We all need to really acknowledge the amazing work that this Canadian recording artist is doing. Go Grimes!

To Watch Madeline Merlo’s New Video Over and Over

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British Columbia’s Madeline Merlo has released a beautiful music video for new single “Over & Over”, track #3 on her popular album Free Soul. The Maple Ridge raised country artist won the CCMA Rising Star award in 2015 and was nominated for Female Artist of the Year in 2016. She’s on a roll. Merlo has scored four Top 40 hits at country radio since 2014, including “Whatcha Wanna Do About It” (Top 10). All songs were off the Free Soul album, so we can say that the entire disc is worth buying as a whole. “Over & Over” is a great country power ballad and shows what a powerful vocalist the singer is. The music video is a feast for the eyes, and do keep them peeled for quick shots of Vancouver’s Harbour Centre.  iTunes

The Most Successful Canadian Singles of 2016

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A total of 32 songs involving domestic artists made the year-end Billboard Canadian Hot 100 in 2016. This sets a new record in the history of the Canadian charts, one that had remained unbroken for 20 years since RPM’s year-end for 1996 which held the record at 31. In 1996, Alanis Morissette had both the #1 and #2 songs of the year for “You Learn” and “Ironic” respectively. Justin Bieber repeats her accomplishment in 2016 with “Sorry” and “Love Yourself” at #1 and #2 of the year. Last year, 2015, saw only 21 Canadian artist singles in the year-end top 100.

The table immediately below shows all songs by domestic artists that made the year-end Billboard Canadian Hot 100 with their position on the chart. Because a number of these songs were cross-overs from 2015, we have included the positions for those in the year-end chart for 2015. Also, find the weekly chart peak position of these songs and the year it reached the peak (either 2015 or 2016). We have also included all Canadian artist tracks that peaked within the weekly Top 40 of the Hot 100 through 2016 but didn’t make the year-end Top 100. Note that a number of these, still on the weekly charts, will reach new peak positions in 2017.

We have also listed any current Gold/Platinum certification levels achieved by the songs (these may receive higher certifications in the future). Those that haven’t received certifications have either not reached the numbers or the artist’s team hasn’t submitted applications for them through the Music Canada program. Later in 2016, the program, in the new Single Award, began including streaming data into the qualifications at the rate of 150 streams equivalent to 1 unit sold. That is in addition to digital downloads or any CD single sales. Gold is 40,000 units; platinum 80,000; double platinum 160,000, triple platinum 240,000; etc.

Because Franco songs have a tough time reaching the chart as they do not receive broadcast-wide airplay, we have included any songs that made the Hot 100 (non-Top 40). This year, Céline Dion’s “Encore un soir” was the only song to achieve this, making it to #92. Below the first table is a second listing all French language Canadian artist songs that made the year-end Top 50 at radio network CKOI. The good folks over there have published year-end Top 50 charts since 1976. The chart includes both Anglo and Franco (and occasionally Allo) tracks and both foreign and domestic ones. You can click on the tables to enlarge them and see the text more clearly.

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14 Canadians Who Debuted on the Hot 100 in 2016

The Billboard Canadian Hot 100, the definitive chart for measuring the relative success of songs from week to week, welcomed 14 Canadian artists for the first time in 2016. The chart, which combines measurements of digital purchases of tracks, radio airplay, and streaming data (the latter a recent addition), launched in June 2007 replacing the old, highly problematic Nielsen SoundScan charts which measured the sale of CD singles only. For one of the thousands upon thousands of Canadian artists to make an appearance on the chart, it is a very difficult task. Nevertheless, while the chart was dominated by all kinds of foreign artists and Canadian A-listers like Drake, Justin Bieber, and The Weeknd, 14 managed to climb in. Some may have lasted for only a week and some may have gotten in via a credited feature in a track, buy hey they did it, and it’s a huge accomplishment! Who are these 14 artists? Where are they from? What kind of music do they make? We intend in this post to put faces to the names. Here they are in alphabetical order. Watch for some of these slayers in 2017.

Bit Funk

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Now based in New York, this Halifax lad is a producer, remixer and DJ. He is making his mark on the contemporary club scene with his EDM wizardry. In late 2015, Bit Funk released his pop crossover single “Off the Ground”. It gained traction on streaming services, gaining 4 million on Spotify, and the MV did well on YouTube. Some mainstream radio stations picked it up, and it managed to squeak itself into the Hot 100.

Bobby Bazini

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This hot soul singer is known throughout the land. While scoring a pair of platinum albums and four JUNO nominations, a hit single was sure to come at some point. Voila! In 2016, “C’est La Vie” off his third album was picked up by radio, especially AC and Hot AC stations, and rocketed up to the top 20 at iTunes. It is Bazini’s first Hot 100 charting single. There will be many more to come.

Delaney Jane

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Delaney is from Toronto and began making music with Shaun Frank. They teamed up with international chart topping Canadian duo DVBBS in track “La La Land” which made the Hot 100. Delaney is working on her debut EP, and collaborations with other DJs are in store.

Jonathan Roy

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The star hockey player now has a star singer son. The Roys are awesome. Jonathan’s launch was helped by mentor Corey Hart, and his delicious single “Daniella Denmark” popped into the charts in February. He’s from the suburbs of Quebec City.

Kai

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One of the biggest songs of the year, “Never Be Like You” peaked at #21 and stayed on the chart for 28 weeks. The EDM track is from Australia’s Flume and features Toronto singer Kai. She had previously collaborated with Adventure Club, Diplo, Skrillex, and Childish Gambino. She also wrote the song “Sweet Talker” for Jessie J. But, of course, Kai’s big breakthrough came with the Flume track. It is now up for a Grammy Award.

Leonard Cohen

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Leonard Cohen? Yes. Remember that the Canadian Hot 100 has been around only since mid-2007. Following his heartbreaking death, Leonard’s song “Hallelujah” became a hit at iTunes and undoubtedly received some radio spins. It debuted on the chart at #17 remaining for just the one week. The same week, “You Want It Darker” from his last studio album charted at #73. It is a nice way to cap off the Montrealer’s legacy.

Lucky Rose

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Vincent Carrier, a.k.a. Lucky Rose, is a DJ/producer from Quebec City who specializes in tropical pop. Lucky released his first official single “The Way You Want Me” featuring Yan Etchevary, and it was picked up by the Virgin radio group across Canada. It made the Hot 100 in February.

Michelle Treacy

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This youthful star from Ottawa is red hot. She was selected to perform with Lady Gaga and was quickly signed by Sony. Michelle released her debut single “Armageddon” which remained on the Hot 100 for several weeks. Its music video racked up 300,000 views by the end of the year. Keep your eyes on this singer!

PartyNextDoor

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Being the first one signed to Drake’s OVO Record Label doesn’t hurt when it comes to breaking out in the urban music market. This Mississaugan’s real name is Jahron Anthony Brathwaite. He made the chart a few times through the year including as a collaborator. His first charting single (which incidentally featured Drake) was “Come and See Me” which peaked at #73.

Ruth B

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The most successful newcomer in 2016 was Edmonton’s Ruth B who scored a triple platinum single for her delicate piano ballad “Lost Boy”. It was on the Hot 100 for 28 weeks peaking at #14. She may just be western Canada’s answer to Alessia Cara.

Shaun Frank

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Shaun is the Toronto based DJ/producer involved in the aforementioned Delaney Jane and DVBBS track “La La Land”. He has done work with the likes of Borgeous, Kiesza, Down with Webster, and The Chainsmokers.

Sleepy Tom

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Speaking of EDM crafters, Vancouver’s Sleepy Tom (Cam Tatham, born in Squamish, BC) teamed up with Diplo to score the charting single “Be Right There”. It garnered 160 million streams worldwide and went gold in Britain peaking at #8 on the official British charts! Sleepy has worked with Zeds Dead and Martin Solveig.

The Strumbellas

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Another of the bigger successes of 2016 was Toronto roots leaning, JUNO award winning group The Strumbellas. “Spirits” peaked at #23 and went platinum. It also saw big success internationally. The photo above is the band being presented with a gold award by Germany.

Yan Etchevary

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Yan, from The Magdalen Islands, was featured in the aforementioned single “The Way You Want Me” by Lucky Rose. The song was included in Sony compilation album Just the Hits 2016.

The 15 Best Music Videos of 2016

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We are counting down our favourite music videos of 2016. A good music video is one that keeps your attention even with the sound turned off. We admire MVs that are cinematic, adventurous, fun, sentimental, clever, artistic, original, that have attractive wardrobe choices, breathtaking shots, architectural or natural wonders, or a stellar message. With high standards, we prefer MVs that are low on violence, lechery, expletives, self-mutilation, and do not display the use of toxic substances, all of which are ugly to us. We select videos that are beautiful to look at, colourful, with crisp, clear photography and brightness/contrast controls properly balanced. Below is a list of our 15 favourite Canadian MVs released in 2016. As YouTube often changes the addresses of videos, we have not embedded the MVs here but have provided links to them for your convenience. (Do note that these may become invalid in the future). As usual, we allowed only one entry per artist on the list and have provided a screen capture for each video below.

15Black Moon by Amaara

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New Canadian singer and dream pop specialist Amaara, based in Toronto, launched debut single “Black Moon” complete with a music video that is filled with mystical themes and dark ambience. Find Amaara near a misty forest joined by some real animals—horse, wolf dog, and owl—lightning, and a rising supermoon. The MV was shot in Alberta.  Link

14Time by Dean Brody

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Time is a subject many recording artists like to address. Country superstar Dean Brody does a fine job especially when singing about how time can alienate generations. “He takes her fishing but he feels bad; she can’t take her eyes off that Facebook page”. And then speaks of how taking time for granted will result in missed opportunities. “But someday soon, who knows how long, she’ll look up from that phone and he’ll be gone.” The wonderful music video does the song justice with many beautiful, related shots that are often dark, damp, and leafy.  Link

13How Far I’ll Go by Alessia Cara

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Alessia performs the song from the Disney animated film Moana on the beach. She has the mother of all sticks and has fun drawing intricate patterns in the sand.  Link

12Faint of Heart by Tegan and Sara

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The Calgary twins put out a number of impressive MVs for tracks off the Love You to Death album. We liked this one best. It features a number of music fans dressing up as their favourite icons with suitable backdrops. Included are Madonna, Elvis, David Bowie, and more.  Link

11Armageddon by Michelle Treacy

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Michelle Treacy was one of the breakout artists of the year; her song “Armageddon” made the Billboard Hot 100. She’s from Ottawa. In the MV, she takes notes in her big journal with a plume and decks herself in colourful attire surrounded by a crowd of teddy bears. Can she make it through the Armageddon?  Link

10Mea Culpa by Automat

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Quebec City’s Automat knew just where to find some picturesque landscapes heading over to Iceland for the shoot. It’s always a good idea to use a decent camera to take advantage of the climes which the band has done here. Exploring a new land is always fun and the MV perfectly captures that spirit.  Link

9Je Reviens by Marie-Mai

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Pop-rock platinum superstar Marie-Mai released this MV at the end of last year after we published our best MVs of 2015 list, so we’ve given it a home on 2016’s. The song is a supercharged rock juggernaut with electronic pulses and a cool oriental vibe; the MV is a feast for the eyes.  Link

8World Princess Part II by Grimes

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Vancouver’s Grimes treated us with a number of music videos in 2016 and just about any of them could be placed here. We like this one best with its raindrops falling on green grass next to a dilapidated castle and footbridge backed by great architecture among other sights.  Link

7Shore by Daniela Andrade

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This popular Edmonton indie pop whiz delighted us with 4 music videos for the 4 tracks on her 2016 EP, Shore. They are all spectacular, shot in Canada, Cuba, and Morocco. We settled on the MV for title-track “Shore”.  Link

6So Far Away by Bridgeway ft. Stéphanie Bédard

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One of the year’s best bilingual version songs came from Bridgeway and features Drummondville, QC’s Stéphanie Bédard. It has a nice pop/rock feel with rich textures reminiscent of Take That. The MV for “So Far Away” presents some spectacular views of snowy land surrounding a tower.  Link

5Need You Now by Gelsea Mae

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Newcomer Gelsea Mae from Vancouver Island put out the perfect video for pop song “Need You Now” as she dances amidst jiving neon lines, kaleidoscopes, and flashes of glitter.  Link

4Too Young by Zeds Dead

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One of the cleverest videos of the year, one can only imagine how much work went into it. A model with various rooms and sets showcases the goings on with the animated figures. Zeds Dead is from Toronto.  Link

3Underside by You Say Party

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This music video deserves an award. Inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s classic movie Princess Mononoke, we watch a little one journeying through vast terrain to find something or perhaps hoping to be found. The group filmed 4,000 km around Japan. This is pretty amazing.  Link

2Diamond Eyes by Lexi Strate

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Making effective use of contrasts between shadowy turquoise verses and a glittering peachy chorus, as well as adding a mixed emotion pink/blue combo for the bridge before going for the kaleidoscope at the close, this is fabulous music video art that complements an artistic pop track perfectly. A delicious dessert for both the ears and eyes.  Link

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Canadian Music Blog’s 2016 Music Video of the Year

The iceman cometh. When grief-stricken in a cold and very sad, blue world, one must be careful lest the sudden arrival of the warmth of love cause the heart to melt and the body too! Being thrown from one world to the opposite one may be a relief but sometimes the change is too much. Our protagonist is melting like wax and his beautiful companion is rushing to save him with a bag of ice. But will it be too late? However you may interpret it, what an amazing music video, beautifully shot, and with all kinds of meanings. Canadian Music Blog declares “Demain vendredi” from Jason Bajada as 2016’s music video of the year!  Link

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2017: The Year of the Automat and More

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Automat will be releasing its second LP on January 27, 2017, entitled Pandora. While the Quebec City band’s first album in 2012 was a pop-rock affair, Pandora shifts more into pure pop territory. With catchy melodies, pleasant vocals, and very addictive beats, it is already one of the standout releases of the year. The group has opened for Carly Rae Jepsen and had one of its songs selected by the Canadian Olympic Committee for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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Other confirmed album releases in early 2017 are works from The Katherines, USSAustra (see a rejected album cover pictured above), Japandroids, Alejandra Ribera, Le Trouble, Courage My Love, Louise Burns, Big Wreck, Mother Mother, Joel Plaskett & Bill Plaskett, and Nelly Furtado. Arcade Fire, Kiesza, Voivod, and Shania Twain are rumoured to be releasing new albums or at least new music in 2017. On Christmas Day, thanking her fans for supporting her during her two-year battle with Lyme disease, Avril Lavigne stated in a message that she intends to release a new album in 2017.

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Earlier in December, Automat released a gorgeous music video for track “Mea Culpa” off the Pandora album. It has lots of amazing landscape shots filmed in Iceland. We have embedded the MV below.

The 25 Best Songs of 2016

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After listening to several thousand songs released in 2016 whether as singles, on EPs, or LPs, we have settled on our 25 favourites. To create a fairer and tidier list, we allowed only one entry per artist. Regardless of genre, language, and relative popularity of the artist, here are our 25 favourite Canadian artist songs of 2016 including our Song of the Year for 2016. We have included songs by international artists that feature Canadians. Charting songs released in 2015 which achieved peak Billboard Hot 100 positions in 2016 are included. We have included the artwork for the single when one exists, failing that, the LP or EP that includes the song.

25I Didn’t Fall in Love with Your Hair by Brett Kissel Ft. Carolyn Dawn Johnson

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Flat Lake and Grande Prairie Albertan JUNO winners Brett Kissel and Carolyn Dawn Johnson teamed up for this beautiful Hot 100 charting country song about cancer that had us whipping out the tissues.   iTunes

24Firestorm by Rachel Woznow

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After enjoying radio spins in the U.S. for “Big and Loud”, Edmonton’s Rachel Woznow launched sparkly dance-pop anthem “Firestorm” that further bolstered her rise as one of pop music’s up and comers with great vocals to boot.  iTunes

23Treat You Better by Shawn Mendes

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Giving us plucky strings that burst into an infectious chorus, Pickering, Ontario teenthrob Shawn Mendes is growing better with age. It’s no surprise that “Treat You Better” became a Top 10 hit and platinum single.   iTunes

22Dive In by Dani & Lizzy

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This Vancouver twin sister duo launched debut album Work of Heart this year, a fun mishmash of pop, R&B, and dance. You could place just about any track from the album here but we shall settle on “Dive In”, a good representation of the Dani & Lizzy sound.  iTunes

21Animal by Graph

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Toronto’s Graph sounds like she had a blast making her debut 80s themed album Lipstick Graphiti. Track “Animal” did for 2016 what Cyndi Lauper did for the decade of Rubik. It’s playful, upbeat, and a party anthem for all times.  iTunes

20Slow Down by Memorecks & Jenna Pemkowski

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Brantford, Ontario’s Jenna Pemkowski released her debut album, Follow, in collaboration with Toronto producer Memorecks. Just about any track could be placed here. We’ll settle on atmospheric electronic pop jam “Slow Down” for chilling out in the lounge.  iTunes

19One Dance by Drake

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Drake topped the charts for the first time with this reworking of “Do You Mind” by Crazy Cousinz and Kyla. The Toronto urban artist slowed it down a little and turned it into a tropical thumper with Caribbean guitar. It was the essential summer jam.  iTunes

18Air I Breathe by Crystalyne

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This Toronto band released its third EP Follow in 2016 led by single “Air I Breathe”. Pop music doesn’t get much better than this. It flutters around playing with contrasts, an upbeat song about heartbreak all led by the heart melting vocals of Marissa Dattoli.   iTunes

17After All by Charlotte Day Wilson

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This smoking hot newcomer from Toronto brought sultry R&B back into fashion on her EP. “After All” is like spending a scorching afternoon on the porch with an ice cold lemonade, too drowsy to focus and too wakeful to crash. All thoughts are lost in the haze of dream and contentment.  iTunes

16Witch Trials by Traitrs

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This new Toronto duo sent a delicious wave of shivers down our spines with debut album Rites and Ritual which explores the shadowy realm of witch trials, youth cults, and burnt offerings all offered up in a gritty post-punk cold wave with atmospheric guitars. This alternative rock track is a pure delight.  iTunes

15I Don’t Remember by Linda Chung

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2016 was a busy year for Vancouver’s Linda Chung. She gave birth to daughter Kelly in August and managed to release album Under the Stars. Linda performed this beautiful ending theme song of TV drama Inspector Gourmet which aired on Hong Kong’s famous TVB network.  iTunes

14Cinquante fois by Bruno Pelletier

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One of the nation’s finest male vocalists Bruno Pelletier surprised fans by launching his 13th career album in 2016. Track “Cinquante fois” is a blast and is all about enjoying life while in one’s fifties. Those who have viewed the MV will agree that it is the sort of song made for carpool karaoke, especially when sung with clones.  iTunes

13Let Me Love You Featuring Justin Bieber

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Stratford, Ontario’s Justin Bieber made a huge comeback in 2015 with his blockbuster album Purpose, but that return all started with his feature in a Skrillex and Diplo track. In 2016 he offered up his salty vocals to be used by more EDM crafters like Major Lazer and France’s DJ Snake. The latter’s “Let Me Love You” was a Top 5 platinum smash with an irresistible hook.  iTunes

12Chasing Shadows by Vito V

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Canada has a lot more to offer in EDM territory than deadmau5 (though the mau5 is fab). A specialist of the genre is Montreal’s Vito V, originally from Venezuela. He puts the D back in EDM and outshines many of his contemporaries by offering a nice variety of beats. “Chasing Shadows” from his 2016 album is mainly instrumental and will get your feet shuffling in no time.  iTunes

11Face the Arrows by Stef Lang

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Vancouver Island bred Stef Lang released the second of two EPs called Arrows this year. The EP is so good, it was tough to pick a standout track. In the end, we chose the more dreamy and subdued “Face the Arrows” which caps off the two-part project perfectly.  iTunes

10Pékin (Les amitiés) by Jason Bajada

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This fantastic driving pop-rock jam complete with molten hot guitar solos was the most popular track from Jason Bajada’s album Volcano. It’s perky but hypnotic, intense but relaxed, and so completely wonderful.  iTunes

9Pharaoh by Louise Burns

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British Columbia’s Louise Burns has been making admirable music whether with bands like Lillix and Gold & Youth or as a soloist. Here is a true artist, talented musician, solid singer, and brilliant songwriter. Louise has a new album coming out in 2017 and released this super cool single in 2016.  iTunes

8Starboy by The Weeknd

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“Starboy” was the song that won over many of those who hadn’t really been into The Weeknd’s music. It topped the charts in December and is the title track of the Torontonian’s blockbuster album. The Weeknd wrote this slick R&B track with French electronic duo Daft Punk and Canadians Daheala, Cirkut, and McKinney.  iTunes

7Deer in the Dark by Ominar

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Halifax raised Ominar (Tawny Lucas) knows how to make ominous music. “Deer in the Dark” off album Leaving offers exciting dark-wave indie pop that is melodic and gothic with heartbreaking lyrics delivered by reflective and beautiful vocals.  iTunes

6Underside by You Say Party

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The hypnotic drone of this post punk charmer is the “Are ‘Friends’ Electric” of 2016. The Abbotsford, BC band, devastated by the passing of its drummer, try to find meaning amidst the seized-up waterfall of emotion, and the fruit of such searching is both devastating and glorious.  iTunes

5Mirage by Alexe Gaudreault

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It was difficult to pick a track from our favourite album of 2016, but the opener does the trick with its peppy swagger and ultra confident, creamy vocal delivery from this finalist of The Voice. First-rate writing and slick production, this is pop music that shines.  iTunes

4The One by Carly Rae Jepsen

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With only a few exceptions, the world’s best pop music is being made by the female soloists of British Columbia (Grimes, Louise Burns, Victoria Duffield, Stef Lang, Paige Morgan, etc.) Mission, BC’s Carly Rae Jepsen delighted us all with the surprise release of a companion disc to her critically acclaimed album Emotion. Extremely addictive, “The One” has arguably the best pop hook of the year.  iTunes

3Moonlight by Rosemary Fairweather

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Perhaps the most obscure recording artist on this list, Rosemary is a newcomer from Toronto, and she’s just getting started, releasing her first singles this year. “Moonlight” is a gorgeous electronic pop track, that glides like clouds aglow before the moon, and is presented with patience and seductive calm.  iTunes

2Diamond Eyes by Lexi Strate

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2016 Western Canadian Music Award winner for Pop Artist of the Year, Alberta’s Lexi Strate dropped this masterpiece of alternative pop early in the year. It’s fresh and mysterious, moves at a stately pace, and provides a nice touch of funky guitar.  iTunes

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Canadian Music Blog’s 2016 Song of the Year

He’s a soul singer who hails from the province of Quebec and has scored two platinum albums, the second of which was the best-selling album domestically in 2014. Album #3 landed in 2016, his finest work to date. The lead single was the first of his to receive significant airplay on radio stations across the nation, mainly AC and Hot AC. It also championed CBC’s Radio Two chart. Those bluesy keys were simply irresistible. It was catchy and gave those of us a bit tired of the same old at radio something different for a change. The Canadian Music Blog declares “C’est La Vie” by Bobby Bazini 2016’s Song of the Year.  iTunes

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New Music Video from Award-Winning Fred Fortin

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The super talented Fred Fortin won two Quebec music industry awards this year for his fifth career album Ultramarr, released 20 years after his debut self-titled work in 1996. Those two ADISQ Félix awards were for Critically Acclaimed Album of the Year and Songwriter/Composer of the Year. The album was also named by iTunes Canada staff as the best Francophone album of 2016, and we would say it has a good chance of getting nominated for a JUNO. Fred has five birth names; his full name is Joseph Antoine Frédéric Fortin Perron. He’s originally from Dolbeau-Mistassini, QC which is a town of just under 15,000 in the north. Ultramarr is certainly a wholesome work. Fred recently released an artistic music video for one of the album’s more popular tracks, “Oiseau”. We embed it below.  iTunes

The Pipe Dreams of Nelly Furtado

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Victoria, BC’s Nelly Furtado is gearing up for release of new album The Ride expected out March 3, 2017. Mainstream media was all abuzz this afternoon with the release of the MV for lead single “Pipe Dreams”. Nelly has been good at coming up with a fresh sound and style for each album she’s put out, whether said album was a blockbuster or not. Around the turn of the millennium, she burst out of nowhere with smash hit “I’m Like a Bird”, and her third album Loose sold quintuple platinum in Canada. She has won 10 JUNO awards to date. Furtado is also one of the few recording artists to have won a JUNO, a BRIT, and a Grammy. She is working with John Congleton on the new record, who is known for his labours with alternative acts like St. Vincent, David Byrne, and Modest Mouse. It will be interesting to see how the album sounds, but “Pipe Dreams” gives us a taste. Its music video goes for a vintage VHS look. And here it is…

Alessia Cara’s Seventeen MV Gets a Little More Than 17 Views

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A quarter million views in 2 days is a stirring feat for a music video from a 20-year-old R&B singer from Brampton, Ontario. But it was always in the bag considering that the Italian Canadian singer is global sensation Alessia Cara. This has been a big year for her after releasing debut album Know-It-All in November 2015. Three top 20 hits followed: “Here” and “Wild Things”, both triple platinum, and the more recent “Scars to Your Beautiful”, platinum. She won a JUNO, MMVA, Billboard, and SOCAN award and nominations from MTV, the People’s Choice Awards, the BBC Music Awards, and the American Music Awards. Moreover, she was asked to sing the song “How Far I’ll Go” from the Disney film Moana. Alessia has released her latest music video for opening track “Seventeen” off her album. It shows her growing up while riding a trolley through the streets of Toronto on uncomfortable hard plastic seats.

Cara says of the MV, “It’s a personal song and video for me (starring my family and friends, as usual) and I’m excited it’s finally out for u guys to see. Hope it’ll remind u to enjoy all the little moments in life, especially this time of year. Thank u for making mine that much more special. Happy holidays & enjoy the video.”

Blood Orange with Carly Rae Jepsen MV

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Blood Orange, alias of New York’s Dev Hynes, put out an album this year called Freetown Sound, and it appeared on a number of year-end best album lists. Dev is a specialist in mood-setting alternative synth-soul. He was a co-writer and producer on track “All That” from Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion album. Carly returns the favour by helping him out on a track off the Blood Orange album, adding her vocals to “Better Than Me”. Today, its music video was released featuring grey-clad dancers in a studio with Jepsen looking and sounding ultra cool. Carly’s British Columbian sister Nelly Furtado is also featured on a track from the Blood Orange album (“Hadron Collider”). Furtado will be releasing a new studio album in early 2017. Carly Rae Jepsen will be headlining Canada’s New Year’s Eve bash on Parliament Hill. Performances across the country can be live streamed at the CBC Music website for those without cable TV. In the meantime, enjoy the MV.

Gelsea Mae Set For Big Things

gelsea-mae-need-you-nowIf ever there was a superstar in the making and one to watch for in 2017, Gelsea Mae is it. This multi-talent grew up on Vancouver Island studying classical piano at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and taught herself the guitar. Moving to Vancouver, she got into photography, and her work was scooped up by Cosmopolitan mag. Acting jobs came knocking. She landed roles in TV series Witches of East End and Rush. In 2017, she will star in thriller series The Arrangement. Gelsea’s feature film debut was in 2015’s Beeba Boys directed by Oscar nominee Deepa Mehta. In 2017, she will star in comedy The Fusion Generation.

Of course, we are most interested in Mae’s musical pursuits. A song of hers was featured in the movie All Things Valentine, and one of her covers attracted praises from Meghan Trainor. Now, Gelsea has teamed up with top producer Ryan Stewart (Carly Rae Jepsen, Hedley, Tyler Shaw, Victoria Duffield) to create her official debut single “Need You Now” which has received radio spins across the nation. Gelsea Mae recently launched its beautiful neon-themed music video which we have embedded below along with links to her social network sites.  iTunes

 

It’s Time for a Little Dean Brody

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Time. “Every year is getting shorter; never seem to find the time”? No, not that one. “But time keeps flowing like a river to the sea.” No, not that one either. “He takes her fishing but he feels bad; she can’t take her eyes off that Facebook page”? Now we’re talkin’! One of the biggest stars of country music has released a beautifully shot music video for track “Time” off 2016 studio album Beautiful Freakshow. Yes, we’re talkin’ BC raised NS based Dean Brody. Dean has won the Country Album of the Year JUNO twice and had three singles certified platinum. Have a look at the new MV below.  iTunes

Tegan and Sara Are Dying to Know Crockett and Tubbs

Calgary’s Quin twins are dying to know Crockett and Tubbs. Tegan and Sara were watching an episode of 80s stylish TV police drama Miami Vice which used Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” as soundtrack. It inspired them in making the music video for their “Dying to Know” track off 2016 album Love You to Death. As neither of the sisters can drive, they got director Nathan Boey in Vancouver to shoot it using puppets in a white Lamborghini. The Quin dolls were custom made for the video. Have a look below.