Jessicka is a new singer from Vancouver and has signed with Light Organ Records, a label specializing in alternative music. Her debut single “Wake Up” is a dreamy synth pop number with crystal clear vocals and now translates itself into the visual plane with a music video. Jessicka plans on releasing an EP in the fall. Rumoured guests on the disc include Juno Award-winning violinist Jesse Zubot and members of indie group Mother Mother. “Wake Up” MV embedded below. iTunes
Jess Moskaluke is a JUNO Award winning platinum recording artist specializing in country music. She is from Langenburg, Saskatchewan and released her debut album Light Up the Night in 2014. She has been called Canada’s Carrie Underwood. Moskaluke has won the Canadian Country Music Association’s Female Artist of the Year award for the past three years. She struck platinum with her single “Cheap Wine and Cigarettes” and recently gold with Paul Brandt in “I’m an Open Road”. Jess’ album Kiss Me Quiet won the JUNO Award in 2017 for Country Album of the Year beating out discs from slayers Aaron Pritchett, Chad Brownlee, Dallas Smith, and Gord Bamford. All this, and she’s just getting started! Jess Moskaluke’s latest single is called “Kill Your Love”, and she recently released a music video which we have embedded below. iTunes
In 2017, it’s a tough go getting on the radio if you’re a Canadian female. It’s also tough if you’re not from Ontario. The only Canadian artist outside of that province to score a Top 40 hit so far in 2017 is none other than … Shawn Hook. Shawn is from British Columbia, and so is a pop group no stranger to landing hits called Hedley. Two JUNO awards have been won by the band, and two albums have struck the double platinum mark. Hedley began releasing music in 2005 scoring a few hits prior to the launch of the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 in mid-2007. On this chart, the band has placed an impressive total of 24 songs, 16 of which have made the Top 40, and nine the Top 10. “Kiss You Inside Out” is the biggest Billboard hit at #2.
Hedley is one of the few bands from the mid-noughties still successful at making music today. The group is launching seventh studio album Cageless at the end of September. Lead single “Love Again” is up to #56 on the charts, and the group presents its nocturnal neon themed music video complete with a robot which we embed below. The video is a “virtual reality” which you can rotate around 360 degrees. (It works on some browsers and not others.) The new album is now available for pre-order. iTunes
Meet the most successful Canadian female soloist of 2017 after Alessia Cara (by our reckoning)…
Despite some sure-fire pop hits, the radio airwaves in Canada haven’t been kind to Canadian females, preferring instead to go with the American ladies. Alessia Cara is the only home-grown female to score a Top 40 hit in 2017, and she had to team up with Zedd to do so.
Beautifully crafted songs of various styles have appeared from Allie X, Amaara, Carly Rae Jepsen, Emily Rowed, Keshia Chanté, Louise Burns, Natasha Zimbaro, Ralph, Stacey, and female-fronted groups like Austra, The Coutrneys, Lolaa, The Luyas, and Young Galaxy.
Limited airplay has been given to Jocelyn Alice, Mia Martina, Ria Mae, and Serena Ryder. Newcomer Kayla Diamond is gaining some momentum.
In order to find the most successful Canadian female artist after Alessia Cara, we have to think outside the box. In this case, the box represents language.
Introducing Andréanne A. Malette, a red-hot Canadian singer-songwriter. Her song “Fou” both from the standpoint of radio airplay and sales is a massive Franco hit in Canada. Malette was a finalist during popular talent search show Star Academy in 2012 and appeared on its double platinum certified various artists compilation album with her fellow contenders as well as its platinum Christmas CD.
Andréanne released her debut solo album Bohèmes in 2014. She has performed at home of the Habs, Montreal’s Bell Centre and has shared the stage with Stromae and Jean Leloup. “Fou” has been at or near the top of the Franco charts for months; in fact, it has been certified as the #1 Top BDS Francophone track in Canada. We present the lyric video below. It’s a folk-pop tour de force. Enjoy.
Move over “Weird Al” Yankovic, Canadian singer Mikey Bustos, an alumnus of Canadian Idol, though making successful original music, is becoming increasingly known for his hilarious parodies. We previously featured his delightful lyrical re-write of Meghan Trainor’s “No”. Mikey has taken the #1 hit “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber and, hitting the beach, rewritten the Spanish lyrics into English ones and titled it in true swimwear fashion: “I Wear Speedos”! It has surpassed 24 million views on Facebook and a million on YouTube. Canadian Music Blog sends Mikey a big congrats on the continuing success. He’s a very talented guy. Below is the MV which should put a big smile on your face.
Emerging pop artist Every Last Chance (ELC) will be releasing new single “When I Grow Up” on July 21. The song presents a heartfelt and honest monologue inspired by almost losing a parent. Says the group, “That reflection became a discovery, that adulthood is scarier than it appeared when we were children – and that we never really feel as though we’ve ‘grown up'”. Ultimately the song explores what it really means to be an adult and how drawing on inspiration from our parents can help guide us on our journey. Canadian Music Blog embeds the official audio below. A music video is planned for September.
Every Last Chance (ELC) is a Canadian project that aims to make pop music with meaning. Debut single “Spotlight” featuring the superb vocals of Marissa Dattoli (lead singer of Ontarian band Crystalyne) stirred up some buzz; the euphoric EDM masterpiece peaked at #65 on the Mediabase CHR chart. Followup single “Roll the Credits” featuring David Spekter continued the momentum reaching #27 at AC and #39 Hot AC nabbing for the group Bell Media’s Future Star award. ELC launched its first EP (iTunes), a self-titled work, in 2016. The act has amassed close to half a million Spotify plays. A new EP is in the works expected to come out in the fall of 2017 which will include the new song “When I Grow Up”.
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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.
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.
|Au grand orgue…||Jean-Willy Kunz||1JA||Montreal||classical|
|Broken Sky||Declan O’Donovan||Whitehorse||alt-folk|
|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|
JA=Juno Award; JN=Juno Nomination; PLAT=platinum artist; s-s=singer-songwriter; title in red text=disc in iTunes Albums Top 25.