Nickelback Launches MV for “Feed the Machine”

Albertan post-grunge metal band Nickelback will be releasing its ninth studio album on June 16 just in time for some grease monkeying on hot summer streets. Bearing the name Feed the Machine, the title-track, also the album opener, has been made available for digital download and a music video released which is … very cool. Before we get to that, here are a few stats on the band. To date, Nickelback has won 12 JUNO Awards, 2 American Music Awards, 7 Billboard Music Awards, 1 People’s Choice Award, 2 MTV Awards, and 7 Much Music Video Awards. All of the group’s eight studio albums have received gold/platinum certifications, the highest being 8x platinum, representing shipments of 800,000 copies, for Silver Side Up. It is estimated that Nickelback has sold in excess of 50 million records worldwide.

The music video for “Feed the Machine” is a detailed extravaganza housing what appears to be a post-apocalyptic theme. The song explores vicious cycles wearing away at dysfunctional systems of society. Filled with jackhammering electric guitars, it’s a powerhouse performance in keeping with Nickelback’s popular brand. Watch the MV below.  iTunes

Shawn Hook Launches New Single Reminding Me with Vanessa Hudgens

The Ontario gents are cleaning up at iTunes at this writing. Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, and The Weeknd are #1, #2, and #3 respectively. But western Canada has a shot at joining the top ranks thanks to British Columbian platinum recording artist Shawn Hook. The Hook man has been busy since his smash hit “Sound of Your Heart” and choice sophomore album Analog Love working on his international advance. He inked a deal with Hollywood Records to release his music outside of Canada, a record label that is home to such notables as Demi Lovato and Sabrina Carpenter. Shawn Hook’s strong songwriting and piano skills have created a refreshing piano and keyboard dance-pop sound that provides a nice complement to The Weeknd’s R&B, Mendes’ guitar pop, Drake’s rap, and the Biebs’ party-hearty EDM.

Shawn Hook is releasing brand new single “Reminding Me” with Vanessa Hudgens, and it’s another winner. Vanessa is an American singer (and actress). In the United States, she has scored a gold album and gold single “Breaking Free” (#4). Besides the catchy pop song that “Reminding Me” is, the voices of Hook and Hudgens complement each other to the greatest extent we have heard in a very long time.  iTunes

3 Canadians Break into iTunes Top 10 with New Songs

If a member of generation x out of touch with current music took a look at the iTunes Top 10 right now, he might get excited declaring that there is a brand new song by The Cure called “Lady Gaga”. The big news last week was the battle of Britain in which Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times” attempted to unseat fellow Englishman Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”. Now we have fellow Canucks placing new songs in the elite deck. Shawn Mendes has released a deluxe version of his 2016 album Illuminate. New track “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” is selling like hotcakes. Justin Bieber is still hot since album Purpose and his collaborations with the crafters of EDM. His latest venture is as a featured vocalist in “Despacito”. It is a remix of a song from Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee. And, no Despacito was not recorded in Canada’s other official language. It’s a Spanish language song. Fonsi and Yankee are from Puerto Rico. So, how are the new tracks doing? Well Shawn Mendes is as of this writing at #8 and the Biebs is #1. But if your eyes don’t deceive you, there’s something else going on around here. The Weeknd? Yes. He is featured in a brand new song by Lana Del Rey called “Lust For Life” and it’s at #6. “Stay” by Alessia Cara and Zedd is holding at #10.

Serena Ryder’s Utopian Electric Love

Peterborough, Ontario folk-rock superstar Serena Ryder is gearing up for the release of a new album; Utopia will hit the shops on May 26. This will be her sixth studio LP. In reviewing Serena’s ryde through success so far, her breakout came with album #3, If Your Memory Serves You Well (2006). The disc contained song “Weak in the Knees”. Though it came out prior to the launch of the Canadian Hot 100 in mid-2007, the fact that the single went gold would indicate it was a fairly big hit. Ryder’s fourth album Is It O.K. (2008) also went gold. It was not responsible for any huge hits; “Little Bit of Red” peaked at #82. The album won the 2009 JUNO for Alternative Album of the Year and the song won 2010’s Music Video of the Year, Serena had snatched up the New Artist of the Year JUNO in 2008.

Four years following the release of album #4, Serena catapulted her juggernaut Harmony which went platinum and spawned some blistering hits. “Stompa” (#8) smashed 3x platinum, “What I Wouldn’t Do” (#8) platinum, and “Fall” made the respectable chart position of #27. More JUNO trophies were awarded to her. Harmony was 2013’s Adult Alternative Album of the Year. And in 2014, Serena Ryder was named both Songwriter of the Year and Artist of the Year.

Testing the waters prior to release of Utopia, single “Got Your Number,” though reaching only #62 has been certified gold. The official lead single “Electric Love” is now up for grabs. As well, she has decked it with a music video that is quite a feast for the eyes showcasing a number of fashionably clad people, face paint, and colourful geometric patterns, most notably, triangles. Could she be hinting at a “bizarre love triangle”? In an interview with People Magazine, Ryder says, “‘Electric Love’ is a song about feeling the magnetic energy between two people,” and she states on her Facebook page that the video was shot over a 3-month period.  iTunes

With Pleasure, Feist Gets Feisty

Albertan recording artist Feist has placed four songs on the Billboard Hot 100, the most successful of which was “1234” a song that reached #3 and enjoyed international success as well: #8 in both Britain and the States. It propelled her album The Reminder to double platinum status. Feist has won 10 JUNO awards with success beginning prior to launch of the Hot 100 in 2007 especially surrounding her 2004 album Let It Die. Three consecutive albums – Let It Die, The Reminder, and Metals – have won album JUNOs: the first Alternative Album of the Year, the second Pop Album of the Year plus Album of the Year, and the third Adult Alternative Album of the Year.

Feist has a new album coming out, no doubt to the glee of her fans; some 145,000 are following her on Twitter. The album is called Pleasure and will be out April 28. It has been six years since her last, so to regain some attention, she popped up on the JUNO stage this year in a decent, heartfelt tribute to Leonard Cohen. Yesterday, Feist launched the vision-bending MV of the album’s title-track which some find creepy, some dreamy, but because it is Feist, we shall call it … feisty.  iTunes

No Side Effects for Dallas Smith Scoring Third Number One

In many ways, British Columbia’s Dallas Smith can be considered Canadian country’s current leading man, though there are a bunch accompanying him on the A-List. This week, Dallas scores his third number one single, “Side Effects”, title-track off his third LP. The other two are “Wastin’ Gas” and “Autograph”. Dallas is a platinum artist thanks to his Top 10 single “Tippin’ Point”. Formerly with alternative rock band Default, a successful endeavour, Dallas made the transition to flying solo in the country field. It may have been a stressful and risky move, but it has certainly paid off. All three of his studio albums have been nominated for Country Album of the Year at the JUNOs, and his second, Lifted, took home the trophy. Smith’s style has been described as more of a country-rock which may account for its popularity, in that it has a broader appeal, one that has even generated buzz for him in the tough US market. We embed the music video for the #1 country song in the land below. The song, performed at the recent JUNO gala, has a progressive country flavour, something that artists such as Keith Urban have been working on. As far as a “no automobiles were injured in the making of this video” disclaimer … sorry, but we can’t back that up.  iTunes

What You Get When You Heed the Call of DIANA

Polaris nominated synthpop group DIANA graced the world with a brand new music video two days ago. It’s for song “What You Get,” the most popular track from 2016 album Familiar Touch. Of 570 albums, it made the CMB’s Top 25 of 2016 list. The Toronto group will embark on a Canada/US tour in June and July, and fittingly the new MV explores tour life.  iTunes

Heads Up! Jonathan Painchaud Finds the Most Beautiful Woman in Montreal

Canadian singer-songwriter Jonathan Painchaud, formerly with platinum folk-rock group Okoumé, recently released a music video for the title-track of his 2016 album, La tête haute, an LP that did quite well. The song is, in the words of iTunes staff, “a soft-strumming ode to ‘la plus belle femme à Montréal,” and Jonathan “wears his heart on his sleeve” as he muses over the highs and lows of this thing we call life. Musically, “La tête haute” is as sweet as ditties can get.  iTunes

DYLN is on to “Better Things”

From barren trees to cherry blossoms, things are moving on to better things here. Riding the surf of adopting a new home base and a new name (with a little encouragement from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson we might add), DYLN launches new song “Better Things” and its cheery, fresh music video. The song is gaining some traction at radio, and naturally, DYLN is no stranger to the airwaves, a very capable songwriter with a great voice to boot. She has been compared to Tianshe and Robyn, and the new track “pulsating and filled with attitude”.  iTunes

Louise Burns Asks, “Who’s the Madman?”

Canadian recording artist Louise Burns has proven through three albums thus far that she is an ace when it comes to songwriting, singing, and musicianship. Her latest new wave leaning album Young Mopes is one of the finest works of the year to date, and we now have a music video for opening track, “Who’s the Madman.” The MV stars a vampire and plays with the concept that real life is often stranger than what we see on TV. Album Young Mopes follows 2013’s Midnight Mass and the 2011 Polaris Prize-nominated Mellow Drama.  iTunes

Alfa Rococo Releases Music Video for “Deux”

Top Canadian electropop duo Alfa Rococo has released a new music video for “Deux” off 2014 album Nos coeurs ensemble. Yes, albums have a longer life of relevancy in regions that support their own artists. The album was named one of the 50 best of the year by iTunes staff, and CMB placed it at 15th best of the year out of 659. The MV, released in time for the duo’s spring tour, caps things off for the album run, as Alfa Rococo now gets ready to work on its upcoming fourth album with plans to release it this year of 2017. In the meantime, here is the MV for “Deux”. Enjoy.

Platinum Country Star Jess Moskaluke & “Drive Me Away” MV

There is no question that Jess Moskaluke is currently Canada’s leading lady of country. She’s a platinum recording artist from Saskatchewan. Already a supertalent, she reached this towering plane by a tremendous amount of hard work, something that many of the successful embellish to justify questionable methods. In Jess’ case, however, she’s the real deal, a genuine example of diligence and perseverance.

As the saying goes, “man is the supreme talisman”. The right people bring you luck, and people can do that far more effectively than stroking a rabbit’s foot or twirling shamrock. Finding the right songwriters, backing band, producers, and record label involves a lot of searching and scrutinizing (not the people themselves necessarily but how well you jive together). Think of the magic spark in the early days between Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, for example.

Jess Moskaluke has won the CCMA award for Female Recording Artist of the year the past three years. She has three JUNO award nominations and has three Top 10 hits at country radio to her credit. Jess Moskaluke is the little engine that could. She’s the Rudolph pulling the sleigh of female Canadian country artists through a very thick fog. And as the title of her last full-length album would suggest, she lights up the night. Jess’ latest music video has been released for her latest song “Drive Me Away”. We embed it below for your enjoyment.  iTunes

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

May Wells Reminds Us That We All Want Love

May Wells was named as Bell Media’s Future Star this month. She is indubitably as talented as they come, and last week, Nielsen Entertainment shone the artist spotlight on her for song “We All Want Love”. The May Wells number debuted at #36 on AC radio. May was a member of group The Garlics who released a trio of albums receiving some strong regional airplay. Following the disbanding of the group, Wells released a self-titled EP in October 2016. The whole disc is as good as pop music gets, and now track “We All Want Love” is getting some spins. We have embedded the music video below.  iTunes

In Truth, Isabelle Boulay Shares a Memory

Canadian singer Isabelle Boulay is one of the few home-grown Francophones to see major success internationally; the native of Sainte-Félicité, QC saw her Y2K album Mieux qu’ici-bas receive diamond certification in France. Isabelle will be releasing her latest studio album En vérité on May 18. The four-time JUNO nominee has already launched a pair of singles from the disc, and from the sounds of it, it shall be glorious. We have embedded below the black and white music video for track “Un souvenir” which reminds us how wholesome her voice is.  iTunes