Head Above Water MV Is Out and It’s Gorgeous

Wednesday night, Avril Lavigne performed her new smash “Head Above Water” on US chat show Jimmy Kimmel Live. She nailed the performance as always with some commanding vocal work to the cheers of the crowd. Today, on her birthday, she released the official music video, and it is easily the most beautiful of the year with eye-popping cinematography of cliffs and caves, beach and sea. It was filmed in Iceland and directed by Briton Elliott Lester. Below we have embedded the Jimmy Kimmel performance as well as the official “Head Above Water” MV. The song recently topped the iTunes worldwide chart and is the first single off Avril Lavigne’s upcoming sixth studio album, her first since 2013.

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Avril Lavigne’s “Head Above Water” Tops iTunes Worldwide Chart

“Head Above Water”, the new single from Canadian singer Avril Lavigne, has topped the iTunes Worldwide Chart with #1 placements in a number of countries. It currently sits at #2 on iTunes Canada. This is the diamond certified singer songwriter’s first single in three years, the last offering being “Fly” dedicated to the Special Olympics.

Having battled Lyme disease, Lavigne has not been able to release a new album since her self-titled disc in 2013. That album was certified gold and spawned four charting songs including platinum “Here’s to Never Growing Up” (#17) and radio supported “Let Me Go” featuring Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger (gold, #12).

“Head Above Water” follows along the course of piano driven power ballads like “Let Me Go” and “Fly” and lyrically focuses on her determination to survive the brutal effects of Lyme.

For those who were longing for an Avril Lavigne comeback, all we can say is … boy, what a comeback!

Avril Lavigne has won seven JUNO awards and sold an estimated 90 million records worldwide.  iTunes

Marie-Mai Taking Off, New Album Coming

Platinum Canadian recording artist Marie-Mai is taking off in her latest single “Je décolle” which follows hit song “Empire”. The new tune is a catchy dance pop number, and with its music video release comes the announcement of a new album expected out November 9. Marie-Mai’s last album, M, came out four years ago in 2014. She is scheduled to put on shows promoting the new disc in early 2019 at Montreal’s Bell Centre (February 15 & 16) and Quebec City’s Centre Vidéotron (March 2). Enjoy the MV below.

Avril Lavigne Announces New Single

Little Black Stars around the world have a big reason to celebrate; diamond recording artist Avril Lavigne of Napanee, Ontario, winner of seven JUNO awards, will be dropping a brand-new single entitled “Head Above Water”. The track heralds her upcoming sixth studio album. The pop-rock global superstar penned an emotional letter to her fans thanking them for their patience, as the singer-songwriter’s battle with Lyme Disease delayed the release of a new album for five years. She concedes that she began composing the new song in bed, during one of the scariest moments of my life. I had accepted death and could feel my body shutting down. I felt like I was drowning. Like I was going under water and I just needed to come up for air. Like I was in a river being pulled in a current. Unable to breathe. Praying to God for Him to help me just keep my head above the water. To help me see through the stormy weather. I grew closer to Him. My mother held me. In her arms, I wrote the first song that I am releasing to tell my story.

Avril later hooked up with Travis Clark (We the Kings) to finish off the song. She then took it to Canadian master arranger Stephan Moccio to work his production magic on it. Moccio is responsible for Nikki Yanofsky‘s “I Believe”, theme of the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, “Earned It” by The Weeknd, Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”, Céline Dion‘s “A New Day Has Come”, and many other strokes of genius.

Single “Head Above Water” by Avril Lavigne drops September 19, 2018.

She Blinded Me with “Science”: Allie X Charms Billboard

Canadian recording artist Allie X has earned a headline at Billboard magazine for her shimmering electronic pop song “Science” off her upcoming (October 29) album Super Sunset. It has been only a year since her last LP CollXtion II generated much buzz due to its catchy, well-crafted songs. “Science” is the third cut available for download off the forthcoming disc, and, sitting somewhere between The Human League and Electric Youth, fits easily into an imagined soundtrack for both Miami Vice and Ryan Gosling’s Drive. We embed the lyric video below. Enjoy.  iTunes

Kelly Yu and the Third Ex-File

Rising Canadian star Kelly Yu has scored a major Mandopop hit this year, theme song for Chinese romcom feature film The Ex-File 3: The Return of the Exes. The song is currently #3 at iTunes Taiwan, and a YouTube audio file has attracted 65 million “views”.

Kelly was born in the Chinese city of Dalian and emigrated to Canada when young. To further her musical pursuits, she attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music. Kelly is a singer, songwriter, accomplished guitarist (among the mastery of other instruments), and actress. After participating in televised singing competition reality show Duets, Kelly released her debut album Spirits in 2014 and starred in the Chinese-Korean romantic drama TV series One and a Half Summers.

We will keep happy tabs on this talented gal as her career flourishes. Watch the MV for The Ex-File 3 theme below.

June 15, 2018 Releases: Alyssa Reid, Chromeo…

Talented star Alyssa Reid, Edmonton-born, Brampton-raised, follows up her acclaimed acoustic album Phoenix from 2015 with pop EP Burnout, a smashing disc. The JUNO nominee has placed seven songs on the Hot 100 (including two as a featured artist). Among them all is the delicious “Satisfaction Guaranteed”.

Four years ago, “Jealous” by Chromeo was at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Quebec dance-funk duo returns with album Head Over Heels. It features celebrated fretless bassist Pino Palladino who has done work with Gary Numan, Tears for Fears, and many others. Chromeo has received four JUNO nominations to date. The new album is splendid.

Don’t underestimate the self-released albums this week; they are impressive to say the least. Below is a table of this week’s Canadian artist releases. After that is the lyric video for Alessia Cara‘s highly anticipated new single, “Growing Pains”. Enjoy.

TITLE ARTIST GENRE
Atlas Bears in Hazenmore Alternative
Brianology Brian Gladstone S-S/Folk
Golden Hour Quote the Raven S-S/Folk
Good Place to Start Drew Gregory Country
Head Over Heels Chromeo Dance
Keeping Time The Ennis Sisters S-S/Folk
Old Stock Ben Caplan S-S/Folk
Queen City Jubilee The Slocan Ramblers S-S/Folk
Screamo Sean Nicholas Savage Alternative
Wolves! Cried the Maid Oxlip S-S/Folk
Burnout (EP) Alyssa Reid Pop
Homemade (EP) Matthew Chaim Pop
J’espere que tu vas mieux (EP) Ariane Zita S-S/Folk
Meditations I (EP) Foxtrott Alternative
Scout (EP) Calpurnia Alternative

June 8, 2018 Releases: MAGIC!, Catlow, Bend Sinister…

The number of weekly album releases is cooling down as we head into summer which is the usual order of business. This week, we have five Canadian artist long plays plus an EP. Perhaps the highest profile release however is a single and MV by the first Canadian band to ever top the British singles chart. Before we get to those, here are some stats.

Number of 2018 Canadian artist studio albums so far (to June 8): 267
Number of 2018 Canadian artist EPs so far (to June 8): 71
Total: 338

Vancouver group Bend Sinister contributes a delightful album called Foolish Games. It’s a combo of progressive rock and power pop. Montreal’s Ragers gets down and rappy on Raw Footage. Toronto singer and songwriter Emilie Mover folkifies the landscape with Night Owl while Mt. Pearl, NL’s Dave Whitty shuffles along similar avenues in Talkin’ Back Fool. For a country-folk-rock extravaganza, check out Romaine from Mack et Ro. We place all our chips on the square owned by Vancouver’s Catlow (alias of Natasha Thirsk) and first-rate EP Main of Nowhere, an alternative pop/rock disc.

MAGIC! with global smash “Rude” became the first Canadian band to top the British singles chart in all history. The outfit has been a favourite of Canadian radio managing to place five additional songs on the Billboard Hot 100. Besides “Rude”, the most successful was “Let Your Hair Down” which peaked at #20 and spent a strong 25 weeks on the chart. Well, the reggae-pop specialists led by Nasri are back with new single “Kiss Me”. We embed the MV below.

What the Stars Are Up To – June 4, 2018 Edition

Céline Dion has confirmed a new batch of shows in her Las Vegas residency from October 30 lasting into January of 2019. Shawn Mendes has a residency of his own – guesting on James Corden all this week. Here are what some of our other stars are up to.

Tegan and Sara Honoured at Governor General Awards

Calgarian identical twin-sister pop duo Tegan and Sara capped off a 20-year music career as recipients of the prestigious Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. The sisters have opened for superstars such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, performed at the 2015 Academy Awards, collaborated with EDM heavyweights Tiesto and Morgan Page, scored a trio of JUNO awards, and achieved gold/platinum certifications on nine recordings. Following the ceremony, Tegan and Sara were featured on CBC’s The National in an interview with Rosemary Barton. Those medals look smashing. They were pressed at the Canadian Mint.

Drake Ties MJ for U.S. Weeks at #1

According to Gary Trust over at Billboard, Drake has tied Michael Jackson for the second-most weeks at #1 on the U.S. Hot 100 among male soloists. The Torontonian tops the chart for the sixth week with “Nice for What” placing him in a tied position with the so-called “king of pop”. With 37 weeks on top for each of them, the two trail leading male soloist Usher who has 47. In the States, Mariah Carey is the champ, having spent 79 weeks at #1 through various hits. Here is the ranking.

Most Weeks at #1 in U.S. Hot 100’s History:

1. Mariah Carey, 79 weeks
2. Rihanna, 60
3. The Beatles, 59
4. Boyz II Men, 50
5. Usher, 47
6. Beyonce, 42
7. Drake, 37
7. Michael Jackson, 37
9. Elton John, 34
10. Janet Jackson, 33
10. Katy Perry, 33

Grimes Dabbles in K-Pop

Grimes is featured in track “love4eva” by K-pop girl group Loona yyxy. The song appears on recently released EP beauty&thebeat. A music video (now over a million views) has been launched, though it does not see an appearance from the Vancouver native. You can view it here.

Find Jess Moskaluke in Camouflage

Jess Moskaluke has released track “Camouflage” as a single, sending it to country radio. It is off her latest disc, Past the Past and the second most downloaded track by radio this week after Maroon 5!

Victoria Duffield Addresses My Mistake

No, we haven’t made a mistake. “My Mistake” is the name of Victoria Duffield‘s latest single. It’s pop music gold and co-written by fellow British Columbian Tyler Shaw. Have a listen below.

New Releases May 4, 2018: Kiran Ahluwalia, Éric Lapointe, Felix Cartal…

Canadian music makers are going to need to create more pop songs if they want to capitalize on the current state of affairs, and more pop albums have hit the markets in this week’s batch of new releases.

In a snapshot of the twenty most purchased tracks at iTunes Canada, we drafted the following chart showing that pop hits are the most liked, followed by rock, then rap, and finally country. Points were tallied for each of the four genres. The genre of the #1 song was awarded 20 points, 19 points for the #2 song and so on, down to 1 point for the genre of the 20th most popular song. We’ve kept things simple so that pop includes songs designated as “dance”, rock includes “alternative”, rap “R&B”, and country “folk”.

Highlights of this week’s new Canadian artist releases include the following. Kiran Ahluwalia is a double JUNO winner and specialist of world music. The new album is entitled 7 Billion. Among the choicest of Franco music is fresh disc L’amour et le chaos from electropop duo Alfa Rococo. For a little atmosphere check out the artistic Arms of a Dream from Alberta’s Reuben and the Dark. Two-time JUNO nominee and rocker Éric Lapointe tops iTunes albums with his latest effort, Délivrance. BC punk band D.O.A. is still at it and contributes Fight Back. Also from the west coast is 3-time JUNO nominee Felix Cartal and EDM LP Next Season. Legendary 70s rock group Offenbach is all about a Renaissance. Finally, definitely give a listen to nicely done synthpop EP Voyager léger from double JUNO nominee Yann Perreau. Find these and lots more goodies in the table below.

TITLE ARTIST GENRE
7 Billion Kiran Ahluwalia World
L’amour et le chaos Alfa Rococo Pop
Arms of a Dream Reuben and the Dark Alt
Daniel Jesuslesfilles Alt
Délivrance Éric Lapointe Rock
Driving in the Dark Mariel Buckley S-S
Fight Back D.O.A. Punk
Home Away from Home The Lay Awakes S-S
In City & Country The Young Novelists S-S
Next Season Felix Cartal Pop
Renaissance Offenbach Rock
La chute de Sparte (EP) La Bronze Pop
Voyager léger (EP) Yann Perreau Pop

We leave you with exquisite new track “Anybody Out There” from Vancouver platinum recording artist Tyler Shaw and Toronto’s Amaal Nuux.

Céline Dion Leaves Some Ashes in the Deadpool

Queen Céline rises from … the ashes … to deliver a new song which will be included on the Deadpool 2 soundtrack. Deadpool 2 is the sequel to, as you guessed it, Deadpool. It stars Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds. The upcoming film (release date: May 18, 2018) was shot in Vancouver. Briefly, it is based on a comic book character who appeared in the X-Men series. Reynolds plays Wade Wilson, an operative turned mercenary who was offered an experimental treatment for his terminal cancer. It left him with special abilities including healing powers.

The music video for “Ashes” by Céline Dion was released this morning. The day is not over, and it has already surpassed 2.5 million views on YouTube. Of the song, Dion says:

“Over the years I’ve received some incredible songs and I’ve been involved in some amazing projects. ‘Ashes’ is one of those songs and ‘Deadpool 2’ is off-the-charts! Take the most insane ride of your life when ‘Deadpool 2’ opens on May 18 … you’ll be laughing your “ashes” off!”

The track will be included on the motion picture soundtrack along with classics by A-ha, Air Supply, Cher, Dolly Parton, Pat Benatar, and Peter Gabriel. The album will be available the day the film opens; “Ashes” is available for digital download now.  iTunes

The last time Céline made the Top 40 of the Canadian Hot 100 was in 2013 when “Loved Me Back to Life” peaked at #26 without much radio support.

Selected Canadian Artist Releases, April 13, 2018

Below we list selected Canadian artist releases for the week of April 13, 2018.

SELECTED NEW SINGLES

“Ariane” by Choses Sauvages (Alternative)
“Loud” by Tim Hicks (Country)
“Somnambule” by Coeur de pirate (AC)

SELECTED NEW EXTENDED PLAYS

Berceuses sous la hotte by Marie Paquin (S-S/Folk)
Cue by Jaunt (Alternative)
Dates by Dates (Punk)
Wrong Side of the Moon by Melody Stang (S-S/Folk)

SELECTED NEW ALBUMS

Arriver jusqu’à toi by Laura Gagné (AC)
Feux de bengale by Joannie Benoit (S-S/Folk)
M. Chandler by M. Chandler (Rock)
Le sage by Michel Thériault (Rock)
Science by Robotaki (Pop)
Zay by FouKi (Rap)

FEATURED MUSIC VIDEO

We leave you with the new music video for Meghan Patrick’s “The Bad Guy”. Meghan is the reigning CCMA Female Artist of the Year. The track is from her January 2018 album Country Music Made Me Do It.

Lindsay Ell Scores First Female Canadian #1 Country Song in 10 Years!

From the city of Crowchild Trail, Benny the Bear, and the Saddledome, Calgary’s Lindsay Ell, discovered by Randy Bachman when she was just 15, has just done something no other female Canadian artist has been able to do for 10 long years.

Releasing her gold, magenta, and vermillion tinged album The Project in 2017, hailed by Billboard magazine as the best country album of the year, Lindsay let loose the blistering track “Criminal”, and it has decimated the charts. It is the number one country radio single in the land, and the first from a maple-femme artist since Terri Clark’s “In My Next Life” from 2008. “Criminal” has also entered the Top 20 in the United States’ nationwide country airplay chart!

For many years, a Canadian artist was unable to scratch the surface of the country charts until Gord Bamford’s fireball, “When Your Lips Are So Close” in November 2013. This was followed by a string of number ones by Canadians, but all gentlemen: “Bounty” by Dean Brody, “Wastin’ Gas” by Dallas Smith, “Airwaves” by Brett Kissel, “Autograph” by Dallas Smith, “Side Effects” by Dallas Smith, “I Be U Be” by High Valley, “Chills” by James Barker Band, “Sky Stays This Blue” by Dallas Smith, “Sleepin’ Around” by Dallas Smith, and “8th Day” by Dean Brody.

On the accomplishment, Lindsay states, “I am humbled and grateful to be the first female artist to have a #1 since 2008 on the Canadian country radio charts. Sometimes you work so hard for the things you want, they feel surreal when they happen. Thank you country radio for believing in me and making this possible. Thank you to each and every fan for never giving up on me. I will try my best to continue to make you proud.”

Ell is currently on tour with Brad Paisely and will join Sugarland for 20+ dates in the summer. She is set to play with Keith Urban in Canadian arenas in September. Check out her website for dates.

By scoring a number one country hit, Lindsay Ell has blown the field wide open for Canadian women. 

We embed the MV for “Criminal” below. As you can hear, it’s very catchy with delicious vocal hooks and excellent guitar work from Lindsay Ell herself.

Releases for April 6, 2018: Paul Brandt, Young Galaxy, Sloan…

Selected New Singles

Being semi-facetious, let us state … for the record … that it was a Canadian who delivered the first rap track, back in 1964. His name was Lorne Greene, and the piece in question was “Ringo”. That ought to be the standard by which all modern rap tunes are judged. Carrying on the Greene tradition is Canada’s own Drake. After dominating the Hot 100 for 10 weeks with “God’s Plan”, he drops “Nice for What”. Is it nice or not? You be the judge.

Also hot at iTunes (currently Top 25) is a new one from Arkells – “People’s Champ”. The Motown-heavy romp heralds the band’s upcoming fifth album and comments on a politician who looks like he has a puss caterpillar on his head. Guess who.

Country music’s finest voice is a matter of debate but certainly ranking high up there is Kira Isabella, and she lands a sure-fire winner, “Little Girl” as in “Don’t ever let ’em make you feel little, girl.” It continues her rally for female empowerment found on such choice cuts as “Quarterback”.

It seems like it’s been a while since we’ve heard from youthful ace of funk Francesco Yates though he did release a song back in February. He’s back with new single “Do You Think About Me”. Francesco was featured in Robin Schulz’s international smash “Sugar”, triple platinum at home.

Selected New Extended Plays

Regarded by many as the most successful Canadian country male soloist of the modern era, Calgary’s Paul Brandt is a triple platinum, 8x JUNO award winner. His new EP is The Journey YYC, Vol. 1 and presents six songs packed with more energy than a multivitamin. This one’s a keeper.

A pleasant surprise is Waterloo’s To the Trees with a self-released, self-titled affair. The band specializes in syth rock. The nifty disc seems to get better with each song; the final two hit the spot for us. This one’s worth checking out for fans of the genre.

More extended plays in the table of new releases down below.

Selected Hot New Albums

Nova Scotia’s Sloan releases its first album in four years and its 12th since things began in 1992, hence its title 12. Four of the group’s albums have gone gold and a JUNO win can be claimed. Atlantic rock doesn’t get much better – hear influences from America, The Beatles, and early Pink Floyd.

Singer-songwriter Royal Wood contributes Ever After the Farewell. He goes for a roots sound on many tracks, bringing in some gospel and folk seasonings. The album was produced by Jamie Scott (Ed Sheeran, Rag ‘n Bone Man). Royal Wood has garnered a pair of JUNO nominations thus far.

JUNO nominated pop machine Hey Ocean! of Vancouver discusses The Hurt of Happiness on its new record. Perhaps western Canada’s version of Stars, with the male-female singing combo over rich sythpop, the album is a glossy atmospheric adventure.

Annie Poulain is a JUNO nominee in the jazz field. Her Dix pianos une voix features, as the title suggests, 10 pianists who accompany her vocals. Overall, it’s a soothing record perfect for weekday evening unwinding.

Selected Cool New Albums

Blackout Summer from Dusted? Yes. The Toronto based outfit should appeal to fans of soulful alternative music, a little dark, a bit dreamy, with focussed hooks and punchy beats. As Yoda might say, “Very nicely done, this one is.”

Thomas Carbou, the genius who brings world music into jazz, dedicates three pieces to each of the four Directions, hence the album name. As you guessed, North, South, East, and West dabble in instruments, sounds, styles common in those respective parts of the globe, and it’s all fused into wonderful jazz.

Last but not least, Exclaim mag gave the following album a rating of 9/10. That’s a pretty accurate score as far as we are concerned. One of the best albums of 2018 belongs to Down Time by synth band Young Galaxy of Montreal. The album contains phenomenal 2017 track “Stay for Real”. We’ll give this one a more detailed writeup later.

Find a table of 24 selected Canadian artist LPs and EPs out this week in the table below.

TITLE ARTIST GENRE
12 Sloan Rock
Blackout Summer Dusted Alternative
Canada’s Global Orchestra Kune World
Chasing Clouds Camaromance S-S/Folk
Debouler vers le ciel Emile Gruff Rock
Directions Thomas Carbou  Jazz
Dix pianos une voix Annie Poulain Jazz
Down Time Young Galaxy Alternative
Every After the Farewell Royal Wood S-S/Folk
The Fifth Matthew V Pop
The Hurt of Happiness Hey Ocean! Pop
Lone Wolf Lowell Alternative
Ms. Behave Rosie & The Riveters S-S/Folk
Premier Juin Lydia Kepinski Alternative
Sa couleur Ame Pop
Salvation The Penske File Rock
Separate Rooms Megan Bonnell S-S/Folk
The Up Here Place Look Vibrant Alternative
Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa Jeremy Dutcher Classical
Amours jetables (EP) Melissa Ouimet S-S/Folk
Deslembranca (EP) Mikhaëlle Salazar  World
Homage (EP) Flash Lightnin’ Rock
The Journey YYC, Vol. I (EP) Paul Brandt Country
To the Trees (EP) To the Trees Rock

March 9, 2018 Releases: Three Days Grace, Fanny Bloom, Dear Rouge…

We have surpassed 100 Canadian artist albums released in 2018. As usual, this week’s new discs offer a variety of styles.

If you like your rock hard with noughties’ bratty male vocals, you are in for a treat, as multiplatinum group Three Days Grace launches album number six – Outsider. TDG has been nominated for seven JUNO awards. The new album is currently at #3 on iTunes.

JUNO nominated duo Dear Rouge from Alberta is back with a new album – Phases. It’s energetic, feel-good synth inflected rock. Saskatoon double JUNO nominee Suzie Vinnick, a specialist of roots and blues, delivers the goods on album Shake the Love Around.

Félix award winner and alternative pop ace Fanny Bloom hits the mark on her new disc, Liqueur. Find some beautiful folk rock from BC’s Shred Kelly (Archipelago). For a pleasant surprise, give Feast of Panthers by Ensign Broderick a whirl; he does glam rock right. Finally, Années lumière is a wonderful EP from singer-songwriter Alicia Deschênes.

Find these and more new Canadian artist releases in the table below after which we present new single “Landslide” from all-female pop-rock trio Caveboy. Growing rapidly in international popularity, Charlotte Cardin now has an MV for song “Paradise Motion”. We toss that in as well. Enjoy the new music.

TITLE ARTIST GENRE
Archipelago Shred Kelly Folk Rock
Compte à rebours Les bouches bées S-S/Folk
Distractions Random Recipe Pop
Feast of Panthers Ensign Broderick Glam Rock
Girls Girls Girls Miesha & The Spanks Garage
Highway to Spell Jeremy Fisher Junior Childrens
I’m Bad Now Nap Eyes Alternative
Liqueur Fanny Bloom Alt Pop
Music for Taverns… Sean Burns & Lost Country Country
Outsider Three Days Grace Hard Rock
Phases Dear Rouge Alt Rock
Rebelle Angee Wings Pop
Samedis créatifs La Brigade des Moeurs Rap
Shake the Love Around Suzie Vinnick Blues
Slowly Paradise Eric Chenaux Alternative
This City Heavyweights Brass Band Jazz
Tough Luck Scenic Route to Alaska Indie Rock
Années lumière (EP) Alicia Deschênes S-S
Bridges (EP) San James Alternative
EP.1 Garnotte Prog Rock