Music Sales Top 10 Lists, 2019, Canada

Putting aside data from the stream farms, we have Top 10 lists of the best-selling albums in Canada for 2019 by total sales, digital album sales (excluding so-called TEA – track equivalent albums), and CD sales. We also include the Top 10 digital song sales. Radio spins are determined by program directors and streaming by checking out music being promoted. The only way to tell if people truly like a song or album is if it is actually bought. Sales speak louder than streams. All data here is from Neilsen Music Canada.

Among all albums from both Canadian and international artists, it is Céline Dion who emerges victorious with her album Courage. It sold 83,000 physical and digital copies in Canada in 2019. It was also the best-selling CD with 78,000 discs sold. Billie Eilish is champ when it came to digital albums. When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? sold 24,000 digital copies. CD sales were also strong for the album which finished the year in 6th place for 37,000 copies. In the songs department, unsurprisingly, Lil Nas X’s blockbuster hit “Old Town Road” reigns supreme with 210,000 digital downloads. Check out the four Top 10 lists below. Canadian artists have been inked in red.

TOP 10 ALBUMS IN CANADA, 2019 BY TOTAL SALES

1 Celine Dion Courage 83,000
2 Billie Eilish When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? 69,000
3 Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper A Star is Born Soundtrack 65,000
4 Bryan Adams Shine A Light 61,000
5 Backstreet Boys DNA 61,000
6 Taylor Swift Lover 61,000
7 Harry Styles Fine Line 42,000
8 Jonas Brothers Happiness Begins 40,000
9 Tool Fear Inoculum 37,000
10 Queen Bohemian Rhapsody (The Original Soundtrack) 37,000

TOP 10 ALBUMS IN CANADA, 2019 BY DIGITAL SALES

1 Billie Eilish When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? 24,000
2 Tool Fear Inoculum 20,000
3 Taylor Swift Lover 19,000
4 Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born Soundtrack 17,000
5 Ed Sheeran No. 6 Collaborations Project 14,000
6 Corey Hart Dreaming Time Again 14,000
7 Queen Greatest Hits I 12,000
8 P!nk Hurts 2b Human 12,000
9 Ariana Grande thank u, next 11,000
10 Billie Eilish Dont Smile At Me 8,000

TOP 10 ALBUMS IN CANADA, 2019 BY CD SALES

1 Celine Dion Courage 78,000
2 Bryan Adams Shine A Light 60,000
3 Backstreet Boys DNA 55,000
4 Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born Soundtrack 45,000
5 Taylor Swift Lover 38,000
6 Billie Eilish When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? 37,000
7 Jonas Brothers Happiness Begins 35,000
8 Harry Styles Fine Line 34,000
9 Post Malone Hollywood’s Bleeding 28,000
10 Passe-Partout Coucou Passe-Partout 27,000

TOP 10 SONGS IN CANADA, 2019 BY DIGITAL SALES

1 Lil Nas X Old Town Road 210,000
2 Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper Shallow 134,000
3 Billie Eilish bad guy 103,000
4 Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello Senorita 99,000
5 Lewis Capaldi Someone You Loved 96,000
6 Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber I Don’t Care 91,000
7 Post Malone & Swae Lee Sunflower 72,000
8 Blanco Brown The Git Up 65,000
9 Jonas Brothers Sucker 61,000
10 Ariana Grande 7 Rings 57,000

Higher Bit Rate CDs Outsold Digital Albums in 2019

When it comes to buying albums, Canadians still prefer the high sound quality of CDs over lower bit rate digital, scratchy vinyl, and hissing cassette as 2019 data reveals. Nielsen Music Canada has released the numbers for the year 2019. Through the year, Canadians purchased a total of 10.4 million albums. The majority of these, 5.5 million or 52.9%, were compact discs (CDs). Second in format rank is digital; downloads accounted for 36.5% or 3.8 million albums. The third most popular format is vinyl; a total of 1 million of those or 9.6% were sold. Finally, we have the cassette. Nielsen did not carry numbers for those but gave a 0.1 million higher in the total figure than the sum of the three prior formats. We’ll be generous and, rather than writing it off to the result of rounding, give the 0.1 or 1% to the trusty cassette and present the pie chart below.

Another way of looking at the numbers is that 63.5% of albums sold were in any physical format, while 36.5% were digital.

It is important to note that availability influences the numbers. For example, if an album is not available on CD, those wanting a copy may settle for a digital download.

Album sales as a whole have been in decline since 1997 with blame being directed at first to MP3s and internet piracy, followed by the enticing option of downloading some individual tracks only, and now to streaming services where people pay regularly for access (if they choose to subscribe and kill the ads) rather than owning copies of albums.

All Quiet on the Northern Front: 2019 Recap

Amidst a year of Brexit, im-peach-ment, and driving im-pear-ment, an Old Town Road led, for its featured artist Billy Ray Cyrus, to a co-hosting stint at the Canadian Country Music Association awards in Calgary. Country radio spun singles from homegrown artists in dizzying numbers, as a dozen of them topped the charts, an unprecedented occurrence in many years. While some may have wondered when the last time Post Malone took a bath was, the less petty minded questioned why only nine Canadian artists appeared in the Top 40 through the year. Shawn Mendes continued to do well in the singles department, at times with a little help from a Cuban beauty. French language (Franco) songs fared better this year which saw six appear in the Billboard Hot 100. The year’s biggest album was the soundtrack to a movie that has been done and re-done how many times now? The top Canadian artist album released in 2019 made it only to #41 on the year-end chart. None went platinum; three went gold. Eleven Canadian acts scored their first charting singles in 2019. The JUNO Awards raised standards of nobility by showcasing a French language performance. The Félix Awards paid more attention to women. Five icons were inducted into the Music Hall of Fame.

The Singles That Sizzled

As far as 2019 singles went, the number of Canadian artists appearing on the charts through the year continued its downward spiral which has been in motion since streaming data was factored into things in September 2014. The final year before the streaming era was 2013 and that year saw 26 unique Canadian artists release songs that year that reached the Top 40. In 2019, that number has dropped to nine. A mere thirteen Canadian artist songs representing these nine artists made the Top 40. Chief among them was triple platinum “If I Can’t Have You” by Shawn Mendes’ Yvonne Elliman treatment “If I Can’t Have You” and no, it wasn’t a cover. It peaked at #2 and spent 29 weeks in the Hot 100. The song was 21st on the Billboard year-end chart.

Also reaching #2 was new wave number “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd, though, being released at the end of the year, time will tell how well it fares into 2020. The music video was essentially a maxi-ad for Mercedes Benz. If 2019 was about promoting the sale of automobiles, then roads needed to come into play. And, in fact, the biggest hit of the year was Lil Nas X’s novelty tune “Old Town Road”, #1 on the year-end chart and certified diamond by Music Canada.

Twelve additional songs reached the Top 40 with Canadians as co-credited artists, whether a collaboration as the main artist or an appearance as a featured artist. Of these, the only one to hit the top was quintuple platinum “Senorita” by Shawn Mendes and Cuban singer Camilla Cabello. It finished the year in 10th place. Two-upping it was Justin Bieber‘s collaboration with the UK’s Ed Sheeran. Quintuple platinum “I Don’t Care” was 8th of 2019. It peaked on the weekly charts at #2.

If there was to be a silver lining, Franco songs appeared in greater numbers on the Hot 100: six in all. “Tu Trouveras La Paix” from various artists with proceeds to Alzheimer’s research reached the highest peak position of #51. The song was dedicated to Canadian singer Renée Claude who was diagnosed with the illness. Two Franco tracks (still on the charts as of December 31, 2019) have managed to remain for 12 weeks each: “L’amerique pleure” from Les Cowboys Fringants and “Coton Ouate” from Bleu Jeans Bleu. Musique francophone was embraced in other ways (see section on the JUNO Awards).

The Albums That Chiselled

According to the year-end Billboard Canadian Albums chart Drake‘s Scorpion was the top Canadian artist album (5th of the year), though it was released in 2018. As far as 2019 releases go – surprise! – Nav takes the cake with his Bad Habits (41st of the year). While this ranking is based on weekly chart performance of the albums through the year, Nielsen tallied up the total figures for album consumption, and Courage by Céline Dion with 93,000 units was the biggest Canadian artist album released in 2019. Only three 2019 Canadian albums were certified gold by the end of the year; none went platinum. The gilded discs are Nav’s Bad Habits, Bryan Adams’ Shine a Light, and La Voix 2019 from various artists.

Seven Canadian artist albums topped the weekly Album Chart through 2019, two more than last year. They are the aforementioned Bad Habits and Shine a Light plus Jean Leloup‘s L’etrange Pays, Drake’s Care Package, City and Colour‘s A Pill for Loneliness, Céline Dion‘s Courage, and Leonard Cohen‘s Thanks for the Dance.

While 22 albums made the weekly Top Ten in 2018, only 19 had the distinction in 2019. (These numbers do not include albums released in previous years that made comebacks, like Michael Bublé’s perennial favourite, Christmas). Albums authored by homegrown talent have declined in number on the charts over the past few years summarized below with the number of Top 10 Canadian albums per year.

2016 – 36
2017 – 26
2018 – 22
2019 – 19

First-Time Charting Artists

Eleven Canadian artists from six provinces made the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in 2019 either as the main or as the featured artist. They are Mississauga’s Ali Gatie; Vancouver’s bbno$ (pronounced baby no money); Montreal’s Bleu Jeans Bleu; Halifax’s Famba; Aurora, Ontario’s Frank Walker; Toronto’s JP Saxe; Shaunavon, Saskatchewan’s Hunter Brothers; Oshawa’s Lennon Stella; Cambridge, Ontario’s The Reklaws; Vancouver’s Sarah Jeffery; and Grand Prairie, Alberta’s Tenille Townes. The most successful of these was “Lalala”, bbno$’s collaboration with producer Y2K which has so far peaked at #10. In terms of tracks exclusively credited to a Canadian artist, Ali Gatie’s “It’s You” fared best peaking at #25.

The Year in Country: Beefed Up Radio Support

There are two names to pay attention to in the coming little while – Tenille Townes and MacKenzie Porter. Both are women from Alberta and both slayed in 2019. But before we get to them, the big story of the year was an about face pulled by country radio who began supporting homegrown artists … like nobody’s business. This is demonstrated by the fact that 12 Canadian artist songs topped the charts through the year. We compare that with 2016 that saw only one. In 2017 there were four and 2018 seven. We list the Canadian artist country number ones below in chronological order.

Feels Like That – The Reklaws
Somebody’s Daughter – Tenille Townes
You Are – Aaron Goodvin
Rhinestone World – Dallas Smith
Better When I Do – Aaron Pritchett
Lost – Hunter Brothers
Forever’s Gotta Start Somewhere – Chad Brownlee
About You – MacKenzie Porter
Keep It Simple – James Barker Band
What a Song Should Do – Tim Hicks
Drop – Dallas Smith
These Days – MacKenzie Porter

On a side note, Justin Bieber’s collaboration with Dan+Say, “10,000 Hours”, topped the December 31 chart at the end of the year.

Tenille Townes cleaned up at the 2019 Canadian Country Music Association awards (CCMAs) hosted by Dallas Smith and Billy Ray Cyrus. Tenille won four awards. Her #1 country radio hit “Somebody’s Daughter” took both Single of the Year and Video of the Year. And for this Top 30 US country hit, Tenille and her co-writers snatched the Songwriter(s) of the Year award. Townes picked up a fourth trophy for Female Artist of the Year.

Joining her on the girl power locomotive was MacKenzie Porter who over the past few years has been chalking a name for herself in the acting field. She made a startling comeback in music with two back-to-back number one country radio hits (listed above). It is the first time a Canadian female artist has done this in … are you ready? … 22 years. The last one was Shania Twain.

2019 JUNO Awards Bedazzle Swinging London

2020’s JUNO awards will honour 2019 music. The main gala will take place in Saskatoon on Sunday March 15. The 2019 JUNO awards, honouring the best in 2018 music, took place March 17 in London and was hosted by Sarah McLachlan. It was perhaps the most diverse night in the history of the awards show with performances across the genre spectrum, the inclusion of indigenous and Asian Canadians, and, perhaps most significant of all, performances in French! Francophone rapper Loud joined Coeur de pirate on stage for a French language performance.

Corey Hart was inducted into the Music Hall of Fame. It was good timing as his “Never Surrender”, the number one song of 1985, was featured in Season 3 of popular TV series Stranger Things which stars Vancouver actor Finn Wolfhard who plays the character Mike Wheeler.

The JUNO gala was opened by hometown heroes – the duo Loud Luxury. Its song “Body” was certified diamond in 2019. Over the two nights of trophy distribution, Shawn Mendes was the big winner taking home five including Single of the Year for “In My Blood” and album of the year for his eponymous work. Avril Lavigne‘s head popped up above water, as she robbed the male icons by winning the coveted JUNO Fan Choice award.

2019 Gala ADISQ: Women Gain Ground

Women fared better this year than last. The 2019 Félix awards presented at the Gala ADISQ honoured the best music to come out of the province of Quebec. Among the winners were Ginette Reno‘s À Jamais, named Adult Contemporary Album of the Year; Cœur de Pirate’s En cas de tempête, ce jardin sera fermé, Pop Album; Alexandra Stréliski‘s Inscape, Instrumental Album; Roxane Bruneau‘s “Des p’tits bouts de toi”, Song of the Year; and Elisapie‘s Ballad of the Runaway Girl, Allophone Album.

2019 Music Hall of Fame Inductees

Following Corey Hart’s induction into the Music Hall of Fame, four more Canadian acts were picked to receive the honour. Bobby Curtola, a teen idol and superstar of the rock-a-ballad in the early 1960s, was named posthumously, which is unfortunate. Originally from Thunder Bay, Bobby passed away three years ago in Edmonton. His string of hits includes “Hitchhiker” and “Fortuneteller”. British Columbian rock band Chilliwack, known for a slew of hits including “My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)”, received an induction as well. Andy Kim who recently received a star on the Walk of Fame was the third. He is partly responsible for the classic “Sugar Sugar” by The Archies. But Kim also scored his own hits like “Baby, I Love You” and “Rock Me Gently”. Finally, we have alternative country outfit Cowboy Junkies. The group’s collection of radio hits includes “Angel Mine”. The induction of these four took place at a ceremony held at Calgary’s Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, on October 27.

The Year’s (and Decade’s) Best Music

There seemed to be little agreement on the best music of 2019, be it works from Canadian or international artists. Canadian Music Blog revealed its favourite EPs (7 of 196 tracked), albums (21 of 588 tracked), and songs (21 of several thousand tracked) of 2019. Ruth B.‘s Maybe I’ll Find You Again was named EP of the Year, Kiesza‘s “Sweet Love” Song of the Year, and Electric Youth‘s Memory Emotion Album of the Year. CMB also generated lists of the 100 best songs and albums of the 2010s decade. These lists were inclusive of international works. Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Curiosity” (Original Version) was named Song of the Decade and LightsSiberia Album of the Decade.

2019 Canadian Artist Top Ten Albums

Seven Canadian artist albums topped the weekly Album Chart through 2019, two more than last year. However, while 22 albums made the weekly Top Ten in 2018, only 19 had the distinction in 2019. (These numbers do not include albums released in previous years that made comebacks, like Michael Bublé’s perennial favourite, Christmas). Albums authored by homegrown talent have declined in number on the charts over the past few years summarized below with the number of Top 10 Canadian albums per year.

2016 – 36
2017 – 26
2018 – 22
2019 – 19

No Canadian artist album released in 2019 has been certified platinum. Only three went gold as indicated in the list below. The 19 Top Ten albums represent artists from only three provinces: Quebec, Ontario, and BC. We’ve listed the albums chronologically by chart date and bolded those that reached #1 and reddened those that have gone gold.

Head Above Water – Avril Lavigne, #5 – Feb 26
Shine a Light – Bryan Adams, #1 – Mar 12 (Gold)
Phantoms – Marianas Trench, #4 – Mar 12
Serge Fiori, Seul Ensemble – Various Artists, #5 – Mar 19
Bad Habits – Nav, #1 – Apr 2 (Gold)
La Voix 2019 – Various Artists, #10 – Apr 30 (Gold)
Dreaming Time Again (EP) – Corey Hart, #3 – May 14
L’etrange Pays – Jean Leloup, #1 – Jun 5
Tout Ca Pour Ca – Loud, #3 – Jun 5
Case Study 01 – Daniel Caesar, #6 – Jul 9
Care Package – Drake, #1 – Aug 13
A Pill for Loneliness – City and Colour, #1 – Oct 16
Les Antipodes – Les Cowboys Fringants, #3 – Oct 16
Wave – Patrick Watson, #2 – Oct 29
A Blemish in The Great Light – Half Moon Run, #3 – Nov 12
Courage – Celine Dion, #1 – Nov 26
Chixtape 5 – Tory Lanez, #2 – Nov 26
Thanks for the Dance – Leonard Cohen, #1 – Dec 3
En Attendant Noel – Isabelle Boulay, #5 – Dec 3

Billboard Hot 100 Canadian Artist Hits in 2019

As we have previously reported on several occasions, the number of Canadian artists appearing on the national weekly charts, and certainly within the Top 40, has sharply declined since the chart metrics began to incorporate streaming data.

The number of Canadians who debuted a song as the main artist in 2019 that made the weekly Canadian Hot 100’s Top Forty is an abysmal nine. They are Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, Drake, Nav, PartyNextDoor, Ali Gatie, JP Saxe, Felix Cartal, and Lights (the latter two co-authored a track). Our concern is not for the A-Listers, as these are doing well. The C-Listers (indie artists) are always chipping away doing their own thing. Our concern is primarily for the B-Listers, the middle class if you will, who are disappearing.

If we compare the pitiful figure of nine in 2019 to 2013’s number, the last full year before streaming data was in the mix, we find that 26 Canadian artists made the cut. That’s a mighty drop.

The good news this year is that more Franco tunes appeared on the weekly Hot 100: six in all. “Tu Trouveras La Paix” from various artists with proceeds to Alzheimer’s research reached the highest peak position of #51. The song was dedicated to Canadian singer Renée Claude who was diagnosed with the illness. Two Franco tracks (still on the charts as of December 31, 2019) have managed to remain for 12 weeks each. A side note is that, when we began this blog in 2011, one of our dreams/goals was to witness a Francophone performance at the JUNO Awards. That dream came true this year, and we are extremely grateful and were driven to tears.

Thirteen tracks by Canadians as the main artist made the Top 40 through the year. None reached the top but two made it to #2. One of them, Shawn Mendes’ “If I Can’t Have You” spent an impressive 29 weeks on the charts before bowing out in late November. A dozen entries graced the Top Forty that were partially credited to Canadians, whether featured in tracks by international artists or co-credited as the main artist. Only one of these crowned the Hot 100, that being “Seniorita” from the aforementioned Mendes and Cuban singer Camila Cabello of former R&B group Fifth Harmony.

For the 31 tunes listed below, we have indicated those that debuted on the charts prior to 2019 (there are two) with an asterisk (*) as well as tracks that were still on the charts as of December 31 (there are 11) with a cross (†). The latter may reach higher peak positions in 2020. Interestingly, Michael Bublé‘s “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”, released in 2011, reached its highest peak position in 2019 at #14 and is looking to be a perennial favourite.

Below are 2019’s significant hits with Canadian artist involvement divided into three categories: Franco hits that made the Hot 100, Canadian artist hits that made the Top 40, and partially Canadian hits that made the Top 40.

Canadian Hot 100 Franco Hits

Tu Trouveras La Paix – Various Artists, #51 on Mar 19
Coton Ouate† – Bleu Jeans Bleu, #56 on Nov 19
L’amerique pleure† – Les Cowboys Fringants, #64 on Oct 15
Sometimes, All the Time – Loud ft. Charlotte Cardin, #72 on Jun 04
L’etrange pays – Jean Leloup, #76 on Jun 04
Fallait y aller – Loud, #99 on Jun 04

Canadian Artist Top 40 Hits

If I Can’t Have You – Shawn Mendes, #2 on May 14
Blinding Lights† – The Weeknd, #2 on Dec 10
Heartless† – The Weeknd, #3 on Dec 10
Money in the Grave – Drake, #5 on Jun 25
Omerta – Drake, #8 on Jun 25
…Look a Lot Like Christmas*† – Michael Buble, #14 on Dec 31
Price on My Head – Nav ft. The Weeknd, #18 on Apr 02
Loyal† – PartyNextDoor ft. Drake, #19 on Dec 03
It’s You – Ali Gatie, #25 on Oct 29
Behind Barz – Drake, #28 on Oct 01
With You* – Tyler Shaw, #34 on Jan 08
If the World Was Ending† – JP Saxe, #34 on Dec 24
Love Me – Felix Cartal & Lights, #38 on Aug 13

Top 40 Hits Partially Credited to Canadians

Seniorita† – Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello, #1 on Aug 27
I Don’t Care† – Justin Bieber & Ed Sheeran, #2 on May 21
10,000 Hours† – Dan+Say & Justin Bieber, #2 on Oct 15
Con Calma – Daddy Yankee ft. Snow, #6 on Jun 18
No Guidance – Chris Brown ft. Drake, #7 on Jun 18
Lalala† – Y2K & bbno$, #10 on Oct 01
I’m Not Alright – Loud Luxury & Bryce Vine, #13 on Oct 08
Lost in the Fire – The Weeknd and Gesaffelstein , #14 on Jan 22
Takeaway – Chainsmokers & Illenium ft. Lennon Stella, #31 on Aug 06
Gold Roses – Rick Ross ft. Drake, #33 on Aug 06
Won’t Be Late – Swae Lee ft. Drake, #34 on Aug 27
Jerry Sprunger – Tory Lanez & T-Pain, #34 on Nov 26

CKOI 2019 Year-End Top 50

C’est quoi? Well, that’s a good question. Montreal radio station CKOI has published a year-end Top 50 chart annually since 1976. It includes both international and Canadian and both Anglo and Franco songs. While the latter have a tough time making it onto the national charts, the CKOI chart gives us a good idea of the more popular Franco songs by year. Of all the year-end charts, this one is the most inclusive offering a very balanced presentation. There is greater variety of genres with pop, rock, dance, R&B, folk, soul, and even country. Because of this and other factors, you may find on the chart international Anglo songs that are absent from English language radio playlists. The top Canadian Franco song of 2019 on the chart is “L’Amérique Pleure” by Les Cowboys Fringants (#9). We have bolded and tagged entries with (F) to indicate Franco tunes, all of which are by Canadian artists this year. A total of nine of these made the year-end Top 50.

1.  Old Town Road – Lil Nas X
2.  Dance Monkey – Tones And I
3.  Someone You Loved – Lewis Capaldi
4.  Con Calma – Daddy Yankee
5.  Senorita – Shawn Mendes & Camella Cabello
6.  Ritmo – The Black Eyed Peas
7.  One Thing Right – Marshmello
8.  Nothing Breaks Like A Heart – Mark Ronson
9.  L’Amérique Pleure – Les Cowboys Fringants (F)
10.  Bad Liar – Imagine Dragons
11.  You Say – Lauren Daigle
12.  Memories – Maroon 5
13.  Don’t Give Up On Me – Andy Grammer
14.  Bad Guy – Billie Eilish
15.  Piece Of Your Heart – Meduza
16.  Circles – Post Malone
17.  Coton Ouate – Bleu Jeans Bleu (F)
18.  Outnumbered – Dermot Kennedy
19.  Take What You Want – Post Malone
20.  You’re Somebody Else – Flora Cash
21.  Lendemain – Koriass (F)
22.  Keeping Me Alive – Jonathan Roy
23.  Power Over Me – Dermot Kennedy
24.  Flatte – Fred Tremblay (F)
25.  Can We Pretend – Pink
26.  I Don’t Care – Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber
27.  Giant – Calvin Harris
28.  Alleys – Domeno (F)
29.  South Of The Border – Ed Sheeran
30.  Only Human – Jonas Brothers
31.  Hey Now – Barry Moore
32.  Without Me – Halsey
33.  Ride it – Regard
34.  Ouvre tes yeux Simon! – Les Trois Accords (F)
35.  Higher Love – Kygo
36.  I’m Not Alright – Loud Luxury
37.  Time – NF
38.  Love Me Anyway avec Chris Stapleton – Pink
39.  Pour commencer – Alex Nevsky (F)
40.  Love Someone – Lukas Graham
41.  Sweet but Psycho – Ava Max
42.  Fous n’importe où – Charlotte Cardin (F)
43.  Trampoline – Shaed
44.  Orphans – Coldplay
45.  Walk Me Home – Pink
46.  Ne m’appelle pas – Coeur de Pirate (F)
47.  Don’t Call Me Up – Mabel
48.  Waves – Dean Lewis
49.  Montreal – Port Cities
50.  Sucker – Jonas Brothers

The 21 Best Canadian Artist Songs of 2019

After listening to several thousand songs released in 2019 whether as singles, tracks on EPs or LPs, we have settled on our 21 favourites. To create a fairer and tidier list, we allowed only one entry per artist. Note that we have included instrumental tracks even though, technically, a “song” is a piece of music that is sung. We included cover songs only if we felt they were better than the originals. We have used the artwork for the single where one exists, failing that, the LP or EP that contains the song. We have indicated JUNO award winners (JW) and nominees (JN) with postnominals.

Regardless of genre, language, and relative popularity of the artist, below is a list of our 21 favourite Canadian artist songs of 2019 including our Song of the Year!

21
The Party We Could Have
by Nathan Micay

Off album Blue Spring and excellent EP Butterfly Arcane, “The Party We Could Have” is an instrumental track that can jack up the universe. Nathan Micay revs up the club engine and presses down hard on the gas. When those gleeful handclaps, rumbling bass, echoing pulses, hissing percussion effects, and growling synthesizers seep into the auditory canal, everything gets electrified and euphoric.

20
October
by Alessia Cara (JW)

Hailing from Brampton, Ontario, Italian Canadian R&B specialist Alessia Cara has won a pair of JUNO Awards and also became the first Canadian act in history to win a Best New Artist Grammy in the United States. As the lone main artist, she has placed eight songs onto the Hot 100. Moreover, “Stay”, her collaboration with Zedd, dipped into the Top Ten and has reached quadruple platinum planes. Alessia released EP This Summer in 2019 which spawned charting single “Rooting for You”. We liked breezy track “October” the best, as it contains melody.

19
Sur ses doigts
by Total Gipsy

An ambient electronic track with some teeth running at only 2:27, “Sur ses doigts” has enough intrigue to … intrigue us. It is a cut off superb 2019 album Digital & Analogue from the enigmatic figure who operates under the alias of Total Gipsy, a lucky acquisition from Haiti.

18
DJ Saved My Life
by Mia Martina (JN)

Nobody does party music better than Mia Martina. The New Brunswicker has placed eight songs onto the Hot 100 thus far including double platinum Top 10 hit “Stereo Love”. Mia took a fairly good 80s song from Indeep and made it better. “DJ Saved My Life” appears on her exquisite album Daydream.

17
Carrousel
by Eli Rose

Tropical beats, singing that flows, and a lovely voice make Eli Rose’s “Carrousel” a winner. The talented artist who digs the Adidas was quickly snatched up by Canada’s leading record label Universal Music to release her self-titled album (which made our best albums of the year list). This is Franco pop music in top form and one catchy song!

16
White Horse
by Tenille Townes

There’s Tenille Townes, Tenille Arts, and of course there’s The Captain … and Tennille. 2019 was good to Ms. Townes. She topped Canadian country radio with 2018’s magnificent “Somebody’s Daughter” and cracked the Top 10 with 2019’s “White Horse”. Tenille cleaned up at the Canadian Country Music Association awards winning four trophies. It took the Albertan singer a decade to hit the big time having released music since 2009 and we’re glad she did because she is awesome. Her sweet and raspy vocals give her a unique sound, and the songs she is co-writing are really good. “White Horse” was our favourite of hers in 2019.

15
Blinding Lights
by The Weeknd (JW)

By his endorsement of Mercedes-Benz, The Weeknd wants to put more money into multimillionaire Ola Källenius’ offshore bank accounts. Setting aside the music video for this track from the R&B slayer being a long ad for the automaker, we have a great synth-driven new wave song which expands The Weeknd’s repertoire. Released along with his misogynistic single “Heartless”, “Blinding Lights” was much more palatable despite its boisterous “Hey, Hey!” sounding like a threat to someone caught red-handed in a criminal act.

14
Still I Miss U
by Blue Hawaii (JN)

JUNO nominated duo Blue Hawaii furthered the quality of its unique brand of downtempo electronic pop with savory album Open Reduction Internal Fixation. Half of the tracks could be placed here. We are going with the sultry croon and burble filled swoon of “Still I Miss U”. Additional synth arpeggios inject a freestyle effect making this one heck of a catchy bop.

13
Amateurs
by Sleepy Tom (JN)
Featuring Lights (JW)

While Lights’ collaboration with Felix Cartal drew more attention this year – and it was a fine production fer sure, eh – we were taken away by her effort with Sleepy Tom, “Amateurs”, title-track off his EP. Brisk pacing and a chorus that packs quite a punch make this one a winner.

12
Understand
by Jacques Greene (JN)

Another electronic track graces our list. “Understand” is off JUNO nominee Jacques Greene’s excellent album Dawn Chorus. There are a number of entries that could be placed here from that fine LP. This one is an interesting combination of the frantic and the ominous, like we’re on the run from some dark, menacing entity. Nicely done.

11
Cherry
by Louise Burns

The lyrics alone are captivating enough in Louise Burns’ driving electronic pop nugget “Cherry”, off her boss album Portraits. She sings of “tender years and nights of tears and teenage emotional scars”. But musically, it is just as compelling with an exciting progression. This song is for all those who want to forget and move on but whose memory is relentlessly haunted by the past.

10
Grow
by Grace Lachance

Ottawa’s amazing Grace Lachance decked the 2019 halls with exquisite EP When Lightning Strikes. “Grow” is the perfect number to showcase her beautiful and powerful vocals. It has an electrifying sparkle and whips you up into a soaring atmosphere with a big, booming chorus.

9
I’ll Be There
by Shay Lia

Shay Lia was the featured singer in track “Leave Me Alone” from Kaytranada’s 99.9% Polaris winning album. In 2019, she ventured out on her own career path releasing superb R&B disc Dangerous which was itself nominated for the Polaris Music Prize. We figured there would be a … 99.9% chance that fabulous cut “I’ll Be There” would make our year-end best songs list. And … it has.

8
Heaven
by Akua

More jaw dropping and lip dripping R&B, done beneath the colourful glow of a neon neo light, proceeded from the genius of Akua (Carson) of London. “Heaven” builds gradually from a velvety slow-burn to a shuffle of bass and soft cords, and finally to an exhilarating electronic heavy chorus. Simply delicious.

7
Emotional
by Michelle Treacy

After scoring a Billboard Hot 100 charting single, that being “Armageddon”, Michelle Treacy joined CTV production The Launch, a reality music competition series in which singers work with producers and writers to tailor an original song suited to their vocal talents. Michelle was one of the winners from Season 2, and “Emotional” the resulting song, one that was produced by the legendary Nile Rogers (his credits include David Bowie’s Let’s Dance and Madonna’s Like a Virgin albums). “Emotional” contains Nile’s trademark funky guitar combined with Michelle’s intricate vocal nuances which make this one heck of an irresistible tune.

6
Landing Lights
by Spoons (JN)

One of the 80s bands still going strong, Spoons, dropped fabulous new wave album New Day New World in 2019. That’s a lot of news. There are a number of tracks we could place here. Perhaps the most progressive entry on the disc is also the most diggable, and that is “Landing Lights”. The tune sports perky beats and cosmic teardrops, and we haven’t had so much fun when “the skies are rough”.

5
24/7/365
by MacKenzie Porter (JN)

Actress and JUNO nominated country singer MacKenzie Porter of Medicine Hat, Alberta released a batch of singles in 2019. She pulled off an unprecedented feat, scoring two number one hits in the year at country radio (“About You” and “These Days”), something no female artist has done for a very long time. In fact, MacKenzie is the first Canadian female in 22 years to score consecutive country number ones. The last one to do it was Shania Twain. While all of her 2019 singles were rad, our favourite was “24/7/365” which houses one of the catchiest choruses of the year.

4
Evergreen 143
by Electric Youth

From our album of the year winner, Memory Emotion, by electropop duo Electric Youth, track “Evergreen 143” is enshrouded in mystery. It’s melodic, delicately crafted, and a touch creepy. It is perhaps best enjoyed while taking bus #143 from Burquitlam Station on the Evergreen extension SkyTrain line to Simon Fraser University.

3
Firecracker
by Radiant Baby

Synthpop specialist Radiant Baby released his debut full-length album in early 2019, Restless, opened by exquisite 80s themed song “Firecracker”. It sounds so authentic a replication of the decade’s style, you will think it’s a song from out of those years. It even has a saxophone solo which is simply glorious.

2
Baby
by Céline Dion (JW)

The best-selling Canadian recording artist of all-time graced store shelves with album Courage this year, a double album by traditional standards (the deluxe edition contains 20 tracks). Some of the songs were all right; others were superb. “Imperfections” seemed to be the attention grabber. We liked best the entries that made good use of one of the most beautiful and powerful voices in pop music, such as “Change My Mind”, bonus track “The Hard Way”, and most especially “Baby”, written by Sia Furler, Greg Kurstin, and Maureen “Mozella” McDonald. Sometimes it’s the simplest keyboard riffs that are the catchiest. This one nails it.

Canadian Music Blog’s
2019 Song of the Year

This Calgarian recording artist scored a number one hit in the United Kingdom when very few Canadians had heard of her. When we finally did take notice and let her scrumptious music lead us to the dancefloor, she won three JUNO awards for her efforts, and the song that charmed the Brits reached double platinum sales at home. She even collaborated with such aces as scream-inducing Birmingham band Duran Duran, EDM wizards Skrillex and Diplo, and the ever-ubiquitous Pitbull. Following her award-winning album responsible for a second charting song, she released several non-album singles which seemed to bubble under the brilliance of the songs that made her famous. It was a struggle, as she was the victim of a serious car accident resulting in traumatic brain injury. But here’s the thing about Canadian recording artists. Canadian recording artists bounce back. In 2019, she put forth her best song ever. She catapulted a juggernaut. And, like a massive boulder, this devastating dance pop number crashed down the walls of boredom and apathy, and saved 2019 from being an exercise in mediocrity. Canadian Music Blog declares “Sweet Love” by Kiesza as 2019’s song of the year!

1
Sweet Love
by Kiesza (JW)

The 21 Best Canadian Artist Albums of 2019

The Canadian Music Blog tracked a total of 588 Canadian artist studio albums released in 2019 (nine more than last year). To close out the 2010s’ decade, below is a ranking of our 21 favourites of these regardless of genre, language, region, and popularity of the artist. These 21 represent 3.6% of the albums. We did not consider live, various artist, Christmas, and compilation albums, none of which are included in the 588. For EPs we published a separate list. At the CMB, we like music that is sophisticated and progressive with catchy melodies and pleasing vocals (unless it is instrumental). Find below our 21 favourite Canadian artist albums of 2019 including our Album of the Year!

21
Eli Rose
by Eli Rose

Eli Rose took to solo flight after serving as half of applauded duo Eli and Papillon. In 2019, she launched her debut album through Universal Music, an eponymous affair with a collection of delicious pop confections. While Canadian Franco is heavily dominated by folk, singer-songwriter, and neo-trad concoctions, Eli manages to pull off a modern brand of urban pop in the French language that sounds nifty and fresh. This is a meeting of Taylor Swift and Christine and the Queens with Caribbean beats. The electropop charm of “Carousel” led the work as a single. It’s a solid effort that should propel the singer and songwriter into a successful career in music.

20
The Trees Are Singing
by Around Joshua

We are headed to the forest to hear what singing trees sound like. Around Joshua recorded its second album The Trees Are Singing in Morin Heights, QC and Vancouver, and it was mastered in New York. Produced by the legendary Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Aerosmith, and Metallica), the disc contains a welcome blend of hard-hitting rock tunes with a few smooth tracks, some progressive and some standard, all propped up with razor sharp electric guitars, thumping bass, blistering drums, solid vocals, as well as some satisfying keyboards. The songwriting is particularly strong making this one of the best rock albums of 2019.

19
? (Question Mark)

by Angela Zhang

Vancouver’s Angela Zhang celebrated 15 years in music with the release of her Question Mark album on December 18, 2019, and as one would expect, it’s a winner. Her signature slightly raspy vocals with touches of vibrato are always her strong suit, and they are given some choice songs here. Besides standard Mandopop pretty piano ballads like “River”, find artistic, bombastic cuts like “The Kite Leads the Way” which at times could pass for something from ABBA. The baroque ditty “Return” has her voice reaching sky-high levels. “Writing to You” has an air of mystery about it and “Don’t” surprises with Vocoder and ground-shaking bass. The remainder of the tracks are just as splendid.

18
Digital & Analogue

by Total Gipsy

Are digital and analogue two great sounds that sound great together? Listen to the 2019 album from Total Gipsy to decide. The artist is a Canadian import from Haiti and is crafting marvellous instrumental electronic music. Digital & Analogue takes you on the wings of a bird through digitized clouds and a seamless sky. Sawtooth blades cut through the air in tracks like “Un signal” and “Fracture”. Breezes of cool waft over in “Poésie en I & O”. Fog creeps along in “Sur ses doigts” as we head towards the swamp thing that is “Ergo Sum”. Wintry chills blow with flurries in “L’immatériel”. All in all, this one is lots of fun.

17
Multicolore
by Marie-Eve Roy

Quebec’s Marie-Eve Roy released her excellent debut album Bleu Nelson in 2016. In 2019, she followed it up with Multicolore, a progressive singer-songwriter disc with pop leanings. The album was crafted by the capable hands of JUNO nominated producer Gus Van Go. There are a number of memorable tracks on here, most notably opener “Je pleure je ris” with its electric guitar jabs, punchy drums, and piano chord stabs. “Telephone” continues the charm adding some dreamy synth riffs with things becoming even more electronic on “Je n’ai besoin de personne”. A delicate vocal delivery adds to the lure of piano ballad “La vaise de l’insomnie”. The rest of the album fares just as well. Don’t pass this one up!

16
Inside Unsolved
by Project Pablo

Producer Patrick Holland operating under moniker Project Pablo has released many discs. This was his third in 2019 alone. His music seems to get better with each outing. Inside Unsolved is club leaning instrumental electronica – chillout with savory beats. Here we have four tracks long enough to make this an LP. Effortless grooves thrust forth by a driving beat in “The Solution” kick things off. The quirky, mechanical steam machine “Pill” follows. Enjoy the lush, breezy, bongo punctuated “Pressure No Impact”. Cool keys and choppy percussion closes things in “Big Room Delusion”. Why we like it is now solved.

15
Day Won
by Victoria Duffield (JN)

British Columbia’s JUNO nominated, platinum recording artist Victoria Duffield parted ways with Warner Music to carve out an independent route for her brand of delicious Canadian pop. The result is impressive album Day Won led by a couple of singles, such as the sugary “Wow”. We have here 10 songs that are all superb earworms. “The Feeling” is a favourite but fun fills the journey right through the disc with popular cuts like “Hiding Place”, funky jams like “My Mistake”, the frolicking “Remember You”, and a touch of rock in “Stay in Your Lane”. Won…derful stuff.

14
Dynasty
by Hua Li 化力

What Kali Uchis has done to the genre of R&B – added original, artistic elements, making it more rich and sophisticated – Hua Li has done so for the field of rap. Perhaps we can call it neo-rap. Album Dynasty is so stunning it deserves an award of some kind. Hua Li is the alias of Peggy Hogan and this album cuts through the usual fury and fluff and taps into authenticity and composure pulsating with vigour at the heart of florid soundscapes. Totally blown away.

13
Première apparition
by Laurence-Anne

Singer-songwriter Laurence-Anne makes 2019 the year of her debut album, Première apparition, a nine-track excursion into indie rock territory, with shrubs of folk and the occasional dream cloud floating overhead. The disc received a Polaris nod. The songs are catchy and replete with little details; there are these fuzzy, plucky sounds plunking themselves into the mix here and there which keep the interest up. Her music has been described as early Karkwa, but it is arguably her delicate vocal delivery that makes everything gel together and sound very pleasant. Don’t miss out on this golden disc.

12
Chrysalis
by Sonia Johnson (JW)

JUNO award winning vocal jazz artist Sonia Johnson, who both sings and writes, released her first English-language album in 2019, and it’s a winner. Entitled Chrysalis, the work features two backing vocalists and nine musicians playing guitar, piano, keyboards, electric bass, drums & percussion, flute, alto sax, tenor sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, trombone, trumpet, and flugelhorn. Sonia’s voice is perfect for what she does, balanced and smooth. The music simultaneously relaxes and invigorates. Together, and as a whole, we have a beautifully done soulful jazz with a good groove. An added bonus is having original songs, as so much of the genre relies on covers. As a composer, Sonia shines resplendent; these tracks are fabulous. Enjoy.

11
Now
by Jesse Mac Cormack

Jesse Mac Cormack of Montreal presented his first full-length album in 2019, Now. It unravels like a grand display in an isolated, desolate place. The music is unpredictable in its operation and the voice impassioned, detached, and determined in its execution. Both unfold in an off-kilter genius that unmasks intricate detail. The metronomic “Give a Chance” conveys a sense of urgency, and with that opener, we are off to the races, exhilarated through laid back numbers like “No Love Go” and rousing anthems like “Stay”. The short “Passageway” is a ballad with a surprise electronic twist, bursting into some sort of Divergent zip-line scene. Mac closes things off with smoky cactus rambler “Nothing Lasts”. Now is an artistic album to be savored.

10
Let Me Show You
by Lydia Persaud

Toronto’s Lydia Persaud takes us on a time machine ride back to the 70s thanks to her soulful album Let Me Show You which may remind some of Carole King or Stevie Wonder. She hits the mark in both the singing and songwriting departments and was able to keep us engaged through the whole disc. One of her secrets is dashes of various spices here and there, like analog synthesizers on delicious opening track “Hold On”, some reggae on “Honey Child”, lullaby crooning on “Low Light”, and atmospheric backing vocals on the title-track. This is an amazing record and deserves a trophy.

9
Dangerous
by Shay Lia

A number of EPs this year upgraded themselves to LPs through a re-release with additional tracks. This is one of them and is dubbed Dangerous (Deluxe). Canada is dabbling in the R&B soup factory like nobody’s business and are perfecting the recipe, in large part by focusing on melody, something of which their southern neighbours have fallen short. Shay Lia seems a natural at this. Dangerous is mood music to drool over. Some big names appear on this, including Kaytranada and BadBadNotGood. “I’ll Be There” is our favourite track, and the general public seems to dig “Voodoo” and “Find a Way”, but every slice here is brimming over with cool endeavours.

8
Restless
by Radiant Baby

Synthpop specialist Radiant Baby released his debut full-length album in early 2019, Restless, opened by exquisite 80s themed song (it even has a saxophone solo!) “Firecracker”. Through the disc, he keeps things perky, funky, and danceable. You will, however, hear the album shifting gears at a couple of turning points. After the first four breezy tracks, he really gets the beats going on “Out Crowd”, and heightens the pace on “Funny Games”. He slows things down into some sentimentality on “Don’t Push” and closes out on a darker note with the spooky title-track. We need more music like this. Wonderful!

7
Heavenly: A Second Collection of Songs
by Rosemary Fairweather

Toronto’s Rosemary Fairweather sprinkled the atmosphere with magical fairy dust in her brand of angelic synth pop in debut outing Heavenly: A Collection of Songs which was essentially a grouping of previously released singles into a digital album package. She was signed to Universal and all set to break out but suffered an unfortunate concussion from an accidental fall. A slow recovery ruled out performing but she was able to craft new music when feeling up to it. Her second collection of songs began with synth pop charmer “MTV” which set in motion a string of new songs furthering her brand. Just about all the tracks on this are … well … heavenly.

6
Portraits
by Louise Burns

Cranbrook, BC native Louise Burns, twice Polaris nominated, released her fourth solo album in 2019 (she is the former bass player for band Lillix). Musically, Portraits is generally a brighter effort than at least her previous two discs, though the lyrics contain various sentiments. “Like a Dream” opens things up nicely with torch-bearing beats and an ambient cruise through an emotional chorus. “Cry” can perhaps boast the catchiest earworm on the hooks, the sort of tune that gets stuck in your head but you are glad to have it there. Steel drum sounds decorate the perky “Just Walk Away”, the album’s lead single. Burns went for single-word titles beginning with a C for four of the album’s tracks. Aside from the aforementioned “Cry”, we have “Cherry”, “Cheers”, and “Clowns”. The first is the most progressive track on the record and our favourite. “Everything You Got” benefits greatly from the erhu sound which complements Louise’s savory voice.

5
Them Spirits
by Akua

The gold pocket watch swings back and forth, and we feel ourselves getting sleepy. Such is the hypnotic power of nu-R&B ace Akua (Carson) of London, Ontario, a Canadian of Ghanaian descent. She is a singer, producer, and songwriter whose rich brews of musical genius embrace R&B, pop, and electronic flavours. She released 7-track album Them Spirits in March, a superb disc dressed handsomely with her silky vocals and spellbinding in terms of its dreamy atmospherics. The beautiful package flows gracefully. In fact, opening track “Righteous Way” would have lulled us into a perfect snooze, but the nice addition of carefully placed piano strokes kept consciousness alive. “Heaven”, the standout track, will blow your mind. It builds gradually from a velvety slow-burn to a shuffle of bass and soft cords, and finally to an exhilarating electronic heavy chorus. “My Body”, musically sophisticated, throws in some interesting sounds to drool over. Akua shows some vocal prowess on track “Queen” satisfyingly backed by orchestral tip-toes. Lyrically, Akua centers the album’s theme on the passing of her father.

4
Open Reduction Internal Fixation
by Blue Hawaii (JN)

The JUNO nominated duo that is Raphaelle Standell-Preston and Alex “Agor” Kerby titled its fourth album after heel surgery the latter received. Masters of chillout electronica burbling out of a unique, carved out niche, Blue Hawaii has created its best album yet, Open Reduction Internal Fixation (known in the medical world as ORIF). The choppy waves of “Still I Miss U”, the bouncy surf of “All That Blue”, the creeping tides of “Sparkle”, and the splashes of cuteness in “Trust” are all first-rate cuts.

3
Dawn Chorus
by Jacques Greene (JN)

In his second LP Dawn Chorus, electronic maestro and JUNO nominee Jacques Greene pulls out all the stops. It has moods, melodies, and textures to die for. “Drop Location” skulks along with big booms and flailing vocals before we experience the trippy “Do It Without You” which combines shuffling beats with Laika atmospherics and vocal woos. Rapper Cadence Weapon slaps his rhythmic vocals on “Night Service” to make it an ultra cool bop. In “Sel”, hear fluttering synths and airy vocals get bounced up by thick beats. “For Love” is a more energetic offering with some 70s jazz-funk and bongos in the mix. “Sibling” calls to mind Mu-Ziq with its sawtooth spells and frothy pulses. Our favourite track “Understand” conveys a sense of urgency but also eeriness. “Distance” presents interesting vocal samples over ethereal climes. This is a very solid record and one not to be missed for fans of the genre.

2
New Day New World
by Spoons (JN)

JUNO nominated Burlington, Ontario band Spoons, active since the early 80s, delighted us with its first disc in eight years, New Day New World, recorded in Guelph. The group’s last offering, 2011’s Static in Transmission, was well received. This one is just as grand from our reckoning. While many have commented on the smart stylings of the album, of how it bridges 80s new wave with modern pop-rock and electro, what makes the album so good is the songwriting. Frontman Gordon Deppe, with assistance from Sandy Horne, continues to channel inspiration in penning catchy tunes. The atmospheric sweep and thundering booms of the album’s title track has chants from online fans mixed into the chorus. “All the Wrong Things” proves the band has still retained its energy. As has been pointed out, “Beautiful Trap” recalls the doot-doots of 1984 song “Romantic Traffic”, something the band says is in its DNA. Find those nuggets of fun as well on “For the First and Last Time”. Another gem is “Repeatable” with some wonderful bass work. The interplay among that playful bass plus, the synth pulses, and higher-pitched plucks, makes this track simply irresistible and, well, repeatable. “Life on Demand” progresses from simple piano keys to a very satisfying chorus. For those hungry for something heavier on the electronic side, “Landing Lights” should hit the spot. It has a great snare-beat as well. The charming “Paint by Number Day” is melodically similar to “For the First and Last Time” but with pleasant female-led vocals.

Canadian Music Blog’s
Album of the Year 2019

It was a long wait, rewarded in part by a soundtrack album, for this Canadian duo to release a followup studio album to the brilliant Innerworld from 2014. The anticipation was rewarded, the artistry hit progression, and there were few albums released in 2019 throughout the planet that were this good. Dynamic vocals, cascading synthesizers, and emotional depth dot the landscape with vivid colours. Pulsating “The Life”, wispy “Arawa”, 80s-esque “Breathless”, and dreamy “Real Ones” effectively open up the dazzling world of electrifying tranquility. And then comes the captivating “On My Own” which really gets the ride going. The vocals are as angelic as ever and the path breathtaking. “Thirteen” is a nice throwback to the Innerworld era with those pulsating bass synths. But it is perhaps the melodic, delicately crafted, and a touch creepy “Evergreen 143” that serves as the album’s best track. Canadian Music Blog Declares Memory Emotion by Electric Youth as 2019’s album of the year!

1
Memory Emotion
by Electric Youth

Music Canada Releases 2019 Recap

Music Canada has released its 2019 year-end recap with some interesting stats on music consumption in the country. Trends include a shift towards the on-demand audio streaming market, which accounted for 60% of recorded music revenues in 2018. The Gold/Platinum certification program saw a 33% increase from 2018 in the single awards. Eleven singles received Diamond certifications this year, one of which – Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” – was released in 2019. American artist Post Malone scored the most certifications for music this year. His “Wow” achieved 7x Platinum and Billie Eilish‘s “Bad Guy” received the third highest single certification for a 2019 release at 6x Platinum.

Three Canadian singles struck Diamond status in 2019 (all were released in years prior): Drake’s “God’s Plan”, The Weeknd’s “Starboy”, and Loud Luxury’s “Body”. (Diamond is equivalent to 10x Platinum.) As far as albums go, The Weeknd was champ in 2019 with quintuple platinum certifications for two of his previously released albums – 2016’s Starboy and 2015’s Beauty Behind the Madness. Three albums released in 2019 made it to the double platinum rung: Khalid‘s Free Spirit, Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding, and Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? More…

The Seven Best Canadian Artist EPs of 2019

An extended play record (EP), as far as we are concerned, is one with at least three original tracks that have a combined run time of less than 25 minutes. In some cases, remixes of one or more tracks on the EP result in a disc run time of over 25 minutes. We still consider these to be EPs. We do not count as an EP a disc with only one or two original songs plus various remixes of them.

Through the year, we tracked 196 qualifying extended play records from Canadian artists released, which is 18 more than last year and 68 more than 2017. This number does not include various artist, Christmas, or live discs which we do not consider for year-end lists. We listened to all 196 and settled upon a year-end ranking of our seven favourites regardless of genre.

Find below our seven favourite Canadian artist EPs of 2019 including our 2019 Extended Play Record of the Year!

7
Nathan Micay
Butterfly Arcane

Technically, this is a long play record; however, one of the tracks from the four-entry affair was previously released on an album, and so we included it here where EPs roam. Nathan Micay’s 11-track offering Blue Spring came out earlier this year. It was a sparser, more experimental excursion into the electronic genre. This “EP” Butterfly Arcane has a tighter, more beat-driven sound that is ripe for the club. In the handclapping march of an opener “I’m Your Huckleberry,” hear chirps animate growling synthesizers. Things slow down into wintry trudges on “Did U Know I Cannot Die” and then the disc picks up in pace on closing track “The Party We Could Have”. Nathan is very good at what he does, and we are grateful to have him onboard Team Canada.

6
Fjord
Shallow Waters

The immediate effect of giving this richly produced 2019 EP a whirl is the engaging chill of drifting through a wintry dream. Shallow Waters from expert duo Fjord is the followup to 2016’s Textures. It is a smooth brew of ambient moods and careful pacing. But what is particularly important here is the memorable composition which unveils its striking countenance on most of the tracks. Place on that the crown of velvety vocals, and we have a winner. Immediately likeable is “Lay Down Your Veil” while all tracks are to be commended. This is not a disc to rock out to and bust some moves but one that soothes, captivates and props up the arm hairs in anticipation of what ear-popping wonders lie temporarily concealed around the bend. Beautifully done.

5
Orange Gecko
Amour et stupefiants

Orange Gecko is all beefed up as a sextet, led by the salacious vocals of Noémie Lafortune. Amour et stupefiants is the outfit’s debut EP, a five-track fusion extravaganza that steeps in pop, funk, jazz, soul … you name it. The disc’s title-track – a bold title it is – opens up the show with a mesmerizing bass groove leading us into a stirring chorus. Energizing lead single “Phosphore” takes the funk up town. The hazy and sensual “Volcano” follows. “Dans un snowglobe” contains bits of welcome urban jazz. Bright and cheery closer “Chrysalide” brings everything together in a cacophony of all things splendid. The EP is both creative and sophistocated. And while music that is refreshingly intelligent nabs serious bonus points, the main … point … is this is all a whole lot of fun.

4
Émilie Proulx
Tu pourras te reposer

Émilie Proulx is an excellent singer-songwriter. Her four-track EP Tu pourras te reposer (You can rest), a little melancholy, a bit dreamy, presents a rich fabric of melodic and smooth alternative folk. One cannot help but fall in love with such an enjoyable ride through wisps of intricate wonders. The playing is beautiful, delicately delivered with such care that one gets drawn into the warm flow of the dark blue waters in a picturesque brook. The haunting impression imprinted on one’s aural recesses lasts for some time after giving the disc a whirl, an indicator of music that strikes a nerve or two. On a side note, with so many trashy album covers being slopped together these days, Émilie scores bonus points for taking the time to make a nice one.

3
Grace Lachance
When Lightning Strikes

Ottawa’s Grace Lachance has a likeable style, as heard on her EP of diggable pop confections, When Lightning Strikes. This is the 18-year-old’s first outing following the release of a few singles. Front and center are powerful vocals; she was certainly born to sing. Add to that catchy songwriting, choice beats, and shimmering synths, and we have a winner. For those frustrated with an overabundance of anticlimactic choruses these days, you will find this disc refreshing; the choruses are big, boisterous, and thrilling with the chuck and jive sonics of opener “The Undone”, the thunders of “Mile Too Far”, electrifying sparkle of “Grow” (our favourite track), and swaggering splendours of “Save It For Tomorrow”. Grace smartly caps the EP with a sonorous ballad, the striking “Strong”.

2
Sleepy Tom
Amateurs

In 2016, British Columbia’s Sleepy Tom (professional alias of Cam Tatham) scored a Billboard Canadian Hot 100 charting single and British Top 10 hit with Diplo called “Be Right There”. Sleepy is a JUNO nominated EDM creator, and graced 2019 with an EP entitled Amateurs. Featured are half a dozen singers through the six delicious cuts, the most prominent being platinum recording artist Lights who opens the EP with its electrifying title-track. Other highlights are “Wrap Around Your Heart”, bright, cheery, and a little jazzy, and the funky and saxified “Move”. Choppy charmer “The Times” should get you dancing in no time. Sleepy Tom’s Amateurs is loads of fun and not to be missed especially for EDM and pop enthusiasts.

Canadian Music Blog’s
EP of the Year 2019

This JUNO award winning artist from Edmonton is best known for her quintuple platinum single “Lost Boy” (#14 in 2016). She decorated 2019 with five-track EP Maybe I’ll Find You Again. The genre-defying disc contains elements of singer-songwriter, adult contemporary, pop, soul, alternative, and R&B. It opens with the hot, hazy summer afternoon breeze of “Don’t Disappoint Me”, a winner by its sophisticated orchestral arrangements alone. “Slow Fade” tricks the listener with sudden stops building from an easy-going piano-bass combo into a whirling chorus. “Crave”, perhaps the catchiest of the set, showcases the singer and songwriter’s stroke of creative genius. “Sycamore Tree” cranks up the feels, presenting her trademark balladry. And, ending on a strong note, “Rare” benefits from nice vocal work, dazzling keys, and nifty percussion. Canadian Music Blog declares Ruth B.’s Maybe I’ll Find You Again as 2019’s extended play record of the year!

1
Ruth B.
Maybe I’ll Find You Again

Billboard Top Canadian Albums Year-End Chart For 2019

Soundtrack to the movie that has been re-done… how many times now?… A Star Is Born, with songs voiced this time around by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, was the number one album of 2019 in Canada according to Billboard. It is not a 2019 album however being released last year. The top 2019-released album is Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, at #2 overall. The American singer’s vocals, sounding like claws scraping the enamel off her teeth, has managed to obtain a double platinum standing in the Great White North. The highest album from a Canadian artist on the year-end Top 50 is Scorpion by nasally rapper Drake at #5, but again it was an album released in 2018. The 2019 album from a Canadian that bested all others can be found towards the bottom of the chart at #41, and that is Bad Habits from NAV. Yes, he literally rapped his way … to the bottom of the charts.

The Top 50 contains only 15 albums (30%) released in 2019 and 24 albums from 2018 (48%). The remaining 11 were released in prior years dating back to 2005, representing 22% of the chart. Eight of the albums (16%) are helmed by Canadian artists. View the year-end 2019 Top 50 albums in Canada below.

TITLE ARTIST YEAR
1 A Star Is Born (Soundtrack) Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper 2018
2 When We All Fall Asleep… Billie Eilish 2019
3 thank u, next Ariana Grande 2019
4 beerbongs & bentleys Post Malone 2018
5 Scorpion Drake 2018
6 Hollywood’s Bleeding Post Malone 2019
7 Hoodie SZN A Boogie Wit da Hoodie 2018
8 ASTROWORLD Travis Scott 2018
9 Free Spirit Khalid 2019
10 No.6 Collaborations Project Ed Sheeran 2019
11 Bohemian Rhapsody (Soundtrack) Queen 2018
12 Shawn Mendes Shawn Mendes 2018
13 ÷ (Divide) Ed Sheeran 2017
14 Lover Taylor Swift 2019
15 dont smile at me Billie Eilish 2017
16 Love Michael Buble 2018
17 Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Soundtrack 2018
18 This One’s For You Luke Combs 2017
19 Goodbye & Good Riddance Juice WRLD 2018
20 ? XXXTENTACION 2018
21 Championships Meek Mill 2018
22 Origins Imagine Dragons 2018
23 Stoney Post Malone 2016
24 Diamonds Elton John 2017
25 Kamikaze Eminem 2018
26 Happiness Begins Jonas Brothers 2019
27 Curtain Call: The Hits Eminem 2005
28 7 (EP) Lil Nas X 2019
29 Delta Mumford & Sons 2018
30 Cuz I Love You Lizzo 2019
31 Death Race For Love Juice WRLD 2019
32 The Greatest Showman Soundtrack 2017
33 American Teen Khalid 2017
34 Sweetener Ariana Grande 2018
35 Invasion Of Privacy Cardi B 2018
36 Drip Harder Lil Baby & Gunna 2018
37 DUMMY BOY 6ix9ine 2018
38 Dan + Shay Dan + Shay 2018
39 I Am > I Was 21 Savage 2018
40 Evolve Imagine Dragons 2017
41 Bad Habits NAV 2019
42 Divinely Uninspired… Lewis Capaldi 2019
43 DNA Backstreet Boys 2019
44 Yer Favorites The Tragically Hip 2005
45 Pray For The Wicked Panic! At The Disco 2018
46 Not All Heroes Wear Capes Metro Boomin 2018
47 Christmas Michael Buble 2011
48 Shine A Light Bryan Adams 2019
49 LoVE me NOw? Tory Lanez 2018
50 Hurts 2B Human P!nk 2019

Billboard Canada Hot Digital Songs of 2019 Year-End Chart

In many ways the digital songs chart is superior to what is considered the authoritative chart – the Hot 100, the latter being heavily influenced by streaming. Whether or not someone likes a song cannot be determined by radio airplay (that is settled upon by program directors), nor can it be determined by streaming. People stream to check out songs being promoted to decide whether or not they like them. Whether or not record companies have warehouses full of devices streaming their songs 24-7 to drive up the numbers is anybody’s guess (conspiracy theorists of the world unite!) But once a person spends money on a song, there is no denying that it resonates with him. Upon examining the chart below, we find some striking differences with the year-end Hot 100. Songs like “Head Above Water” by Avril Lavigne, which didn’t make the Hot 100, show up here. On the other hand, Drake tracks that littered the Hot 100 are nowhere to be found on the digital chart.

RANK TITLE ARTIST
1 Old Town Road Lil Nas X
2 Shallow Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
3 Bad Guy Billie Eilish
4 Senorita Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
5 I Don’t Care Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber
6 Sunflower Post Malone & Swae Lee
7 High Hopes Panic! At The Disco
8 Without Me Halsey
9 Someone You Loved Lewis Capaldi
10 Happier Marshmello & Bastille
11 The Git Up Blanco Brown
12 Sucker Jonas Brothers
13 Wow. Post Malone
14 Walk Me Home P!nk
15 Sweet But Psycho Ava Max
16 7 Rings Ariana Grande
17 You Say Lauren Daigle
18 Dancing With A Stranger Sam Smith & Normani
19 Truth Hurts Lizzo
20 Always Remember Us This Way Lady Gaga
21 Con Calma Daddy Yankee & Katy Perry Featuring Snow
22 Knockin’ Boots Luke Bryan
23 God’s Country Blake Shelton
24 You Need To Calm Down Taylor Swift
25 Youngblood 5 Seconds Of Summer
26 Bohemian Rhapsody Queen
27 Nothing Breaks Like A Heart Mark Ronson
28 Eastside benny blanco, Halsey & Khalid
29 ME! Taylor Swift
30 If I Can’t Have You Shawn Mendes
31 Girls Like You Maroon 5
32 Thank U, Next Ariana Grande
33 Perfect Ed Sheeran
34 One Thing Right Marshmello & Kane Brown
35 Natural Imagine Dragons
36 Beer Never Broke My Heart Luke Combs
37 Be Alright Dean Lewis
38 Sicko Mode Travis Scott
39 Beautiful People Ed Sheeran
40 Bury A Friend Billie Eilish
41 Higher Love Kygo X Whitney Houston
42 Bad Liar Imagine Dragons
43 Taki Taki DJ Snake
44 Circles Post Malone
45 Head Above Water Avril Lavigne
46 I’m Not Alright Loud Luxury And Bryce Vine
47 Whiskey Glasses Morgan Wallen
48 Never Really Over Katy Perry
49 I’ll Never Love Again Lady Gaga
50 Broken lovelytheband

Canadian Hot 100 Labels and Imprints of 2019

Based on the success of their artists’ singles on the Canadian Hot 100, Billboard has ranked the record labels and imprints of 2019. Find two Top 10 lists below for those. The top label, unsurprisingly, is Universal and most successful imprint is Republic.

Canadian Hot 100 Record Labels of 2019

1. Universal
2. Sony Music
3. Warner
4. EMPIRE
5. eOne
6. Physical Presents
7. No Love
8. Glassnote
9. AWAL-Kobalt
10. Monstercat

Canadian Hot 100 Imprints of 2019

1. Republic
2. Interscope
3. Columbia
4. Atlantic
5. Capitol
6. RCA
7. Island
8. Darkroom
9. Epic
10. Joytime Collective

Billboard Canadian Hot 100 Artists of 2019, Year-End Chart

The Top 25 recording artists in Canada for 2019 determined by success of tracks on the Hot 100 finds Italian American singer Ariana Grande as champion. The top Canadian artist is Drake at #10 followed by fellow Ontarian Shawn Mendes at #11. They are the only two homegrown artists to make the chart.

1. Ariana Grande
2. Post Malone
3. Billie Eilish
4. Lil Nas X
5. Halsey
6. Khalid
7. Travis Scott
8. Ed Sheeran
9. Jonas Brothers
10. Drake
11. Shawn Mendes
12. Taylor Swift
13. Marshmello
14. Juice WRLD
15. Panic! At The Disco
16. Lil Tecca
17. Swae Lee
18. Lady Gaga
19. Cardi B
20. 5 Seconds Of Summer
21. Sam Smith
22. Lizzo
23. Camila Cabello
24. Lewis Capaldi
25. Maroon 5

Billboard Canadian Hot 100 of 2019, Year-End Chart

Billboard Canada’s year-end top 100 singles of 2019 are listed below. The top song of the year is novelty smash “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Rae Cyrus, a 2 minute and 37 second affair. The top track involving a Canadian artist is “I Don’t Care” by Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber at #8. With a lone Canadian as the artist, Shawn Mendes’ “If I Can’t Have You” takes the crown at #21. We have cleaned up the list by removing the eyesore of featured artists on this year’s chart unless it was a Canadian. Dual main artists are kept. Canadian artists are bolded in red. There are 14 entries with a Canadian as the main, co-main, or lone featured artist. The Canadian Hot 100 is determined by a weighting system of radio airplay, online streaming, and purchased downloads. More year-end and other Canadian charts can be found here.

RANK TITLE ARTIST
1 Old Town Road Lil Nas X
2 Sunflower Post Malone & Swae Lee
3 Bad Guy Billie Eilish
4 Without Me Halsey
5 Happier Marshmello & Bastille
6 Shallow Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
7 7 Rings Ariana Grande
8 I Don’t Care Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber
9 Wow. Post Malone
10 Senorita Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
11 Thank U, Next Ariana Grande
12 Sucker Jonas Brothers
13 Sicko Mode Travis Scott
14 Dancing With A Stranger Sam Smith & Normani
15 Girls Like You Maroon 5
16 High Hopes Panic! At The Disco
17 Eastside benny blanco, Halsey & Khalid
18 Sweet But Psycho Ava Max
19 Someone You Loved Lewis Capaldi
20 Ran$om Lil Tecca
21 If I Can’t Have You Shawn Mendes
22 Talk Khalid
23 Truth Hurts Lizzo
24 Going Bad Meek Mill Ft. Drake
25 Youngblood 5 Seconds Of Summer
26 Money In The Grave Drake 
27 Con Calma Daddy Yankee & Katy Perry Ft. Snow
28 You Need To Calm Down Taylor Swift
29 Beautiful People Ed Sheeran 
30 The Git Up Blanco Brown
31 Break Up with Your Girlfriend… Ariana Grande
32 Goodbyes Post Malone
33 Mo Bamba Sheck Wes
34 Better Khalid
35 ME! Taylor Swift
36 Middle Child J. Cole
37 Pop Out Polo G
38 Taki Taki DJ Snake
39 One Thing Right Marshmello & Kane Brown
40 Panini Lil Nas X
41 Bury A Friend Billie Eilish
42 Better Now Post Malone
43 No Guidance Chris Brown Ft. Drake
44 Lalala Y2K & bbno$
45 Close To Me Ellie Goulding X Diplo
46 Be Alright Dean Lewis
47 Walk Me Home P!nk
48 ZEZE Kodak Black
49 Circles Post Malone
50 Swervin A Boogie Wit da Hoodie
51 Pure Water Mustard & Migos
52 Here With Me Marshmello
53 When The Party’s Over Billie Eilish
54 Lucid Dreams Juice WRLD
55 I’m Not Alright Loud Luxury and Bryce Vine
56 Thotiana Blueface
57 Murder On My Mind YNW Melly
58 The London Young Thug, J. Cole & Travis Scott
59 Look Back At It A Boogie Wit da Hoodie
60 Drip Too Hard Lil Baby & Gunna
61 Nothing Breaks Like A Heart Mark Ronson 
62 Knockin’ Boots Luke Bryan
63 Higher Love Kygo X Whitney Houston
64 Never Really Over Katy Perry
65 It’s You Ali Gatie
66 How Do You Sleep? Sam Smith
67 Only Human Jonas Brothers
68 Beer Never Broke My Heart Luke Combs
69 In My Feelings Drake
70 God’s Country Blake Shelton
71 SOS Avicii 
72 Saturday Nights Khalid & Kane Brown
73 Love Me Felix Cartal & LIGHTS
74 Who Do You Love The Chainsmokers
75 Suge DaBaby
76 MIA Bad Bunny Ft. Drake
77 Boyfriend Ariana Grande & Social House
78 Breathin Ariana Grande
79 I Like It Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin
80 Don’t Call Me Up Mabel
81 Dance Monkey Tones And I
82 Beautiful Crazy Luke Combs
83 Cross Me Ed Sheeran 
84 A Lot 21 Savage
85 Baby Shark Pinkfong
86 Robbery Juice WRLD
87 South Of The Border Ed Sheeran 
88 Body Loud Luxury Ft. Brando
89 Broken lovelytheband
90 Look What God Gave Her Thomas Rhett
91 Giant Calvin Harris & Rag’n’Bone Man
92 Go Loko YG, Tyga & Jon Z
93 Arms Around You XXXTENTACION x Lil Pump
94 Summer Days Martin Garrix
95 Shotta Flow NLE Choppa
96 Lover Taylor Swift
97 Piece Of Your Heart Meduza 
98 Let Me Down Slowly Alec Benjamin + Alessia Cara
99 Highest in the Room Travis Scott
100 Whiskey Glasses Morgan Wallen