Canadian Chart Highlights: March 7, 2017

The Hot 100

On this week’s Hot 100, Eddie S.’s “Shape of You” spends its 8th week at number one. A sudden burst of collaborative singles dominates the top 10 but none have been able to dethrone the ditty of Sheeran. Speaking of collaborative singles, the latest involves a Canadian artist. “Stay” by Russian-German EDM maker Zedd and Ontario’s Alessia Cara debuts on the chart at #10. This is the highest position either artist has ever achieved on the chart. The top Canadian artist entry on the Hot 100 though remains The Weeknd’s “Starboy” at #9 this week. The Toronto R&B star is featured in Future’s “Comin’ Out Strong” which debuts at #43. Canadian actor Ryan Gosling can add pop star to his resume, as “City of Stars” with Emma Stone makes the Hot 100 at #89. The song is of course from Oscar winning motion picture La La Land.

Used to compile the Hot 100 is Hot Digital Songs and Hot 100 Airplay. On both charts, Ed Sheeran continues the reign with “Shape of You”. Alessia Cara’s aforementioned collaborative single “Stay” enters Digital Songs at #5, the top Canadian artist entry this week. The Weeknd’s “I Feel It Coming” is highest for Canadian artists on Hot 100 Airplay at #2.

Albums

Hndrxx by U.S. rapper Future, alias of Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, is #1 on the albums chart. His Canadian counterpart NAV, from the Toronto district of Rexdale, debuts on the chart at #5 with his eponymous LP. Landing by Beyries and Blue Ceilings by The Franklin Electric make the Top 25 at #21 and #25 respectively.

Emerging Canadian Artists

The Weeknd, still considered an emerging artist at this stage, spends his 23rd week at #1 with “Starboy”. The aforementioned NAV enters the Top 30 with two tracks: “Up” #24 and “Myself” #26.

This week, Nielsen shines the artist spotlight on May Wells, formerly with band The Garlics. As a soloist, she has entered the Adult Contemporary Airplay chart at #36 with “We All Want Love”. She will be performing during Canadian Music Week in Toronto in April.

Canadian Airplay Charts

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” crowns All-Format, CHR, AC, and Hot AC airplay. Rock radio is “Still Breathing” thanks to Green Day, and Country Radio prefers a “Better Man” provided by Little Big Town. “I Feel It Coming” by The Weeknd is tops for Canadian artists at All-Format (#2) and CHR (#3). Both AC and Hot AC prefer Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful” (#4 and #2 respectively). Rock radio is on the “Highway” thanks to Orillia, Ontario’s Bleeker at #4. Country radio is spending some “Time” with Dean Brody, #7 this week.

Canadian Franco

According to Nielsen, the top Franco song at radio continues to be “Kamikaze” by Patrice Michaud. The remix of “Ça se danse” by King Melrose is at #2 and Marc Dupré’s “Du bonheur dans les étoiles” at #3.

In terms of sales, the #1 single is “Je pars à l’autre bout du monde” by Beyries followed by “Marine marchande” by Les Cowboys Fringants, and at #3 is 2Frères’ “M’aimerais-tu pareil?”.

The best-selling Franco album continues to be Almanach by Patrice Michaud followed by Nous autres by 2Frères and Various Artists’ Nos plus beaux souvenirs. Bear in mind that the data is from the province of Quebec only, not Canada wide.

Canadian Artist Songs Big Internationally

On the official UK chart, which gets published every Friday at 11 a.m. Pacific Time, the top entry by a Canadian artist currently is “I Feel It Coming” by The Weeknd at #23. It peaked on the chart at #9. Australians prefer “Stay” by Alessia Cara and Zedd at #16. The latter debuted on the UK chart at #33 and on the US Hot 100 at #28. Americans give the nod to The Weeknd this week for “I Feel It Coming” at #11.

The Luyas Impress with Human Voicing

Montreal indie alt-rock group The Luyas hit the scene in 2006 and saw a Polaris Prize nomination for third studio album Animator in 2013. The band is known for including some unusual instruments in its recordings. Human Voicing is album number four and follows 2016 EP Say You. The Luyas, currently signed to Paper Bag Records, are four members including lead singer Jessie Stein. After hearing quite a few mediocre releases in the genre, The Luyas’ Human Voicing impressed us to a great degree. Jessie’s vocals hit the spot, and the music is well-written and intelligent. Our ears remained engaged throughout most of the album. There’s a nice wall of sound, edgy without being too noisy, dynamic, and stimulating. We were hooked on track “Self-unemployed” right away, and the other tracks are not far behind in catchiness. An enjoyable listening experience from one of the world’s better indie bands.   iTunes

Unique Sounds Abound on New Releases for March 3, 2017

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Carleton Place, Ontario singer-songwriter Brock Zeman treats us with a unique concept album about the travelling carnival phenomenon that brought excitement to the peoples of the 1930s. The Carnival Is Back in Town is his 13th career album filled with stories and colourful character depictions. Karen Young and Coral Egan team up on Montreal production Dreamers that defies description, combining say baroque style music with adult contemporary. It is light and pleasant, another unique work this week. After a few singles, Shaunavon, Saskatchewan’s Hunter Brothers present full-length album Getaway, jam-packed with good, solid country tunes.

The ever popular and talented Jenn Grant returns with new album Paradise, giving us quality singer-songwriter songs. The native of Lake Echo, Nova Scotia has a hat trick of JUNO nominations to her credit. No surprise there. Toronto’s Mad Ones give alternative rock a whirl on Regretless, and we do not regret in any way the trio making a contribution to the pool of great Canadian music. The clan of Lemieux has more to offer than highly skilled puck handling, as JUNO winner Marie-Nicole Lemieux proves on classical work Rossini: Opera Arias & Duets (Live) with wonderful interpretations, arrangements, and performance of Rossini the great one.

Speaking of greats, Toronto’s The Great Novel cranks up folkified indie rock that will make you shed your … Skins? Absolutely! Gifted Vancouver eight-piece JUNO-nominated band Five Alarm Funk reminds us that skins are often drenched with Sweat. With a sound the group can call its own, a fusion of world music and jazz, all played on acoustic instruments, the album is a joy ride through all things superb. Also from Vancouver cometh The Real McKenzies, experts on Celtic punk/rock; Two Devils Will Talk is the album. Find straight-up rock on Wild Cat, the latest from Toronto JUNO nominated group Danko Jones.

There are a couple of EPs to talk about this week. Kendall Patrick of Ladysmith, BC explores the Peaks and Valleys of life on her exquisite new singer-songwriter disc. Synthpop that rivals Tegan and Sara’s Heartthrob album, it’s so good, appears on self-titled EP by Toronto’s Ralph. If nothing else, track “Tease” is a must-grab.

Interview Time … CMB Presents: Gelsea Mae!

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Ladies and gentlemen, more than 100,000 views have greeted the dazzling neon-themed music video for Ryan Stewart produced “Need You Now” by rising Canadian recording artist Gelsea Mae. Based in Vancouver, the pop dynamo recently launched followup single “Shoulda Known Better,” and it is with great pleasure that we present to you our recent interview with this delightful superstar in the making.

1. Gelsea, can you tell us a little about the process of writing and recording your new song “Shoulda Known Better”?

I started writing “Shoulda Known Better” 2 years ago, on a plane ride back from a trip I had taken to Malaysia. I remember those exact words just constantly repeating in my head, so I ended up writing them down, which eventually became the hook of the song. It was one of those difficult situations where you’re fighting between your heart and your mind and in this case I chose to go with my heart, which led to a broken one. When I got back to Vancouver, I approached Ryan Stewart with the song, who then agreed to produce it and the rest was history! The song actually took an entire year to finish, as we had left it undone and started working on “Need You Now,” which ended up being the first single we released.

2. The music video of your last song “Need You Now” surpassed 100,000 views. What is your response to this remarkable achievement?

I am pleasantly surprised with the amount of positive attraction it has gotten in the short amount of time it’s been released. I think by having Spotify Canada discover me and featuring “Need You Now” on their top pop playlists has definitely helped me with views and I am very grateful for their support.

3. What was it like working with Ryan Stewart who has produced many big hits?

Working with Ryan was amazing. He’s extremely talented, which is why he has been so successful with the artists that he has worked with. I remember the first time working with him, it felt like a therapy session because I introduced myself, showed him my song and then told him the entire back story of what happened, which was so personal. It’s such an odd but inspiring experience to be able to turn a negative situation into a positive one, which in this case, we ended up creating a beautiful song.

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4. With your singles doing well, are there plans yet for an EP, or full-length album in the future?

Yes, absolutely! The past few months have just been constant meetings with different producers and songwriters from Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, United Kingdom and Australia. I was trying to vibe out who I thought would make the best team and I feel like I have found it. I’m hoping to release an EP by the end of the year.

5. How would you describe your musical style to someone who hasn’t heard your music yet?

As of right now, my music is in the Pop category with a bit of EDM. I definitely want to stay in those categories, but I am still in the midst of discovering my sound and type of artist I want to be known for, which is what my EP will hopefully showcase.

6. The CMB focuses on Canadian artists, so can you tell us who are your favourite Canadian artists and what you admire about them and their music?

I grew up listening to Avril Lavigne and Shania Twain. I admire how unique Avril was. She knew who she was and didn’t care to “fit in” like many of the other pop artists in the 90s. She had her own brand of being edgy/ pop rock, which was a breath of fresh air. She was also the first concert I had ever been to and I remember just being in awe of how fearless she was on stage. After that, my Dad bought me my first karaoke machine and I pretended to be a rockstar, while singing “Complicated” on repeat. As for Shania, I remember hearing “Up!” for the first time and immediately became obsessed with her. It was one of the first CD’s that I had ever bought and as a kid I would just sit in my room memorizing her lyrics. As I grew older, I remember reading tabloids and realizing how she persevered through difficult times and beaten all the odds, ultimately succeeding in her dream and that’s something that I really admire about her.

7. Your fan base is growing rapidly. What advice would you give to other artists who are trying to succeed? Is it just a matter of having a magnetic personality or is there more to it?

There honestly isn’t a magic formula with success, I think a lot of it has to do with luck and timing. However, I do know that in order to stand out in such a competitive industry, you must have something unique and special to offer. Make sure you have really good material to showcase, know how to market yourself, be likeable and work really damn hard and be okay with failing.

Gelsea Mae Links

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/artist/gelsea-mae/id1071575213
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5dFZgjGlsOBKrsUh3OtWPo
Website: http://www.gelseamae.com
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/gelseamae
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gelseamae
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/gelseamae
Imdb: http://www.imdb.me/gelseamae

Synthpop Specialist Peter Peter Launches 3rd Album

peter-peter-noir-edenPeter Peter, a synthpop specialist, Quebec City native, and Polaris Prize nominee, recently cast forth his third studio album, Noir éden. We like it. We find that many artists focus on capturing a certain sound or style only to suffer depleted inspiration in the garden of musical composition. Not so with Peter Peter. He proves on this record that he is especially good at crafting a catchy and satisfying chorus. We highlight some standout tracks such as delightful keys dancing along in “Damien,” reminiscent of say Gazebo’s “I Like Chopin” or Double’s “The Captain of Her Heart”. “Allégresse” includes a nice touch of aloof vocal work that Phèdre did so well on “Ancient Nouveau”. Hear captivating bass synth on the title track adding nicely to other detailed touches in a very well put-together song. “Loving Game” is pure 80s, a bilingual, pulse-driven standout with French verses and an English chorus. Noir éden is Peter Peter’s best work yet and so much worth checking out for fans of the genre.  iTunes

Headlines and Footdots: March 1, 2017

2016 Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Irving Azoff - Arrivals

This Week’s Charts

There is not much to report from this week’s Canadian charts. There are no new Canadian artist entries on the Hot 100 and no new albums in the Top 10. On the country airplay chart, Dean Brody’s “Time” is up to #2 just behind “Better Man” by Little Big Town. Jess Moskaluke’s new single “Drive Me Away” debuts at #41.

Avril Lavigne Taps BMG for 6th Album Release

Pop-rock superstar Avril Lavigne has joined forces with BMG for release of her sixth studio album due out by the end of the year according to an article by Billboard Magazine. Avril’s first album Let Go, released under Arista in 2002, is the last Canadian artist album to be certified at 1 million units. Arista gave way to RCA through which she launched Under My Skin, The Best Damn Thing, and Goodbye Lullaby. Dissatisfaction with the latter’s release led to her migrating to Epic Records for release of her self-titled work in 2013. The music on that album was excellent but promotion seemed to misfire. Single “Here’s to Never Growing Up” was certified platinum in sales but received lukewarm response from radio which is odd. Sometimes a change in record label can help forces consolidate. All the aforementioned labels are under the Sony umbrella.

Bend It Like The Weeknd

The Weeknd is filling David Beckham’s shoes to model outfits sold by Sweden’s international apparel retailer H&M. “Spring Icons Selected by The Weeknd” debuts online and in stores March 2. The retailer’s promo statement is that the 25-article collection, inspired by scenes on the streets of Los Angeles, “blends utility and street wear silhouettes.” The Weeknd should attract more money into the pockets of the company’s chairman Stefan Persson who, with an estimated net worth of $24 billion, is the richest man in Sweden and 17th in the world.

Sunrise Eyes on the Prize

As many of you have heard by now, Ontario record retail chain Sunrise Records is intent on expanding its services nationwide. The recent declaration of shutting down operations by HMV has afforded it the convenience of occupying the empty units in the malls currently let to the folding retailer. The plan is to move into 70 of the 102 spaces across the country. For those of you in Metro Vancouver, Sunrise will take over the HMV space at Metrotown in Burnaby. Edmontonians can expect to see its logo in the bi-level store in West Edmonton Mall. Winnipeggers will find them in Polo Park, Hamiltonians at Limeridge Mall, and Mississaugans at Square One. Sunrise promises to have a wide selection of CDs, 50% higher than at HMV.

Coleman as Hot as Hell

Thunder Bay, ON’s champion of fun Coleman Hell has done something few have been able to. His “2 Heads” has become only the 16th Canadian artist single in history to reach quadruple platinum sales. The threshold is currently at 320,000 units (digital downloads, physical sales, streaming at 150:1). The song began its 43-week Hot 100 chart run July 1, 2015 and reached a peak position of #15 on November 9. Coleman is currently signed to 604 Records in Vancouver. “2 Heads” was his first official single. His current offering is “Devotion”. We leave you with its music video embedded below.

Sophie Pelletier Set to Turn 2017 Upside Down

sophie-pelletier-a-lenversShe has been described as “the vibrant conjugation of palpable sensibility, fascinating incandescence, and bewitching enthusiasm”. 2012 Star Academy finalist Sophie Pelletier of Rivière-Ouelle, QC released her debut album Le désert, la tempête in 2015. An eclectic pop/rock work, it gave us a sampling of what the singer and guitarist can do. Now, two years hence, Sophie has consolidated her sound, and it is choice. Heralding her sophomore LP, Sophie cast forth single “À l’envers”, an instant winner. Busy crafting album number two with Gaële, Fred St-Gelais, and Dumas, she recently dropped a music video for the song which we embed below.  iTunes

Mike Rocha Masters Cinematic Electronica on Finale

mike-rocha-finaleOn February 10, 2017, Toronto-based producer Mike Rocha surfed up a pleasant surprise, his debut album Finale. His past production credits include works from Greys, Electric Youth, Ivana Santilli, and Black Pistol Fire. The instrumental electronica, led by the Prophet ’08 synthesizer, at times amusing and at others dark, is highly cinematic and rich enough to please fans of both classic and modern sides of the field of time. The weaves of sound succeed in eliciting tension, urgency, thrills, suspense, and all emotional rollercoaster effects required for an entertaining film experience. At times, you will feel like you’re listening to a therapeutic mixtape in The Unborn, being hunted by the terminator, or inside the complex of Ex Machina. Finale is as good as anything by Markus Guentner or any of the other acclaimed crafters of the genre.  iTunes

Selected New Releases 24 Feb 2017 – Part 2/2

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Beyries, a newcomer from Montreal, has been stirring up lots of buzz, and selling singles like hotcakes too! Her exquisite singer-songwriter/folk album Landing is out and currently sits at #3 on iTunes. From the same city comes Maritza. Creative juices flow on her sumptuous alternative album Libérons-nous. From the realm of rap via Quebec City, Shoddy with a band of collaborators, scratches his whiskered chin and presents MF2.

NAV navigates from Rexdale, ON with a self-titled rap album packed with expletives and autotune. Find The Weeknd featured on track “Some Way”. Polaris nominated Peter Peter is back with his latest synthpop opus Noir Eden. It is one of the best releases of the week which comes as no surprise, as the Quebec City native is as talented as they come. Another big seller is Twin Solitude from Montreal folk artist Leif Vollebekk. Those who like their music a little mournful with simpler arrangements should dig it.

Also stripped down musically, showcasing her Alessia Cara-ish vocals, enters Vancouver’s Desirée Dawson with pleasing album Wild Heart. If you can imagine R&B combined with folk/singer-songwriter, this is essentially what we have here. Garage rock lovers can check out EP Young Adult from Hamilton’s Billy Moon. Celebrated singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith will be releasing new album The Last Rider on April 21. New single “Radio” is out now.

This wraps up part 2/2 of our February 24, 2017 review of new Canadian artist releases.

Selected New Releases 24 Feb 2017 – Part 1/2

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Cedric Vieno of Robertville, NB probably won’t win any awards for his Van Goghist album cover but concocts quite a good disc. L’autopsie d’un peureux consists of alternative rock and singer-songwriter tunes. The man flicks down a steady stream of nifty ideas from up his sleeve. Guelph’s Gregory Pepper who has christened his band as His Problems releases a dark indie rock album entitled Black Metal Demo Tape. It’s not as inaccessible as it sounds; in fact, the tunes are well crafted and catchy. A more recognizable name is Montreal’s The Franklin Electric doing a great job on new alternative pop album Blue Ceilings. Unlike other alt-pop groups, you will find things here a little more folky, reflective, and presented with more heart.

Waterloo, considered by some as Canada’s Silicon Valley, has spawned electronic trio Pick a Piper. The group dishes out nine fine spine-stimulating tracks on LP Distance. Light, non-repetitive percussion, vocals appropriate to the mood of each track, a variety of synth sounds, and smart composition make this one a winner. Now moving from the ethereal to the earthy. En panne de silence is a new world music album from Montreal-based Bon Débarras. In the group’s words, the album wafts with fragrances of the river, the wood, and the tundra in which modernity and tradition blend warmly.

Mobina Galore is a punk duo of Marcia and Jenna from Winnipeg. Feeling Disconnected is an album that will connect you with a caffeinated ride. Timid, the Brave is essentially Hamilton’s Tim Selles, a talented guy, as proven by the beautiful atmospheric alt-folk album Firesale. A little more alternative than The Franklin Electric is The Luyas, also of Montreal. The group dishes out solid disc Human Voicing, an excursion into a wonderland of savoury treats with sweet vocals and burbling musicianship.

This wraps up part 1 of 2 highlighting selected new Canadian artist releases this week.

A Canadian Wins a 2017 BRIT Award

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The BRIT Awards took place today. They are the UK’s version of the JUNOs but have been around for a shorter time and have much fewer categories. The United Kingdom is the world’s third largest music market after The United States and Japan, so the awards are quite prestigious. Michael Bublé was slated to host but pulled out due to family illness. His shoes were filled by British television presenters Dermot O’Leary and Emma Willis. British-born South African YouTube personality Caspar Lee hosted the live stream. A Canadian won an award in one of the three international categories. But before we get to that, let’s list winners in the other categories:

British Album of the Year: Blackstar, David Bowie
British Single: “Shout Out to My Ex”, Little Mix
British Artist Video: “History”, One Direction
British Male Solo Artist: David Bowie
British Female Solo Artist: Emeli Sandé
British Group: The 1975
British Breakthrough Act: Rag ‘N’ Bone Man
BRITs Global Success Award: Adele
International Group: A Tribe Called Quest
International Female Solo Artist: Beyoncé

The International Male Solo Artist nominees were Bon Iver, Bruno Mars, Drake, Leonard Cohen, and The Weeknd. With three Canadians, the odds were in our favour to win the category, and we did thanks to Drake.

Awards shows have proven to be favoured targets when it comes to criticism. Some is fair, some is not. Drake expressed some grievances over the U.S. Grammy Awards during an interview following the show with Apple Music which was highlighted in Billboard magazine. He feels that he has been working hard at making pop music but is still stuck with the persona of a rap artist only. “I’m a Black artist. I’m apparently a rapper, even though ‘Hotline Bling’ is not a rap song,” he said, continuing, “The only category that they can manage to fit me in is in a rap category, maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I’m Black.” He also submitted as an example the absence of record-breaking pop song “One Dance” from the slate of nominations.

The vast majority of “Hotline Bling” is sung. Drake does rap for about 10 seconds at the 3:10 mark. “Pop Style” which is rapped was nominated in the rap category. Views by Drake was nominated for Album of the Year. “One Dance”, not an original composition but a reworking of “Do You Mind” by Crazy Cousinz and Kyla, was not nominated except as a credit for producer Nineteen 85.

Drake has won both JUNO and Grammy awards. This is his first BRIT Award.

Canadian Chart Highlights: February 21, 2017

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The Hot 100

Spending its 6th week on top of the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 is Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” which may have to grapple in the coming weeks with Katy Perry’s “Chained to the Rhythm” debuting on the chart at #3. The Weeknd’s “Starboy” remains king of CanCon, at #7 this week. He is challenging himself with “I Feel It Coming” which reaches a new peak position of #11. A new peak is also achieved by DVBBS for “Not Going Home”, #58. New on the chart is “Some Way” by NAV which features The Weeknd, #84. Drake’s “One Dance” has dropped off the chart having spent 45 weeks on the Hot 100.

Used to compile the Hot 100 is Hot Digital Songs and Hot 100 Airplay. On both charts, Ed Sheeran’s at #1 with “Shape of You”. The Weeknd’s “I Feel It Coming” is highest for Canadian artists, at #6 on Digital and #2 on Airplay.

Albums

The Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack debuts at #1 on Billboard Canadian Albums. Mother Mother’s No Culture enters the chart at #7. It is the outfit’s third Top 10 album. Of note, in terms of pure album sales, (minus the track and streaming equivalent units), the album debuts at #2.

Emerging Canadian Artists

The Weeknd, still considered an emerging artist, at this stage, spends his 21st week at #1 with “Starboy”. New on the chart is “Four Leaf Clover” by Christian Hudson at #27. Nielsen’s artist spotlight shines on Tenille Arts (see photo above) this week. Her new single “What He’s Into” debuts at #50 on the Country Airplay chart. She’s from Weyburn, SK.

Canadian Airplay Charts

Ed Sheeran is the one to beat on three of the airplay charts with the aforementioned “Shape of You” at #1 on All-Format, CHR, and Hot AC. Green Day’s “Still Breathing” takes the cake at Rock, Jon Pardi’s “Dirt on My Boots” at Country, and Maroon 5’s “Don’t Wanna Know” at AC. The top Canadian artist entries are as follows. “I Feel It Coming” by The Weeknd All-Format #3 and CHR #2. At Rock is July Talk’s “Picturing Love” at #4. Country prefers Dean Brody’s “Time” at #3. AC favours “Let Me Love You” featuring Justin Bieber at #4. Hot AC likes Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful, #2.

Canadian Franco

According to Nielsen, the top Franco song at radio continues to be “Kamikaze” by Patrice Michaud. In terms of sales, the #1 single is “Tu ne sauras jamais” by Les BB. The best-selling Franco album continues to be Almanach by Patrice Michaud. Bear in mind that the data is from the province of Quebec only, not Canada wide.

Canadian Artist Songs Big Internationally

On the official UK chart, which gets published every Friday at 11 a.m. Pacific Time, the top entry by a Canadian artist currently is “I Feel It Coming” by The Weeknd, at #19. It peaked on the chart at #9. A similar picture is on the Australian chart with the track at #11 this week having achieved a peak at #7 down under. In the United States, it is all Alessia Cara with “Scars to Your Beautiful” at #8 this week, a new peak position for the song.

Vincent Vallières Explores the Phenomenon of Bad Luck

vallieres-bad-luckTired of winter yet? Well, if you can’t beat mother nature, why not just succumb to it and enjoy its beauty. Sherbrooke’s Vincent Vallières presents a wintry MV for his latest track, “Bad Luck”. The double-V man made it up to #56 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2011 with “On va s’aimer encore” a remarkable feat for a Franco tune. That song also won the Félix Award for Song of the Year at the ADISQ gala. Vincent’s last album Fabriquer l’aube was certified gold by Music Canada and 2009’s Le monde tourne fort is now platinum! Praised for his authenticity and sense of humanity, Vallières’ seventh studio album is expected out March 17.  iTunes

The Courtneys II, an Indie Rock Gem

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the-courtneys-the-courtneys-iiVancouver indie fuzz rock trio The Courtneys debuted in 2013 with a set that impressed on an international scale. In fact, New Zealand’s Flying Nun Records signed the group to oversee the sequel, The Courtneys II, released February 17, 2017. The aloof, sugary singing from drummer “Cute Courtney” binds nicely with “Classic Courtney’s” exciting phaneritic guitar work. Together with “Crazy Courtney” on bass, the trio takes us on a highly engaging ride through lo-fi slacker culture and bubble-gum garage punk. The disc opens with “Silver Velvet,” the MV of which we have embedded below (filmed in reverse). “Country Song” bursts with a wall of guitars, the album’s standout jam. “Lost Boys” pays tribute to the 80s’ vampire craze while surf rock dresses up “Mars Attacks”. The Courtneys II has 2017 off to a very good start as far as the music goes.  iTunes

Who Is Close to 100 Million Followers on Twitter?

No one has ever reached 100 million Twitter followers, but three recording artists are closing in. Katy Perry is in the lead. Close behind is Justin Bieber. And swiftly behind them is Taylor … Swift. Katy has an extra thrust from new rocket fuel thanks to her recently released single “Chained to the Rhythm”. Behind the top 3 are Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and then Selena Gomez. Other Canadians in the Top 100 are Drake and Avril Lavigne.

Things are a little different in terms of Facebook likes. Shakira is over 100 million and the top recording artist. She is followed by Eminem, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Taylor Swift, Bob Marley, and then Katy Perry.

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