2018 JUNO Gala Dinner and Awards Doles Out First Batch of Trophies

The 2018 JUNO Gala and Awards took place in Vancouver on March 24. James Barker Band opened things up with a live performance of “Chills”. CARAS president Allan Reid, in a spirit of unshakable enthusiasm, welcomed all to the awards pointing out that 191 artists had been nominated including 74 first timers. CEO of SOCAN Eric Baptiste’s salutations followed. Tom Power, host of CBC’s Q, then mounted the stage to begin the proceedings in a voice that sounded like Jack Black with a Newfie accent. Other performers through the evening included Clairmont the Second, Terra Lightfoot, Iskwe, and Caveboy.

Find below nominees in categories for which a trophy was given. Winners are in bold red type.

With a Twist, Bria Skonberg
Turn Up the Quiet, Diana Krall
Come On, Kellylee Evans
Old School Yule!, Matt Dusk
No Filter, Michael Kaeshammer

Rooted, Alysha Brilla
Revival, Johnny Reid
Nobody but Me, Michael Bublé
The Grand Hustle, Nuela Charles
Christmas Together, The Tenors

Brian Howes & Jason Van Poederooyen for Mother Mother
Diana Krall
Felix Cartal
Jordan Evans & Matthew Burnett for Daniel Caesar
Thomas “Tawgs” Salter for Scott Helman and Serena Ryder

(Presented by Beaches)
A Tribe Called Red
Arcade Fire
Broken Social Scene

Rebelles Baroques, Arion Orchestre Baroque
Beethoven & Schubert: Violin Concerto, James Ehnes w/ Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Chopin: Works for Piano & Orchestra, Jan Lisiecki with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester
Elgar & Tchaikovsky, Johannes Moser with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
The Shaman & Arctic Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra & Nunavut Sivuniksavut Performers

(Presented by Kim Stockwood and a late k-os)
Gary Slaight

Watershed, Amelia Curran
Bone on Bone, Bruce Cockburn
Medicine Songs, Buffy Sainte-Marie
Inuusiq, The Jerry Cans
The Weather Station, The Weather Station

(Presented by Maestro Fresh Wes)
Leaving the Table – Leonard Cohen (Christopher Mills)
The Drugs – Mother Mother (Emma Higgins)
Venus Fly – Grimes (Grimes, i.e. Claire Boucher)
Gatekeeper – Jessie Reyez (Peter Huang)
Knocking at the Door – Arkells (Shane Cunningham & Mark Myers)

The Light, Ammoye
Hold Up Slow Down, Blessed
Neva Judge, Eyesus
Greater, Kirk Diamond
Love How You Whine, Kreesha Turner & K’Coneil

24K Magic, Bruno Mars
÷, Ed Sheeran
Damn, Kendrick Lamar
Stoney, Post Malone
Reputation, Taylor Swift

Not Going Home ft. Gia Koka & CMC$, DVBBS
Get What You Give, Felix Cartal
Deeper, KAPRI
Closer ft. Laurell, Nick Fiorucci
Almost Home ft. Nadia Ali & Iro, Sultan + Shepard

(Presented by Meghan Symsyk and Melanie Joly)
James Barker Band
The Beaches
The Dead South
The Franklin Electric
The Jerry Cans

Chamber Works by Szymon Laks, ARC Ensemble
Stravinsky & Prokofiev: Transcriptions pour piano, David Jalbert
Beethoven: Violin Sonatas Nos. 6 & 9 ‘Kreutzer’, James Ehnes with Andrew Armstrong
Chopin Recital 3, Janina Fialkowska
Louis Lortie Plays Chopin, Vol. 5, Louis Lortie

Stubborn Persistent Illusions, Do Make Say Think
Sweat, Five Alarm Funk
Cuphead, Kristofer Maddigan
Hapax, Oktopus
Peregrine Falls, Peregrine Falls

(Presented by Jeff Leake)
Fatherland, Charlie Demers
[Indistinct Chatter], DJ Demers
I Wanted to Be A Dinosaur, Ivan Decker
Sorry! (A Canadian Album), K. Trevor Wilson
In Living Kohler, Rebecca Kohler

We Are Free, Jon Neufeld
These Are the Days, Love & The Outcome
Stones, Manafest
Echoes, Matt Maher
First Day of My Life, The Color

Voice of the Void, Anciients
Relentless Mutation, Archspire
II: Vanishing, Longhouse
Strange Peace, Metz
Striker, Striker

(Presented by Sherry MacDonald and Kristy Fletcher)
Jim Cuddy

Cœur à Cœur, Alice Ping Yee Ho
Phi, Caelestis, Andrew Staniland
Breathe, James Rolfe
My Name is Amanda Todd, Jocelyn Morlock
The Shaman, Vincent Ho

Crazy Girl Crazy, Barbara Hannigan with Ludwig Orchestra
The Tree of Life, Daniel Taylor with The Trinity Choir
In the Stream of Life: Songs by Sibelius, Gerald Finley with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Mother of Light: Armenian hymns & chants in praise of Mary, Isabel Bayrakdarian with Coro Vox Aeterna
Schubert Sessions: Lieder with Guitar, Philippe Sly & John Charles Britton

Meter, Autorickshaw
La Migra, Battle of Santiago
A New Tradition Vol. 2: Return of the KUISi, Beny Esguerra and New Tradition
Femme, Briga
Where the Galleon Sank, Kobo Town

Ben Kaplan for Five Alarm Funk and Ninjaspy
Eric Ratz for Arkells and Danko Jones
Gus van Go for Terra Lightfoot and Whitehorse
Riley Bell for Daniel Caesar
Shawn Everett for Perfume Genius and The War on Drugs

Better the Devil You Know, Big Dave McLean
Something I’ve Done, Downchild
Time to Roll, MonkeyJunk
No Time Like Now, Steve Strongman
Big City, Back Country Blues, Williams, Wayne and Isaak

Arcade Fire

Introduce Yerself, Gord Downie
Twin Solitude, Leif Vollebekk
New Mistakes, Terra Lightfoot
Sincerely, Future Pollution, Timber Timbre
Panther in the Dollhouse, Whitehorse

Greatest Hits, Vol. 3, Big Block Singsong
Blue Skies, Bobs & LoLo
Hear the Music, Fred Penner
Love, Kisses and Hugs, Splash’N Boots
The Moblees, The Moblees

The Willow Collection, Cassie and Maggie
Rove, Còig
Jayme Stone’s Folklife, Jayme Stone
Illusion & Doubt, The Dead South
What We Leave Behind, The East Pointers

The Tide Turns, Brad Cheeseman
Rich in Symbols, Chet Doxas
Contumbao, Hilario Durán
Root Structure, Mike Downes
Ralph Bowen, Ralph Bowen

Catherine Lepage & Simon Rivest for Arcade Fire’s Everything Now
Geneviève Lapointe & Martin Tremblay for The Lost Fingers’ Coconut Christmas
Jean-Sébastien Denis & Ian Ilavsky for Esmerine’s Mechanics of Dominion
Keavan Yazdani, Sean Brown & Eric Lachance for Daniel Caesar’s Freudian
Marianne Collins, Ian Ilavsky & Steve Farmer for Do Make Think Say’s Stubborn Persistent Illusions

Otterville, Andrew Downing’s Otterville
Murphy, Carn Davidson 9
Infinitude, Christine Jensen & Ingrid Jensen
The North, David Braid, Mike Murley, Anders Mogensen & Johnny Aman
Rev, Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop

Tenderness, Blue Hawaii
Someone Else, CRi
Two Hearts, Dabin
Music To Draw To: Satellite, Kid Koala ft. Emilíana Torrini
Mass Manipulation, Rezz

(Presented by Jann Arden)
Denise Donlon

(Presented by Theory of a Deadman)
Antisocialites, Alvvays
Everything Now, Arcade Fire
Life After Youth, Land of Talk
Retribution, Tanya Tagaq
Wide Open, Weaves

Medicine Songs, Buffy Sainte-Marie
PowWowStep, DJ Shub
Here & Now, Indian City
The Fight Within, Iskwé
Sedna, Kelly Fraser

Nos Eldorados, Alex Nevsky
Paloma, Daniel Bélanger
L’étoile thoracique, Klȏ Pelgag
Almanach, Patrice Michaud
La science du cœur, Pierre Lapointe

(Presented by Ruth B and Michael McCarty)
Amelia Curran
Charlotte Cardin
Gord Downie & Kevin Drew
Rose Cousins
Scott Helman

(Presented by High Valley)
How Far I’ll Go, Alessia Cara
Everything Now, Arcade Fire
Knocking at the Door, Arkells
I Feel It Coming, The Weeknd
There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back, Shawn Mendes

Grace Street, Big Wreck
Outrage! Is Now, Death from Above 1979
Feed the Machine, Nickelback
Young Beauties and Fools, The Glorious Sons
Wake Up Call, Theory of a Deadman

Beautiful Freakshow, Dean Brody
Dear Life, High Valley
Game On, James Barker Band
Past the Past, Jess Moskaluke
Shake These Walls, Tim Hicks

Skin & Earth, Lights
My Love, Ria Mae
Safe Haven, Ruth B
Hȏtel de Ville, Scott Helman


JUNO News and New Releases March 23, 2018: Yoan, Final State…

It’s JUNO weekend! Before we get to the new releases this week, let’s talk about the JUNO presenters and how you can watch the broadcast if not attending.

JUNO Presenters

The presenters at the main televised gala Sunday night include Kim’s Convenience star Andrea Bang, legendary record producer Bob Rock, veteran singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, rising singing sensation Charlotte Cardin, electronic recording artist Grimes, multiplatinum superstar Jann Arden, Jasmyn Burke of alternative group Weaves, Olympic bronze medalist snowboarder Mark McMorris, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, rappers of the “Northern Touch” project (Rascalz, Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall, Thrust, and Choclair), Atlantic Canadian Ria Mae, multiplatinum Edmontonian Ruth B., Toronto pop ace Scott Helman, and post-grunge group Theory of a Deadman’s Tyler Connolly.

Furthermore, Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene and Pearl Wenjack (sister of Secret Path subject Chanie Wenjack) will introduce a tribute performance honouring Gord Downie. Rush frontman Geddy Lee will induct Barenaked Ladies and Steven Page into the Music Hall of Fame.

Viewing the JUNOs

Saturday’s dinner and gala where most of the awards will be presented can be live streamed 6 p.m. Pacific / 9 p.m. Eastern via CBCMusic.ca/JUNOS and CBC Music’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Sunday’s main gala with host Michael Bublé will be aired on CBC television, CBC Radio, and globally online at cbcmusic.ca/junos, 5 p.m. Pacific / 8 p.m. Eastern.

This Week’s New Releases

The long wait is over! Vocal wonder Yoan is back with country-rock album Depuis longtemps, followup to his eponymous platinum certified debut which sold like hotcakes in 2015. The new album is loads and loads of fun – not to be missed.

Pop group Final State delivers a self-titled LP crafted with solid tunes. The band is a Billboard Hot 100 charting one.

Calgary’s JUNO nominated group Viet Cong has re-christened itself, as many felt the name was in poor taste. The talent remains as strong under the Preoccupations moniker. New Material is a disc of new wave and quite a good one.

R&B slayer Keshia Chanté, JUNO winner and gold certified, serves up killer album Unbound 02 containing pop hit “Lights Out” among other treats.

Jordan Officer makes music not quite categorizable – it’s jazz, blues, some country, you name it. Graced with a JUNO nomination as a featured artist, Officer is back in top form on Three Rivers.

For the adventurous, we have Dirt from JUNO nominated Yamantaka // Sonic Titan. Synth pop is done right on Ocean Electro from BC’s Kellarissa, and beautifully written songs shine in the pop-rock field on Impossible To Hold from Nova Scotia’s Christina Martin.

A couple of EPs are out including Conversations from Jhyve who is nominated in the R&B category at this year’s JUNO Awards.

Find a table below with all the new Canadian artist releases this week after which a brand new MV and two new hit singles..

Le boss e le Hitman Ruffneck & Buzzy Bwoy Rap
Brille Brille Brille Marjorie Fiset S-S
Depuis longtemps Yoan Country Rock
Dirt Yamantaka // Sonic Titan Alternative
Final State Final State Pop
Impossible To Hold Christina Martin Pop-Rock
Limboland The Stanfields Alternative
New Material Preoccupations Alternative
Nos chansons Marc Hervieux Jazz
Ocean Electro Kellarissa Alternative
Plaza Simon Kingsbury Rock
The Record Collector The Foreign Films Alternative
Samedi soir de semaine Simon Laganière Alternative
Three Rivers Jordan Officer Jazz
Unbound 02
Keshia Chanté R&B
Conversations (EP) Jhyve R&B
Moon Machine (EP) Beat Market Eletronic

We cannot round up the new releases this week without mentioning two new singles from teen marvel Shawn Mendes; “In My Blood” and “Lost in Japan” are currently #1 and #2 at iTunes respectively.

Finally, excellent Canadian R&B singer Jenna Nation has released a music video for her choice song “Can’t Get Over You” which we embed below.

Enjoy the new music.

March 20, 2018 Charts: Three Days Grace Taps the Nine Ball

Canadian rocker Éric Lapointe has topped iTunes with song “Belle folie” which heralds his upcoming album Délivrance, expected out on Star Wars Day, May 4th.

Billboard’s Top Albums chart sees Three Days Grace debut as insiders in the Top 10; Outsider is #9. Tory Lanez who had the number one album last week drops to #8 with Memories Don’t Die.

French singer Christophe Mae thunders into the Digital Song Sales chart with “Il est ou le Bonheur” at #8.

The Billboard Canadian Hot 100 has two youngling Canadian acts in the Top 40: “Body” by Loud Luxury Ft. Brando at #23 and “Ain’t Easy” by Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine at #40. Both have gone gold according to Music Canada. It’s interesting that Toronto auto-tuned rapper Killy has landed track “No Sad No Bad” on the chart without its appearing in the iTunes 200 or receiving any radio airplay. It goes to show how heavily the chart is slanted towards streaming. Also intriguing is that Dutch recording artist Bulow was able to get a CanCon sticker for her click-beat piece “Not a Love Song” debuting on the chart at #88.

New Releases March 16, 2018: Jann Arden, The Avulsions…

The average child laughs 400 times per day, and the average adult only 15. I guess that’s what income tax will do to you.

Funny lady Jann Arden can help us increase the 15 by a few notches, but her new album These Are the Days proves she can pen songs in earnest when she needs to. Jann is a quintuple platinum recording artist from the Calgary area who’s won eight JUNO awards. Her song “Insensitive” cracked the British Top 40 in 1996. The new disc is a batch of thoughtfully penned tracks in the adult contemporary realm.

Jann Arden has one of only five Canadian artist major releases this week.

For something very different but just as good, comes Saskatoon outfit The Avulsions and Expanding Program. It is the group’s debut and very impressive. Find here gothic post-punk with a dense, rich atmosphere fronted by savory female vocals and backed by thundering beats. Razor sharp guitars and soul-splitting synths animate a hypnotic dystopian future. What a gem!

Next appear those talented Quebeckers. Frank Custeau presents a spirited singer-songwriter work entitled Départs d’août – expert guitar work and a sensitive delivery make “Le cimetière” and “Le vieil homme et le fleuve” a couple of standouts. In the Anglophone realm is Hold On by Sule. While essentially a singer-songwriter work, this one’s more on the bluesy side. His soulful vocals are an asset and the tunes are quite catchy.

Finally, we have an EP from British Columbian super talent Kristi Lane Sinclair. The Ability to Judge Distance swings satisfyingly between rock and singer-songwriter vibes. She describes her style as everything from “snarling guitars and warm cello”, and the whole package sounds fresh and charming.

Who’s on the Final Roster of 2018 JUNO Award Performers?

CARAS announced today the final batch of performers at the 2018 JUNO awards. They will join the already announced:

  • BRIT and Grammy award winning group Arcade Fire.
  • 4x JUNO winning band Arkells.
  • Barenaked Ladies + Steven Page in celebration of their induction into the Music Hall of Fame.
  • City and Colour + Sarah Harmer in a tribute performance for Gord Downie.
  • Gold-certified R&B ace Daniel Caesar.
  • Billboard Hot 100 charting newcomer Jessie Reyez.
  • Platinum electropop star LIGHTS.

Joining this bunch are the following slayers:

  • Diana Krall, one of the best-selling jazz recording artists of all time worldwide.
  • EDM specialist and record producer Felix Cartal.
  • Nunavut folk collective The Jerry Cans.
  • Multiplatinum boy wonder Shawn Hook.

It is also quite possible that host Michael Bublé will sing during the broadcast. If not, no worries, his jokes are often as good as his singing.

What’s Happening with the 2018 JUNO Fan Fare Event?

Do you want to take a selfie with your favourite Canadian recording artist? Tickets have sold out for some of them, so make haste! At the largest mall in British Columbia – Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, Saturday March 24 – there are three blocks of time featuring six different groups of artists. They are as follows:

From Noon to 1 p.m.

Group 1: Dallas Smith, Theory & Tim Hicks
Group 2: Marianas Trench, Ria Mae & Virginia to Vegas

From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Group 3: Arkells, Lights & Scott Helman
Group 4: Aaron Pritchett, James Barker Band & Jess Moskaluke

From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Group 5: Chad Brownlee, Dan Davidson & High Valley
Group 6: Daniel Caesar, Ruth B. & Shawn Hook

Check for ticket availability at the JUNO website here.

The event will feature live performances by Jess Moskaluke, High Valley, Ria Mae, Scott Helman, and Tim Hicks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


10+1 Female Soloist Songs That Topped the Year-End Charts

In honour of International Women’s Day, we list songs from female soloists that topped the Canadian year-end charts.

By female soloists we do not include all-female duos or groups and no female fronted bands; however, we have included a female who names her backing band in the artist name (e.g. Joan Jett and the blackhearts).

Not all years have official year-end charts. We have 1967-1999 (minus 1972) from RPM and 2008-2017 from Billboard. From these we found 10 instances in which a female soloist had the number one song of the year. We list them below in chronological order with some info on the song penned and the music video embedded.

Surprisingly, songs you might think took the crown came in at #2, often outdone by a so-called novelty song. For example, “Bette Davis Eyes” was robbed of glory by The Stars on 45 “Medley” in 1981, and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” was outdone by Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” in 2012.

Another point to consider is that sometimes a song appeared on two consecutive year end charts because it charted from the end of one year through the beginning of the next. Had it charted within one year, its performance on the lone year-end chart would be much better. This is why we cannot really consider these as the biggest female soloists songs in Canadian history, though they are certainly among them.

We have slipped in an 11th entry, as we took a look at the year-end CKOI charts to see if any musique Francophone tracks from female soloists made the lofty grade, and there was one.

The 11 songs below, from ballads to rock-outs were megahits back in the day, slaying like nothing else. Four of them are from Canadians. Which one is your favourite?


You Light Up My Life, Debby Boone

This inspirational piece was the number one song of 1977 in Canada. Debby is the daughter of Pat Boone who was a major player in the 1950s. “You Light Up My Life” spent five weeks at the top of the weekly RPM singles chart.

I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Very different from Boone’s entry but equally delicious, this bluesy rock anthem spent eight weeks at #1 and became the biggest song of 1982. The single was certified double platinum.

The Power of Love, Jennifer Rush

Later covered by Céline Dion, “The Power of Love” from the New Yorker was the biggest song of 1986 and went gold spending a couple of weeks at the summit of the weekly charts.

Like a Prayer, Madonna

Madonna’s biggest hit in the Great White North, “Like a Prayer” was on top for four weeks and became the top song of 1989 to close out the 80s.

L’aigle noir, Marie Carmen

This brilliant cover of French singer Barbara’s “Black Eagle” by Canadian singer Marie Carmen was the #1 song of 1992 on the CKOI chart beating out all English language and foreign artist songs of the year.

I Will Always Love You, Whitney Houston

From the diamond certified soundtrack to feature film The Bodyguard, “I Will Always love you” from the late American singer spent 8 weeks at #1 and was the biggest hit of 1993. It’s a cover of the Dolly Parton original.

You Learn, Alanis Morissette

At #1 for 3 weeks, “You Learn” was Alanis Morissette’s biggest hit and the top song of 1996. Her “Ironic” was 2nd of the year. Both are from her double diamond certified album Jagged Little Pill.

Building a Mystery, Sarah McLachlan

At the zenith of the weekly charts for eight weeks, Sarah McLachlan scored the biggest song of 1997. It is from her diamond certified album Surfacing.

My Heart Will Go On, Celine Dion

Theme from blockbuster film Titanic, which broke all box office records, and was directed by Canada’s own James Cameron, this stands as Céline’s biggest hit to date. It was #1 for six weeks and the top song of 1998.

California Gurls, Katy Perry

Pop slayer Katy Perry championed the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 with this romp of pure fun for nine weeks, and it became 2010’s biggest hit.

Rolling in the Deep, Adele

With her soulful, salty vocals, Adele is the only British female singer to have a number one song of the year in Canada, and it was this one, in 2011. The MV has well over a billion views.

Early 2018 Gold/Platinum Certifications

We’ve completed only two months of the year and already have a slew of gold and platinum certified Canadian artist tracks and albums. Highlights include double platinum singles by Shawn Hook (his first), Coleman Hell, and Justin Bieber. On the albums front, Metric’s Synthetica has gone platinum.

Certified Tracks

Get What You Give by Felix Cartal – Gold Single
Rx (Medicate) by Theory of a Deadman – Gold Single
Knocking at the Door by Arkells – Gold Single
Lights Out by Virginia to Vegas – Platinum Single
Call Me by Nav (w/Metro Boomin) – Gold Single
Minute by Nav (w/Metro Boomin) – Gold Single
Myself by Nav – Gold Single
Some Way by Nav ft. The Weeknd – Platinum Single
Sound of Your Heart by Shawn Hook – Double Platinum Single
God’s Plan by Drake – Platinum Single
Feels Right by Jocelyn Alice – Gold Single
Cool with That by Brett Kissel – Gold Single
Friends by Justin Bieber (w/Bloodpop) – Double Platinum Single
Easy Go by Grandtheft & Delaney Jane – Gold Single
Better Days by Hedley – Platinum Single
Shooters by Tory Lanez – Gold Single
Wanted You by Nav – Platinum Single
Fireproof by Coleman Hell – Double Platinum Single
Somebody Somewhere by Dallas Smith – Gold Single
Cheap Seats by Dallas Smith – Gold Single
Side Effects by Dallas Smith – Gold Single
Autograph by Dallas Smith – Gold Single
Nothing but Summer by Dallas Smith – Gold Single
One Want by Majid Jordan ft. PartyNextDoor – Gold Single
My Love by Majid Jordan ft. Drake – Gold Single

Certified Albums

Jackson Square by Arkells – Gold Album
Michigan Left by Arkells – Gold Album
La Route by 2frères – Gold Album
Synthetica by Metric – Platinum Album
Jumped Right In by Dallas Smith – Gold Album
Lifted by Dallas Smith – Gold Album

Big Certifications Awarded to Magic and Ruth B.

Music Canada has bestowed gold/platinum certifications backdated to 2017 upon the following tracks and albums. Highlights include quintuple platinum for “Rude” by Magic and quadruple platinum for Ruth B’s “Lost Boy”.

Certified Tracks

Lights Out by Virginia to Vegas – Gold Single
Daniella Denmark by Jonathan Roy – Gold Single
I Didn’t Fall in Love with Your Hair by Brett Kissel – Gold Single
Pick Me Up by Brett Kissel – Gold Single
Lost Boy by Ruth B. – Quadruple Platinum Single
Rude by Magic – Quintuple Platinum Single
Up by Nav – Gold Single
Lost in the Light by Bahamas – Gold Single
When Your Lips Are So Close by Gord Bamford – Platinum Single
Don’t Let Her Be Gone by Gord Bamford – Gold Single
Drinkin’ Buddy by Gord Bamford – Gold Single
Selfish by Virginia to Vegas – Gold Single
Tempted by Jazz Cartier – Gold Single
Time by Dean Brody – Gold Single
Beautiful Freakshow by Dean Brody – Gold Single
Bend by Ria Mae – Gold Single
13 by Allan Rayman – Gold Single
Raise Your Weapon by deadmau5 – Platinum Single

Certified Albums

Hello by Hedley – Platinum Album
Hope by The Strumbellas – Gold Album
Barchords by Bahamas – Gold Album
Is It Friday Yet? By Gord Bamford – Gold Album
Country Junkie by Gord Bamford – Gold Album
Self Explanatory by Classified – Gold Album

New Releases March 2, 2018: Cassie Dasilva, Sue Foley…

We’re into March and a batch of fresh Canadian artist albums deck the sonic bazaar. Topping iTunes is Memories Don’t Lie from Ontario rapper Tory Lanez which is thankfully available in a clean language version. Country ace Dallas Smith also plucks his way into the Top 10 with an EP containing acoustic versions of some of his greatest hits. JUNO winner Sue Foley paints The Ice Queen with blues on her new disc. More of that genre marches forth on Friends of the Blues, a collaborative disc with April Wine frontman Myles Goodwyn at the helm. The legendary Randy Bachman pays tribute to George Harrison on covers work By George. For those who like the dreamy shoegaze stuff, Winnipeg outfit Living Hour serves its self-titled debut album which is worth checking out. Also good is alternative EP Home by Kitchener’s Cara Leigh. Find a table of this week’s new releases below. After that, check out MV “Welcome To My Castle” from Universal Music signee Cassie Dasilva of Orillia, Ontario.

Animalia Elk Run & Riot S-S/Folk
By George Randy Bachman Rock
Come Fall Ellen Doty AC
Felt Suuns Alt
…Friends of the Blues Myles Goodwyn  Blues
Grosse tête  Syme  Rap
The Ice Queen Sue Foley Blues
Living Hour Living Hour Alt
Memories Don’t Lie Tory Lanez Rap
Molasses Terrell Morris/Free n Losh Rap
My Green Rubber Boots Linda Arseneault  Country
Notionside Kutch Alt
Pas loin d’ici  Pierre-Hervé Goulet  Pop
Rachel Beck Rachel Beck AC
Whoever Comes Knocking Kae Sun R&B
Acoustic Sessions 1 (EP) Dallas Smith Country
Celebrate Life! (EP) Elaquent Chillout
Home (EP) Cara Leigh Alt

Top 100 Singles of 1998 in Canada

According to RPM Magazine, the biggest song of 1998 in Canada was “My Heart Will Go On” by Céline Dion, theme song of blockbuster feature film Titanic by Canadian director James Cameron. While the movie smashed all box office records, the song became Dion’s biggest hit and one of the best-selling singles of all-time worldwide. An incredible total of 41 songs from the year-end top 100 chart below involve Canadian artists who are marked  in red. The Canadian charts are an accurate reflection of Canadian tastes in music, and the Top 100 songs were determined both from radio airplay and nationwide sales data. The drawback with year-end charts is that songs charting from the end of one year through beginning of the next will have their chart performance split between the two years. More year-end and other Canadian charts can be found here.

1 My Heart Will Go On Celine Dion
2 Adia Sarah McLachlan
3 Torn Natalie Imbruglia
4 Ooh La La Rod Stewart
5 My Father’s Eyes Eric Clapton
6 Truly, Madly, Deeply Savage Garden
7 From This Moment On Shania Twain w/B. White
8 I’m Ready Bryan Adams
9 Crush Jennifer Paige
10 You’re Still the One Shania Twain
11 Back to You Bryan Adams
12 Frozen Madonna
13 Immortality Celine Dion
14 On a Day Like Today Bryan Adams
15 This Kiss Faith Hill
16 As Long As You Love Me Backstreet Boys
17 Mummer’s Dance Loreena McKennitt
18 Cruel Summer Ace of Base
19 One Week Barenaked Ladies
20 Sweet Surrender Sarah McLachlan
21 Recover Your Soul Elton John
22 I’m Your Angel Celine Dion
23 Love, Pain, and the Whole… Amy Sky
24 True Colours Phil Collins
25 Your Life Is Now John Mellancamp
26 Wishing That Jann Arden
27 I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing Aerosmith
28 Kiss the Rain Billie Myers
29 At the Beginning D. Lewis/R. Marx
30 Stop Spice Girls
31 Something About the Way… Elton John
32 Cry Philosopher Kings
33 Hands Jewel
34 I Know You Jann Arden
35 Too Much Spice Girls
36 Looking Through Your Eyes Leann Rimes
37 Ordinary Day Great Big Sea
38 Viva Forever Spice Girls
39 Time Lionel Richie
40 I Do Lisa Loeb
41 Give Me Forever John Tesh w/J. Ingram
42 So Help Me Girl Gary Barlow
43 The Best of Love Michael Bolton
44 I’ll Never Break Your Heart Backstreet Boys
45 High Lighthouse Family
46 Tubthumper Chumbawamba
47 Surrounded Chantal Kreviazuk
48 The Sound Of Jann Arden
49 Thank U Alanis Morissette
50 Kind & Generous Natalie Merchant
51 The Way Fastball
52 My Favourite Mistake Sheryl Crow
53 With These Eyes Roch Voisine
54 Foolish Games Jewel
55 Cry Ophelia Adam Cohen
56 Nobody’s Supposed to… Deborah Cox
57 3 AM Matchbox 20
58 If I Could Joee
59 It’s the End of the World Great Big Sea
60 The Sweetest Thing U2
61 I’ll Be Edwin McCain
62 Lullaby Shawn Mullins
63 Trust Me This Is Love Amanda Marshall
64 Dreams The Corrs
65 Falling Bruce Guthro
66 How Could an Angel… Toni Braxton/Kenny G
67 Miss You Like Crazy The Moffatts
68 Heaven’s What I Feel Gloria Estefan
69 I Wonder Tom Cochrane
70 Your Love J. Brickman w/M. Wright
71 Tell Him Celine Dion & B. Streisand
72 Safe Place From the Storm Michael Bolton
73 Into You 3 Deep
74 I Will Wait Hootie and the Blowfish
75 Hurts to Love You Philosopher Kings
76 Unbound Robbie Robertson
77 Iris Goo Goo Dolls
78 All Roads Lead to You Chicago
79 Never Ever All Saints
80 Show Me Love Robyn
81 Miles to Go Before I Sleep Celine Dion
82 My All Mariah Carey
83 Half on a Baby R. Kelly
84 A Promise I Make Dakota Moon
85 Promise Ain’t Enough Hall & Oates
86 Searchin’ My Soul Vonda Shepard
87 After All These Years A. Cochan w/ J. Brickman
88 Poets Tragically Hip
89 When You Believe W. Houston w/M. Carey
90 Leaving On a Jet Plane Chantal Kreviazuk
91 I Want You Back N’Sync
92 Everywhere Bran Van 3000
93 Ohh It’s Kinda Crazy soulDecision
94 It’s Just My Luck VIP
95 Like I Love You Amy Grant
96 Walk This Road Bruce Guthro
97 Me Paula Cole
98 One Belief Away Bonnie Raitt
99 The Power of Goodbye Madonna
100 I Can’t Go for That The Nylons

More JUNO Performers Added to the Bill

Platinum recording artist and double JUNO winner Lights will be onstage to perform at the 2018 JUNO awards as announced by CARAS today. Hamilton group Arkells with four JUNO trophies to boast will do the honours as well. In a special tribute to Gord Downie, the Tragically Hip frontman who succumbed to glioblastoma last year, Dallas Green (a.k.a. City and Colour) and Sarah Harmer will sing together.

These slayers join the lineup along with previously announced Arcade Fire, Daniel Caesar, and Jessie Reyez.

Synthpop For Esmé, Cheers for”Doubtmouth”

During my travels, I tuned in once to a program on CCTV9 – the English language television channel in China. Three people were chatting and sharing their opinions on a subject. There were two men, one Chinese and one French, and an American woman. (I mention the nationalities to simply illustrate that the problem is global). All were young, probably in their 20s. What I found that was both fascinating and disturbing was that when one of the men shared an opinion, the other man did not express disagreement directly, but offer something along the lines of, “Oh, that’s really interesting that you see it that way,” before offering his different opinion and the two would have a cordial discussion exploring the subject and bonding over their different insights, ignoring the woman. When the woman offered an opinion, the two men immediately brushed it off saying directly, “No, no, that’s not right,” and proceeded to discuss it themselves ignoring her. I could actually see the woman fall into silence and physically shrivel back into her chair. This pattern continued throughout the program.

It’s frustrating, isn’t it.

For Esmé is a synthpop project from Toronto that also explores the psychology of gender-role socialization. Lead singer Martha Meredith, a former student of psychology at Queen’s University, says she has worked in four jobs with all-male teams. She discovered that if she spoke the same way as the men, she would be treated negatively. Martha learned in her studies that, in experiments, when men and women asserted the exact same opinion to a group (word for word), the subjects “overwhelmingly shifted their opinions to agree with the man when he speaks, and are more likely to push back and oppose the same view from a woman.” She wonders what we can do to change this bias in society. Such questions will be explored on For Esmé’s upcoming album, Righteous Woman, out May 25. It follows album Sugar from 2015.

Lead single “Doubtmouth” is available now. Meredith says the song “moves through the doubt that chokes us, and the labels that shrink us, to find a voice and body that refuses to be quieted.” Have a listen below.   iTunes   Deezer   Spotify   SoundCloud

Connect with For Esmé:   Facebook   Twitter   Instagram

New Releases – Feb 23, 2018: Dumas and OLP

Canadian Athletes Set New Winter Olympic Record

Canada’s Winter Olympic medals haul has smashed all records, the previous number being 26. We’re up to 29 with potentially a few more medals by the closing of the games this weekend. There may have been some disappointments, especially with the hockey and curling, but athletes in other departments made up for it. Here is a list of all 29 medals won by Team Canada:

Sebastien Toutant – Gold – Snowboard: Men’s Big Air
Team Canada – Bronze – Ice Hockey: Men
Brittany Phelan – Silver – Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Ski Cross
Kelsey Serwa – Gold – Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Ski Cross
Kaetlyn Osmond – Bronze – Figure Skating: Ladies Single Skating
Team Canada – Bronze – Short Track Speed Skating: Men’s 5,000m Relay
Kim Boutin – Silver – Short Track Speed Skating: Ladies’ 1,000m
Team Canada – Silver – Ice Hockey: Women
Brady Leman – Gold – Freestyle Skiing: Men’s Ski Cross
Team Canada – Bronze – Bobsleigh: Women
Alex Beaulieu-Marchand – Bronze – Freestyle Skiing: Men’s Ski Slopestyle
Team Canada – Gold – Bobsleigh: 2-man
Cassie Sharpe – Gold – Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Ski Halfpipe
Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir – Gold – Figure Skating: Ice Dance
Kim Boutin – Bronze – Short Track Speed Skating: Ladies’ 1,500m
Samuel Girard – Gold – Short Track Speed Skating: Men’s 1,000m
Justine Dufour-Lapointe – Silver – Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Moguls
Max Parrot – Silver – Snowboard: Men’s Slopestyle
Mark McMorris – Bronze – Snowboard: Men’s Slopestyle
Ted-Jan Bloemen – Silver – Speed Skating: Men’s 5,000m
Team Canada – Gold – Figure Skating: Team Event
Mikael Kingsbury – Gold – Freestyle Skiing: Men’s Moguls
Laurie Blouin – Silver – Snowboard: Ladies’ Slopestyle
Team Canada – Gold – Curling: Mixed Doubles
Alex Gough – Bronze – Luge – Women’s Singles
Kim Boutin – Bronze – Short Track Speed Skating: Ladies’ 500m
Team Canada – Bronze – Figure Skating: Pair Skating
Team Canada – Silver – Luge: Team Relay
Ted-Jan Bloemen – Gold – Speed Skating: Men’s 10,000m

Kim Boutin to Carry the Flag for Canada

Sherbrooke’s Kim Boutin has been selected as Canada’s flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. While she did not earn a gold medal, the short-track speed skater outshone the other athletes by winning three – one silver (1,000m) and two bronze (1,500m and 500m). Kim was a sentimental favourite as well, having to put up with online vitriol and death threats, being blamed for the disqualification of a Korean skating ace in the 500m. Boutin was in a position to win a fourth medal, as Team Canada had snagged bronze in the 3,000m relay but later disqualified in a ruling of impeding other skaters on the track.

Arkells in Concert for Team Canada

“Giants” by Lights became somewhat of an unofficial anthem for Canadian athletes at the games, and now Canadian music is coming in person to the athletes thanks to Virtue and Moir’s invitation of their favourite act Arkells to perform for Team Canada. The Hamilton band has nabbed three gold certified albums, two gold singles, and won four JUNO Awards. Members are excited, as it is their first time to visit Asia. The group says it will include a cover of an Alanis Morissette song in its set.

Arcade Fire to Perform at JUNO Gala

Speaking of performances, a third act has been confirmed to perform at the JUNO Awards gala on March 25 – Arcade Fire. The Montreal collective is up for four awards this year – Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Group of the Year, and Alternative Album of the Year. Its disc is also up for the Album Artwork of the Year trophy. For AF’s global success (the group has for example won both Grammy and BRIT awards), the JUNOs will also be presenting the band with the 2018 International Achievement Award. As the JUNO Awards have dropped Hedley from the bill, Arcade Fire will join the presently short roster which also consists of new acts Jessie Reyez and Daniel Caesar.

New Releases Include OLP and Dumas

We’re back to a strong showing for new Canadian artist releases. Find a table of 24 below. Highlights include Somethingness from diamond certified quadruple JUNO winning group Our Lady Peace, containing the catchiest songs the band has written in years. Slightly outselling the album on the current iTunes chart is Nos idéaux from gold certified talent Dumas – bursting with choice flavours including some electropop. We also like Coffee and Jam by alternative group Grounders (which we previously reviewed), Chrome by dance floor shaker Debbie Tebbs, Sauvignon and a Kimono (EP) by pop slayer DYLYN, and Stone Woman by critically acclaimed R&B specialist Charlotte Day Wilson. Below the table, check out a brand new Canadian artist MV from guess who?

Alive and Well Big Little Lions S-S/Folk
Basic Behaviour Frigs Alt
Chrome Debbie Tebbs Pop
Coffee and Jam Grounders   Alt
Daiva Stephane Moraille World
Echos Joshua Hyslop S-S/Folk
La femme taupe Victime Alt
The Game Ronley Teper Alt
Imitation Gold Louize Alt
In a State Shy Kids Alt
Lost Touch We Were Sharks Punk
Mon herbier du monde entier Ponctuation Alt
Nos ideaux Dumas Pop
People Person Everett Bird Alt
Realm of Human Illusions Necrotic Mutation Metal
Skip Land Mayhemingways  S-S/Folk
Somethingness Our Lady Peace Rock
Teach Me to Love Beams Alt
Tempus Fugit Marc-André Pépin Classical
These Flowers Are for You ChessClub Rap
O La Si (EP) Carine Au Micro World
Sauvignon and a Kimono (EP) DYLYN Pop
Six In 6/8 (EP) David Leask Country
Stone Woman (EP) Charlotte Day Wilson R&B

“I Don’t Wanna Know” Tugs at the Heartstrings

We leave you with the brand new MV for Kira Isabella‘s beautiful heartbreaking acoustic guitar ballad “I Don’t Wanna Know” below. Feel the stings to the heart in lines like, “I’m wearing that dress from our first date, and you don’t notice”.