New Releases Oct 27: Downie, TOAD, Wanting

This week sees at least 26 Canadian artist LPs and 5 EPs bringing our year-to-date totals to 597 LPs and 113 EPs. Before we get to the new discs, there are a couple of newsworthy items to talk about.

Drake Does Not Submit to the Grammys

Drake stirred things up in some media circles recently because he did not submit his album More Life for consideration to the U.S. Grammy Awards. The diamond recording artist also did not submit any tracks from the album. More Life debuted at #1 on the official charts and has gone double platinum spawning four Top 10 hits: “Passionfruit”, “Portland”, “Blem”, and “Fake Love”. Nominations for the flagship U.S. music awards gala will be announced November 28. The rapper from Toronto has won three Grammys to date, and did not attend this year’s show despite winning two. His PR folks haven’t offered comment. It remains to be seen whether the album will be submitted to the JUNOs.

Kristina Maria Explains Her Absence

Highly successful, JUNO nominated Ottawan dance pop star Kristina Maria has been largely absent from social media over the past few years, and fans have been worried, including us. Kristina’s debut album Tell the World spawned an incredible 6 charting singles on the Billboard Hot 100; five of which made the Top 40, and three of which went gold. Maria finally spilled the beans on what has happened in a recent post. We quote it below.

I feel like I’ve been hiding from you guys, and it’s not what I wanted to do, I promise. I spent that last 2 years working on my new album and I had to walk away from the project because somethings weren’t feeling right. I’m not going to go into detail but I left my label to pursue music independently, well at least for now. I’ll be forever thankful for everything my previous label has done but my focus needs to be on me giving my fans 100% of who I am. I’ve hyped you guys up and then left you out in the dark and it hurts me to not be able to share what I’ve worked so hard on. I’m starting over from the ground up and to all my fans that stuck around, honestly I owe you the world!! I’m not going to rush a release or make any promises, all I can say for now is thank you.

New Releases: What’s Hot

His final album, a sensitive double disc effort, is a beauty. Gord Downie‘s Introduce Yerself tops iTunes as fans across the country mourn the Kingstoner’s passing from glioblastoma.

JUNO winning Delta, BC rock band Theory of a Deadman gives us a Wake Up Call on the new album sitting comfortably in the iTunes Top 10.

Toronto R&B duo Majid Jordan examines The Space Between. Between what, we do not know. The album is very impressive, rich and catchy with downtempo grooves and perky beats.

New Releases: What’s Cool

Some of you may remember Pembroke, Ontario’s Blinker the Star‘s nifty brand of alternative rock in the 90s. Well, guess what, the band is still active, presenting fresh album 8 of Hearts which is a treat.

Vancouver based Wanting serves up her third album with the Nettwerk Music Group, LLL, which stands for Love, Loss, Latitude. One of the finest songwriters in the land, Wanting provides a neapolitan flavour disc of singer-songwriter, pop, and adult contemporary.

Toronto jazz group Turboprop wants to Rev things up, and does just that. Ernesto Cervini recruits expert players Tara Davidson, Joel Frahm, William Carn, Adrean Farrugia, and Dan Loomis on this great disc.

Saskatoon double JUNO nominated group The Deep Dark Woods is never short of ideas. Yarrow continues the creative journey in the realm of picturesque alternative folk.

There are a couple of Children’s albums out this week. Three-time JUNO winner Jack Grunsky outdoes himself on the highly engaging Theatro Muppiloo which is super fun for folks of all ages.

Finally, those who dig alternative modern rock will find plenty of savoury treats on Le trésor des bas fonds from Nico Lelièvre.

Lexi Strate

Western Canadian award-winning pop artist Lexi Strate has released brand new single “Going Going Gone” complete with a VHS-themed music video which we embed below. After that, find the above albums plus plenty more in a table of new releases.

…Rocheuses Arthur L’aventurier Children’s QC
Winnowing Bird City Folk ON
8 of Hearts Blinker The Star Alt Rock ON
Influence Brain Size 61 Punk Rock QC
Transistor The Brood Alt NS
Apollo Les Chercheurs d’or S-S QC
Gaspericana Dans l’Shed Roots QC
High Times Dan Talevski Pop ON
Yarrow The Deep Dark Woods Alt Folk SK
Introduce Yerself Gord Downie Alt ON
Theatro Muppiloo Jack Grunsky Children’s ON
Post Meridiem Jasper Sloan Yip S-S BC
Cabanon Jean-Marc Couture Rock NB
Priere Kaas Sky Yassong Reggae QC
Working Man’s Blues Kat Goldman S-S ON
Requiem Kristina & A. Stanké World QC
The Space Between Majid Jordan R&B ON
Les Monsieurs Les Monsieurs Rock QC
Le trésor des bas fonds Nico Lelièvre Alt Rock QC
This Trip Petra Glynt Alt QC
Wake Up Call Theory of a Deadman Rock BC
Rev Turboprop Jazz ON
Fifteen Wailin’ Jennys Folk MB
LLL Wanting Pop BC
A Stare Ajar Whimm Punk ON
De Cienfuegos a Montreal Yordan Martinez World QC
Zero (EP) Runaway Angel Country ON
Do You (EP) Pony Alt Rock ON
On a Chain (EP) Heavy Hearts Alt Rock ON
Songs for Georgia (EP) Dan Davidson Country AB
All In (EP) Clay Ravens Folk Rock BC

New Releases Sep 1, 2017: Alexz Johnson, Jason Bajada, …

For those of you sad to see that we are suddenly in September, no worries, there is lots of good music coming out. First, a few bits of news…

Diamond certified Ontarian rocker Avril Lavigne is back in good spirits after her battle with enervating Lyme disease and is working feverishly on her sixth studio album. The seven-time JUNO award winner issued a statement thanking fans for their patience, explaining she wants the music to be perfect, and promising the album will be done “before you know it”.

Rapper Drake has donated 200 thousand dollars to the Hurricane Harvey relief fund in Houston.

The Biebs is playing catchup to Katy Perry. The latter became the first to surpass 100 million followers on Twitter; Justin Bieber has now achieved the milestone.

Skip Prokop, Hamilton drummer and co-founder of group Lighthouse has died at age 74. Skip saw success in early 60s group The Paupers which dissolved and left him as a studio musician for such A-listers as Carlos Santana; Janis Joplin; and Peter, Paul, and Mary. Prokop envisioned rock music backed by an orchestra and was assisted in realizing its creation through meeting jazz pianist and soundtrack composer Paul Hoffert. The two co-founded Lighthouse in 1968 adding guitarist Ralph Cole and drawing 10 other musicians from the jazz, rock, and classical fields. Lighthouse is best known for hits “One Fine Morning” (#30 of 1971), “Hats Off” (#88 of 1971), and “Pretty Lady” (#60 of 1973).

A torrent of new releases is set to come out September 8. This week, there are just a few to talk about.

Jean-Fernand Girard of Jonquière, QC contributes a fine instrumental jazz album entitled Jazz Waves. Perky, brisk, and alert, the album is set to add some sparkle to any atmosphere.

Jason Bajada is a wonder. The man has a handsome voice on him and is never short of ideas, as evidenced by the volume of music he is making. He follows up 2016’s excellent Volcano with Blondie & the Backstabberz, a 20-track singer-songwriter sequel to his 2008 album.

From Montreal, we swing over to the Vancouver suburb of Coquitlam, hometown of multi-talent Alexz Johnson. A Stranger Time veers over to the singer-songwriter genre a little and is as engaging as one would expect from the expert songstress.

Fans of folk ought to be very impressed with Topaz, the new set from Toronto’s Shawn William Clarke: captivating poetry sung clearly with clever playing and nice writing.

More jazz as we head back to Canada’s capital of jazz—Montreal. Rachel Therrien Quintet presents the rollicking Why Don’t You Try, a blast for lovers of the genre.

This week’s pleasant surprise is the self-titled EP from Toronto’s Joseph of Mercury. This ace in the hole will have fans of alternative music done right dancing and drooling: theatrical vocal delivery, catchy beats, and some unexpected twists.

Headlines and Footdots for 28 May 2016

Céline Dion Releases New Original Song


Following her stellar performance and Icon trophy presentation at the Billboard Music Awards, Canadian singer Céline Dion has launched a new single, an original composition by France’s Jean-Jacques Goldman. For those unfamiliar with him, he can be thought of as perhaps the Corey Hart of France, i.e. a very big name. The new song is called “Encore Un Soir” and debuted in the iTunes Top 10. A Franco album from Céline is anticipated a little later.  iTunes

Dragonette Has a Lonely Heart


Multiplatinum JUNO-winning electropop group Dragonette is back with new music, a single entitled “Lonely Heart” which you can check out over at iTunes.

Drake’s Number One One Dance at Seven


Say what? Drake’s “One Dance” has spent seven consecutive weeks at #1 on the British Singles Chart, the longest reign for a track in nearly 9 years! The last song to accomplish this was Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” back in November – December 2007. The fact that “One Dance” is a variation of “Do You Mind” by Crazy Cousinz featuring British singer Kyla may have helped it work its way into the Big Ben psyche.

PNE Boasts Impressive Lineup


The Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver boasts a stellar lineup of acts booked for the 2016 season. Flume on August 7 is already sold out. From August 20 – September 5, one can see Hedley, Alan Doyle & The Beautiful Gypsies, The Sheepdogs, Steve Miller Band, Simple Plan, Olivia Newton-John, Foreigner, Culture Club, Monster Truck, A Tribe Called Red, Dru Hill w/ Sisqo, Nokio Jazz & Tao, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Tim Hicks, The Monkeys, and Chris Isaak. For details visit the PNE website here.

Saddling Up for the Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede

The 2016 Calgary Stampede has announced an impressive lineup of performers. At the Saddledome one can see the Zac Brown Band July 14 and Lady Antebellum July 15. From July 7 to 16 at Nashville North are Tim Hicks, The Dungarees, High Valley, Wes Mac, Aaron Pritchett, Tebey, John Conlee, Deric Ruttan, Cold Creek Country, Kentucky Headhunters, Washboard Union, Jojo Mason, and Madeline Merlo. Handling the Coca-Cola Stage from July 7-17 are Christian Hudson, JJ Shiplett, The Dudes, Walk Off the Earth, Coleman Hell, Classified, X Ambassadors, The Sheepdogs, Jocelyn Alice, Shawn Hook, Mother Mother, Dear Rouge, The Glorious Sons, Gord Bamford, and Simple Plan! For more info, visit the official Stampede website here.

Shawn Mendes Wants to Treat You Better

Shawn Mendes mall of america 2

Insatiability is the calling card of the fan. In an instant download slash streaming culture, the day after the release of an album comes an influx of queries about when the next will come out. This may certainly be the case for Shawn Mendes. No worries though because Shawn will be releasing a new single in under a week, June 3, “Treat You Better”. Shawn promises an upcoming second album.

Kira Isabella’s I’m So Over MV

We leave you with the new music video for Kira Isabella’s “I’m So Over Getting Over You” which is rolling its way up the country charts. Let’s see if it can remove Thomas Rhett’s number one T-shirt.

Drake Has the Coolest Album Cover of 2016

Canadian actor turned rapper Drake has … uncovered the album cover … for his upcoming LP Views, and it’s pretty breathtaking. We have never seen such a hi-res close up view of the CN Tower’s main pod, and certainly not with a cool dude sitting so casually on its roof! Yes, that little dot is Drake up there.

Toronto’s CN Tower was built between 1973 and 1976. It became the world’s tallest self-supporting structure beating out Russia’s Ostankino Tower, a title it held until surpassed in height by both the Burj Khalifa and Canton Tower in 2010. While now outdone by a few structures in the Orient, the CN Tower still holds the title for the western hemisphere. A feverish phallic competition by various nations in breaking records for tallest building or structure has significantly increased in frequency in the new millennium.

Views is expected out Friday, April 29 and is Drake’s fifth (not including his collaborative work with Future). It will contain his recently released singles “Pop Style” “One Dance”. The latter is a variation of “Do You Mind” by Crazy Cousinz featuring British singer Kyla and became Drake’s first #1 hit in the UK as the main artist. Before you hit the plagiarism alert button, note that Kyla is listed in the writing credits of “One Dance”, so it’s all cool.

We have embedded a hi-res copy of Drake’s Views album cover below (click to enlarge).

Drake - Views from the 6

Take a U-Turn to Hopeful Views From the Cat and Wolf

hopeful views cat and wolf copy

It looks to be official. Canadian rapper Drake will be releasing his new album Views from the 6 on April 29, at least in terms of the digital album. It follows his JUNO winning LP If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late. Drake recently had the #1 and #2 tracks on iTunes with “One Dance” and “Pop Style”.

For those eager for Canadian music before then, especially more on the adult contemporary side, Cat Thomson will be dropping a delicious new track April 14.

If you dig the current hit “Spirits” from The Strumbellas, the band’s album Hope will be out April 22.

She may not be Canadian, but British house music specialist Katy B helped Keys N Krates win the JUNO award for dance recording of the year with her feature in the group’s track “Save Me”. She will be releasing new album Honey on April 29. Her last CD, the excellent Little Blue, was not made available in Canada, sadly. You can hear a taste of her new music here.

Tegan and Sara have released a couple of tracks from upcoming album Love You To Death (out June 3). Below is the official audio of “U-Turn”.

Speaking of synthpop, we leave you with the new music video for “Walls” from Wolf Saga.

2015: Canadians Get Covered Plentifully

Being a big year in Canadian music, artists around the world were eager to cover the big maple hits. Some of them did wonderful jobs at it. What’s even more remarkable is that Canadians even covered … each other! We have embedded our three favourites below. First up, UK electronic outfit Chvrches, who released a fine album this year, did an impressive cover of Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean”. We could listen to Lauren Mayberry’s vocals all day long.  The second video is from down under. Aussie group Art of Sleeping may not be a big name yet in the Great White North, but this video shows how impressive its musicians are as they slay in their cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling”. Finally, Walk Off the Earth teams up with new gold recording artist Scott Helman in a sumptuous cover of The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face”. Enjoy these delicacies.

2 and 2 in Britain; 4 and 4 in the States

Adams and Bieber 2 and 2 in Britain

On this week’s official UK charts, Canadians Bryan Adams and Justin Bieber both debut at #2. Last month, they played together in Germany (see it here). Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” debuts at #2 on the British Singles Chart behind “Hello” by England’s Adele. Bryan Adams, on the other hand, debuts at #2 on the British Albums Chart with Get Up behind Sounds Good Feels Good by Australia’s 5 Seconds of Summer.

adams bieber1

Bieber Performs on the Graham Norton Show

Justin Bieber performed “What Do You Mean” tonight on BBC’s The Graham Norton Show. In the cute interview that followed, the host commented, “That song, ‘What Do You Mean’, I like it. It’s your little cry from the heart to the women of the world, ’cause you don’t know what they mean. Is that the thing?” Justin replied, “I never know what they mean.” Norton returned, “But all boys don’t know what girls mean.” And Justin said, “Yeah, that’s why we needed an anthem.”

Norton Bieber

Four Canadians in Top 4 U.S. Billboard Spots

For the first time in U.S. Billboard Hot 100 history, four Canadian artists own the top four spots on the chart. The Weeknd is at #1 with “The Hills”, Drake is #2 with “Hotline Bling”, Justin Bieber is at #3 with “What Do You Mean”, and Shawn Mendes is at #4 with “Stitches”.

US Billboard Hot 100 - 7 Nov 2015

Mendes and Cara MAKE Billboard’s Hot PRE-21

Billboard magazine recently listed its picks for the 21 hottest stars under the age of 21. The list includes two Canadians: Shawn Mendes (ranked 4th) and Alessia Cara (ranked 11th). The latter’s hit “Here” entered the U.S. Hot 100’s Top 20 this week. She will be releasing her debut album Know It All November 13. You can view the article here.

mendes cara

Headlines and Footdots for October 1, 2015

States-Side Canadian Invasion

Canadian Invasion States-side

All top 4 hits on this week’s U.S. Billboard Hot 100 are from Canadian artists: “The Hills” by The Weeknd #1, “What Do You Mean” by Justin Bieber #2, “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd #3, and “Hotline Bling” by Drake #4. Drake is now one of only four artists to have landed 100 tunes on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The Weeknd’s recent success has helped his previous album Kiss Land to be certified gold in Canada. We’ll see what we can do to get a Canadian invasion going in Britain as well.

Anik Jean Releasing Anglo Album

anik jean - lost soul

Superb, JUNO nominated Canadian rocker Anik Jean will be following up her acclaimed Franco album Schizophrène with a brand new English language album entitled Lost Soul. The album will be out October 30. For those who prefer rock in the French language, we are super excited that Andie Duquette will be releasing her debut album Ton problème October 16. We will continue to list all new Canadian releases through the month of October to help you find music you like.

David Foster’s Miracle Gala Raises $6.5 Million

kiesza foster

Skylark keyboardist turned super producer David Foster held his Miracle Concert and Gala in Toronto recently, an event that raised $6.5 million for his foundation which supports families with children who are in need of organ transplants. Among the big names in attendance were Gordon Lightfoot, Kiesza, Stevie Wonder, Michael Bolton, and Peter Cetera.

LIGHTS Raises $50 Thousand for MusicCounts

LE-UFC-LightsRecording Artist LIGHTS recently teamed up with Kiehl’s Canada. She designed the cover art for Ultra Facial Cream, 100% of the net profits going towards organization MusicCounts to help keep music education in schools and assist children with music instrument costs.

Love Will Light the Way


Toronto’s Roveena has recorded a new version of “Love Will Light the Way” from her 2012 EP Perfect World to raise awareness on lymphoma. Net proceeds from the sale of the single will go to Lymphoma Canada in search of a cure to this terrible disease. Roveena’s vocals are simply beautiful and the song is exquisite. You can watch the MV hereiTunes

Carly Rae Jepsen Greases Up

Carly Rae Jepsen chair

Having given us one of the best albums of 2015, Carly Rae Jepsen will be returning to her other love, acting. This time she will appear in a televised live musical of Grease. Carly will be cast as Frenchy, the role played by Didi Conn in the original Hollywood feature film. The U.S. network Fox will premiere the special on January 31, 2016.

2016 JUNO Submissions Now Open


A reminder that submissions for the 2016 JUNO Awards to take place in Calgary are now open. There have been a few rule changes to take note of, a key one being a change in definition between LP and EP. More details can be found here.

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Michelle Thibodeau

Moncton, NB’s Michelle Thibodeau (now based in Toronto) has released a brand new MV for “Hey Hitchhiker” which is definitely worthy of a placement in the CMB! You can grab a copy of the new single on iTunes.

Headlines and Footdots for the Ides of August, 2015

Nikki Yanofsky Is Something to Live For


Vancouver EDM maker Felix Cartal, best known to date for cut “Don’t Turn On the Lights,” has teamed up with multiplatinum artist Nikki Yanofsky in new single “Something to Live For”. He says the song was inspired by missing out on real life experiences due to heads buried in cell phones and social networking timelines. Nikki’s voice sounds superb as always, scraping the sky on the big chorus before a plundering of beats. The MV out later this month Felix says is a modern take on The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony”. His debut LP Life Online, via Universal Music, follows in the autumn.  iTunes

Johnny Reid Back in the Game


Another ace player frisbeeing out a new single this week is multiplatinum soul singer Johnny Reid. While known mostly for country, there are indications that he is veering over to the adult contemporary field, and that is where new song “A Picture of You” is framed. Johnny is even sporting a Dan Hill beard these days. After only two days, the song has broken into the iTunes Top 40. In the words of Chuck Berry, “Go Johnny go, go”.  iTunes

Francesco Yates’ Debut EP


Hot, fresh teen star Francesco Yates has announced that his debut EP will be out September 11 and is now available for pre-order on iTunes. The 6-track, self-titled disc will include three previously released singles, “Call”, “When I Found You”, and Billboard Top 40 hit “Better To Be Loved”. Opening track “Honey, I’m Home” available now.  iTunes

Carly Rae Jepsen Has Billboard Seeping in Emotion


Billboard Magazine’s recent feature on Mission, BC pop superstar Carly Rae Jepsen remarks on the progression she has taken from “the squeaky-clean, high-school-crush pop” of Kiss to “edgier, more mature alt-pop territory” on upcoming album Emotion. During the Manhattan (New York) interview, Carly stated, “There’s a stereotype idea of what a pop star is, and I don’t really fit into that. … The expectation that every song you’re putting out is doing well on radio — that’s stuff that you can’t control. To try would drive you insane.” Lead single “I Really Like You” went gold and reached #14 on the charts with little radio support. The pop artist took a detour from the mainstream to reel in indie specialists like Dev Hynes, Ariel Rechtshaid and Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij on the new album. “I wanted to be brave and [record] music that was really me rather than just putting out what I thought would sell. I would’ve regretted more not doing what I did — making a passion project come to life.” Emotion will be out August 21, 2015. The CMB will publish an early review in the next few days.

Drake Breaks Silence on Toronto Shootings


Toronto rapper Drake broke his silence regarding the two shooting deaths that occurred at the afterparty of his OVO Fest in Toronto. Bystander Ariela Navarro-Fenoy, 26, was killed in outside crossfire after being refused a taxi ride home because of the short distance. Drake says he was caught in the dilemma of pressure for making a statement by Crime Stoppers, the victims’ families and public posts online and pressure against it by his PR team worried that misinterpretations would damage his public image. He decided to go with his heart and stated the following (it is unknown whether he came up with these words himself or they were written for him):

“I am plagued and pained by the violence that continues to escalate in our city. I stare into the eyes of so many young people and I wish to see them all shine as bright as they possibly can in this lifetime. I encourage my generation to show as much value and gratitude as you can for the lives we have been gifted.

“My deepest condolences go out to the Navarro-Fenoy and Hibbert families for their loss of Ariela and Duvel. Along with them I send my condolences to all of the families that have lost loved ones to the senseless violence that has and continues to occur in our city.

“Although Toronto is globally viewed as a major city, at the core we are still a small close-knit community, and it is our public responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of one another. We need each other to further our communities for generations to come.

“I pray for better times and better understanding.”

Bring Down The House With Gold

dean brody

Country music A-lister Dean Brody has a new gold single. “Bring Down the House” received the certification by Music Canada just 8 weeks after release. It is his fourth single to be graced with a precious metal, the others being “Bounty” (gold), “It’s Friday” (gold), and “Canadian Girls” (platinum). Dean’s album Dirt has gone gold. In Canada, gold certification is given for sales reaching 40,000 units.

Mia Martina at Virgin Radio Beach Ball

Mia Martina Virgin Radio Beach Ball

New Brunswick empress of EDM, Mia Martina was on the West Coast recently to perform at a summer Beach Ball hosted by Vancouver’s number one CHR station Virgin Radio 94.5 (formerly The Beat). During a televised interview on CTV Morning Live, she revealed plans in the works to release a Franco album with a team of Francophone writers and producers. Fluently bilingual, she wishes to make a contribution to the Franco realm in honour of her Acadian roots. We look forward to it. Martina joined Shawn Hook, Dragonette, and Trevor Guthrie at the concert which was held at classic venue The Commodore Ballroom.

Dear Rouge Tongues

We leave you with the latest MV by synthrock duo Dear Rouge for “Tongues”:

Canadian Urban Artists Slay in The USA

drake the weeknd copy

If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late by Toronto rapper Drake has become the first 2015 album to sell 1 million copies in the United States. R&B star The Weeknd, from the same city, has topped the Billboard American Hot 100 this week with “Can’t Feel My Face”. The song has peaked at #2 domestically, thus far unable to dethrone OMI’s reggae anthem “Cheerleader” which has perched itself on top for 8 weeks. At end of June, Nielsen confirmed that the Drake album was the 6th best-selling of the year at home and second most successful from a Canadian artist, outdone only by the debut album from country star Yoan. In the UK, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You” and The Weeknd’s “Earned It” are the year’s most successful Canadian singles to date, achieving peak chart positions of #3 and #4 respectively.

Music News, Beginning of Spring 2015

deadmau5 at JUNOs 2015

While still awaiting followup to her JUNO winning song “You and I”, we can at least enjoy some songs Oakville, ON’s Anjulie has written for others. The latest is track “In the Blue” which appears on the deluxe edition of Kelly Clarkson’s latest album, Piece By Piece. The album debuted at #4 last week.  Link

NFL American football cornerback Prince Amukamara decided to show his support for the Canadian Music Industry by swinging up north to attend the JUNO Awards! In an interview with Lauren Toyota on the red carpet, he stated that he was attending out of his love for Canadian music, especially his favourite artists Drake, Justin Bieber, and Michael Bublé. He said his wife loves Canadian artists too, including Alanis Morissette and The Weeknd. Link

The United Kingdom has unveiled its best-selling albums of the new millennium so far, and a Canadian artist is at #7: Michael Bublé for Crazy Love. His Christmas is at #28. Those are the only Canadian albums in the Top 50.  Link

Here at home, deadmau5 has scored his very first platinum single. Music Canada recently gave the certification to “Seeya”, marking sales of 80,000 units. Album 4×4=12 was also a platinum seller.  Link

Louis-Jean Cormier, creative genius and lead singer of Polaris Prize winning band Karkwa, and the man who won all those Félix awards (and a JUNO!) for his debut solo album Le treizième étage, is following up with album Les grandes artères which is due out next week! Also expected out by the end of the month are new albums from Hayden, Mia Martina, Ron Sexsmith, Dear Rouge, Alex Cuba, Three Days Grace, and more!  Link

We leave you with recently released music video from Grimes. She says that this song, “REALiTi” will not be included on her next album and that the MV is a montage of her travels through Asia.

Ice Conduit to the 2015 JUNOs: Single of the Year Nominees

Single of the Year copy

Nominated for Single of the Year are “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Toronto’s Drake featuring Majid Jordan; “Crazy For You” by Abbotsford, BC’s Hedley; “Hidaway” by Calgary’s Kiesza, “Rude” by Toronto’s MAGIC!, and “We’re All In This Together” by Montreal’s Sam Roberts Band. All five songs encompass a different style under the pop-rock umbrella: R&B, pop, dance, reggae, and rock respectively.

Drake leads the pack in terms of the number of charting singles on the Hot 100. As the main artist alone, he has scored 24. Hedley has 20, Kiesza 2, MAGIC! 4, and Sam Roberts (Band) 4. All five artists have platinum certification or higher for either a single or album. Hedley managed a triple platinum single with “Kiss You Inside Out”. MAGIC! accomplished the same with nominated “Rude”. Drake’s Take Care was a double platinum release. Kiesza’s nominated “Hideaway” went platinum. Sam Roberts’ We Were Born In a Flame was a platinum album.

In terms of the nominated songs, “Hold On, We’re Going Home” was a platinum single. It peaked at #5 in 2013 on the Hot 100 and made the year-end charts for both 2013 (#42) and 2014 (#49).

“Crazy For You” has not yet been certified. It reached #7 and finished 2014 as the 22nd biggest song.

“Hideaway” as mentioned hit platinum. It peaked at #5 making it the highest charting CanCon single of 2014, and it finished the year as the 29th most popular song in Canada.

“Rude” attained triple platinum sales, reached #6, and was the year’s biggest CanCon hit at #5 on the year-end chart for 2014.

“We’re All In This Together” did not reach gold sales. It did make the Hot 100 peaking at #70. This is considered high for a rock song.

Both “Hideaway” and “Rude” were significant international hits in 2014. Both topped the British charts and finished the year as the 15th and 13th biggest songs respectively in the United Kingdom. “Hold On We’re Going Home” was #31 on the UK year-end chart for 2013.

The JUNOs do not necessarily give the award to the most successful song. (Remember when The Sheepdogs won the category a few years ago?) We will still predict that “Rude” will take the award.

Selected New Releases, 17 February 2015

New Releases 2015-02-17 copy

Post Valentine’s Day and pre Chinese New Year we have a dozen new Canadian albums. Three-time JUNO nominee Melanie Durrant from Toronto gives us exquisite R&B/soul album Anticipation. Montreal’s Punchline 13 dishes out the rock on Cut the Rope. Exceptional Montreal singer-songwriter Michael Feuerstack releases The Forgettable Truth. Winnipeg’s Ashes and Dreams serves some delicious alternative music on Heart of Stone.

Multiplatinum rapper Drake surprises with new album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. He has landed 22 tracks on the Hot 100, not counting all those in which he is credited as a featured artist. Hamilton’s folk pop team Whitehorse reminds us to Leave No Bridge Unburned. We welcome PEI to the party with one of the province’s most known artists Tim Chaisson whose new album is called Lost in Light, sort of a sweet mishmash of country, pop, and folk. If you want blues, we’ve got it thanks to Toronto’s Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar and album Send the Nightingale.

More alternative music comes to us from Montreal’s fine Bent By Elephants with new album The Shore, Vancouver’s Twin River with Should the Light Go Out, and Eric Chenaux with Skullsplitter. Besides Drake, this week’s highest profile artist is JUNO nominee Marie-Pierre Arthur with some very good pop/rock on Si l’aurore. The album debuted on iTunes at #11.

Dance band Le Couleur releases new EP, Dolce desir which we talked about here. Like the Sun is an industrial shoegaze EP from Whitby, Ontario’s Programm.

As always, we’ll pick a couple of these and review in detail over the next few days.

Le Couleur - Dolce DesirProgramm - Like the Sun

Ice Conduit to the 2015 JUNOs: JUNO Fan Choice Nominees

The 10 nominees for JUNO Fan Choice are listed below. The selection of nominees is determined according to the following statement from the JUNO Awards:

“The top 20 selling Canadian artists are determined based on album and singles sales from January 1-December 31 of the previous calendar year. The results are then reviewed by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the Official Ballot Accountants of The JUNO Awards. Next, the top 20 selling artist are evaluated by Next Big Sound, which uses online music analytics and insights to measure growth and popularity of artists and bands across social networks and streaming services. Finally, each artist receives a rank after combining album sales and online media buzz to determine the top 10 artists – The 2015 JUNO Fan Choice nominees!”

Unfortunately, the result of the selection is that no Canadian female soloist appears this year. Régine Chassagne is the only Canadian female (via Arcade Fire) included in this year’s JUNO Fan Choice nominations. Two entries are partially Canadian acts.

We have assembled some statistics on the ten nominees (see below): the origin of the artist, the year of the artist’s debut, the number of Billboard Canadian Hot 100 singles as the main artist (note that the artist may have scored more hit singles prior to mid-2007 when the chart was launched), the number of studio albums the artist has released to date, the number of those studio albums that have been awarded gold or higher certification from Music Canada, and the number of JUNO awards the artist has won to date. We did not include stats for other projects in which the artist has been involved in the past (e.g. Harmonium stats for Serge Fiori).

Below the list, check out the previous winners of the JUNO Fan Choice Award since it was established in 2003. You can vote for the JUNO Fan Choice Award here.

JUNO Fan Choice


2003: Shania Twain
2004: Nickelback
2005: Avril Lavigne
2006: Simple Plan
2007: Nelly Furtado
2008: Michael Buble
2009: Nickelback
2010: Michael Buble
2011: Justin Bieber
2012: Justin Bieber
2013: Justin Bieber
2014: Justin Bieber

5 Canadians Nominated For 2014 MTV EMAs

MTV EMA 2014 KieszaTrinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj will be hosting 2014’s MTV Europe Music Awards (the EMAs) gala which is happening just a few hours from now. A number of Canadians have been nominated for awards. Kiesza leads with three including for best video. Justin Bieber has two. Drake, Simple Plan, and Arcade Fire have one each. Kiesza will be performing at the show which is taking place in Glasgow, UK. We will let you know via an update to this post whether any Canadians win. For best video (“Hideaway”), Kiesza is up against Iggy Azalea’s “Black Widow,” Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” and Sia’s “Chandelier”. Kiesza is also nominated for Best New Act and Best Push Act.

Update: The only Canadian to win was Justin Bieber for Best Male. Best Video was Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse”. You can watch Kiesza’s performance of “Hideaway” here.