The super talented Fred Fortin won two Quebec music industry awards this year for his fifth career album Ultramarr, released 20 years after his debut self-titled work in 1996. Those two ADISQ Félix awards were for Critically Acclaimed Album of the Year and Songwriter/Composer of the Year. The album was also named by iTunes Canada staff as the best Francophone album of 2016, and we would say it has a good chance of getting nominated for a JUNO. Fred has five birth names; his full name is Joseph Antoine Frédéric Fortin Perron. He’s originally from Dolbeau-Mistassini, QC which is a town of just under 15,000 in the north. Ultramarr is certainly a wholesome work. Fred recently released an artistic music video for one of the album’s more popular tracks, “Oiseau”. We embed it below. iTunes
Chevy Chase is the new album from Verdun, QC rock duo Rouge Pompier. Shotgun Jimmie, alias of Jim Kilpatrick, was previously in group Shotgun & Jaybird which formed in Dawson City, YT. Field of Trampolines is his latest solo album. Victoriaville, QC’s Bleu Jeans Bleu releases Franchement wow, a mish-mash of musical styles but essentially pop. Lisa Leblanc is featured on one of the tracks. Sept jours en mai is a folk project with several stars including Michel Rivard, Mara Tremblay, et al. The new LP is a self-titled affair. Drummondville, QC’s Steve Veilleux asks T’en souviens-tu encore, Godin? on his folk rock album. Along similar lines is Ultramarr by Montreal’s Fred Fortin, quite an impressive job with lots of atmosphere and great writing; thus we’re not surprised it’s at #5 on iTunes. Various artists double album La Voix IV is out featuring covers in a variety of genres by participants in the 4th season of the Canadian edition of The Voice. It is currently sitting at #2 at iTunes Canada right behind Gwen Stefani! Onto some electropop, find a solid LP by Montreal’s Laurence Nerbonne entitled XO. She will be featured on one of the tracks of Yann Perrault’s upcoming album due out mid-April. If you like Austra or Purity Ring, Laurence’s new album should hit the spot for you. Moncton, NB’s Selby Evans finished off a degree at Dal U and decided to put out a nice EP, Emmène-Moi, mainly piano pop. Finally, Calgary’s country specialist Bobby Wills is back with a new EP, Tougher Than Love.