Back on April 3, Sorel, Quebec’s Antoine Lachance released his beautiful debut album Cimetière d’avions, an eclectic pop blend of strings, piano, flashy guitar work, and singer-songwriter vibes. Country fans have a couple of LPs to check out this week. Lacombe, Albertan superstar Gord Bamford releases his latest, Tin Roof. Also from Alberta (Fairview) is newcomer Aaron Goodvin with a self-titled album. Alternative pop/rock works include Matadora from Waterloo, Ontario’s Danny Michel and Dazzle Camouflage from Toronto’s Highs.
A trio of Jeans release albums this week. Jean-Frédéric‘s Et en attendant is an impressive debut showcasing folk pop. Jean-Michel Blais on the other hand gives us a wonderful instrumental piano-leading work entitled II. All classical-style compositions are his own. JeanPhilip goes for more of a rock sound on solid album La mécanique des jours.
Perhaps the highest profile of this week’s releases is Midnight Machines from Toronto’s LIGHTS, an acoustic (mainly guitar) reworking of songs from JUNO winning electropop album Little Machines. Lovers of classical quartets can enjoy Quatuor Molinari‘s Noravank: Shoujounian’s String Quartets Nos. 3-6. For experimental electronica, JUNO winner Tim Hecker is back with his latest work, Love Streams.
EPs this week include multiplatinum artist David Myles‘ Here Now, essentially a pop record but infused with his characteristic folky reggae style. He is from Fredericton. Newmarket, Ontario alt-rock group Tokyo Police Club contribute Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness, Pt 1.
We leave you with the new music video from Carly Rae Jepsen for “Boy Problems” off her critically acclaimed album Emotion. Carly is now on a cross-Canada tour with Hedley and Francesco Yates.
Posted in 2016 Albums, Albums
- Tagged Aaron Goodvin, Antoine Lachance, Danny Michel, David Myles, Gord Bamford, Highs, Jean-Frédéric, Jean-Michel Blais, JeanPhilip, Lights, Quatuor Molinari, Tim Hecker, Tokyo Police Club
There are the sizzling female soloists and the delicious groups and duos, but from 2013 through to 2015, it is four Canadian male soloists who have scored #1 hits on Billboard country airplay. Other artists have succeeded in different ways (awards, gold platinum certifications, etc.), but in this post, we take a look at the four Canadian kings of country airplay and review the songs that climbed to the very top. They are Gord Bamford, Dean Brody, Dallas Smith, and Brett Kissel via “When Your Lips Are So Close”, “Bounty” (with Lindi Ortega), “Wastin’ Gas”, and “Airwaves” respectively.
Origin: Lacombe, Alberta
Formal Debut: 2001
Certification Level: Platinum
Studio Albums to Date: 7
Hot 100 Songs: 14
JUNO Awards: 3 nominations
CCMA Awards: 15
Interesting Fact: Gord was born in Australia but emigrated to Canada when he was 5.
#1 Single: “When Your Lips Are So Close”
Origin: Jaffray, British Columbia
Formal Debut: 2008
Certification Level: Platinum
Studio Albums to Date: 5
Hot 100 Songs: 19
JUNO Awards: 1
CCMA Awards: 9
Interesting Fact: Originally from BC, Dean now lives in Chester, Nova Scotia.
#1 Single: “Bounty” (featuring Lindi Ortega)
Origin: Langley, British Columbia
Formal Debut: 2011
Certification Level: Platinum
Studio Albums to Date: 2
Hot 100 Songs: 11
JUNO Awards: 1
CCMA Awards: 1
Interesting Fact: Dallas used to be lead singer of rock band Default.
#1 Single: “Wastin’ Gas”
Origin: Flat Lake, Alberta
Formal Debut: 2013
Certification Level: Gold
Studio Albums to Date (major label): 2
Hot 100 Songs: 6
JUNO Awards: 1
CCMA Awards: 3
Interesting Fact: Brett keeps a king of diamonds beneath his cowboy hat.
#1 Single: “Airwaves”
Carly Rae Jepsen will be signing autographs and performing an acoustic set at HMV at 363 Oxford Street in swinging London September 18 to celebrate the UK release of her album Emotion. The vintage shop has been there since 1921. One week after, Carly’s Canadian brother will hit London as well.
Yes, The Weeknd will be guesting on Britain’s The Graham Norton Show along with Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, and Peter Capaldi on September 25! It is the season opener of the comedy chat show on BBC One. Other Canadian recording artists to have appeared on the show include Michael Bublé, Alanis Morissette, Arcade Fire, and Justin Bieber.
The latter celeb was recently inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for becoming the youngest male artist to debut at #1 on the Billboard U.S. Hot 100. He was presented with a plaque in honour of the achievement. In Canada, the #1 hit “What Do You Mean?” was certified gold just one week after its release.
Also going gold is “3-2-1” from Flat Lake, AB’s Brett Kissel. It is his first certified recording. Brett was one of the winners at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards this past weekend. The big winner of the evening, scoring a cowboy hat trick, was Gord Bamford. A list of all the winners can be found here.
Immediately after the broadcast, CMT announced the release of the brand new music video for “I’m and Open Road” by Paul Brandt featuring two-time CCMA Female Artist of the Year winner Jess Moskaluke. It is beautifully shot, worthy of inclusion on our year-end best MVs list, and we have embedded it below. Jess has a new EP coming out on September 25 called Kiss Me Quiet.
Considering that literally thousands songs from Canadian artists came out in 2013, coming up with the top 200 would have be difficult enough, but the top 20 was extremely difficult! To create a fairer and tidier list, we allowed only one entry per artist.
Equally difficult was trying to decide whether a song could be considered a 2013 song. Eligibility was determined by the following points:
1. For songs on albums not released as singles, the album had to have been released in 2013.
2. For non-Hot 100 charting singles, the release date had to be in 2013.
3. For charting singles, the song had to reach its Hot 100 peak position during 2013 regardless of when it was released.
4. If a song made our Faves list last year but ended up being released as a single or reaching its peak chart position this year, we will not re-include it on this year’s Faves list.
5. All songs eligible had to be in whole or in part credited to and performed by a Canadian artist whether or not it was composed by a Canadian.
As with our albums list, we listened to all 2013 songs shortlisting the ones we loved, then ranking them at the end of the year. We were not at all swayed by how popular (or unpopular) a song or artist was or what the genre was.
We have included the cover art for singles. For album non-single songs, we framed the album cover with the song’s name on the frame.
#20. “When Your Lips Are So Close” by Gord Bamford
This Australian born, Alberta raised, CCMA-winning master of country music pulled a rare feat for a Canadian this year by topping the domestic country charts. He became only the seventh Canuck to do this since the Nielsen BDS era began in the mid-1990s. This was well deserved given that the song is just beautiful and managed to dazzle even those not into country music. While American country artists were writing songs about trucks and guzzling booze with their girl on the beach, Gord penned this more tasteful ode to romantic longing towards a gorgeous sight beneath neon lights.
#19. “Le verbe amour” by Forêt
Love’s certainly the word to describe how we feel about this debut duo consisting of classically-trained vocalist Émilie Laforest and guitarist Joseph Marchand. We named their pop mélancolico-romantique ADISQ Félix nominated album our 2nd favourite of 2013. It was difficult to choose a standout track (we loved “Après la guerre” too). “Le verbe amour” is a dreamy, hauntingly beautiful tribute to creativity, songwriting prowess, and masterful instrumentation that captivates the listener with a sonic perfume of mystery and charm.
#18. “À la vie, à la mort” by Anik Jean
Off our third favourite LP of the year, Schizophrène, Canada’s JUNO-nominated answer to Joan Jett stuck it to misogynists who cringe at women in rock by letting loose songs of fiery splendour in 2013. We are blessed to have the pure talent of national treasure Anik Jean in our midst with her classic rock delivery that betters what both males and Anglophones are able to muster. Larger than life rock anthem “À la vie, à la mort” presents an irresistible vibe in the spirit of Patti Smith. It booms, crashes down, and soars taking us on the ride of our lives.
#17. “Ancient Nouveau” by Phèdre
A robotic, quirky, new wave delight, “Ancient Nouveau” ironically brought us back to a time when music was rapidly advancing forward, and this is in fact what the title suggests. Daniel Lee and April Aliermo are the duo Phèdre, an offshoot of Toronto’s Hooded Fang. The pulsating electronica is augmented with the clever use of vocals delivered in a spirit of boredom which paradoxically elicits feelings of excitement in the listener. We have always been grateful for acts that experiment, dabble, combine the poles, and make it all work, and Phèdre has succeeded here.
#16. “Tonight Is Alright” by Bryan Finlay
We are glad to see Edmonton contributing to the great pool of Canadian music, and the city seemed to rebound from its loss this year of founding father Wes Dakus. After winning a few radio contests, the city’s Bryan Finlay unleashed this breezy charmer which was brought into regular station rotation in the Whyte Avenue clad northern metropolis. Continuing on the course of smooth set by George Michael and Trevor Guthrie’s soulDecision, “Tonight Is Alright” includes a refreshing saxophone solo and a cute reference to Carly Rae Jepsen.
#15. “Baby’s Got It” by Maylee Todd
The fact that she uses vibraphone in her music is enough to adore her, but Toronto’s Maylee Todd is a marvel. Not only has she been able to recreate the wholesome fusion of 1970s boogie, funk, bossa nova, and soul, but we feel she has actually improved upon it. And, with a fabulous backing band, her live performances are a must-see. While Todd’s 2010 effort saw her finding her way, she hit her stride with Escapology in 2013. The invigorating grooves of “Baby’s Got It” ices the cake on Claudja Barry putting Canada on the dance map.
#14. “Bagatelle” by Ariane Brunet
It seemed like only yesterday, the ADISQ Félix gala had nominated this champion of adult contemporary greatness for Newcomer of the Year, a former student of voice, piano, guitar, and jazz. The nod seems to have fortified her talents and honed her skills, for sophomore album Fusée was one of the choicest releases of the year. Lead single “Bagatelle” lit the rocket fuse and zoomed up into the iTunes Francophone Top 10. Graceful, soft, and smartly decked with strings, it stands as one of the Kirkland, QC songstress’ finest accomplishments.
#13. “Harder Than Stone” by City and Colour
According to St. Catharines’ Dallas Green, in this exquisite composition, he was “born and raised to live beyond the heft and weight of a world undone”. The song is his melodic statement of how hard life can be. He resolves in a future time to turn his back to the setting sun and leave behind “Toronto’s incessant hum”. The lyrics are grand enough to make this tune work but adding torrents of overkill are the masterful songwriting and cool, tempered delivery that makes this gem shine forth while its composer traipses “underneath the dead moonlight”.
#12. “Wish I Could Say” by Mat Joly
After his band Mobile scored a gold record and won the JUNO for New Group of the Year in 2007, Mat Joly flew solo in 2013 by releasing a self-titled album. According to Nielsen, single “Don’t Tell the Girl” was bubbling under the rock airplay chart at one point. We were most impressed with the catchy “Wish I Could Say” from the album, a popular rock jewel that shimmers at the level anything The Police concocted in the 80s. Its bass-jabbing verses and free style percussion precede a very catchy two-tier chorus, not to mention a fantastic bridge.
#11. “Loved Me Back to Life” by Céline Dion
Australia’s competent Sia Furler had a hand in writing this Top 30 hit, title-track of Céline’s quadruple platinum album, the best-selling in 2013 domestically. It is a critically-acclaimed power ballad that features a modern dubstep beat drop updating the diva’s AC roots with a fresh sound. Crisp, smartly-tweaked production and a surging chorus provide that extra umph to the soaring, emotional vocals, which are always a given, from this Companion of the Order of Canada reminding us why she has sold some 200 million records worldwide.
Posted in 2013 in Music, 2013 Songs, Songs, Year in Review
- Tagged Ancient Nouveau, Anik Jean, Ariane Brunet, À la vie à la mort, Baby's Got It, Bagatelle, Bryan Finlay, Celine Dion, City and Colour, Foret, Gord Bamford, Harder Than Stone, Le verbe amour, Loved Me Back to Life, Mat Joly, Maylee Todd, Phedre, Tonight Is Alright, When Your Lips Are So Close, Wish I Could Say
Carly Rae Jepsen’s United States radio tour is paying off. “Call Me Maybe” (which is back at #1 in Canada this week – its 3rd week at the top spot) has debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 within the Top 40! She has the 38th biggest song in that country this week.
While Carly is taking the U.S. by storm, her Canadian sister Alyssa Reid is the latest craze in Britain. “Alone Again” (her reworking of Heart’s classic “Alone”) is at its 5th week in the U.K. Top 20. It is the most successful Canadian single so far this year in Britain, having peaked at #2 on the charts there.
Fans of Celtic / new age music are no doubt delighted at Loreena McKennitt’s latest release, a live album of some of her classics, called Troubadours On The Rhine. Johnny Reid, Ian Thornley’s Big Wreck, and Gord Bamford have new releases out in just a couple of days.
With all the tours going on and about to begin, we are pleased to announce that LIGHTS will be touring the land down under for the very first time. Her album Siberia released last year is up for JUNO pop album of the year, and she will now be showcasing her dazzling electronic rock sound live in Australia. Perhaps she can bring a little Canadian snow with her.