Serena Ryder’s Utopian Electric Love

Peterborough, Ontario folk-rock superstar Serena Ryder is gearing up for the release of a new album; Utopia will hit the shops on May 26. This will be her sixth studio LP. In reviewing Serena’s ryde through success so far, her breakout came with album #3, If Your Memory Serves You Well (2006). The disc contained song “Weak in the Knees”. Though it came out prior to the launch of the Canadian Hot 100 in mid-2007, the fact that the single went gold would indicate it was a fairly big hit. Ryder’s fourth album Is It O.K. (2008) also went gold. It was not responsible for any huge hits; “Little Bit of Red” peaked at #82. The album won the 2009 JUNO for Alternative Album of the Year and the song won 2010’s Music Video of the Year, Serena had snatched up the New Artist of the Year JUNO in 2008.

Four years following the release of album #4, Serena catapulted her juggernaut Harmony which went platinum and spawned some blistering hits. “Stompa” (#8) smashed 3x platinum, “What I Wouldn’t Do” (#8) platinum, and “Fall” made the respectable chart position of #27. More JUNO trophies were awarded to her. Harmony was 2013’s Adult Alternative Album of the Year. And in 2014, Serena Ryder was named both Songwriter of the Year and Artist of the Year.

Testing the waters prior to release of Utopia, single “Got Your Number,” though reaching only #62 has been certified gold. The official lead single “Electric Love” is now up for grabs. As well, she has decked it with a music video that is quite a feast for the eyes showcasing a number of fashionably clad people, face paint, and colourful geometric patterns, most notably, triangles. Could she be hinting at a “bizarre love triangle”? In an interview with People Magazine, Ryder says, “‘Electric Love’ is a song about feeling the magnetic energy between two people,” and she states on her Facebook page that the video was shot over a 3-month period.  iTunes

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Serena Ryder Gives Us a Taste of Heavy Love

Serena Ryder - Heavy Love MVPrior to album Harmony, Serena Ryder saw some success: three JUNO awards, two gold albums, and three charting singles, one of which narrowly made the Top 40. There is no question, though, that the Harmony era has catapulted her to superstar status. Harmony itself won for her an additional three JUNOs and has gone platinum. The album has spawned four charting singles, two of which made the Top 10 and one of which went triple platinum. To put things in perspective, only 13 singles from Canadians have been certified triple platinum or higher domestically during the digital epoch. The fourth and latest hit from the album is “Heavy Love” currently sitting at #73 on the Hot 100. Yesterday, Serena rolled out her music video for the single which sees her putting up her dukes in a pair of boxing gloves.

Ice Conduit to the 2014 JUNOs: Album of the Year Nominees

Album of the Year Nominations copy

Reflektor by Arcade Fire (Montréal, QC)

Arcade Fire - ReflektorKnown for creative workmanship, the organic quality of their music, and half-whispered vocals, the 6-time JUNO award winners from Canada’s second biggest metropolis have also won Grammy and BRIT awards, one of the few Canadian acts ever to do so. This, the sextet’s fourth studio LP, and a double album, has the group becoming more electronic in sound. Legendary British icon David Bowie is featured on the refreshingly bilingual title track which became the band’s first Top 40 hit single and sported a flashy music video.

Loved Me Back to Life by Céline Dion (Charlemagne, QC)

Celine Dion - Loved Me Back to LifeLike all superstars who manage to continue their popularity, the most successful Canadian recording artist of all-time is able to keep up with the changing trends in musical style while never losing her foothold on the foundation of her persona. This was 2013’s best-selling album at quadruple platinum sales. The vocal excellence is a given, but here Céline pulls off a surprisingly masterful handling of genuine modern pop music while at the same time never losing sight of her AC roots, and giving the R&B tracks first-rate class. She has won 20 JUNO awards.

Nothing Was the Same by Drake (Toronto, ON)

Drake - Nothing Was the SameThe “Drizzy” one is without a doubt the most successful Canadian rapper both within and without the country. He has won three JUNOs to date. His platinum, third album, Nothing Was The Same, once again offers his introspective, nasally discourse, mood swings, and occasional singing, atop lavish percussion, ghostly loops, and melancholic-claustrophobic soundscapes. At times, he pours some vibrant new wave and off-kilter R&B into the mix broadening the music’s appeal. Guests appearing on the work include Jay Z, 2 Chainz, Detail, Big Sean, Majid Jordan, and Jhene Aiko.

To Be Loved by Michael Bublé (Burnaby, BC)

Michael Buble - To Be LovedWorking with Bob Rock (who co-produced his previous two albums), the production on Bublé’s latest studio album is crisp and slick. There are 10 covers and four originals, recorded in Vancouver and Los Angeles. It contains hit single “It’s a Beautiful Day” as well as collaborations with Jann Arden and Bryan Adams. While the album marks familiar Bublé territory—swinging jazz-pop—some peppering with soulful Motown and rock have served to broaden its appeal. This became a double platinum album. Michael has seen 11 previous JUNO wins and has five nominations this year.

Harmony by Serena Ryder (Millbrook, ON)

Serena Ryder - HarmonyThis platinum album already won a JUNO: Adult Alternative Album of the Year in 2013. Serena has won 4 JUNO awards in total to date. With Harmony, she switched from her previous introspective folk to boot-stomping, upbeat popular rock, and the album has spawned three Top 40 hit singles: “Stompa”, “What I Wouldn’t Do”, and “Fall”. The first, at triple platinum certification, is one of the most domestically successful digital singles in history from a Canadian artist. Although Serena has seen success since her debut in 1999, Harmony launched her into major stardom.

Gold/Platinum Certifications July to September 2013

Here are the latest certifications from Music Canada. Congratulations to the artists and a big thank you to Canadians for continuing to support them by buying their music.

2013 - 07 - 26

2013 - 09 - 11

Definitions

For both albums and digital singles current definitions are: Gold = 40,000 units sold. Platinum = 80,000 units sold. 2x Platinum = 160,000 units sold. 3x Platinum = 240,000 units sold. Etc. Because The Road Hammers album was released prior to May 1, 2008, its platinum certification translates to 100,000 units sold.

Celebrity Baby, Reunion, Stateside Release, New Music

Noah Buble

Mr. Entertainment, Michael Bublé, and Argentine wife Luisana Lopilato are now the proud parents of a baby boy. Noah arrived 2:26 a.m. in Vancouver. Congratulations to this awesome couple!

A number of you may remember Stereos, a JUNO-nominated, multi-platinum band from Edmonton. Member Patrick Kordyback of the now defunct outfit has formed a new one called i65 which has been signed by Vancouver label 604 Records (Carly Rae Jepsen, Marianas Trench). Their debut single “Another Summer” is available now. 

From “Painted Ladies” in 1973 to “Levity” in 1985, The Ian Thomas band enjoyed radio airwave success across the country, the front man being the real life brother of adored Canadian comedic actor Dave Thomas (Grace Under Fire and Bob & Doug McKenzie, eh). The band has reunited after 33 years to help their ailing band mate. You can read about it HERE. 

Due to the success of Harmony and its first two singles, Serena Ryder‘s team will be releasing the album in the United States. Billboard magazine has all the info HERE. 

It appears that a number of upcoming album releases are getting pushed back to November. Yes, those strategizing record companies! This may have to do with taking advantage of Christmas shopping culture or it may not. In any case, it appears that the new albums from Céline Dion and Avril Lavigne are now to be in record stores in November rather than early autumn.

Speaking of November, multi-platinum, JUNO-winning BC band Hedley has announced a brand new studio album, Wild Life, due out on Remembrance Day. Lead single “Anything” has cracked the iTunes Top 5.

New Gold/Platinum Certifications Jan 28 – Feb 22, 2013

The latest Canadian-artist albums and singles to receive domestic gold/platinum certifications include country crooner Paul Daraiche’s Mes amours mes amis which made it to #3 on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart last October.  Classified’s “Inner Ninja” which features David Myles has become the first Canuck tune of 2013 to achieve platinum sales.  Saskatoon’s boogie rockers The Sheepdogs have a pair of certifications.  Their single “I Don’t Know” which managed to win the JUNO for Single of the Year in 2012 has gone gold.  Their album Learn & Burn from 2010 has attained platinum sales.  Serena Ryder’s Harmony album which contains her Top 10 hit “Stompa” has gone gold.  A pair of Top 40 singles from last year have also made gold:  Emerson Drive’s “She’s My Kind of Crazy” and Rosette’s collaborative song with Ian Carey, “Amnesia”.

2013 - 02 - 22

Serena Ryder Rides into Stompin’ Harmony

Serena Ryder - HarmonyPeterborough is known as the gateway to Ontario’s cottage country. Southwest of the city lies the town of Millbrook where several big-name motion pictures have been filmed and where 3-time JUNO-winning recording artist Serena Ryder grew up. Cottage culture is so ingrained into her blood, as ranches are to Albertans, that she installed cedar panels into her Toronto garage converting it into a recording studio and calling it “the cottage”. Ryder’s debut release appeared in 1999, and she has been churning out EPs and LPs since then. Her first JUNO came in 2008 for New Artist of the Year. Her best-known hit to date is perhaps “Weak in the Knees”, a gold single. Two of her albums have gone gold as well, one of which, Is It OK, won the JUNO in 2009 for Adult Alternative Album of the Year. Her 3rd JUNO was Video of the Year in 2010 for “Little Bit of Red”. Serena has just released her latest work, Harmony. Lead single, “Stompa”, has already appeared on the Hot 100. The new album showcases a more boot-stomping, joyful approach than her previous introspective folk.

Serena Ryder’s Official Website     Harmony on iTunes