A Prism Prize Avalanche

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MV director Philip Sportel has won the 2016 Prism Prize for Kalle Mattson’s cleverly wonderful “Avalanche”. With it, he receives a trophy and a cash award of $10,000. The Grand Prize was announced on Sunday May 15, 2016 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. The MV sees a set recreation of 35 classic album covers with Kalle quickly changing gear to insert himself and strike an appropriate pose in place of the artist in the original cover. It also does a play on the album titles and artist using variations of his name. We previously featured Kalle Mattson’s “Avalanche” MV. For your convenience we embed it once again.

The Prism Prize Audience Award, based on thousands of online votes, was presented to director Eva Michon for Death From Above 1979’s “Virgins”.

Director X was in attendance to accept the Prism Prize Special Achievement Award which honours a Canadian music video artist for artistic achievements and exceptional contribution to music video art on a world stage. Kristof Brandl was given the Arthur Lipsett Award in recognition of an innovative and unique approach to music video art.

Find more information at prismprize.com.

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Canadian Music Blog’s Top 10 EP Faves of 2015

An extended play record (EP), as far as we are concerned, is one than has a total run time of less than 25 minutes and has at least three unique songs. We did not include remix EPs (i.e. a disc containing several remixes of one song). If an LP followed that contained nearly all tracks from the EP, we disqualified it. Below is a list of our 10 favourite EPs of 2015 among the 150 that came to our attention through the year.

10Dolce désir by Le Couleur

Le Couleur - Dolce DesirThe Montreal sweethearts of Le Couleur followed up their press-acclaimed EP Voyage Love with a new one in 2015 entitled Dolce Désir. Falling somewhere between Italo disco and electro-pop, the EP anchored the group as the dance floor captain while lead singer Laurence Giroux-Do caressed the ears, analogue synths electrified the spine, and the bass groove got our feet shuffling.  iTunes

9Where the People Are by Glory Glory

glory glory - Where the People Are

Progressive waves splashed up on Maritime shores, as Halifax synthpop quartet Glory Glory released three-track EP Where the People Are. Shimmering keys and funky grooves done right gave the band some impetus in a maiden voyage to national renown.  iTunes

8Claire by Rolemodel

rolemodel claire

Toronto’s RLMDL stirred up some buzz with spellbinding song “Bilingual” and debut LP Before Then Was Now from 2013. The Toronto electronic dream pop outfit decided to add the vowels to its name, rechristening itself as Rolemodel. Six-track EP Claire appeared in 2015 through label Hand Drawn Dracula. Lead singer Jordan Allen is joined by members Luke Duross, Lisa Lorenz, and Michael Laing to dish out blue music that successfully avoids becoming excessively dismal. Synth pop enthusiasts should enjoy this wonderland of misty dream sequences.  iTunes

7Fox by Beatrice Deer

Beatrice Deer - Fox

Beatrice Deer, from Quaqtaq, QC, is an Inuk songstress who has released two albums plus a holiday LP. She returned in top form on EP Fox. The neo-trad effort seamlessly combines some throat singing and traditional Inuit chants with surprisingly effective modern rock. She proves here that she is a largely undiscovered Canadian gem. The songs pack quite a wallop and flow with a genuineness that kept us engaged. Beatrice’s beautiful voice helped her win an Aboriginal Music Award back in 2005.  iTunes

6Pivotal by Kayd

kayd - pivotal

Pivotal is the stellar debut from Niagara Falls rookie rocker Kayd. Well-constructed songs abound with a presentation that continues the legacy of the genre ignited by the Headpins and Toronto. Kayd is a treasure beneath the waves waiting to be discovered by the masses. She cites Janis Joplin, Paramore, and Chantal Kreviazuk as influences. Don’t miss out on this ripper of an EP!  iTunes

5Arrows, Part 1 by Stef Lang

stef lang - arrows part 1

Stef Lang is a Billboard Hot 100 charting artist thanks to 2010’s “Mr. Immature” and her feature in iSH’s “Rollin’” in 2013. A number of other songs from the native of Vancouver Island have fluttered around on the radio airwaves. She sings, she writes, she plays, and she produces. This gal can do it all. Now based in Brooklyn, New York, Stef released the first of a two-part EP initiative entitled Arrows. She describes her new music as “pop with an R&B undertone with some hip-hop elements”. To our ears, the songs on the new EP, Arrows Part 1, are very catchy, delicious jams!  iTunes

4Avalanche by Kalle Mattson

Kalle Mattson - Avalanche

Ontario singer-songwriter Kalle Mattson followed up his 2014 album Someday, The Moon Will Be Gold with superb EP Avalanche. The 6-track work was signalled by its title-track single, the MV for which generated some media buzz with its clever set creation of 35 classic album covers. The EP is studded with beautiful gems. The catchiest is perhaps track 2, “Lost Love” which bristles with crisp upbeat tones. There are some stripped down ballads where the poetry shines through more clearly and some ambient shimmers providing auditory captivation. At the core of all tracks is a songwriting prowess which, with a little luck, will summon recognition for Kalle as one of our aces.  iTunes

3V by Bravestation

bravestation - v

Originally from the Thousand Islands region, Toronto-based Bravestation is a new wave trio consisting of brothers Devin and Derek Wilson and childhood friend Jeremy Rossetti. They named their band after Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World and Robert J. Hasting’s inspirational essay The Station. The group has been releasing music since 2012. Earlier on, Bravestation was finding its way, experimenting with various feels. With brand EP V, the band hit its stride, with a solidified sound that is very impressive. V contains four sizzling tracks of 80s inspired music. Be sure to check this one out!  iTunes

2Caveboy by Caveboy

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Michelle, Isabelle, and Lana are marvellous Montreal female trio Caveboy (formerly Diamond Bones), creators of superb synthrock songs. The self-titled, six-track debut EP includes some dreamy, shoegazing, and funky grooves that add extra gusto to the already dark, dense, addictive sound. The EP was produced by Patrick Krief, guitarist of The Dears, and mixed by Jace Lasek, of Besnard Lakes. Closing track “Muscle Memory” is not a cover of the LIGHTS song but an instrumental spaceflight trip that caps off a great disc.  iTunes

1Canadian Music Blog’s 2015 EP of the Year

We are super delighted to be able to declare a Francophone work as 2015’s EP of the year. It contains only three tracks, but they are so wonderful, that we enjoyed the disc more than any of the 150 released through the year.  The artist was a finalist in Season 1 of The Voice, and this debut EP of hers introduced us to the exquisite pop music she is capable of creating. The title track became a Top 10 CKOI hit. We love all three tracks, especially opener “Couleurs”. Rather than pressing the placebo that is the intersection walk signal button, we ended up pressing the ‘play’ button or simply had this marvellous EP on repeat. The Canadian Music Blog declares Placebo by Alexe Gaudreault 2015’s EP of the year!  iTunes

alexe gaudreault - placebo EP of the Year copy

New Releases: 21 August 2015

New Releases 21 August 2015 copy

We begin this week’s new releases with Montreal’s Patrick Lehman. His third album Butchy’s Son continues his adeptness at old-school flavoured R&B. Formerly recording under Alice and the Intellects, Ariane Bisson McLernon, under Alice, gives us latest alternative album Climbing Away. Superb rock band from Charlottetown, Racoon Bandit, launches Close Your Eyes.

Easily living up to the hype, Carly Rae Jepsen slays with alt-pop masterpiece Emotion, her third LP. Winnipeg’s JP Hoe presents wonderful singer-songwriter album, Hideaway. With members from Mississauga, Guelph, Milton, and Toronto, fabulous Ontario alt-rock group Before the Flood releases Hole in the Sky.

The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra hails from Victoria and contributes delicious folk album Love. Seasons from Fredericton’s Andy Brown contains some amazing songwriting with catchy triple-A tunes. Another fine singer-songwriter is Simon Kearney from Quebec whose artistic album bears the title La vie en mauve.

Three EPs this week are Ottawa/Sault Ste. Marie singer-songwriter Kalle Mattson with Avalanche, Oshawa energetic rock band The Standstills with From the Devil’s Porch, and Milton, ON country-rock ace Steve Rivers with No Boundaries.

Enjoy the new music!

Kalle Mattson Has the Cleverest MV of the Year

Kalle Mattson - AvalancheWalk Off the Earth is not the only act creating ultra-clever music videos. Ottawa singer-songwriter Kalle Mattson appears to have one-upped everyone with the MV for his latest single, “Avalanche”. Kalle’s 2014 album, Someday the Moon Will Be Gold, was Polaris nominated, and superb track “Darkness” made the CMB’s Top 30 Songs of the Year list. Kalle strikes us as the real deal, a highly underrated talent both in terms of penning lyrics and crafting beautiful songs. With the profusion of indie music out there lacking brawny resources for marketing, independent artists are left with the challenging task of concocting effective tactics to let the masses in on what they have to offer. Some take the easy voyeuristic route while others find more respectable means. We would argue that while the former may result in short-term success, the latter makes for a more momentous, stable, and long-lasting career.

Kalle Mattson’s MV for fabulous song “Avalanche” has him recreating shots on set of classic album covers with himself in place of the artist. He has to quickly change gear to do so. He also does a play on the album titles and artist using variations of his name. No worries if you cannot recall what all the albums are, but you should recognize at least a couple of them. Kalle, who is very meticulous in his planning, states his biggest obstacle for the idea was worrying it might be interpreted by the public as egotistical – his inserting his face into hugely popular albums. He assures us that the spirit behind it is to show his humble appreciation for the artists who made such fine works. We have embedded the MV below for your viewing pleasure.  iTunes