Selected New Releases Jun 2, 2017

The highest-profile release this week is Little Army by Kingston’s Headstones, a platinum rock band that has been nominated four times at the JUNOs. Outselling the veterans at iTunes (currently #5 overall) however is the debut album from Roxane Bruneau, a singer-songwriter effort. Roxane has gained a large following becoming a web star first with her songs and good sense of humour. Album Dysphorie is red hot. Aliocha was born in France but grew up in Canada. He has done a lot of acting work and now launches debut LP entitled Eleven Songs, a splendid alternative music job. JUNO nominated PartyNextDoor contributes his latest urban EP, Colours 2. Both the Aliocha and PND works are currently Top 25 at iTunes.

Jean-Willy Kunz is a JUNO winning organist and presents Au grand orgue Pierre-Béique containing his sensitive interpretations of works by various composers. JUNO-nominated country group Cold Creek County from Brighton, ON releases Homemade. Also JUNO-nominated is roots duo Madison Violet serving The Knight Sessions this week.

Among this week’s releases, we at Canadian Music Blog like Aquatic by Toronto’s Adaline, a very well done alternative album. Ashleigh Ball is the frontwoman of Vancouver outfit Hey Ocean, and she delivers boss pop album Gold in You. A pleasant surprise for us is Sugar at the Gate by TOPS, a captivating, mature, laid-back indie pop disc. Sans is a beautifully done R&B EP from Toronto’s Merna.

Below is a table summarizing a selection of this week’s Canadian artist releases. Below that we have embedded two music videos. The first is the latest from Alberta’s Kiesza who is featured in new track “Don’t Want You Back” from Netherlands’ DJ/producer Bakermat. Below that is the music video for “Everything Now”, title-track off the upcoming album from Quebec’s Arcade Fire.

Enjoy the new music.

TITLE ARTIST STAGE ORIGIN GENRE
Au grand orgue… Jean-Willy Kunz 1JA Montreal classical
Aquatic Adaline Toronto alternative
Broken Sky Declan O’Donovan Whitehorse alt-folk
Controle Lary Kidd Montreal rap
Dysphorie Roxane Bruneau Laprairie s-s
Eleven Songs Aliocha Montreal alternative
Gold in You Ashleigh Ball Vancouver pop
Homemade Cold Creek County 1JN Brighton country
The Knight Sessions Madison Violet 1JN Toronto s-s
Little Army Headstones 4JN, PLAT Kingston rock
Mad Season Obey the Brave Montreal metal
Mon party Country Veronique Labbe Thetford Mines country
Sugar at the Gate TOPS Montreal indie pop
Colours 2 (EP) PartyNextDoor 1JN Mississauga urban
Hard Way Road (EP) Young James Saskatoon rock
Sans (EP) Merna Toronto R&B

JA=Juno Award; JN=Juno Nomination; PLAT=platinum artist; s-s=singer-songwriter; title in red text=disc in iTunes Albums Top 25.


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2016 Christmas Releases

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A number of Christmas albums have been released this tail end of 2016. This is a synopsis.

For those who dig something with true soul, Quebec’s powerhouse singer Mélissa Bédard gives Christmas standards the R&B treatment with pizzazz. The album is titled Ma liste de Noël. Man, can this gal sing! Find Franco versions of “What Child Is This?”, “Joy to the World”, “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”, and many more. Melissa was a Star Academy finalist.

Male tenor singing group Tocadéo continues Christmas classics on beautiful bilingual album Meilleurs Voeux. Find “Minuit, Chrétiens” (O Holy Night), “Blue Christmas”, and “Petit Papa Noël”.

To put some glee into the young ones, Ari Cui Cui delivers children’s music Christmas album Le Noël d’Ari Cui Cui. This one is Franco and very delightful.

JUNO nominated roots duo Madison Violet from Toronto do Anglo album Sleigh Bells in the Snow. This one’s a bit stripped down and raw for those who enjoy a measured pace delicately delivered. Find “Silver Bells”, “Deck the Halls”, and “The Christmas Song”. Very nice little record.

For those who love instrumental strings, Les Violons du Roy is a chamber orchestra based in Québec City and founded in 1984 by Bernard Labadie. The group has performed in Europe and The United States and won a trio of JUNO Awards. Symphonies des Noëls interprets seasonal-inspired pieces by a number of European composers of old. The album is just gorgeous. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, the wintry spirit of the classical music should hit the spot.

The big name release this year is of course Wonderland by Halifax-bred Sarah McLachlan. This is her second Christmas album and is, as one would expect, very professionally arranged. Hear her golden falsetto on “Angles We Have Heard on High”, “Let It Snow”, and “White Christmas”.

From Sarah’s hometown is indie-folk group Quiet Parade and holiday EP Christmas Through the Fog. The four tracks close with the band’s impressive original composition, “Heavy Winter”.

Last year, singer-songwriter Lesley Pike of Toronto delivered an album called November. This year, she releases atmospheric Christmas themed EP December.

Vancouver pop/R&B duo Dani and Lizzy who released debut album Work of Heart in September, release 3-track EP Just Like a Shooting Star. The first two tracks are holiday themed. The third is a live acoustic version of viral hit single “Dancing in the Sky”.

Happy holidays from Canadian Music Blog.