Headlines and Footdots for the Ides of August, 2015

Nikki Yanofsky Is Something to Live For


Vancouver EDM maker Felix Cartal, best known to date for cut “Don’t Turn On the Lights,” has teamed up with multiplatinum artist Nikki Yanofsky in new single “Something to Live For”. He says the song was inspired by missing out on real life experiences due to heads buried in cell phones and social networking timelines. Nikki’s voice sounds superb as always, scraping the sky on the big chorus before a plundering of beats. The MV out later this month Felix says is a modern take on The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony”. His debut LP Life Online, via Universal Music, follows in the autumn.  iTunes

Johnny Reid Back in the Game


Another ace player frisbeeing out a new single this week is multiplatinum soul singer Johnny Reid. While known mostly for country, there are indications that he is veering over to the adult contemporary field, and that is where new song “A Picture of You” is framed. Johnny is even sporting a Dan Hill beard these days. After only two days, the song has broken into the iTunes Top 40. In the words of Chuck Berry, “Go Johnny go, go”.  iTunes

Francesco Yates’ Debut EP


Hot, fresh teen star Francesco Yates has announced that his debut EP will be out September 11 and is now available for pre-order on iTunes. The 6-track, self-titled disc will include three previously released singles, “Call”, “When I Found You”, and Billboard Top 40 hit “Better To Be Loved”. Opening track “Honey, I’m Home” available now.  iTunes

Carly Rae Jepsen Has Billboard Seeping in Emotion


Billboard Magazine’s recent feature on Mission, BC pop superstar Carly Rae Jepsen remarks on the progression she has taken from “the squeaky-clean, high-school-crush pop” of Kiss to “edgier, more mature alt-pop territory” on upcoming album Emotion. During the Manhattan (New York) interview, Carly stated, “There’s a stereotype idea of what a pop star is, and I don’t really fit into that. … The expectation that every song you’re putting out is doing well on radio — that’s stuff that you can’t control. To try would drive you insane.” Lead single “I Really Like You” went gold and reached #14 on the charts with little radio support. The pop artist took a detour from the mainstream to reel in indie specialists like Dev Hynes, Ariel Rechtshaid and Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij on the new album. “I wanted to be brave and [record] music that was really me rather than just putting out what I thought would sell. I would’ve regretted more not doing what I did — making a passion project come to life.” Emotion will be out August 21, 2015. The CMB will publish an early review in the next few days.

Drake Breaks Silence on Toronto Shootings


Toronto rapper Drake broke his silence regarding the two shooting deaths that occurred at the afterparty of his OVO Fest in Toronto. Bystander Ariela Navarro-Fenoy, 26, was killed in outside crossfire after being refused a taxi ride home because of the short distance. Drake says he was caught in the dilemma of pressure for making a statement by Crime Stoppers, the victims’ families and public posts online and pressure against it by his PR team worried that misinterpretations would damage his public image. He decided to go with his heart and stated the following (it is unknown whether he came up with these words himself or they were written for him):

“I am plagued and pained by the violence that continues to escalate in our city. I stare into the eyes of so many young people and I wish to see them all shine as bright as they possibly can in this lifetime. I encourage my generation to show as much value and gratitude as you can for the lives we have been gifted.

“My deepest condolences go out to the Navarro-Fenoy and Hibbert families for their loss of Ariela and Duvel. Along with them I send my condolences to all of the families that have lost loved ones to the senseless violence that has and continues to occur in our city.

“Although Toronto is globally viewed as a major city, at the core we are still a small close-knit community, and it is our public responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of one another. We need each other to further our communities for generations to come.

“I pray for better times and better understanding.”

Bring Down The House With Gold

dean brody

Country music A-lister Dean Brody has a new gold single. “Bring Down the House” received the certification by Music Canada just 8 weeks after release. It is his fourth single to be graced with a precious metal, the others being “Bounty” (gold), “It’s Friday” (gold), and “Canadian Girls” (platinum). Dean’s album Dirt has gone gold. In Canada, gold certification is given for sales reaching 40,000 units.

Mia Martina at Virgin Radio Beach Ball

Mia Martina Virgin Radio Beach Ball

New Brunswick empress of EDM, Mia Martina was on the West Coast recently to perform at a summer Beach Ball hosted by Vancouver’s number one CHR station Virgin Radio 94.5 (formerly The Beat). During a televised interview on CTV Morning Live, she revealed plans in the works to release a Franco album with a team of Francophone writers and producers. Fluently bilingual, she wishes to make a contribution to the Franco realm in honour of her Acadian roots. We look forward to it. Martina joined Shawn Hook, Dragonette, and Trevor Guthrie at the concert which was held at classic venue The Commodore Ballroom.

Dear Rouge Tongues

We leave you with the latest MV by synthrock duo Dear Rouge for “Tongues”:


Headlines for Late June 2015

We start with some cuteness from Mia Martina. Awwww!



Napanee, ON rock superstar Avril Lavigne appeared on Good Morning America to talk about frustrations over getting decent medical attention for Lyme disease. She broke down in tears. However, once she got that off her chest she was all smiles as hubby Chad Kroeger is unable to talk after receiving vocal cord surgery to remove a cyst (similar to what Victoria Duffield had to go through last year). Avril teased, “Husbands not allowed to talk !!! (vocal rest) Hahahah lol. Shhhh. Best day ever??!!??” Avril will be performing at the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics on July 25 with a host of stars including Cody Simpson and Stevie Wonder.

Chavril cruisin


Mission, BC pop princess Carly Rae Jepsen has released her third album Emotion in Japan first, and it is doing very well. At one point, the album was at the top of iTunes Japan. Currently it sits at #2 behind Japanese group GReeeeN (as super as a Ruby Rhod spiel). The Japanese market, though 2nd in the world, is a tough nut to crack for Anglo music, so Carly deserves much credit. Carly was impressed by Japan’s proclivities for adding plush cuteness to interview backdrops.

carly japan plush


Also from beautiful British Columbia, Shawn Hook has inked a deal with Republic Records in New York to promote and distribute his music States-side. We’re not sure what colour the ink was, but the label has signed a number of colourful Canadian characters: Bahamas, Drake, Nickelback, and The Weeknd. Shawn will be busy over the next little while striving to bring his fine works to the attention of American ears. We wish him the best.

shawn hook republic records


Many recording artists will be performing in events across the country in various cities celebrating Canada Day. The flagship televised event at Parliament Hill in Ottawa will feature performances by … are you ready? Andee, Cassidy Mann, Francesco Yates, Gord Bamford, Jonas and the Massive Attraction, Karim Ouellet, Kiesza, Marc Dupré, MAGIC!, and The Jerry Cans! Oh my goodness! And if that’s not enough, ad hoc events at Jacques Cartier Park in the Gatineau will see Brigitte Boisjoli and David Myles, as well as Shad rippin’ things up in Major’s Hill Park! Below: Andee and her squadron of dancers rehearse for the big performance.

Canada Day rehearsal Andee

We leave you with the brand new MV for Top 20 hit (#3 in the UK!) “Where Are U Now” by the Dipster and Skrillster featuring The Biebs. Love the artwork blends!

Headlines for Mid June 2015

Shawn Hook Strikes Gold

British Columbian pop star Shawn Hook has scored his first gold single as “Sound of Your Heart” hit the 40,000 purchase mark. Shawn’s new album Analog Love is out now, and he will be presenting at the MMVAs this weekend.

shawn hook - sound of your heart gold copy

Ed Sheeran Surprises a Young Singer at West Edmonton Mall

British superstar Ed Sheeran emerged from a record shop at West Edmonton Mall when he heard 13-year-old Sydney Bourbeau singing one of his songs on stage. He stunned her when he walked onto the stage and joined her. Ed will be co-hosting the MMVAs this weekend in Toronto.

Jess Moskaluke and Wes Mack Open for Shania Twain in Winnipeg

Saskatchewan’s Jess Moskaluke, CCMA recipient of female artist of the year, surprised country fans in Winnipeg when she joined Alberta’s Wes Mack opening for superstar Shania Twain. The latter still holds the record for the best-selling country music album of all time, Come On Over. Her shoes are going to be difficult to fill, but we believe Jess can do it.

wes mack jess moskaluke winnipeg shania twain

Mia Martina Tops CanCon BDS Top 40

Mia Martina’s latest single “Beast” is the top CanCon single on Top 40 radio, at #9 this week. Mia will be performing at the MMVAs this weekend, and her second album (self-titled) is out now. Generally speaking, Canadian broadcasters have been cold-shouldering Canadian female recording artists in 2015, so Mia’s accomplishment is that more incredible.

Mia Martina ca

The Weeknd Owns the Top 3 CanCon Singles on the Hot 100

With his new single, “Can’t Feel My Face” debuting on the Billboard Hot 100 at #13, the Weeknd owns the top 3 CanCon spots on the chart, the other two being “Earned It” (#15) and “The Hills” (#17). The Weeknd will also be performing at the MMVAs.

the weeknd

We leave you with the brand new music video from Elliot Maginot for track “Still Alive” from excellent album Young Old Everything In Between released back in February.

Headlines for Late May 2015


Carly Rae Jepsen and Mia Martina Performing at the MMVAs

Much Music has confirmed that Carly Rae Jepsen, Mia Martina, and newcomer Scott Helman will be performing at this year’s MMVAs. They will be joining fellow Canadian performers The Weeknd and Shawn Mendes as well as international stars Tori Kelly, Fall Out Boy, Ed Sheeran, Jason Derulo, and Nick Jonas! It’s going to be one heck of a party! Carly Rae Jepsen’s “I Really Like You” is enjoying its fourth week in the UK’s Top 10, peaking at #3. Mia Martina recently hinted that she may be releasing a Franco album. We’ll certainly take it!


Marianas Trench Emerging From the Depths

The multiplatinum and JUNO winning Trench lads are working on their new album Astoria due out later this year. To thank fans for their patience, the Vancouver band has released a new 4-track digital EP called Something Old / Something New. It contains the latest two singles “Pop 101” and “Here’s To the Zeros” plus two previously unreleased punky tracks recorded prior to the group’s debut album. These four tracks will not be included on Astoria.


Let Your Compositions Slide

Canada’s founding father of rap, Maestro Fresh Wes has released a new mini album entitled Compositions, Vol. 1. A number of guest rappers and singers appear on the album including JD Era, JRDN, King Reign, Rezza Bros., Rich Kidd, and Scott Jackson.


Dallas Smith Launches Steelhead

This news is a bit old but country-rock superstar Dallas Smith is flexing his business skills by launching new record label Steelhead. Dallas’ management team includes Alex Seif (Union Entertainment Group) and Scott Cooke (Producer). Steelhead did a noble thing by signing a Manitoba artist first, sibling duo Petric.

stef lang

Stef Lang and Anjunabeats

Vancouver Island bred indie star Stef Lang is featured in track “All These Wounds” on Ilan Bluestone’s Anjunabeats Worldwide 05, a British trance outfit. Stef is currently working on her own new music expected out later this year.

simon proulx

Simon Says Go Anglo

Simon Proulx of platinum, JUNO-nominated Franco band Les Trois Accords will be releasing a solo Anglo album under the moniker Simon I (as in Simon the first). The album is expected out June 2 and is heralded by single “Automatic”.

serena ryder

Serena Pan

Serena Ryder has released a new single via the CBC to serve as the theme for the Toronto Pan Am Games this year. It is called “Together We Are One” and is available on iTunes.

Mia Martina Launches Album Number Two

Mia Martina caNew Brunswick’s Mia Martina is a platinum, 3-time JUNO nominee and has placed a total of seven songs on the charts since her debut in 2010. She has released her much-anticipated second album, a self-titled one. Capitalizing on breakthrough success in other countries, the album was first released in Russia and Japan with varied track listings and album covers tailored for each country. The Canadian edition contains eight tracks including previously released singles Danse (#29, gold), Heartbreaker (#44), and HFH (#91).

The mini album was released in conjunction with new single “Beast” currently moving up the charts; the song features American rapper Waka Flocka Flame. Mia Martina is one of the best in the country at making EDM-inflected, feel-good party music. Another asset is her voice which is highly captivating. You can expect a host of DJs to compete for the honour of remixing some of these treats.  iTunes

Selected New Releases: 31 March 2015

New Releases 2015-03-31 copy

La+ch has sidestepped from Toronto band Sideways for solo album +. It blends R&B singing with dancey beats and electronica. With the release of its last album White Paint, Ottawan Juno-nominated band Hollerado promised a customized song for each fan who pre-ordered it. The band has delivered on the promise releasing 111 Songs on 4-discs. Montreal instrumental post rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor should beef up its cult following with new atmospheric four-track LP Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress. Vancouver synth rock duo Dear Rouge launches debut album Black to Gold. We have embedded the eye-popping MV for the title track below.

The A-list singer-songwriters seem to have released new albums at the same time. Juno winner Ron Sexsmith drops his 14th album, Carousel One, and it’s one of his best with beautifully written jewels. Singer-songwriter Beth Moore from the Niagara region has won a number of awards in Ontario as well as the CBC. Five Out of Ten is her sophomore LP. The aforementioned Sexsmith appears as a featured artist along with David Myles, Alejandra Ribera, Kuba Oms, and Anya Marina on Alex Cuba‘s new LP, Healer. With it, The Smithers, BC Juno winner gives us a bilingual album: English and Spanish.

Hard rock lovers will rejoice for the fifth Three Days Grace album, Human. The Norwood, Ontario band has been nominated six times at the Junos, not winning one yet. However, the group has achieved multiplatinum status and hopes fans will accept new lead vocalist Matt Walst from My Darkest Days. Matt replaces Adam Gontier who departed for health reasons and is the brother of bassist Brad Walst. Also in the realm of high profilers is Mia Martina who gives us her self-titled second dance album which includes a few previously released hit singles and some new songs. The New Brunswick singer has scored three Juno nominations and three gold singles to date.

Lisbonne Télégramme is a new quartet that performs dream folk debuting with the compelling album Miroir d’automne. Le Vent du Nord performs more traditional folk; Têtu is the name of its new album. For those hungry for something weird and wonderful, a captivating, eponymous work has appeared from alternative act, The Loodies. All three of the above are from Montreal.

Valerie Lahaie was a contestant on The Voice. Her coach was rocker Éric Lapointe. She puts forth her debut rock album, Vertige that holds some really good numbers. Another exquisite singer-songwriter is Peter Katz from Toronto. He releases We Are the Reckoning which is quite mind blowing to say the least. Peter is a Juno nominee. Finally, we have an EP from Toronto’s Taylor Knox called Lines which is a rock work. We leave you with the promised MV from Vancouver’s Dear Rouge. Enjoy the music.

Roundup of the Stars: What Our Sweethearts Have Been Up To

Michael Buble Miss Piggy 1While LIGHTS, Ron Sexsmith, Neverest, Finger Eleven, Beverley Mahood, and Platinum Blonde were rocking out at Andy Kim’s annual Christmas fundraiser, Kiesza, Shawn Mendes, and MAGIC! were performing at Jingle Balls States-side. Michael Buble carried off his yearly holiday special with his dream guest star: Miss Piggy. Shawn Hook is gearing up for a New Year’s Eve extravaganza in Mississauga, The Weeknd in Miami, Chromeo in San Francisco, and Adventure Club in San Diego. Sally Folk is rehearsing her duet with Alex Nevsky for a mid-January TVA music special. But besides holiday concerts, here’s what else has been happening…

Carly Rae Jepsen Visits Her Old Stamping Grounds:

Carly Rae Jepsen Trees Organic Coffee VancouverWhen Carly Rae Jepsen released her global ripper, somehow we knew that her indie career was toast. There was a time when Carly could be found at Vancouver’s Trees Organic Coffee making cheese cake for them. Yes, that’s the reality of life for many Canadian indie musicians. Carly recently returned to say hello to the staff. She claims that the shop makes the best cheese cake in the city, perhaps the world. There are 5 shops through Metro Vancouver. Professional photographer Cameron Brown claims that Carly herself bakes pastries as delicious as the music she makes. She’s a multi-talented gal.

Victoria Duffield Gets Into Christmas Baking:

Carly’s not the only one who enjoys baking. Having recently recovered from vocal cord surgery, Victoria Duffield whipped up a batch of her favourite treat. We’re not sure what they’re called, but they look amazing:

Victoria Duffield Treats

Fred Pellerin Celebrates Gold:

Fred Pellerin GoldFred Pellerin’s recently released album, Plus tard qu’on pense, was very quickly certified gold. He comments on the phenomenon saying that to turn 12 songs into a gold record, it takes at least 40,000 alchemists. Too bad Fred’s a bit far from the west coast to celebrate with some cheese cake with Carly or sample Victoria Duffield’s oven-cooked delights. But we’re sure he has some treats available at a shop near him.

Mia Martina Breaks Out in Japan:

Mia Martina has been tailoring her second album for releases in various countries. We hope it comes out in Canada as soon as possible. It is now out in Russia and Japan, and her reworking of Cutting Crew’s “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” has hit #2 on the iTunes Japan dance chart! We imagine it’s a big hit at the karaoke venues as well. Good for Mia!

MIa Martina no 2 in Japan iTunes Dance1

YTV Next Star Winner Jory Zechner Launches New Single:

Jory Zechner - Roll With ThisGetting into the spirit of cool, fashionable glasses, Jory Zechner has been working with top Canadian songwriter Rob Wells to release a single following her win of 2015’s YTV The Next Star. The song is called “Roll With This” and is currently rolling up the iTunes charts. You can grab a copy here.

LIGHTS Excited About Her Figurines:

LIGHTS dollsOn the market now are some sweet LIGHTS figurines. They come complete with a keyboard, cogwheel face mark, circular bandstand with logo, and are no doubt best enjoyed while listening to album Little Machines. LIGHTS assures us that the dolls won’t pull a chucky.

Elise Estrada Hits the Blogosphere:

Elise Estrada LollipopsElise Estrada has gotten into blogging. Her blog is called Confessions of a Pop Star. You can read about how she recently turned her home into a Christmas candyland, get some advice on beginning a singing career, makeup tips, recipes, and fashion ideas. Visit the site here.

Jesse Labelle Chills:

Jesse Labelle FloridaFinally, while all these stars have been working hard, Jesse Labelle has been … chilling in Florida? Jesse! Actually, old Jess has been busy touring and is just taking a break to soak in the sun for a bit.



Four Choice New Singles This Week

4 New SinglesExciting things happening this week in terms of new singles. We would like to highlight four of them, all available on iTunes (links provided). Last year, Alicia Moffet won YTV’s The Next Star and with that recorded a song with Sony Music. Fluently bilingual, she has released versions in both official languages. The Anglo is “Why Do Boys Lie” and the Franco “Pourquoi mentir“. The song is the best pop song we’ve heard so far this year, and Alicia is set to follow in the footsteps of her fellow Next Star alumni, Victoria Duffield and Alyssa Reid. We will have more on Alicia later.

A while back, Massari was featured in CP Records label mate Mia Martina‘s “Latin Moon”, and now it’s Mia’s turn to be featured in a Massari single. “What About the Love” is the name of the song. Triple platinum JUNO award winner Kevin Parent has released a new pop-rock single, “Ce beau monde-la“. We like the beat. Although Kevin is a native Anglophone, he developed a love for musique francophone growing up and has chosen to record in that language. Last but certainly not least is a new single from Jann Arden, “You Love Me Back“. The song heralds her forthcoming album, Everything Almost (April 29). Jann is a quintuple platinum artist and has won several JUNO awards.

All four of these songs are really good. Chek ’em out.

Ice Conduit to the 2014 JUNOs: Dance Recording of the Year Nominees

Dance Recording of the Year Nominations copy

Fact #1: One of the nominations is an album; the rest are singles.

Fact #2: Only one of the nominees has previously won at the JUNOs

This Is What It Feels Like ft. Trevor Guthrie (North Vancouver, BC)

This Is What It Feels Like - Armin Van Buuren ft Trevor GuthrieAs a soloist, this is Trevor’s first JUNO nomination. Platinum band soulDecision which he previously fronted received three in 2001. The band eventually folded as, for whatever reason, it received little support from the Canadian music industry. Hooking up with renowned Dutch EDM master Armin van Buuren, Trevor wrote and sings this song about his neighbour who had a brain tumour. Making it up to #6 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100, it was certified double platinum and finished the year as its 19th biggest hit.

Album Title Goes Here by deadmau5 (Niagara Falls, ON)

deadmau5 - album title goes herePlatinum EDM force Joel Zimmerman, as deadmau5, is one of the top Canadians on social media and has already won four JUNO awards. He became the first Canadian to sell out the Rogers Centre in Toronto. This is his sixth studio album and the only LP nominated in the Dance Recording category this year. It peaked at #2 on the Canadian Albums Chart and has been certified gold. Two charting singles were spawned from the album, the most successful of which, “The Veldt”, reached #24 on the Canadian Hot 100.

Tsunami by DVBBS (Orangeville, ON)

DVBBS-Borgeous - TsunamiA successful marketing scheme hyped this song by keeping the artist a secret. Many assumed it was the product of a major artist. In the end, the world was surprised to learn that the mystery track was created by Canada’s obscure DVBBS. The outfit had been releasing excellent tunes over the last few years but success had eluded them. The release of “Tsunami” however went to #1 on Beatport, made the Billboard Canadian Hot 100, and became an even bigger hit in Europe. This is DVBBS’ first JUNO nomination.

Locked Down by Jacynthe (Québec City, QC)

Jacynthe-Locked-Down-Single-artwork-WhammoWhen she was just 19 years old, Jacynthe became Canada’s Madonna making the best dance music north of the 49th. Her 1998 debut album I Got What It Takes was JUNO-nominated with its “Give It Up” reaching #27 on the charts. In 2000, “Listen to My Heart” became her second Top 40 hit. With Canada swept up in punk music in the noughties decade, Jacynthe was nudged over to the edge of the spotlight. Now into the 2010s, however, with dance pop and EDM ruling the airwaves, she is making a significant comeback. Being fluent in French (she has also recorded songs in Italian), she was featured in the bilingual version of Victoria Duffield’s “Feel”. “Locked Down” is Jacynthe’s first JUNO nomination in 15 years!

Heartbreaker by Mia Martina (St. Ignace, NB)

mia martina HeartbreakerNew Brunswick’s Mia Martina gained tremendous mileage from her album Devotion including gold singles and JUNO nominations. She and her team have delivered some breathtaking music videos. Moreover, she is one Canadian, nay international, artist who can sing well in both official languages; she sounds exquisite in English and fabulous in French. She has also recorded material in Spanish. “Heartbreaker” was Mia’s first new single after the Devotion era. It spent 17 weeks on the Canadian Hot 100 peaking at #44. This is Mia’s third JUNO nomination.

“HeartBreaker” by Mia Martina

Mia+MartinaNew Brunswick’s Mia Martina gained tremendous mileage from her album Devotion including a pair of gold singles and JUNO nominations. She and her team have delivered some breathtaking music videos. Moreover, she is one Canadian, nay international, artist who can sing well in both official languages; she sounds exquisite in English and fabulous in French. Mia has shifted into 5th gear working like the blazes on her next album and has already unleashed her hot new single “HeartBreaker” which is currently burning up the Canadian Hot 100. The newly released stylish music video was shot in classy black and white. EDM never sounded so good. The world has only two known cures for a broken heart:  1. Time.  2. Mia Martina’s music. Check out the fantastic song below.

Heartbreaker on iTunes Mia Martina’s Official Website 

Canadian Music Blog’s Top 20 Song Faves of 2012, Part 2: #10 to #1

Canadian Artists

(See Part 1 – Songs #20 to #11 – which also includes eligibility rules and our selection process HERE.)

#10. “Gonna Take Some Time” by Len

Len - Gonna Take Some TimeGold-selling, JUNO-nominated Toronto band Len released an album in 2012 which was our  6th favourite of the year, It’s Easy If You Try. “It’s My Neighbourhood” was released as the album’s first single. All tracks on the album are jam-packed with sun blasts of pop splendour. We felt that the grooviest of the lot was “Gonna Take Some Time”. Len’s core members are siblings Marc and Sharon Costanzo who are great at combining clever lyrics and rhymes with impressive hooks and unexpected sounds all in a rolled up wheel of spinning summertime fun like a scooter ride through a colourful urban jungle. This song has plunky guitars, a sax solo, and some cool choppy beats.

#9. “Mon Corps” by Ariane Moffatt

Ariane Moffatt - Mon CorpsHeralding her 2012 album MA, which reached #2 on the weekly Billboard album chart, this mouth-watering electronic rock number, was released at the end of 2011 peaking on the charts this year. It rivals Marianne Faithful’s “Broken English” in style and the greatest hits of Mylène Farmer in substance. Ariane Moffatt is a JUNO-winning, platinum-selling recording artist whose creative genius flows at the rate of water over Niagara Falls. The synthesizer grunts and whirrs glisten over beats as original as the concoctions of Utada Hikaru. “Mon Corps” is both ominous and playful as her vocal delivery is both matter-of-fact and teasing. Brilliant song.

#8. “I Am a Bee” by Lily C.

Lily C - I Am a BeeTo prove that mainstream popular music is not all that delighted us this year is this sweet adult contemporary number by emerging artist and Torontonian Lily C. This is delicate “happy pop” in the vein of Jewel, Darrelle London, and Liz Coyles. Off album Reaching for Sunlight, “I Am a Bee” is absolutely beautiful. Verse, chorus, and bridge are all perfect examples of song writing perfection and wing through the 4 minutes in their uniqueness and unity like, well, a bee, butterfly, and bird. Rubbery keyboard blips, driving guitar strums, solid bass, bubbly bells, and free-spirited percussion animate this ode to flight and freedom.

#7. “Riptide” by Marie-Mai

Marie-Mai - RiptideStrange that of all songs on Star Academie finalist, 6-time Félix winner, and Vancouver Olympics performer Marie-Mai’s gold-certified 4th studio album Miroir, we would choose one of the two English tracks, but this song is so good, we couldn’t resist. Marie-Mai has become so popular that two of the four Francophone hits that made the Billboard Hot 100 in 2012 were hers. Fabulous were Félix popular song of the year winner “Sans cri ni haine” (a French language cover of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend”) and album opener “C.O.B.R.A.”. Marie-Mai co-wrote most songs on the album with the likes of Fred St- Gelais and celebrated Canadian songwriter Rob Wells. “Riptide” is the pulsating album closer which caps off a brilliant work.

#6. “Burning” (French Version) by Mia Martina

Mia Martina - BurningNew Brunswick’s JUNO-nominated Acadian singer Mia Martina sounds stunning in English but her French versions simply floor us. Kaleidoscopic “Burning”, a hot high-society style number with a sensual saxophone, made it to #25 on the Hot 100, was certified gold, and finished as the year’s 64th biggest hit. Enjoying tremendous mileage from her 2010 album Devotion, “Burning” was the third single launched of five. The album contained an English version only, the French version being released as a separate single. “Burning” was the second most successful song from the album, 2010’s “Stereo Love” with Edward Maya being the biggest hit. Straight from Mia’s classy opening vocal, the whole song shines with glory.

#5. “Put Me On” by Diamond Rings

Diamond Rings - Put Me OnYes, we do love our independent artists too. And how could you not adore a song that begins with the lyric, “Beneath the sliver of the autumn moon, between the pigeons and the northern loons”? Diamond Rings, the stage name of Toronto’s JUNO-nominated John O’Regan, released his sizzling second studio album Free Dimensional this year. It was our second favourite LP of 2012 bringing back that fabulous new wave 80s synth rock vibe with a modern spin. In “Put Me On”, edgy electric guitars (and even a mid-song solo) combine with cheeky synths and John’s baritone voice to deliver a classy contribution to the magnificent genre created by Kraftwerk and popularized by Gary Numan.

#4. “Body Work” featuring Tegan & Sara

Tegan and Sara - Body WorkAh, house music, especially while doing the laundry, never sounded so good. JUNO-nominated Calgarian twins Tegan & Sara co-wrote this killer tune with American EDM master Morgan Page and vocalized the entire track. “Body Work” wrestled its way up to #32 on the weekly Hot 100, while in Morgan’s home country, the charts were not so welcoming. With a beat that could set off an earthquake, shimmering synths that get a sloth jiving, and twin stereo voices that could turn grapefruit into honey, this piece of wizardry attracted mainstream attention to the hitherto underground duo set to release a new album in early 2013.

#3. “Break My Heart” by Victoria Duffield

Victoria Duffield - Break My HeartWe named Shut Up and Dance, debut LP from Abbotsford, BC dance pop star Victoria Duffield as album of the year. She topped the Billboard Emerging Artists chart with the album’s title track, a platinum single and 49th biggest of the year. The irresistible “Break My Heart” was the third single released from the album and scaled up the Hot 100 to #35 on the weekly Hot 100. The album is filled with gems, and this dazzling dance tune of flashy Ryan Stewart tweaks, keyboard toots, and unbreakable pop hooks was our favourite. The song is enjoyed best with its suburban neighbourhood dance invasion music video and is so energizing, it’ll have grandpa doing cartwheels.

#2. “Clone” by Metric

Metric - CloneNot an uncommon feature in motion pictures, the last time we remember a song about clones was back in the 1980s care of Alice Cooper. JUNO-winning new wave band Metric of Toronto whose members consist of three Js and an E released their fifth album this year, Synthetica, which made it to #2 on the Billboard Albums chart in June and was named by CBC’s Q as the 10th best album of the year. The song deals with the idea of making decisions based on society’s expectations (becoming a clone) or taking the road less taken. In any case, “it’s too late in the day” to change the course one set off on in the past. An extremely catchy song, with a swaggering groove, this one just compels you to keep hitting that replay button.

#1. “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me MaybeWas there every any doubt? At one point, we were diggin’ “Curisoty” slightly more than the biggest international Canadian hit of the year, but our enjoyment of “Call Me Maybe” was longer lived. Before the endorsement of Justin Bieber on Twitter, before Carly Rae Jepsen was signed by Scooter Braun and company, before the song topped the charts all around the world, before it even entered the Hot 100 at home, we heard this amazing tune when it first came out on Vancouver Radio Station Virgin 953 and instantly fell in love. It was like a tiny, humble seed planted in soil with questionable fertility and did nothing but grow, albeit slowly, until shooting up into a fruit-bearing tree that spread its branches around the globe. This really was the best song released in 2012, fresh-sounding, catchy, expertly produced, and intelligently composed by an exceptionally talented singer songwriter named Carly Rae Jepsen.

Related Posts

Top 20 Song Faves of 2012, Part 1 (#20 to #11)

2012’s Song of the Year

Top 10 Music Video Faves of 2012

2012’s Music Video of the Year

Top 15 Album Faves of 2012

2012’s Album of the Year

Canadian Music Blog’s Top 10 Music Video Faves of 2012

We are counting down our favourite music videos of 2012. Regardless of when the song came out, to be eligible, the MV had to have been released within 2012. In assembling our list, we were not concerned with how much we liked the song, simply with the video itself. If low on the violence, raunchiness, and expletive side, while beautiful to look at, clever, creative and original, had great wardrobe choices, some breathtaking cinematography, or a stellar message, the music video had a good chance of making our list. Here we go…

#10. “Love Again” by Kreesha Turner

Kreesha Turner - Love Again

Edmonton’s Kreesha Turner takes a journey through an iron gate and folding / pop out staircase from what looks like a video game or Fifth Element style Egyptian stone temple into an abandoned warehouse converted to a dance studio. She is greeted by a legion of hoodie-clad dancers atop blocks of stone. Turner dazzles throughout the video with a number of sleek black outfits and greets the viewers with bright-eyed sincere and confident gazes. Keep an eye out for the chandelier-lit, smash-through ceiling elevator with a nod to Charlie and Chocolate Factory. This is such a gorgeous video, it received a big thumbs up from Nelly Furtado. Watch…

#9. “Feel” by Victoria Duffield

Victoria Duffield - Feel

Speaking of dancing, few can outdo Abbotsford, BC’s teen pop princess Victoria Duffield. The video begins with Victoria knocking on a formidable-looking door at a teal and vermillion wall. She enters a room with a propeller-bladed metal wall fan and lights resembling Luke Skywalker’s light saber. With her copper-coloured hair slapping through the air, she releases bursts of high energy power dancing. She proceeds with her crew through various rooms in the building all lit by lamps of various colours. In the words of Chekov, “(Sigh), I vas never zat young.” The whole video is like a fountain of youth. Watch…

#8. “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Walk off the Earth

Walk Off the Earth - Somebody That I Used to Know

We are not sure if Walk off the Earth are members of the Flat Earth Society, but they grabbed a novelty song from around the globe and turned it into one of the cleverest music videos of the year – five musicians cover Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” while simultaneously playing a lone guitar. Big beardie and crew taught us that you do not necessarily need a big budget and elaborate set to create an enjoyable video, just some clever ideas, skill, and talent. To date, the video has been watched on YouTube over 140 million times. Let us hope for Sarah’s sake that the men showered before they crowded her on the chesterfield, eh. Watch…

#7. “Co-Pilot” by Kristina Maria

Kristina Maria - Co-Pilot

Think about a Stress Centre and most of us would name the airport: lost luggage, long queues, jet lag, delays, taserings, getting accosted by Customs, the fear of flying, watching your new laptop get fingered by the drooling security dudes, and having your belt buckle set off the alarms. In 2012, Ottawa’s Kristina Maria came to the rescue, relieving all those pent up stresses from all of our bad experiences, by dancing up the airport with a multiethnic squadron of dancers. The video begins with a headphoned girl chuckin’ and jivin’. A security guard approaches her, and we think he is going to tell her to settle down. But unexpected twists happen and before you know it pilots and flight attendants join in the fun. Corneille adds some fabulous French for a true Canadian bilingual treat. Watch…

#6. “Le jour se lève” by Garou

Garou - Le jour se leve

This was a #1 Hit for Esther Galil in September 1971; it topped the charts in France for 4 weeks. Canadian soul singer Garou, off his bilingual album Rhythm and Blues, interprets it brilliantly. The mood the video sets is a perfect complement to the music. Looking like it comes out of an Orson Wells film, it is shot beautifully with gorgeous lighting and shadows in a night of fog, alleys, lamp posts, pool hall, and a dimly lit jazz club with a wooden revolving door. A mysterious motorcycle woman brushes shoulders with Garou on the sidewalk, and she drops something. He assumes it is a wallet, stoops down to pick it up, and finds a surprise. Watch…

#5. “I’m Just Me” by Diamond Rings

Diamond Rings - I'm Just Me

We haven’t seen a video this cool since John Foxx’s “No One Driving”. Another John (O’Regan), as Diamond Rings, fills an ominous void formed when the visionary electronic rock artists of the early 80s retired from the scene and left us surrounded by 1990s skaters in crotch-drop pants and 2000s heavily-tattooed yoga pants lovers. John reminds us why new wave fashion rocked. He combs his platinum blonde hair upwards, dons a silver space cadet uniform, holds a tennis ball with flashing lights, shows off glow-in-the-dark nail polish, slowly rotates his head adorned with diamond-themed shades, all amidst a stage set of TV screens, dry ice, and fanned out green laser beams. Watch…

#4. “Burning” by Mia Martina

Mia Martina - Burning

Mia Martina is one of the few artists who can and does release both English and French versions of her songs, a true Canadian trooper. “Burning” offers crisp, clean, images of a high society evening in an intricately decorated indoor space graced with the presence of human flame throwers and a sax player dancing within a kaleidoscope of showering sparks of light. Mythic oil, red candles, framed mirror, a pair of sparkly shoes, gold evening gown, lots of jewellery, with ribbon rhythm dancing complete with confetti are everything a party-goer needs. You can tell a music video is good when you turn the sound off and your eyes are still glued to the screen. This is one of them. Watch: English Version French Version

#3. “Beauty and a Beat” by Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber - Beauty and a Beat

This video broke a VEVO record, racking up the most views ever in a 24-hour period with 10.6 million. Filmed in a clever way with a smiling Justin apparently pulling the camera while walking backwards and turning around, it was filmed at Raging Waters Theme Park in San Dimas, California, USA. The video shows an assortment of acrobatic dancers in and around swimming pools of various shapes and splash dancing in an ankle-high wade pool. Flashing coloured lights abound amidst the plants and straw covered bamboo bridges, the video being filmed after dusk. And for the grand finale, the Biebs comes down a water slide into a pool of a cheering crowd in broad daylight. Watch…

#2. “Missing You” / “Tu me manques” by Mia Martina

Mia Martina - Missing You

The French and English music videos for the song are slightly different. In either case, the intense images match the yearning music. The MV opens with a view overlooking a town by the sea (we’re guessing Dubrovnik, Croatia), and we find Mia in a breezy room with a rotary telephone. She emerges, and we see some intricate Spanish architecture and streets of Madrid before she takes a drive in the countryside in a classy white car with a backdrop of copper-stained rock. We then see Mia in a green evening gown surrounded by Greek pillars and a marble staircase. It all wraps up with time-lapsed photography of night traffic. Mia states this will be the final MV release from her Devotion album. We can’t wait for her next album release. Watch: English Version French Version

#1. “Wonder Woman” by Elise Estrada

Elise Estrada - Wonder Woman

When the tragedy of a 15-year-old girl named Amanda Todd, harrassed and bullied into suicide, struck Metro Vancouver, making news around the world, Elise Estrada wrote a song called “Wonder Woman”, its music video put together with tremendous expertise. It contains snippets of Amanda’s life growing up, intermixed with Elise walking through beautiful parks and streets, the ground covered with dying autumn leaves. It opens with a young boy clinging to a fence saying that bullying needs to stop and shows scenes from candlelight vigils held in the city to honour Amanda Todd’s memory. Elise is also shown behind a window in a café, the panes of glass streaked with tears of teeming rain. The video also includes photos sent in by various people touched by the song holding placards of messages.  All proceeds raised by the song are going to the Amanda Todd Foundation dedicated to the elimination of bullying as well as suicide prevention.

The powerful message this video presents, the expertise in putting it together, and the gorgeous cinematography all combine to deliver the best music video of 2012. The Canadian Music Blog declares Elise Estrada’s “Wonder Woman” 2012′s Music Video of the Year. Watch…

Hot off the MV Press: “Tu me manques” by Mia Martina

New Brunswick’s Mia Martina is redefining not only music but music videos with fresh sounds and sights.  What you are about to see and hear is spiritual oxygen:  music for the soul.  “Tu me manques” is the new Francophone version (and remix) of Mia’s “Missing You” from her album Devotion.  It is yet another reason why Canadian artists can’t be beat.

You can watch the English version HERE.

The Princess of Devotion Launching 4th Single, “Burning” Goes GOLD

New Brunswick’s JUNO-nominated Mia Martina is voicing some of the freshest, most beautiful Canadian music around.  Her debut album Devotion has already spawned three hit singles, one making the Top 10 and two the Top 30.  “Burning” was certified GOLD just yesterday.  Encouraged by her much deserved success, she has already begun making some new music and is in Vancouver.  As well, she is releasing the 4th single from Devotion, “Go Crazy” which features Adrian Sina.  She left it up to her fans to vote for the next single and is already in the process of shooting a music video for the song in time for summer.  As only a real Canadian artist could, Mia has recorded an additional French version of the song.

It takes tremendous momentum and a string of hits for a new artist to rise into a big star.  No one can predict the future, but based on the way things are going, Martina is well on her way.

Cool News Items

1.  Ottawa’s emerging CRMA-nominated country star Kira Isabella sang the national anthem to open the Sens vs. Leafs game last night.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard a better performance.  Given the cheers of the crowd, I think most would agree that it was absolutely sensational.  You can watch Kira’s performance HERE.

2.  Vancouver’s emerging rock ‘n roll star Stef Lang has released a new single, “Paper Doll” and has generously offered it as a FREE download HERE.  She has announced  a nation-wide tour that will commence at the end of March.  You can view a tentative list of dates HERE.

3.  Avril Lavigne has completed two nights of performances at Tokyo’s Saitama Super Arena as she launches the final leg of her Black Star Tour.  Japan is the second largest music market in the world and the Japanese are among her most avid fans.  Three of Avril’s albums have been certified DIAMOND in Japan.  She has released a snippet video of her concert, a tour-de-force a capella performance.  You can watch it HERE. While in Tokyo, the pop punk princess tried her hand at taiko drumming:  video HERE.

4.  Bryan Adams will be on tour in Japan soon. He’ll tour Europe in March and Canada starting in April.  We’ll post more info on his Canadian concert tour later on.

5.  Mia Martina, the sultry voice behind “Stereo Love”, “Latin Moon”, and “Burning” will be touring the major cities in western Canada very soon:

Feb 14:  Fortune Sound Club, Vancouver
Feb 15:  Back Alley, Calgary
Feb 16:  Treasury Vodka Bar & Eatery, Edmonton
Feb 17:  Fame Night Club, Winnipeg