Selected New Releases 10 February 2017

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Vibrant Heels of Lévis, QC contributes a good metal album for fans of the genre. Crank up Driven for some concussion inducing hard rock tunes. It’s not all noise and fury but offers too some skilled instrumentation and blends in a little alternative rock which makes the disc more engaging.

Winnipeg’s The Treble could not be more excited to release its debut album Modernaires, and we are impressed with it. The group has a pleasant, driving folk-pop sound which will get you slapping your knee along to the well-crafted tunes.

Vancouver alternative group Mother Mother delivers No Culture. Described by iTunes as a mix of “crunchy rock and explosive pop”, it debuted on the platform’s chart at #2. It is certainly a fun album to listen to with ample theatrics and pizzazz.

Like Mother Mother, but more on the roots as opposed to progressive side, two JUNO nominations deck The Sadies‘ halls. The new album Northern Passages blends several genres together resulting in an alternative soup that is quite delicious.

Surprisingly fine is the self-titled album from Cape Breton’s Port Cities. Smooth groove and punchy pop music with some heartland ambiance makes this one of the best releases this week.

Raton Lover does soft rock right on Le sens du vent. The band is from Quebec City. You will hear the occasional spark of country and some clever hooks yielding a rewarding listening experience.

Our pick for the week is electronic project Teen Daze from the Fraser Valley, BC’s exceptionally talented Jamison Isaak. Album Themes for Dying Earth is both soothing and dazzling, conjuring up an atmosphere of futurism and dreamy melancholy that transported us to another dimension. The album is unbelievably good.

Those eager for some 60s style French pop, look no further than the new album from bilingual artist Sally Folk, 3e acte. She’s from Montreal.

There are a few EPs this week to talk about. Montreal’s Nicolas Patterson contributes a really nice singer-songwriter disc Everything Is Changing. Begonia, project of Chic Gamine singer Alexa Dirks, releases alternative EP Lady in Mind. Raphaël Dénommé of Quebec makes decent blues trash rock on a new eponymous disc. Finally, Vancouver’s Emma Citrine serves gritty folk rock on EP Sad Surprise.

Ice Conduit to the 2015 JUNOs: Artist/Group of the Year Nominees

Nominees for these two categories are determined by an equal weighting of sales, CARAS Academy Delegate votes and Next Big Sound Data.

Up for Artist of the Year are Kingston, ON’s Bryan Adams, Niagara Falls’ deadmau5, Montreal’s Leonard Cohen, Halifax’s Sarah McLachlan, and Toronto’s The Weeknd.

For Group of the Year, we have Hamilton’s Arkells, Montreal’s Chromeo, Quadra Island, BC’s Mother Mother, Hanna, AB’s Nickelback, and half Canadian duo You+Me.

The Artists

Bryan Adams released a gold-certified covers album last year, Tracks of My Years. He has won 19 JUNO Awards placing him in third place after Anne Murray and Celine Dion. Deadmau5 released his album While One Is Less Than Two which placed three tracks on the charts, the most successful being “Seeya”, a gold, Top 20 hit. He’s won four JUNOs to date. Leonard Cohen gave us platinum certified album Popular Problems. His JUNO count stands at six. Sarah McLachlan, winner of eight JUNOs heartened 2014 with her gold album Shine On. The Weeknd’s last album was Kiss Land back in September 2013. Four of his songs made the Hot 100 in 2014 including his Top 10 collaboration with Ariana Grande. Newer on the playing field, The Weeknd has had two JUNOs to date.

We have a feeling The Weeknd will win this one, with his recent international superstardom and thus momentum, but it’s a tough call. Interestingly, none of the artists scored both a Hot 100 charting single and a gold/platinum certified album in 2014.

The Groups

Regarding the groups, two-time JUNO winner Arkells released album High Noon and single “Come to Light” peaked at #81 on the charts. Chromeo had one of the year’s biggest Canadian hits; “Jealous” from album White Women peaked at #12 and became a platinum single. The duo has not yet won a JUNO. Mother Mother graced 2014 with album Very Good Bad Thing. While no certifications or hit singles resulted, the band was signed to a major label, a mark of growth. The band has not yet won a JUNO. Nicelback’s 2014 album was No Fixed Address, recently certified platinum. Three singles made the charts, two landing in the Top 40. The band has won a dozen JUNOs. You+Me scored gold album Rose Ave, three tracks making the Hot 100. The duo was new on the scene in 2014.

Prediction? The JUNOs will probably want to reward Chromeo for its new level of success and finally give the duo an award.

Selected New Releases 4 November 2014

4 Nov 2014 Albums Collage copy

Five JUNO nominees and four JUNO winners have released new albums this week.

Alex Pangman is known as Canada’s sweetheart of swing, holding 1930s jazz in high regard. Her new album is called New. St. John’s roots JUNO winner Amelia Curran has released They Promised You Mercy. Edmonton’s Ben Stevenson is taking care of Dirty Laundry on his new work. He does alternative R&B along the lines of The Weeknd and is quite good. Émilie Lévesque was a Star Academy finalist in 2009; Ça tourne is her second album of adult pop. Classical singer Marc Hervieux, up to 3 gold albums, has landed Hervieux.

Vancouver JUNO-nominated synth pop group Mother Mother came up with a Very Good Bad Thing. The band has one charting single to date. Needing no introduction, Neil Young’s Storytone is his second album of the year. Saguenay’s JUNO nominee Philippe Berghella gives us splendid folk pop LP Ma liberté. Hot off his JUNO win this year, Halifax’s master of electronica Ryan Hemsworth is Alone For the First Time. Les amours parallèles, housing gorgeous adult contemporary, is the latest from JUNO nominee Stéphanie Lapointe. Its title-track has been named Single of the Week by iTunes. Possibly the most beautiful album of the week is Time, Wind & Fire from Montreal’s Tamara Weber-Fillion.

New Brunswick’s Lisa LeBlanc, whose debut album went platinum, has released English crossover EP, Highways, Heartaches and Time Well Wasted. Coloured Sky is an alternative rock band that formed in Whistler, BC. The EP is a self-titled affair. Seaway’s All In My Head EP keeps the pop punk going strong.

Specialists of children’s music Bobs & LoLo, twice JUNO nominated, are back with Wave Your Antlers. Multiplatinum punk band Billy Talent has launched a greatest hits compilation that includes a couple of new songs. On a tous quelque chose de Sweet People is a various artists album with tracks by a number of Francophone greats. Finally, we’re getting into Christmas albums. Joël Legendre has released Noël. On a side note, David Myles came out with a Christmas album last week. We will roundup the holiday albums at the end of the month.

4 New Releases Kneeling in Desire

C’est d’l’amour ou c’est comme, Andrea Lindsay & Luc De Larochellière

They are both JUNO winning recording artists. She is a newer artist from Guelph, ON. Though an Anglophone, she fell in love with French music and culture on a trip to France when she was 18. She released her first album in 2006. He is a veteran, having scored a number of hit singles in the late 80s to early 90s and released a platinum album. The two of them met at a music festival and experienced instant chemistry. Luc’s manager had the idea of their making an album together. This is the fruit of their labours, a sweet folk-pop album.

iTunes

Shut Down the Streets, AC Newman

The New Pornographers were a great little indie outfit back in the day winning a JUNO for Best Alternative Album in 2001. Since their disbandment, Vancouver’s A.C. Newman has been flying solo. His latest album is Shut Down the Streets. His music continues to sound good, a melodic dreamy pop, sort of a Herman’s Hermits meets the Grapes of Wrath. Newman’s sincere singing backed by accordion, Wurlitzer, marimba, banjo, flute, saxophone, clarinet, and glockenspiel, in addition to the usual guitars and keyboards, makes for a flavourful blend.

iTunes    Official Website

À genoux dans le désir, Yann Perreau

Yann Perreau is a JUNO-nominated recording artist who won the Félix for Songwriter of the Year at the ADISQ 2009 gala; his piano-driven “Beau comme on s’aime” was the biggest French Canadian hit that year. Yann has set unpublished poems by Claude Péloquin to music. Péloquin is responsible for co-writing lyrics for some major French language tunes over the years, such as Robert Charlebois’ classic “Lindberg”. For each track, Yann engages in a vocal duet with a different female singer, most of whom are big names in the business—Lisa LeBlanc, Catherine Major, and Ariane Moffatt to name a few. The final cut features Péloquin himself in a spoken-word piece.

iTunes     Official Website

The Sticks, Mother Mother

Situated between Vancouver Island’s Campbell River and the mainland, lies Quadra Island where this band can trace its origin. Now based in Vancouver, they already have a JUNO nomination under their toque. The Sticks is the band’s fourth album and came close to making the Billboard Canadian Album chart’s top 10 upon release. Mother Mother is one of the few male-female combo bands. The album’s single “Let’s Fall in Love” is described by the Edmonton Journal as “a delicious new-wave number with jittery guitars and synths wafting around your ankles like dry ice in a haunted house”. Halloween is indeed on its way.

iTunes     Official Website