New Releases 27 November 2015

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This week, we look at eight new LPs and three EPs. Children’s album Annie Brocoli autour du monde appears from the Montreal JUNO nominee who has achieved multiplatinum certification for her videos. Plessisville, QC’s William Deslauriers, who has previously scored a gold album, contributes the beautiful singer-songwriter work Le courant passe. Toronto R&B singer Ivana Santilli, who has attracted three JUNO nominations, returns in top form with Late Night Light. La parade is a wonderful holiday-themed chamber pop album from Maryse Letarte of St-Hyacinthe, QC.

Brampton, Ontario pop superstar Alyssa Reid releases her latest album Phoenix. She has scored a JUNO nomination plus two gold singles. Her new album is a little more stripped down unveiling some glorious songwriting and allowing her vocal prowess to shine. Garage rock outfit I.D.A.L.G. of Montreal is into some Post dynastie. Montreal’s Bless raps about the Spoils of War. And adult contemporary vocal pianist Ingrid St-Pierre, originally from Cabano, QC, dazzles with the delightful Tokyo.

Three EPs worth checking out are country superstar Paul Brandt‘s Borderlines which includes his recent hits. Paul has won eight JUNO awards and has scored a triple platinum album. Ruth B. is a new artist from Alberta and contributes singer-songwriter EP The Intro. Fred Penner’s daughter W. Darling launches Lost Girls: Chapter Two essentially a pop EP.

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Headlines and Footdots for Mid-September 2015

hmv oxford street london

Carly Rae Jepsen will be signing autographs and performing an acoustic set at HMV at 363 Oxford Street in swinging London September 18 to celebrate the UK release of her album Emotion. The vintage shop has been there since 1921. One week after, Carly’s Canadian brother will hit London as well.

graham norton show

Yes, The Weeknd will be guesting on Britain’s The Graham Norton Show along with Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, and Peter Capaldi on September 25! It is the season opener of the comedy chat show on BBC One. Other Canadian recording artists to have appeared on the show include Michael Bublé, Alanis Morissette, Arcade Fire, and Justin Bieber.

bieber guinness

The latter celeb was recently inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for becoming the youngest male artist to debut at #1 on the Billboard U.S. Hot 100. He was presented with a plaque in honour of the achievement. In Canada, the #1 hit “What Do You Mean?” was certified gold just one week after its release.

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Also going gold is “3-2-1” from Flat Lake, AB’s Brett Kissel. It is his first certified recording. Brett was one of the winners at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards this past weekend. The big winner of the evening, scoring a cowboy hat trick, was Gord Bamford. A list of all the winners can be found here.

jess moskaluke kiss me quiet

Immediately after the broadcast, CMT announced the release of the brand new music video for “I’m and Open Road” by Paul Brandt featuring two-time CCMA Female Artist of the Year winner Jess Moskaluke. It is beautifully shot, worthy of inclusion on our year-end best MVs list, and we have embedded it below. Jess has a new EP coming out on September 25 called Kiss Me Quiet.

Headlines and Footdots for Early August 2015

YTV Summer Beach Bash SURFING Up

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A few months back, youth channel YTV announced it would not be holding a Next Star singing competition this year. It will however be hosting something cool in the pop star realm next weekend, August 8, 2015. Television viewers can tune in at 7 p.m. to see performances and fun from Canada’s Wonderland Splash Works in Vaughan, Ontario. Headlining the event will be gold-certified pop star Shawn Hook (“Sound of Your Heart”) and newcomer Francesco Yates (“Better To Be Loved”). They will be joined by Jamaica’s OMI (“Cheerleader”), Disney actress and singer Sabrina Carpenter, and more! Further info on the bash can be found here.

Collaboration of the Year: Brandt and Moskaluke

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Triple platinum, 8-time JUNO winner Paul Brandt has teamed up with the freshest superstar of Canadian country, CCMA Female Artist of the Year reigning queen Jess Moskaluke in new single, “I’m An Open Road”. Moskaluke is the first female country artist to score a gold single since Shania Twain. A keynote statistic on Brandt, who has been at the game for a while, is that, thanks to songs “I Do” and “My Heart Has a History”, he became in 1996 the first Canadian male artist since Hank Snow in 1974 to score Top 5 hits on the American country charts. We await an MV with great anticipation. But for now, check out the new song on iTunes. 

Trevor Guthrie Rides the Gold Soundwave

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Former SoulDecision frontman Trevor Guthrie made a huge comeback when he joined forces with Dutch EDM master Armin van Buuren in “This Is What It Feels Like”. It struck double platinum sales in Canada and hit the Top 10 in Britain. Trevor’s followup single “Soundwave” was recently certified gold in Canada for sales in excess of 40,000 copies.

Alessia Cara Blows Away Jimmy Fallon

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Alessia Cara who popped up out of nowhere to score Top 40 hit “Here” is now gunning for a breakthrough in the United States. The R&B teen sensation recently performed her song on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. To use an in-vogue expression, she killed it. Alessia’s debut EP Four Pink Walls is due out August 28.

Tyler Shaw To Debut Yesterday

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JUNO nominee and gold certified recording artist Tyler Shaw will be releasing his debut album, Yesterday, on September 4. It will contain 13 tracks including his previous hits and is already available for digital pre-order.  iTunes

Eminence’s First MV Attracts a Quarter Million Views

Canadian EDM duo Eminence (Dillon Wong and Mathew Kazmierowski) has struck a chord with the populace, as the MV for “Knock Me Out,” featuring the fine vocals of Toronto’s Anna Cyzon, has attracted over 285,000 views. Have a look below.  iTunes

New Releases 24-31 July 2015

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We kick off this week’s new releases with Bandshell, the new album from Toronto jazz singer Tia Brazda Her saucy voice is backed by ace players from the scene to put the zest into swing. More great Toronto jazz, though more on the fusion side, emerges as a project from member of the Great Lake Swimmers in Bret Higgins’ Atlas Revolt. Morphing over to heavy metal, Tragedy Will Find Us is the fourth album from Hamilton’s Counterparts.

Winnipeg’s top experimentalist Aaron Funk returns as Venetian Snares in Your Face which should appease cravings for stuff off the beaten path. Petit Rocher, NB’s brilliant singer-songwriter Danny Boudreau bounces back with Danny Party. One of the most successful rock bands of the millennium launches latest album Five Crooked Lines. Yes, we’re talking about Burlington, ON’s Finger Eleven.

For those eager for country music on the classic side, If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ should do the trick, the new LP from Welland, ON’s Daniel Romano (not pictured above). CFCF, the alias of Montreal master of electronica, Michael Silver, releases Radiance and Submission, containing a plethora of awesome soundscapes. Hard rock comes by way of Toronto group Saint Asonia (self-titled) which is proving to be quite popular.

In the kingdom of extended plays, Nathan Wiley returns from an unfortunate hiatus. The Summerside, PEI highly underrated artist submits the boss roots work, Bandits. Lossy is a triple-track work by Maya Postepski under project name Princess Century. If her name sounds familiar, she is a member of Austra and also previously worked with Robert Alfons in electrogoth duo Trust. The new EP is an electronic one. Vancouver folk maestro Ora Cogan serves beautiful EP Crystallize.

A batch of singles are out. Sure to stir up the most buzz is “I’m An Open Road” featuring a collaboration between two of our A-List country artists: Paul Brandt and Jess Moskaluke!

Enjoy the new music.

Forever Summer Sees Paul Brandt Back on the Charts

Paul Brandt - Forever SummerIt’s wonderful to see Paul Brandt back on the charts with his latest single “Forever Summer”. Paul grew up in Airdrie, AB (a city just north of Calgary). He got into music in 1996 after working as a registered nurse. Paul Brandt is one of the most successful domestic country music artists of the modern era. He has won eight JUNO awards and scored a triple platinum album. Song “Canadian Man” hit number one on the Canadian Singles Chart in 2002, and eight of his tunes have landed on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 since 2007. We have embedded the official music video of “Forever Summer” below. It’s currently at #82 on the charts.  iTunes

Bands, Bangs, and Boomtangs (2000-2002)

The first new major star to arise in the new millennium was a Canadian of Portuguese descent who had grown up in Victoria, BC. After her Juno Song of the Year winner “I’m Like a Bird”, Nelly Furtado went on to sell 20 million of her three studio albums worldwide. But the early years of first decade were known for a slew of new (mostly short-lived) bands.

RPM magazine and their national charts folded in Y2K and determination of the Canadian charts was ultimately handed over to the Americans. Coincidentally, Canadian music seemed to become increasingly Americanized with a host of Canadian-made R&B and rap songs reaching high positions on the charts. Interesting though was the fact that new Canadian artists who embraced American styles of music, though scoring one or two big hits, did not last past an album or two. Fewer new Canuck acts took on genres more Canadian, but those who did saw greater and longer-lasting success.

Alberta gave the nation and the world the hard rock group Nickelback who scored the biggest hit of the year in 2002 on the U.S. Billboard charts. And a young singer from small town Ontario, who swung between pop and punk, scored a diamond debut album and, by the end of the decade, had sold over 30 million records worldwide. Her name was Avril Lavigne.

2000

Montreal-born Daniel Boucher released his debut album in 1999. Its opener, “La désise” was declared song of the year at the Felix awards gala. He was the only significant new soloist in Y2K. All other new artists were bands.

Vancouver’s ambient pop band Delerium had been around since 1989. But it wasn’t until this year that they scored (thanks to the vocal help of Sarah McLachlan) their first big hit. “Silence” peaked on the charts at #5 in Canada, #3 in the U.K. and #1 in Ireland. Further singles released from the band saw greater success in the U.K. and Ireland than at home.

Another Vancouver act was R&B-rap soulDecision whose song “Faded” topped the charts, driving their album to platinum status. They scored a couple more hits later on but remain best known for “Faded” which appeared on the year-end Billboard Hot 100 chart in 66th place. Aimee MacKenzie, who had been part of the female group West End Girls in Vancouver, formed a new R&B band called D Cru. “I Will Be Waiting” was a Top 10 hit (#9).

Sault Ste. Marie produced an indie rock / pop-punk band called Treble Charger. Their 2000 album went platinum thanks in part to the Juno nominated song “American Psycho”. In Toronto, pop boy band B4-4’s debut album went platinum and their song “Get Down” made it to #4. R&B outfit Jacksoul, which had debuted in 1996, scored a #8 hit this year called “Can’t Stop”.

In Montreal, twin sisters Toni and Trisha Sherwood formed a dance-pop duo named after their shared birth date (November 30th). 11:30’s song “Olè Olè” peaked at #10 on the charts. Folk-rockers Okoumé which had debuted in 1997 came out with their second album this year which spawned the Felix-nominated “Irresponsable”. They were never heard from since.

2001

Although there were no significant new female soloists in Y2K, this year one of the biggest acts of the decade emerged. 2001, for all intents and purposes, belonged to Victoria’s Nelly Furtado. Her debut album Whoa, Nelly! went quadruple-platinum and sold 7 million copies worldwide, thanks to the hit “I’m Like a Bird”, a British Top 5 hit and 43rd biggest song of the year in the United States. The album spawned three more Top 20 singles.

New Brunswick’s Natasha St-Pier, who had released a debut album in 1996, represented France in the Eurovision contest with a Jill Kapler-composed masterpiece called “Je n’ai que mon âme”, turning her into an international star. The song entered the French and Belgian charts at #11 and then jumped to #2. It remained on the charts for 26 weeks and, in Canada, was declared song of the year by the Felix Awards. St-Pier released an English version of the song (“All I Have Is My Soul”) which was ignored. Lulu Hughes scored a hit called “Rock with Me”.

In terms of new bands, the most successful was Sum 41, the only act, besides Furtado and St-Pier to score an international hit this year “Fat Lip”, a #8 hit in Britain, helped the Ajax, Ontario punk rockers’ debut album attain triple platinum status. The Matthew Good Band’s “Raygun” was a Top 10 hit this year. Later suburban Vancouverite Matthew Good was to go solo and score another Top 10 hit: “In a World Called Catastrophe” in 2003. Montreal’s funky dance collective Bran Van 3000 scored a Top 10 hit with “Astounded”.

Newmarket, Ontario’s Serial Joe scored a #1 grunge-punk hit in Canada called “Completely”. Niagara Falls’ Wave went to number 1 as well thanks to “California”. Created on the first season of the Popstars show, assembled group Sugar Jones became one-hit wonders with the #2 single “Days Like That”.

There only new male soloist this year was Toronto rapper Jelleestone whose “Money” made a brief appearance on the charts peaking at #6.

2002

2002 was a huge year in Canadian music, one of the biggest of the decade. Two new superstars came out of nowhere, both selling over 30 million copies of their records through the decade.

A teenage singer from small town Ontario won a contest to sing with Shania Twain in Ottawa before a crowd of 20,000. She was offered a record deal and became a multi-millionaire when she was 16 years old. Avril Lavigne’s debut album, Let Go, was released this year and went diamond, with four singles entering the Top 20 all over the world. Ironically, her singles charted better in every other country than in Canada, including non-English-speaking countries. “Complicated” was the song that first thrust her into the limelight and was the 11th best-selling single of the year in the U.S.

Alberta had not contributed much in the way of Canadian music over the years besides the occasional artist like The Stampeders, k.d. lang, and Jann Arden. From the small town of Hanna, northeast of Calgary, a rock band had released a debut album in 1996 that went nowhere. Their 2000 release garnered some attention on the “alternative” charts but this year’s release, Silver Side Up, went 8x Platinum. Nickelback’s single “How You Remind Me” was the biggest song of the year south of the border and “Too Bad” was a Top 10 hit in Britain. Furthermore, Chad Kroeger, the band’s lead singer, teamed up with Josey Scott of the American band Saliva to record the song “Hero” for the feature film Spider-Man. It topped the charts in Canada.

Around since 1993, Windsor Ontario’s The Tea Party finally became big names thanks to “Soulbreaking”, which peaked at #3. Four of the band’s albums, with their unique sound of rock with middle eastern touches, reached multi-platinum status. After being around since 1997, folk-rock band Les Cowboys Fringants garnered their first Felix-nominated song this year, “Toune d’automne”. Dance trio The Boomtang Boys topped the charts with “Movin’ On”, following up with the Top 10 hit “Squeeze Toy”. Aside from writing original songs, they created dance versions of past hits, like Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”. Toronto’s overlooked all-female power punk band Tuuli scored a #4 hit called “It’s Over”. BC’s rap group Swollen Members made it to #3 with “Bring It Home”. Grungers Theory of a Deadman, from suburban Vancouver, made it to #2 on the charts with “Nothing Could Come Between Us”. Quebec City’s dance band One Ton made the Top 10 with “Supersexworld”.

A male-female duo emerged that sung a couple of popular duets. They were Jean-François Breau and Marie-Ève Janvier. “Changer” was popular this year and, later, “Donner pour donner”.

A few new male soloists appeared this year. Mascouche, Québec’s Marc Déry went solo after a stint with the band Zébulon and scored the hit “Depuis”. Montrealer Sam Roberts rocked his way to platinum, to Juno awards, and gave us the gold single “Where Have All the Good People Gone?” With roots in Rwanda, German-born R&B artist Corneille came out with the hit “Avec classe”, and, later on, “Parce qu’on vient de loin” and “Seul au monde”. Dany Bédar, who had started out as a dj, debuted this year with the hit song “Faire la paix avec l’amour”. Later he scored with “Écoute-moi donc”.

Calgarian nurse-turned-country-star Paul Brandt crossed over onto the pop charts with the #1 “Canadian Man”. His debut album in 1996 had gone triple-platinum and he had been the first male Canadian country artist since Hank Snow in the 70s to have a Top 10 single in the American Billboard charts (“My Heart Has a History”).

Coming up are mini-profiles on semi-major artists Daniel Boucher, Natasha St-Pier, Sum 41, The Tea Party, and Les Cowboys Fringants. Following that will be features on major artists Nelly Furtado, Avril Lavigne, and Nickelback.