Mid-June 2017 Hot Canadian Tracks

We’re closing in on summer, upon Canada’s 150th, and upon us is a tasty batch of new tracks which we present. Hopefully at least one of these will do it for ya.

Quebec’s Arcade Fire has decided to release a second track off upcoming album Everything Now. “Creature Comfort” offers a style that is punchier than the bouncy title track released not too long ago. An ultra widescreen MV complete with lyrics is out, the coolest part of which is to see Régine pull a LIGHTS and wield a keytar.  iTunes

The Great White North’s most popular pop group, British Columbia’s Hedley, has wrapped up the Hello era to launch a stand-alone single, “Love Again”. A new album is undoubtedly in the works.  iTunes

Montreal alternative group Stars releases a traditional two-track single as A-Side: “Privilege”, B-Side: “We Called It Love”.  iTunes

Ontarian Donovan Woods has crafted a super catchy singer-songwriter ditty called “All Mine”. He sounds a bit like John Mayer which we mean as a compliment. Wonderful track!  iTunes

The incomparable Pierre Lapointe cranks up the artistry on “La science du cœur” which builds to a satisfying climax. The music video (subtitled in English) has the camera slowly pulling back as Pierre stands before a beautiful set design.  iTunes

Nova Scotian Ria Mae is back with a bite on wonderful new pop song “Bend”. If she can consistently come up with songs this good, the platinum singer and songwriter has a great career in store.  iTunes

The production on Toronto’s Alvvays‘ last effort pushed Molly’s beautiful vocals into the background drowning them out into a muffle which disappointed us. Hopefully, a smarter job will be done on upcoming album Antisocialites. Lead single “In Undertow” is … in tow.  iTunes

Death from Above 1979 casts forth new song “Freeze Me”, a boss alternative rock track. The outfit has a JUNO and a gold-certified disc.  iTunes

Metric singer Emily Haines echoes the beautiful piano balladry of Emm Gryner (21st Century Ballads) while filling it with alternative ornamentation. The new track is “Fatal Gift” in which she addresses extremes of wealth and poverty.  iTunes

Ruth B, Florida Georgia Line to Guest on The Voice Finale

The Voice/La Voix crowned four finalists this past weekend, one for each of the four teams. Team Pierre settled upon David Marino, Team Éric Ludovick Bourgeois, Team Isabelle Frank Williams, and Team Marc Rebecca Noelle.

The Grand Finale will feature some big-name guests while celebrating music from the world’s second most famous family in song: The Jacksons. But of course shall be added the most famous of all, Les Sœurs Boulay!

Hot Albertan newcomer Ruth B, with a triple platinum single under her tuque as well as a recent JUNO award, will lend her support and her vocals to the contestants. American duo Florida Georgia Line will countrify the atmosphere with its signature brand of greatness. As well, Canadian duo, the platinum folk-pop 2frères will enchant with their unifying choruses. Stéphanie St-Jean, the winner of the last season of The Voice in 2016, is launching her debut album this Friday (May 5, 2017) and will be present to cheer on the victor of 2017. A number of other La Voix alumni will grace the stage at the big shindig including Matt Holubowski, Philippe Touzel, Éléonore Lagacé, and winner of Season One that started off the series, Valérie Carpentier.

To this wealth of exceptional artists are added the 4 fabulous finalists, David Marino, Frank Williams, Ludovick Bourgeois, and Rebecca Noelle, who will have the privilege to offer viewers, for the first time, an original song composed especially for them by their coach. The show, hosted by Charles Lafortune, airs Sunday night at 7:30 pm, live on the TVA network.

David Marino

This potential teen heartthrob, at 18 years old from Montreal, is currently pursuing college studies in science. He’s a lover of 50s music and hopes to introduce its style to the present generation. Convinced of the power of music, he set up a benefit concert for the Mental Health Foundation of the Jewish General Hospital. Good luck, David!

Ludovick Bourgeois

This 24-year-old from Lorraine, QC is the son of Les BB singer Patrick Bourgeois, and naturally fell in love with music at a young age, turning to it at the close of his adolescence after enthusiastically pursuing sports. He performed with his dad at Francofolies in 2015 before a crowd of 50,000. But it was his mom who convinced him to join The Voice. Good luck, Ludovick!

Frank Williams

Hailing from Moncton, NB, this 32-year-old is a psychiatric nurse at the Moncton University Hospital Centre. He’s a fan of both rock and country and picked up music by scratching into his father’s guitar. Frank has already led a few local bands including Spiral Case. Frank’s second love is natural scenery, as he spends time exploring his province’s countryside and beaches. Good luck, Frank!

Rebecca Noelle

At 32, this Ottawa native is an exceptional R&B and jazz singer. She has performed at venues for 15 years accompanied by her grandpa on piano. She has collaborated with David Gogo touring the U.S. and Europe opening for such wonders as ZZ Top, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Johnny Winter. Rebecca has served as a member of The PepTides. Good luck, Rebecca!

The Voice / La Voix Settles on 4 Finalists

la voix 2015

The Canadian edition of international television franchise The Voice, broadcast from Montreal on the TVA network, has settled on four finalists, one per coach. We are providing brief bios on each one and await this year’s winner with great interest. Good luck to these four fine singers.

Mathieu Holubowski (Team Pierre Lapointe)

Mathieu HolubowskiThis 26-year-old from Hudson is the son of a Polish father and Canadian mother. He grew up in a bilingual household. Mathieu took up the guitar at 17, rocking out to Metallica tunes, but in college turned towards folk music. Apparently he released an album last year called Old Man. Mathieu hopes exposure on The Voice will help him launch a career in music and his political science degree will assist him in penning thought provoking lyrics.

Rosa Laricchiuta (Team Éric Lapointe)

Rosa LaricchiutaThis Montreal-born Canadian singer is of Italian descent and is 40 years young. Her vocal talent was discovered in a karaoke bar and led to an Asian tour for a whole decade: Greater China, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Dubai, Bahrain, the UAE, and Indonesia. Returning home, she started work as a security guard and followed her love interest to New Brunswick. Rosa’s dream is to become a rocker like her coach.

Angelike Falbo (Team Isabelle Boulay)

Angelike FalboRecently graduating from high school, Italian Canadian Angelike plans on post-secondary studies in music. Her grandmother was an opera singer, but Miss Falbo is more interested in the musical styles of Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, and Christina Aguilera. Angelike has already participated in a number of singing competitions reaching the finals in Superfantastico and winning Star Plaza Shawinigan. She recently learned piano.

Kevin Bazinet (Team Marc Dupré)

Kevin BazinetKevin is the younger brother of soul superstar Bobby Bazini. He has been playing guitar since 8 years old. Videos he posted on YouTube gained him a following. He released an album in 2009 which opened some doors in France. EMI was interested in him but of course the record label folded. Kevin took time out to get into meditation, make attempts to tackle anxiety, and he quit smoking. He hopes to get back in the game by participating in The Voice.

Selected New Releases, 10 February 2015

New Releases 2015-02-10 copy

Heads up! The quality of music on this week’s releases is even better than usual. Del Bel is a collective from Toronto/Guelph. The new self-titled album is very good with cinematic, alternative music that would serve as fitting soundtrack for a noir, spy flick. Hard rock, 4-time JUNO nominated outfit Danko Jones is back with Fire Music. Hearts is the latest album from Calgary alt-pop duo Sidney York. The highly anticipated debut album Kings of Nowhere from Toronto rock band The Mohrs is finally out! Singer-songwriter Savannah Leigh Wellman from Vancouver, under project name Savvie, gets the alt-rock going on excellent new album Night Eyes.

Montreal based artist Vernier, is the invention of songstress Gen Vernier Blouin. Album Things We Do For Love is described by the artist as “melancholy grunge pop” and another winner this week. While on tour in Europe, platinum 3-time JUNO nominee Pierre Lapointe swung into a Paris studio and recorded a batch of songs, mainly piano and voice. The result is the beautiful Paris tristesse. Neuville, QC’s Carotté gives us something different by combining fiddles and folk music with punk on new album Punklore et trashdition. Lynn Lake, MB’s Tom Cochrane needs no intro. The diamond 8-time JUNO winner delivers his first offering in nine years, Take It Home. Finally, Montreal’s Elliot Maginot churns out an alternative, folky, artistic charmer, Young/Old/Everything.In.Between.

This week’s single releases include Shawn Desman’s “Victoria”, Dean Brody’s “Upside Down”, Tyler Shaw’s “House of Cards”, and Bryan Finlay’s “Rich”.

Enjoy the music!

Selected New Releases: 20 Jan 2015

New Releases 2015-01-20 copy

With the holidays behind us, music releases are back into full swing, though it appears dings in budgets, perhaps caused by YouTube piracy and streaming services, have made graphic artists and colour photography unaffordable in the creation of eye-pleasing album cover art. At least we can say that there has been no lowering in standards of the actual music judging by these excellent works.

We begin with Chante-moi une histoire, the new album by collaborators Francesca Gagnon and René Dupéré who have been behind some of the music for Cirque du Soleil. The fine work interprets Franco classics in piano and voice playing like songs from a music theatre production. Next up is sweet country album Feel Good Thing from Winnipeg duo Keith and Renee. A History of Reasons is the debut album from Toronto folky alt-rock charmer Cairo, a strong start for the group. Vancouver alternative outfit Siskiyou has released a few albums the latest being the brooding and cool Nervous.

Alan Doyle needs little introduction as front man for Newfoundland multiplatinum group Great Big Sea. The talented singer-songwriter’s latest is rousing folk pop sizzler So Let’s Go. Edmonton’s Alex Calder was drummer in Mac Demarco’s band; Strange Dreams, packed with catchy and quirky reverb drenched artistry, is his solo debut. Along a similar vein but noisier and more industrial is the self-titled debut LP from Calgary’s Viet Cong. Alexandre Désilets has released a deluxe version of his 2014 Felix-nominated album Fancy Ghetto with a couple of new tracks and a remix. Eponymous EP Like Pacific is out from the Toronto punk band.

In the singles department, “Debout” heralds the March release of a new album from platinum JUNO winner Ariane Moffatt. The electro-pop single is currently #1 on the iTunes Canada Franco chart. It may not qualify as CanCon, but Vancouver’s Emmalyn Estrada and G.R.L. have released “Lighthouse” in loving memory of Simone Battle. Set to become one of the finest pop songs of the year, it was co-written by Canada’s JUNO-winning producer Henry “Cirkut” Walter. Finally, we offer on a side note a single launched to promote season 3 of La Voix (The Voice). It is a cover of the classic “Le blues du businessman” (popularized by Claude Dubois) performed by La Voix coaches Isabelle Boulay, Marc Dupre, Eric Lapointe, and Pierre Lapointe.

Ice Conduit to the 2014 JUNOs: Francophone Album of the Year Nominees

Francophone Album of the Year Nominations copy

♥ Fact #1: All five artists in the category are male soloists.

♥ Fact #2: One of the artists is not from the province of Québec.

♥ Fact #3: Only one of the artists has previously won at the JUNOs.

Himalaya mon amour by Alex Nevsky (Granby, QC)

Alex Nevsky - Himalaya Mon AmourThis is album #2 from the scholarship winning attendee of The Québec Arts Council. Track “On leur a fait croire” was a big hit in the Francophone community. The album contrasts spirited radiance with comforting melancholy. It inspires a vision of waltzing on chilly Himalayan peaks to music that is itself very warm. As we stand dizzily, we gaze at the sobering horizon and fall in love with its awesome beauty. Himalaya mon amour leaves us with feelings of both nostalgia and hope. This is Alex’s first JUNO nomination.

Omniprésent by Damien Robitaille (Lafontaine, ON)

Damien Robitaille - OmnipresentDamien Robitaille has previously been honoured by the Félix Awards in Québec, while this is his second JUNO nomination. He is actually from Ontario where he released an independent album before studying classical music at the University of Waterloo. He released his first formal album in 2006 after relocating to Montréal. Omniprésent is Damien’s third album, a potpourri of styles, including AC/pop at the core with some nice Latin rhythms and reggae vibes in the mix, not to mention a cool turquoise album cover.

Chic de ville by Daniel Bélanger (Montréal)

Daniel Belanger Chic de VilleDaniel Bélanger is a multiplatinum artist who has won two previous JUNO awards and has sold over half a million records since his debut in 1992. Chic de ville is a rich blend of rockabilly and country and made it to #2 on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart. He provides a number of vocal styles through the album: Roy Orbison reverb, 5th gear falsetto, letting loose, and lullabying. The disc masters the music of train chugging bass, Brylcreem-haired guitar playing, Hawaii 5-0 drumming, and play-it-again-Sam piano, all garnished with intricate string arrangements.

Fox by Karim Ouellet (Québec City)

Karim Ouellet - FoxBorn in Dakar, Senegal, Karim is currently one of the hottest new Francophone artists in the country. Off this musically and culturally rich album, “L’amour” was a big Franco hit, scaling up to #64 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100. The title track and “Marie-jo” also made it big. Ouellet has been praised for both his guitar skills and soft, handsome voice. His music embodies folk, soul, African pop, reggae, and electro beats, all bound together by his direct and chipper spirit. The music will put a smile on your face. This is Karim’s first JUNO nomination.

Punkt by Pierre Lapointe (Gatineau, QC)

Pierre Lapointe - PunktThis is the platinum, Félix winning artist’s 3rd JUNO nomination. Punkt is a cinematic-flavoured work and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Canadian Albums Chart. Short video arcade themed sequences are interspersed like commercial breaks during a television show. For us, the album conjured images of muppets on laughing gas dancing around a letter of the alphabet, time-lapsed photography of love locks being placed on a chain-link fence near Pont des Arts in Paris, and Miss Havisham waltzing around her dilapidated mansion in her dusty wedding gown.

Pierre Lapointe’s Flowering Releases

Pierre Lapointe - Les callasFollowing up his Billboard chart-topping album Punkt, JUNO nominated platinum recording artist Pierre Lapointe has released an EP entitled Les callas. The 22-minute disc consists of 11 tracks of mostly piano and voice melodies. The songs were inspired by the calla flower formerly used at funerals and now used at more festive events including weddings. The EP has drawn comparisons to Chilly Gonzales. The title-track features Ariane Moffatt. A deluxe version of Punkt is also available that contains seven additional tracks as well as the eleven tracks from Les callasiTunes

Ice Conduit to the 2013 ADISQ Gala: Pop Album of the Year Nominees

Mixmania3 by Various Artists

Mixmania 3Mixmania is a televised performance-based show where two teams of Canadian youth compete for the most talented. The girls and boys teams consist of four members each. The show has become very popular in Québec. After each season, an album featuring the young singers is released, containing mostly original compositions. This is the third various artists compilation. The songs are mainly done in dance pop style. Rather than having each track sung by a different finalist, each contains a different mix of singers, both male and female (two or more).

Nous sommes les mêmes by Marc Dupré

Marc Dupre - Nous sommes les memesMarc’s last album, 2010′s Entre deux mondes, nabbed the coveted Félix award for Pop/Rock Album of the Year. Song “Si on changeait” won a SOCAN award. The title track of this, his 4th studio album is the most successful Franco song so far in 2013, reaching #47 on the Canadian Hot 100. “Un coup sur mon coeur” has also appeared on the chart. The music here is passionate, vibrant, and fresh. Whether you are riding a bicycle in the sunset or racing down the highway in a convertible, the album contains the perfect tracks to accompany the drive.

Punkt by Pierre Lapointe

Pierre Lapointe - PunktAlma, QC’s multiple Félix winning Pierre Lapointe has scored a pair of platinum albums. This cinematic-flavoured work debuted at #1 on the Billboard Canadian Albums Chart. Short video arcade themed sequences are interspersed like commercial breaks during a television show. For us, this album conjured images of muppets on laughing gas dancing around a letter of the alphabet, time-lapsed photography of love locks being placed on a chain-link fence near Pont des Arts in Paris, and Miss Havisham waltzing around her dilapidated mansion in her dusty wedding gown.

Miroir by Marie-Mai

Marie-Mai - MiroirUpon release, Marie-Mai’s 4th studio album topped the iTunes albums chart. Recently, it has been certified platinum. It contains her smash hits “Sans cri ni haine”, a Franco cover of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” and “C.O.B.R.A.” both of which made the Billboard Canadian Hot 100. The album presents a thoughtful blend of Marie-Mai’s signature high-energy tunes like “Toujours là”, delicate ballads like “Différents”, heartland guitar tracks like “Je rêve de nous”, and piano-driven melodies like “Si les mots”. The English tracks were taken from 2010 recordings of an unreleased Anglo EP.

Fox by Karim Ouellet

Karim Ouellet - FoxBorn in Dakar, Senegal, Karim is currently one of the hottest new Francophone artists in the country. Off this musically and culturally rich album, “L’amour” was a charting single, scaling up to #64 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100. The title track was also a big radio hit in Québec. Karim has been praised for both his guitar skills and soft, handsome voice. His music embodies a potpourri of styles—folk, soul, African pop, reggae, with even some electro beats thrown in—all bound together by his direct and chipper spirit. This music will put a smile on your face.

Pierre Lapointe’s Punkt

Pierre Lapointe - PunktPierre Lapointe is a multiple Félix winning and JUNO-nominated recording artist from Alma, QC who has a pair of platinum albums tucked under his toque. His new cinematic-flavoured album Punkt takes a musical journey all over the map, like random items pulled from Mr. Dressup’s tickle trunk. Title tracks of short video arcade themed sequences are interspersed like commercial breaks during a television show. To point out a few highlights, the album opener NO2 (nitrous oxide) elicits a scene of muppets on laughing gas dancing around a letter of the alphabet. “L’étrange route des amoureux” feels like time-lapsed photography of love locks being placed on a chain-link fence near Pont des Arts in Paris. “Nu devant moi” summons a procession of musicians dressed like jesters horning out a tune while making its way down a rural summertime path to an unknown destination. Delicate “Nos joies répétitives” installs a piano and string section in a springtime garden. With its beat-accompanied oohs and ahs, “La sexualité” gets things roused up and even contains a Nicki Minaj like moment. The hauntingly beautiful piano piece “Monsieur” conjures up an image of Miss Havisham waltzing around her dilapidated mansion in her dusty wedding gown. In short, the diversity and randomness incorporated, like the flavours of life, make this a fun and delightful album.

Punkt on iTunes     Pierre Lapointe’s Official Website