Selected New Releases: May 26, 2017

Among new releases from Canadian artists May 26, 2017, we have the latest album from multiplatinum six-time JUNO winner Serena Ryder. Utopia is jam packed with delicious folk-rock tunes and currently sites at #2 on the iTunes Albums chart. Another ace player is singer-songwriter Oh Susanna who presents A Girl in Teen City. She has a pair of JUNO nominations to her credit, and the new album has some very impressive writing.

We wish to highlight Aum from Guelph’s Minotaurs which is a sumptuous fusion of electronica, jazz, and other flavours. It should hit the spot for those seeking something different that sounds splendid. We loved Catherine Leduc‘s last album, and her new one, Un bras de distance avec le soleil, is also a winner. It’s a little more airy and relaxed than her last one. Female producer Ouri should be the envy of the nation judging by her new album Superficial. It’s chillout electronica at its finest.

Find a list of this week’s selected new releases below.

Aum Minotaurs Alternative Guelph Group
Big Beets Martin Goyette Blues Montreal Male
Un bras de distance… Catherine Leduc Alternative Montreal Female
Erosion Cydemind Prog-Metal Montreal Group
Faux Real Fake Shark Alternative Vancouver Group
A Girl in Teen City Oh Susanna Singer-Songwriter Toronto Female
Hard Won… John Cody Singer-Songwriter Ottawa Male
669 Anders Rap Toronto Male
Superficial Ouri Electronic Montreal Female
Utopia Serena Ryder Folk-Rock Peterborough Female
Key West (EP) Adam Strangler Alt-Rock Montreal Group
7 Years of Blood (EP) Peeling Alt-Rock Toronto Group

Serena Ryder’s Utopian Electric Love

Peterborough, Ontario folk-rock superstar Serena Ryder is gearing up for the release of a new album; Utopia will hit the shops on May 26. This will be her sixth studio LP. In reviewing Serena’s ryde through success so far, her breakout came with album #3, If Your Memory Serves You Well (2006). The disc contained song “Weak in the Knees”. Though it came out prior to the launch of the Canadian Hot 100 in mid-2007, the fact that the single went gold would indicate it was a fairly big hit. Ryder’s fourth album Is It O.K. (2008) also went gold. It was not responsible for any huge hits; “Little Bit of Red” peaked at #82. The album won the 2009 JUNO for Alternative Album of the Year and the song won 2010’s Music Video of the Year, Serena had snatched up the New Artist of the Year JUNO in 2008.

Four years following the release of album #4, Serena catapulted her juggernaut Harmony which went platinum and spawned some blistering hits. “Stompa” (#8) smashed 3x platinum, “What I Wouldn’t Do” (#8) platinum, and “Fall” made the respectable chart position of #27. More JUNO trophies were awarded to her. Harmony was 2013’s Adult Alternative Album of the Year. And in 2014, Serena Ryder was named both Songwriter of the Year and Artist of the Year.

Testing the waters prior to release of Utopia, single “Got Your Number,” though reaching only #62 has been certified gold. The official lead single “Electric Love” is now up for grabs. As well, she has decked it with a music video that is quite a feast for the eyes showcasing a number of fashionably clad people, face paint, and colourful geometric patterns, most notably, triangles. Could she be hinting at a “bizarre love triangle”? In an interview with People Magazine, Ryder says, “‘Electric Love’ is a song about feeling the magnetic energy between two people,” and she states on her Facebook page that the video was shot over a 3-month period.  iTunes

Pan Am Is Headlining West

2015_Pan_American_Games_logo_svgWhen it came to Vancouver hosting the Olympics, the closing ceremony saw only Canadian recording artists handling the entertainment portion: Michael Buble, Avril Lavigne, Simple Plan, and Hedley, among others. When London, UK hosted, the entertainment featured British stars. Those seem to be the rules. The host country shows the world what it’s made of. Toronto has broken those rules. It has been announced that two American rappers will be headlining the closing ceremony of the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, and many are disappointed. The only Canadian announced to be performing is Serena Ryder who will attempt to get some verses in edgewise while sandwiched in between Kanye’s West’s family unfriendly expletives-packed, lecherous lyrics and his fellow American rapper Pitbull. To make matters worse, the mayor of Toronto shot himself in the foot by stating incorrectly that West is from Toronto. A petition is in circulation and this afternoon was up to 22,000 in favour of cancelling West’s performance at the games. It is unlikely that it will succeed.

In terms of charting singles and per capita album sales, Kanye West has seen significantly less success in Canada than in the United States. West (and Pitbull) no doubt have a number of fans in Canada but the voices of dissent are expressing the inappropriateness of the selection wanting instead to see Canadian stars (especially those from Ontario or even better Toronto itself). Last year, many Canadians were put off by an American band headlining the Grey Cup. The Pan Am Games website has not stated whether or not recording stars from any of the other 39 participating countries (Mexico, Brazil, Trinidad, Jamaica, etc.) will be performing.

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.

Bobby Bazini Releases First Album with Universal Music

bobby bazini - where i belongAn admirer of the country music of Johnny Cash and influenced by the soul music of Otis Redding, Mont-Laurier QC’s Bobby Bazini released his debut album, Better In Time, through an independent record label in 2010 when he was 21 years old. It was a big success going platinum and attracting two JUNO nominations. Canada’s top record company, Universal Music, signed him in 2013 and sent him packing down to California to work with Grammy winning producer Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock, Tracy Chapman). 

Bobby Bazini recorded his sophomore LP, Where I Belong, at Bob Dylan and Marvin Gaye’s old stamping grounds – Village Recorder. Musicians joining him on the work include Booker T (organ), Jack Ashford (percussion), and Jay Bellerose (drums). 2014’s Where I Belong includes last year’s “Cold Cold Heart” and latest single “Heavy Love”. It also contains a cover of The Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody” featuring multiplatinum songstress Serena Ryder. The album is a roots music tour de force with smatterings of blues rock, folk, country, and soul.  iTunes

Serena Ryder Gives Us a Taste of Heavy Love

Serena Ryder - Heavy Love MVPrior to album Harmony, Serena Ryder saw some success: three JUNO awards, two gold albums, and three charting singles, one of which narrowly made the Top 40. There is no question, though, that the Harmony era has catapulted her to superstar status. Harmony itself won for her an additional three JUNOs and has gone platinum. The album has spawned four charting singles, two of which made the Top 10 and one of which went triple platinum. To put things in perspective, only 13 singles from Canadians have been certified triple platinum or higher domestically during the digital epoch. The fourth and latest hit from the album is “Heavy Love” currently sitting at #73 on the Hot 100. Yesterday, Serena rolled out her music video for the single which sees her putting up her dukes in a pair of boxing gloves.

The Trews Keep the Rock and Snowball Rolling

The Trews - The TrewsThe rock and snowball have been rolling in Atlantic Canada. Part of the reason is Antigonish, Nova Scotia’s The Trews, an all-male, four-member rock band that recorded its first EP way back in 1997. Since then, five JUNO nominations and two gold-certified albums garnish the achievements platter. These lads stand out for a number of reasons, not the least of which is excellent songwriting. Latest album, a self-titled work, is an ample demonstration of that, an iTunes Top 10 placement. Multiplatinum singer Serena Ryder is featured in outstanding track “In the Morning”. Delicious angst-replete “What’s Fair Is Fair” is an instant classic. You can watch its lyric MV here. The whole album is pretty solid which is always a difficult task to fulfill. Great Canadian rock album.  iTunes

Ice Conduit to the 2014 JUNOs: Single of the Year Nominees

Single of the Year Nominations copy

Fact #1: All nominees in the category are from different provinces.

Fact #2: One of the five nominees has never won a JUNO award.

Fact #3: All five singles were Top 20 hits (Billboard Canadian Hot 100) and four made the year-end Top 100 of 2013.

“Reflektor” by Arcade Fire (Montréal, QC)

Arcade Fire - ReflektorAfter all the international awards, plus six JUNO wins, and multiplatinum sales of the band’s albums, the last hurdle to overcome was to score a hit single. Title-track off album Reflektor achieved this spending 14 weeks on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 from September to December 2013, peaking at #20. Although it did not make the year-end Top 100 or achieve gold/platinum certification, it gave the group its first Top 40 hit. The least successful of the singles here, Arcade Fire has been industry favourites and therefore may take the award.

“Inner Ninja” by Classified ft. David Myles (Enfield, NS)

Classified David Myles - Inner NinjaSimply put, this is one of the most successful Canadian singles of the digital era, achieving quadruple platinum sales. It spent 38 weeks on the charts from November 2012 to August 2013, peaking at #5. It was the overall 17th biggest hit of the year. At the 2013 JUNOs, “Inner Ninja” won Rap Recording of the Year giving rapper Classified his first award. If the industry were to give the award in this category to the most successful single, this would take it; however, having already won a JUNO, they may give the Best Single award to one of the other tunes.

“It’s a Beautiful Day” by Michael Bublé (Burnaby, BC)

Michael Buble - It's a Beautiful DayMichael is without a doubt one of the JUNO favourites, having won 11 awards already. This song was a chart topper on adult contemporary radio. It graced the Canadian Hot 100 for 20 weeks from March to July 2013 peaking at #20. It also made the year-end chart at #86. It did not, however, receive a gold/platinum award. When it comes to the Burnaby crooner, though, fans prefer to buy his albums than his singles. To Be Loved, the album which showcases the song (up for an album of the year JUNO) has attained double platinum status.

“What I Wouldn’t Do” by Serena Ryder (Millbrook, ON)

Serena Ryder - What I Wouldn't DoThis was the second single released from Serena’s 2012 JUNO-award winning album Harmony. First single, triple platinum “Stompa”, was up for this same award at last year’s JUNOs, losing naturally to Carly Rae Jepsen’s mega hit. Serena has won four JUNO awards to date. “What I Wouldn’t Do” charted for 30 weeks from May to December 2013, peaking at #8 and was the 30th biggest song of the year. It was certified a platinum single by Music Canada. Because “Stompa” was unable to win last year, the industry may want to reward this song in 2014.

“Closer” by Tegan and Sara (Calgary, AB)

Tegan and Sara - CloserThis synth pop tune enjoyed a chart run of 32 weeks from October 2012 to May 2013, peaking at #13. It also made the year-end Top 100 of the year at #46 and has achieved platinum certification. Tegan and Sara have never won a JUNO award, though the twin sister duo has received nine nominations since debuting in 1999. Because of this, plus the international acclaim garnered by album Heartthrob, and breakout chart success from its singles, including this one, they are expected to win this year at the JUNOs, whether in this category or another.

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

Album of the Year Nominations copy

Reflektor by Arcade Fire (Montréal, QC)

Arcade Fire - ReflektorKnown for creative workmanship, the organic quality of their music, and half-whispered vocals, the 6-time JUNO award winners from Canada’s second biggest metropolis have also won Grammy and BRIT awards, one of the few Canadian acts ever to do so. This, the sextet’s fourth studio LP, and a double album, has the group becoming more electronic in sound. Legendary British icon David Bowie is featured on the refreshingly bilingual title track which became the band’s first Top 40 hit single and sported a flashy music video.

Loved Me Back to Life by Céline Dion (Charlemagne, QC)

Celine Dion - Loved Me Back to LifeLike all superstars who manage to continue their popularity, the most successful Canadian recording artist of all-time is able to keep up with the changing trends in musical style while never losing her foothold on the foundation of her persona. This was 2013’s best-selling album at quadruple platinum sales. The vocal excellence is a given, but here Céline pulls off a surprisingly masterful handling of genuine modern pop music while at the same time never losing sight of her AC roots, and giving the R&B tracks first-rate class. She has won 20 JUNO awards.

Nothing Was the Same by Drake (Toronto, ON)

Drake - Nothing Was the SameThe “Drizzy” one is without a doubt the most successful Canadian rapper both within and without the country. He has won three JUNOs to date. His platinum, third album, Nothing Was The Same, once again offers his introspective, nasally discourse, mood swings, and occasional singing, atop lavish percussion, ghostly loops, and melancholic-claustrophobic soundscapes. At times, he pours some vibrant new wave and off-kilter R&B into the mix broadening the music’s appeal. Guests appearing on the work include Jay Z, 2 Chainz, Detail, Big Sean, Majid Jordan, and Jhene Aiko.

To Be Loved by Michael Bublé (Burnaby, BC)

Michael Buble - To Be LovedWorking with Bob Rock (who co-produced his previous two albums), the production on Bublé’s latest studio album is crisp and slick. There are 10 covers and four originals, recorded in Vancouver and Los Angeles. It contains hit single “It’s a Beautiful Day” as well as collaborations with Jann Arden and Bryan Adams. While the album marks familiar Bublé territory—swinging jazz-pop—some peppering with soulful Motown and rock have served to broaden its appeal. This became a double platinum album. Michael has seen 11 previous JUNO wins and has five nominations this year.

Harmony by Serena Ryder (Millbrook, ON)

Serena Ryder - HarmonyThis platinum album already won a JUNO: Adult Alternative Album of the Year in 2013. Serena has won 4 JUNO awards in total to date. With Harmony, she switched from her previous introspective folk to boot-stomping, upbeat popular rock, and the album has spawned three Top 40 hit singles: “Stompa”, “What I Wouldn’t Do”, and “Fall”. The first, at triple platinum certification, is one of the most domestically successful digital singles in history from a Canadian artist. Although Serena has seen success since her debut in 1999, Harmony launched her into major stardom.

2014 JUNO Awards Host Announced

juno-hosts copyIt all goes down in Winnipeg on March 30 – Canada’s biggest night in music. Most recent hosts of the party have been Michael Bublé, William Shatner, Drake, and Russell Peters. This year, there will be three co-hosts of the JUNO Awards: Serena Ryder, Classified, and Johnny Reid. It is the first time in a while that the hosts are not massive names internationally (which may be the point). The three represent diverse genres of music. Serena Ryder performs popular rock, Classified rap, and Johnny Reid is a soul singer who immigrated to Canada from the United Kingdom when he was 13. All three are JUNO-winning, multiplatinum artists.

Brett Kissel, Dean Brody, Gord Bamford, Matt Mays, Robin Thicke, The Sheepdogs, Tegan and Sara, and Walk Off The Earth will be performing, and presenters will include Sarah McLachlan and the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games Gold Medalists in Women’s Curling. You can read more about the big night HERE.

Canadian Music Blog’s Top 10 Music Video Faves of 2013

We are counting down our favourite music videos of 2013. Regardless of when the song came out, to be eligible, the MV had to have been released in 2013. In assembling our list, we were not concerned with how much we liked the song, simply with the video itself. If low on violence, raunchiness, expletives, and indulgence in consumption vices, while beautiful to look at, clever, creative and original, having great wardrobe choices, some breathtaking cinematography, or a stellar message, the music video had a good chance of making our list.

#10. “One in a Million” by Down With Webster

Down with Webster - One in a Million

The MV for this tune by multiplatinum dance-rap ensemble Down With Webster features the band playing instruments—including a choice drum set with gold DWW logo—on a black floor before a three-panel video screen. The plethora of images and video footage shown on the screen are timed to correspond with words and phrases of the lyrics as they are voiced, and they serve to maintain interest. We also like the segments showing the band dancing with white glow sticks wrapped around their bodies.

#9. “All It Takes Is a Moment” by Elise Estrada

Elise Estrada - All It Takes Is a Moment

Vancouver’s CRMA winning R&B specialist Elise Estrada put her new music on hold to write a charity single and shoot an MV on the devastation super typhoon Haiyan wreaked upon her birth country, The Philippines. It opens with a satellite photo of dense cloud formation and a written summary of the storm’s impact. Elise is dressed in classy attire and presents sincere gestures standing before a giant hollow tree linking 2006’s Lower Mainland storm which uprooted thousands of trees in Stanley Park to the thousands of Filipinos rendered homeless by Haiyan. Interspersed throughout the music video is footage of the destruction in Philippine lands and the heartbreak experienced by families who lost their children in the storm.

#8. “Running Guns” by Alyssa Reid

Alyssa Reid - Running Guns

The music video for this international star’s “Running Guns” was shot in a city, the metro population of which rivals Canada’s. Few would disagree that Tokyo is one of the world’s coolest hang out places and we get to see Alyssa on the run from gangsters. She emerges from a sleep room cubicle under surveillance. When grabbing a quick meal at a noodle shop, she leaves when noticing the waiter has an identifying tattoo on his arm. She checks the alleyway, lit by red lanterns, to see if she’s being followed and emerges to a city filled with neon lights. Little does she realize, the gangsters are hot in pursuit as she picks up a plush toy. She even sees the same tattoo mark on a balloon being sold by a child who points the gangsters in Alyssa’s direction as does a girl outside a karaoke venue. She gets into a taxi before realizing that the same insignia is hanging from the cab’s sun visor. When the gangsters finally catch up with her and pull back her hair, we see a surprise.

#7. “What I Wouldn’t Do” by Serena Ryder

Serena Ryder - What I Wouldn't Do

A Top 10 hit and platinum single by the end of the year, the success of Serena Ryder’s “What I Wouldn’t Do” was helped no doubt by its choice music video. The MV has Serena holding up a picture which constantly changes and shows video footage of the story. Above a young man in bed is a Post-It note reading “MEET THE PARENTS DAY 12 NOON SHARP”. His clock has the time at a quarter to 12, and his lover texts him asking if he’s still coming. He has 15 minutes to get dressed, groom himself and arrive on time to set a good impression with his girlfriend’s folks. Off he goes on a mad dash across town on foot. Of course, he must pick up some flowers along the way. Over bridges, past brick buildings, along the beach, time is running out, as he mounts a skateboard and crashes into someone coming around the corner. Next, he hops on a bicycle (that isn’t his) but runs into its owner who is putting up a “missing” poster and must return it to him. A child holding a nozzle decides to have some fun and spray him as he passes by, and he steps into a shop to grab some dry clothes. Yes, he does arrive on time. And with that, Serena crumples up the picture, puts it into her mouth, and blows a chewing gum bubble.

#6. “Echoes” by The Wilderness of Manitoba

The Wilderness of Manitoba - Echoes

This very clever video was directed by Canada’s John Albanis and shot in Death Valley, California, USA. It presents a gold ball rolling along on a surrealistic road trip through the Mojave Desert looking for its missing friend. It rolls down mounds of dirt and gravel, past tumbleweeds, bouncing along the sand. Beneath cliffs of red rock, the golden globe pauses reminiscing about its companion. It makes it to the highway and pauses to watch a video displayed on a billboard. Past rusted water towers and silos, our golden friend stops to consult a map. It picks up the pace scooting by dilapidated structures, one of which contains a television set showing footage of the two globes hanging out together. We then see the companion deflated beneath nail-containing wooden beams and corrugated metal sheets. Our protagonist kisses his love who is able to then self-inflate. The two are reunited and roll away together.

#5. “Goodbye” by Glenn Morrison

Glenn Morrison - Goodbye

The music video for the first charting single (featuring Islove) of this specialist of EDM features a handsome couple pulling up the barred gates to a cozy and beautiful room of colour and sunshine with Mexican décor. We can check off colour coordination as the man’s indigo suit matches the colour of the walls. He opens the sliding wooden doors of glass panes to another chamber circumambulating a snow globe. “And it starts to snow in the streets of Mexico.” When he touches it, we are magically transported into a glow-in-the dark, eye-popping feast.

#4. “Bounty” by Dean Brody featuring Lindi Ortega

Dean Brody - Bounty

After knifing a lecher attacking his girl and burying his corpse (but “not deep enough to fool the hounds”), Dean Brody finds himself on the run from law enforcement. The two wed quickly at a country chapel and then jump in a boxcar headed to Mexico. They build their own shack and raise their children in a foreign land. It’s a good old fashioned western wherein, with society’s institutions in an embryonic state, one must take justice into his own hands to protect the one he loves and face the consequences of living a more independent and isolated lifestyle. The music video contains some beautiful cinematography and makes us feel we are watching a short film. We love hearing Lindi Ortega too in this country radio chart topper.

#3. “I Was a Fool” by Tegan and Sara

Tegan and Sara - I Was a Fool

Single number two from album Heartthrob by the Calgarian twin sisters was a gold single, Top 20 hit, and made the Billboard Canadian year-end chart of 2013. The music video for “I Was a Fool” is simply gorgeous to look at. Tegan is featured on piano with Sara standing at a railing in a background of teal. The song is about a young woman’s heartbreak. She sits at a sunken fireplace with the pieces of a broken vinyl record on the rug which she later tosses out towards the sea. While society tends to belittle the psychological damage caused by heartbreak, it is as if Tegan and Sara surround the protagonist with support and friendship to help her through her grief.

#2. “Love Ocean” by Wanting

Wanting - Love Ocean

Vancouver’s bilingual import from Harbin, China was signed by Nettwerk Records (Sarah McLachlan, Coldplay). This year, she released her second album, Say the Words, with 10 English songs and three Chinese. The second track, “Ai de haiyang”, or “Love Ocean”, is an exquisitely composed masterpiece of song performed in Mandarin Chinese. The gorgeous music video was shot in and around Vancouver. It opens with blue ocean and sky, and a rosy grand piano appears which Wanting, dressed in white, plays on the beach. From there we move to the coastal city of skyscrapers and heavy traffic, and now Wanting is playing keys on a building rooftop with a powder blue backdrop. The whole video is just beautiful.

Canadian Music Blog’s 2013 Music Video of the Year

To see the year’s most anticipated collaboration from two of our foremost international superstars was grand enough but an added bonus is a music video which oozes with class and beauty. A diamond recording artist from small town Ontario weds frontman of a multiplatinum grunge band from small town Alberta who wrote a break up song together on the eve of their falling in love. They let loose a killer power ballad with a music video that booted the staleness out of a year of mostly bland shoots.

At an exquisite chateau in France, an elderly groundskeeper is raking leaves and seems to recall a romantic past. Within the mansion of paintings and hardwood floors, the songstress appears in ghostly form playing the piano in a high ceiling chamber beneath rays of sunlight. She is nearly unrecognizable in classy attire and enhanced natural beauty that would make princesses writhe with envy and men’s hearts skip a beat. Her husband looks like the perfect dapper gentleman. Together they tug at our heartstrings in an MV that has, to date, racked up over 28 million views. The Canadian Music Blog declares “Let Me Go” by Avril Lavigne (featuring Chad Kroeger) as 2013’s music video of the year.

Avril Lavigne - Let Me Go - Canadian Music Video of the Year 2013

Toque Dynamos of 2013

Henry Lau

Henry LauBorn and raised in Toronto, Henry Lau learned piano to level 10 and won the gold medal for level 10 violin from the Canadian Royal Conservatory of Music. He also studied various forms of dance. Lau was one of only two people of 3,000 chosen in South Korea’s SM Entertainment global auditions held in Toronto in 2006. Relocating to Korea, he became a member of popular singing group Super Junior-M. In addition to Mandarin Chinese and his native English, he became fluent in Korean. In 2013, he released solo album Trap in two versions: a Korean version and a Chinese version. Both albums contained a few English songs. The album peaked at #2 on the South Korean weekly albums chart and its title-track became a Top 20 single on the US Billobard K-Pop charts. EP Fantastic followed in 2014.

Marc Dupré

Marc DupreAside from being a recording artist in his own right, Marc composes songs for other artists. He started out collaborating with Céline Dion. In 2013, he became one of the four coaches on the Canadian version of The Voice (La Voix). Prior to 2013, three of Marc’s songs had charted on The Billboard Canadian Hot 100. This year, he launched album Nous sommes les mêmes which, by year end, had been certified gold by Music Canada. Its title track vaulted itself all the way up to #47 on the Canadian Hot 100, a remarkable achievement for a Francophone work. It was named Song of the Year at the ADISQ Félix Awards gala at the end of October. Marc released album La dans ma tete in 2014.


MetricAt its core, this Toronto-formed electronic rock band consists of Emily Haines and James Shaw. In order to augment its concerts, the group picked up Americans Joshua Winstead (bass) and Joules Scott-Key (drums). Metric’s popularity and success steadily grew since its debut release in 2003. Gold record certifications followed in 2006 and platinum awards in 2009. Album Fantasies gave Metric its first JUNO awards and spawned first major hit “Help, I’m Alive” (#21, Canadian Hot 100). The band released JUNO-winning album Synthetica in 2012, its first album to reach significant chart positions internationally (#12 US Billboard, #21 Australia’s ARIA). In 2013, “Breathing Underwater” from the album peaked at #22 on the Canadian Hot 100 and made the year-end Top 100 at #77. Album Pagans in Vegas came out in 2015.

Serena Ryder

Serena Ryder1Born in Peterborough and raised in Millbrook, this Ontario artist launched her recording debut in 1999 and picked up her first JUNO award in 2008. Her massive breakthrough came this year after releasing album Harmony in 2012. “Stompa” was the 14th biggest song of 2013 (highest position for a CanCon single) and within the year was certified triple platinum. Platinum-certified “What I Wouldn’t Do” also made the year-end chart, and Serena Ryder was the top Canuck on Billboard Canada’s Top Hot 100 Artists of 2013. Her album Harmony attained platinum sales through the year.

Walk Off the Earth

Walk Off the EarthForming in Burlington in 2006, WOTE currently consists of five members: Gianni Luminati, Sarah Blackwood (not to be confused with the British vocalist of Dubstar), Ryan Marshall, Mike Taylor, and Joel Cassady. The band is known for its clever and creative music videos and came to prominence upon covering Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” by all five members playing it on one guitar. The Walk Off the Earth version attained platinum sales. The group released its own song “Red Hands” off album REVO which earned multiplatinum status in 2013. Billboard named Walk Off the Earth the Top Emerging Canadian Artist of the Year. Album Sing It All the Way appeared in 2015 spawning the hit “Rule the World”.

Gold/Platinum Certifications July to September 2013

Here are the latest certifications from Music Canada. Congratulations to the artists and a big thank you to Canadians for continuing to support them by buying their music.

2013 - 07 - 26

2013 - 09 - 11


For both albums and digital singles current definitions are: Gold = 40,000 units sold. Platinum = 80,000 units sold. 2x Platinum = 160,000 units sold. 3x Platinum = 240,000 units sold. Etc. Because The Road Hammers album was released prior to May 1, 2008, its platinum certification translates to 100,000 units sold.

Hedley, Serena Ryder, and The Sheepdogs to Grace the 2013 Grey Cup

Hedley Grey Cup 2013

The history of sport can be interesting, and it is in this case. Rugby was introduced to Canada by the British in the 19th century and became popular in Montreal in the 1860s. At that time in the United States, football (soccer) was the most popular game being played. Sports clubs from Canada’s McGill University and the U.S.’s Harvard University got together to play in Cambridge, Massachusetts in mid-May 1874. The Canadians wanted to play rugby and the Americans soccer. They ended up creating a new sport which is now known as football in the U.S. and Canada. The Canadians took the new sport back to Canada, and Harvard popularized it in the U.S.

The rules ended up being a little different in the two countries. Canada, for example, has a playing field of 110 yards, but the U.S. only 100 yards. The biggest difference which makes the games look very different is that American football has four downs, meaning four chances to move the ball 10 yards. But Canadian football has only three downs. Because of this, Canadian football has much more passing and involves more risk taking which makes the game more exciting. What may be curious to students of psychology is that, although Canadian football has a larger field and only three downs, games typically end in much higher scores than in the U.S.

Canada’s major football league is the CFL which currently has eight teams. The playoff round is crowned by the season championship game, played in November, known as the Grey Cup. Each year, it is played in a different city.

Financially, the CFL … could be doing better (let’s put it that way). In order to attract more, especially younger, fans of the sport, they have begun inviting popular recording artists to play at the Grey Cup final. Huge names last year resulted in a 44% increase in television viewership from the previous year.

This year, with a new album on the way, Vancouver multiplatinum pop band Hedley will be playing the half-time show. Saskatchewan boogie rockers The Sheepdogs will open the game, and Serena Ryder will sing the national anthem. The 2013 Grey Cup game will be held on November 24 in Regina which was also this year’s site of the JUNO awards.

Celebrity Baby, Reunion, Stateside Release, New Music

Noah Buble

Mr. Entertainment, Michael Bublé, and Argentine wife Luisana Lopilato are now the proud parents of a baby boy. Noah arrived 2:26 a.m. in Vancouver. Congratulations to this awesome couple!

A number of you may remember Stereos, a JUNO-nominated, multi-platinum band from Edmonton. Member Patrick Kordyback of the now defunct outfit has formed a new one called i65 which has been signed by Vancouver label 604 Records (Carly Rae Jepsen, Marianas Trench). Their debut single “Another Summer” is available now. 

From “Painted Ladies” in 1973 to “Levity” in 1985, The Ian Thomas band enjoyed radio airwave success across the country, the front man being the real life brother of adored Canadian comedic actor Dave Thomas (Grace Under Fire and Bob & Doug McKenzie, eh). The band has reunited after 33 years to help their ailing band mate. You can read about it HERE. 

Due to the success of Harmony and its first two singles, Serena Ryder‘s team will be releasing the album in the United States. Billboard magazine has all the info HERE. 

It appears that a number of upcoming album releases are getting pushed back to November. Yes, those strategizing record companies! This may have to do with taking advantage of Christmas shopping culture or it may not. In any case, it appears that the new albums from Céline Dion and Avril Lavigne are now to be in record stores in November rather than early autumn.

Speaking of November, multi-platinum, JUNO-winning BC band Hedley has announced a brand new studio album, Wild Life, due out on Remembrance Day. Lead single “Anything” has cracked the iTunes Top 5.