Selected New Releases: March 10, 2017

In alphabetical order by album title, we begin with Saint-Hubert, QC rapper Dostie who releases his album Autoportrait. (Don’t worry; he doesn’t rap from the payphone). The jack of all trades opened his own studio in 2005, Exceler Productions, and works as a sound engineer, producer, and emcee. Next, we have Dan Misha Goldman, originally from Montreal, who contributes rich alternative album Champion of the Afterworld. Dan also serves as one-half of duo Snowblink. Calgary classical pianist and triple JUNO nominee Jan Lisiecki teams up with the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra selecting some of the lesser known works of Chopin on album Chopin: Works for Piano & Orchestra. It’s simply gorgeous.

Currently sitting at #2 on the iTunes Albums chart is Coastline, the new alternative/electronic album from Montreal’s Geoffroy offering a breath of fresh seaside air. To Feel Infinite may be achieved by listening to Montreal JUNO nominee Jacques Greene‘s new electronic LP, a nice work of art. Brampton, ON has a female rapper recording under project name Haviah Mighty; Flower City shows her skills as a rapper, singer, producer, and DJ.

Punk music on the lighter side for a change is concocted with grace on album Meet You from Toronto’s Century Palm. When we think of indie rock, Nova Scotia isn’t the first place that comes to mind; however, the province’s Jon Mckiel handles the genre with mammoth skill on his new record Memorial Ten Count. Hamilton JUNO-winning blues-rock specialist Steve Strongman is back in top form with album No Time Like Now.

Quite a talented alternative rock band from Quebec City, Velvet Black, churns out some boss vibes on album Orleans. Guelph songsmith Richard Laviolette offers a disc of beautifully crafted traditional country flavoured tunes, his fourth album Taking the Long Way Home. Hailing from the far east, St. John’s, NL that is, JUNO winning singer-songwriter Amelia Curran returns with her brand of roots-leaning goodness; her new album is called Watershed.

From Winnipeg enters Vikings and exquisite new electronic pop EP Animal Kingdom. Find quality adult contemporary on Jason McNally‘s EP Les vinyles de mon père. He’s from Laval. Among all the fresh singles out this week, we were quite taken with Young Galaxy‘s “Stay for Real” a moody charmer that could pass for Canada’s answer to Depeche Mode. Very good track.

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Ice Conduit to the 2015 JUNOs: Blues Album of the Year

blues album copy

A surprising number of Canadian artists are making blues music, and eligible styles for the JUNO category include “traditional/contemporary, acoustic/electric blues in a solo or group setting”. To be considered, at least 50% of the album has to be blues. Because blues is often played live, the JUNOs allow for live albums as long as 25% or more of the recording contains new material with 75% or less previously released songs.

This year’s nominees are Ottawa’s JW-Jones for Belmont Boulevard, Trois-Rivieres’ Steve Hill for Solo Recordings, Vol. 2, Hamilton’s Steve Strongman for Let Me Prove It To You, Toronto’s The 24th Street Wailers for Wicked, and Vancouver’s The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer for A Real Fine Mess. Strongman is the only one of the bunch to have previously won a JUNO (this same category in 2013) while this is Hill’s 3rd nomination. The other three are nominated for the first time.