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
Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” continues to sell and is now at 8x Platinum, meaning that the only single to outsell it in Canada is The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” (diamond or 10x platinum). Other digital download singles certified at 8x platinum are Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”, Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”, The Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow”, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop”. Tegan and Sara are doing very well. Their new wave album Heartthrob has gone gold; single “Closer” is a platinum single and new single “I Was a Fool” has just gone gold. Other gold albums are Rush’s Clockwork Angels and Bernard Adamus’ Brun from 2009.
Talented teen star Justin Bieber continues to do well. His funky “Beauty and a Beat” (with Nicki Minaj) is now a triple platinum download and “As Long As You Love Me” double platinum. Other multi-platinum singles are “Inner Ninja” from Atlantic Canada’s Classified and David Myles (quadruple platinum) and “Stompa” from Ontario’s Serena Ryder (triple platinum). New to the gold club are JUNO-winning “You and I” from Oakville’s Anjulie and Down with Webster’s “One in a Million”.
The Canadian Music Blog would like to take this opportunity to thank Canadians for buying Canadian music through legitimate channels. By doing so, we support our own artists.
Gold = 40,000 units sold. Platinum = 80,000 units sold. 2x Platinum = 160,000 units sold. 3x Platinum = 240,000 units sold. Etc.
City and Colour and Michael Buble have become the first artists to be awarded gold/platinum certification by Music Canada on albums released in 2013. The Hurry and the Harm by City and Colour, released not too long ago, has already gone gold. To Be Loved, the latest studio album from Burnaby, BC’s Michael Buble has been awarded double-platinum status making it by far the best-selling 2013 album. The package of three albums released back in 2011 – Trilogy – by The Weeknd has also been awarded double-platinum status. Dean Brody’s Dirt from last year has gone gold.
As far as singles go, “Inner Ninja” by Classified featuring David Myles is now a triple platinum digital download making it the best-selling single of the year so far. Serena Ryder’s “Stompa” has been certified double platinum. Walk Off the Earth’s “Red Hands” and Trevor Guthrie’s “This Is What It Feels Like” are now platinum singles. Gold status has been awarded to hot new country artist Tim Hicks for “Get By”.
Gold = 40,000 units sold.
Platinum = 80,000 units sold.
2x Platinum = 160,000 units sold.
3x Platinum = 240,000 units sold.
Unlike Album of the Year, The JUNOs do not necessarily grant the Single of the Year award to the most successful recording, as last year the award went to “I Don’t Know” by the Sheepdogs. The five nominees this year range from a #69 hit to a #1 hit. In the spotlight are a romantic car crash in Vancouver, a steamy carwash in Mission with a plot-twist finale, a baseball game in NHL-snubbed Saskatoon, handclaps and boot stomps in Millbrook, and a death march rant of corporate greed in Canada’s manufacturing capital.
Billy Talent, “Viking Death March”
This song debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 on 8 June 2012 at #69, its peak position. It spent a total of 6 weeks on the chart. Although not awarded with any certifications, it helped the album Dead Silence achieve gold status in 2013. “Viking Death March” did not chart internationally; however, its sister single “Surprise Surprise” saw some success in Germany. Billy Talent is a punk band from Mississauga. They have thus far won seven JUNO awards. Great lyrics on this: “Stop, punch in the clock / Punch it with all of your rage. Put the men in office / For a minimum wage / Rats fighting for scraps / Siphon the gas from your tank / Left your pockets empty / As they laughed to the bank”.
At 7x platinum, “Call Me Maybe” is the most successful Canadian single of all time domestically. It began its chart run on 14 October 2011 debuting at #97 on the Canadian Hot 100. The song reached #1 on 3 February 2012 spending four weeks at top spot. It finished its chart run on 6 March 2013 giving it a total of 74 weeks on the chart. Internationally, it reached #1 in some 20 countries. It entered the British charts at #1 and spent nine weeks on top of the U.S. charts. It was the second biggest hit overall of 2012 in Canada, the United States, and United Kingdom. It was the biggest hit of the year in Australia and New Zealand. Carly Rae Jepsen is from Mission, BC. Outside of the success of “Call Me Maybe”, to date, she has scored three gold singles and one gold album. She was a finalist on Canadian Idol and in 2012 was signed by American heavyweight manager Scooter Braun.
This was the second most successful single of 2012 after “Call Me Maybe”. It entered the charts at #35 on 1 June 2012 and peaked at #2 on August 15. The song spent a total of 41 weeks on the Hot 100. “Kiss You Inside Out” was certified a triple platinum single, making it the band’s most successful. A bilingual version was recorded with Star Academie finalist Andrée-Anne Leclerc. The song was not a hit internationally and was the 19th biggest song of the year domestically. Hedley is from Vancouver. Jacob Hoggard, the band’s lead singer was a finalist on Canadian Idol. They have won two JUNO awards to date.
This is the only song among the batch that is still on the charts. It debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 on October 17, 2012, at #87. It reached its peak position of #8 on January 30, 2013, and has thus far spent 21 weeks on the charts. “Stompa” has gone gold as has the album on which it appears (Harmony). Serena Ryder is from Millbrook, Ontario which is near Peterborough. She has won three JUNO awards to date. “Stompa” cannot be considered an international hit. Her “All for Love”, though, saw some success south of the border a few years ago.
This song spent a total of 16 weeks on the Hot 100, from July 25 to November 7, 2012. It peaked at #59 on September 12. Though not achieving any certifications, the album on which it appears went gold in 2013. The Sheepdogs are a four-member rock band from Saskatoon who play a kind of early 1970s style “boogie rock”. Their winning a contest led to a deal with Atlantic Records. The band won three JUNO awards last year including one in this very category. The music video for “The Way It Is” (not to be confused with Bruce Hornsby’s number) showcases a baseball game. It did not chart internationally, though their current single is gaining ground in the U.S.
* “Stompa” will likely appear on the year-end Top 100 of 2013. ** Includes views of bilingual version.
Comparing the Artists
JUNO AWARDS TO DATE
HIGHEST CERTIFICATION ON A RECORD
Carly Rae Jepsen
Predicting the Winner
Predicting the winner in this category is extremely difficult. Carly Rae Jepsen’s song was the most successful by far, both domestically and internationally, and given she has not yet won a JUNO, they will want to give her one this year (she’s up for five). Billy Talent are a favourite of the JUNOs, however, having won the most of the five artists here. The Sheepdogs are on a roll, having won this category last year. The JUNOs are being held in their province this year and are wanting to encourage the province in developing more musical talent. Serena’s song is still hot, on the charts, and fresh in the minds of the judges. It’s style offers a nice bridge between pop and rock realms. As for Hedley, their album Storms won Pop Album last year and is up for Album of the Year this year. This is their best-selling single and they took the time to release a true Canadian bilingual version.
Which song do you think will win the JUNO for Single of the Year?