New Releases June 3, 2016

albums batch copy

With some high profilers dropping seismic shakeups this week, the overall number of releases is a tad lower than usual. We have six LPs and three EPs to tell you about.

In alphabetical order by artist, full length albums begin with this week’s finest work (to our ears). It is Love & Lust by Toronto’s Jadea Kelly. A singer-songwriter juggernaut, it echoes some of the rich roots and progressive fusion of artists like Beth Ornton and Lissie. We recommend checking it out.

For country, or Née country to be more precise, Saint-Tite, QC’s Manon Bédard serves a disc of pure fun and even does some yodelling.

Montreal’s Nomadic Massive does a very impressive job with pleasant rap album, The Big Band Theory, one of the year’s better contributions to the genre.

For those who dig rock tipped towards the gear-cracking blues side, enjoy Relentless from Montreal’s The Paul DesLauriers Band.

When Atlantic Canadians do pop, the final product tends to have an extra special earthy quality, and the major label debut self-titled album from Halifax’s Ria Mae is a beauty.

Finally, Love You To Death has topped iTunes. It is Calgarian twin sister duo Tegan & Sara‘s highly anticipated followup to JUNO-winning pop breakthrough album Heartthrob. Is it as good as Heartthrob? Well, that all depends on whom you ask.

Onto the EPs, Lindsay, ON rock group The Kents deliver music ripe for Waking to, fabulous Montreal pop outfit Lily K.O. treats us to a more dancey remix album of Le Chaos, and Hamilton, ON’s Matt Paxton goes full throttle on the indie treatment to country EP Let Me Rock ‘n Roll Tonight.

Expect reviews from us on a few of these charmers in a bit.

Canadian Music Blog’s Top 20 Song Faves of 2012, Part 2: #10 to #1

Canadian Artists

(See Part 1 – Songs #20 to #11 – which also includes eligibility rules and our selection process HERE.)

#10. “Gonna Take Some Time” by Len

Len - Gonna Take Some TimeGold-selling, JUNO-nominated Toronto band Len released an album in 2012 which was our  6th favourite of the year, It’s Easy If You Try. “It’s My Neighbourhood” was released as the album’s first single. All tracks on the album are jam-packed with sun blasts of pop splendour. We felt that the grooviest of the lot was “Gonna Take Some Time”. Len’s core members are siblings Marc and Sharon Costanzo who are great at combining clever lyrics and rhymes with impressive hooks and unexpected sounds all in a rolled up wheel of spinning summertime fun like a scooter ride through a colourful urban jungle. This song has plunky guitars, a sax solo, and some cool choppy beats.

#9. “Mon Corps” by Ariane Moffatt

Ariane Moffatt - Mon CorpsHeralding her 2012 album MA, which reached #2 on the weekly Billboard album chart, this mouth-watering electronic rock number, was released at the end of 2011 peaking on the charts this year. It rivals Marianne Faithful’s “Broken English” in style and the greatest hits of Mylène Farmer in substance. Ariane Moffatt is a JUNO-winning, platinum-selling recording artist whose creative genius flows at the rate of water over Niagara Falls. The synthesizer grunts and whirrs glisten over beats as original as the concoctions of Utada Hikaru. “Mon Corps” is both ominous and playful as her vocal delivery is both matter-of-fact and teasing. Brilliant song.

#8. “I Am a Bee” by Lily C.

Lily C - I Am a BeeTo prove that mainstream popular music is not all that delighted us this year is this sweet adult contemporary number by emerging artist and Torontonian Lily C. This is delicate “happy pop” in the vein of Jewel, Darrelle London, and Liz Coyles. Off album Reaching for Sunlight, “I Am a Bee” is absolutely beautiful. Verse, chorus, and bridge are all perfect examples of song writing perfection and wing through the 4 minutes in their uniqueness and unity like, well, a bee, butterfly, and bird. Rubbery keyboard blips, driving guitar strums, solid bass, bubbly bells, and free-spirited percussion animate this ode to flight and freedom.

#7. “Riptide” by Marie-Mai

Marie-Mai - RiptideStrange that of all songs on Star Academie finalist, 6-time Félix winner, and Vancouver Olympics performer Marie-Mai’s gold-certified 4th studio album Miroir, we would choose one of the two English tracks, but this song is so good, we couldn’t resist. Marie-Mai has become so popular that two of the four Francophone hits that made the Billboard Hot 100 in 2012 were hers. Fabulous were Félix popular song of the year winner “Sans cri ni haine” (a French language cover of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend”) and album opener “C.O.B.R.A.”. Marie-Mai co-wrote most songs on the album with the likes of Fred St- Gelais and celebrated Canadian songwriter Rob Wells. “Riptide” is the pulsating album closer which caps off a brilliant work.

#6. “Burning” (French Version) by Mia Martina

Mia Martina - BurningNew Brunswick’s JUNO-nominated Acadian singer Mia Martina sounds stunning in English but her French versions simply floor us. Kaleidoscopic “Burning”, a hot high-society style number with a sensual saxophone, made it to #25 on the Hot 100, was certified gold, and finished as the year’s 64th biggest hit. Enjoying tremendous mileage from her 2010 album Devotion, “Burning” was the third single launched of five. The album contained an English version only, the French version being released as a separate single. “Burning” was the second most successful song from the album, 2010’s “Stereo Love” with Edward Maya being the biggest hit. Straight from Mia’s classy opening vocal, the whole song shines with glory.

#5. “Put Me On” by Diamond Rings

Diamond Rings - Put Me OnYes, we do love our independent artists too. And how could you not adore a song that begins with the lyric, “Beneath the sliver of the autumn moon, between the pigeons and the northern loons”? Diamond Rings, the stage name of Toronto’s JUNO-nominated John O’Regan, released his sizzling second studio album Free Dimensional this year. It was our second favourite LP of 2012 bringing back that fabulous new wave 80s synth rock vibe with a modern spin. In “Put Me On”, edgy electric guitars (and even a mid-song solo) combine with cheeky synths and John’s baritone voice to deliver a classy contribution to the magnificent genre created by Kraftwerk and popularized by Gary Numan.

#4. “Body Work” featuring Tegan & Sara

Tegan and Sara - Body WorkAh, house music, especially while doing the laundry, never sounded so good. JUNO-nominated Calgarian twins Tegan & Sara co-wrote this killer tune with American EDM master Morgan Page and vocalized the entire track. “Body Work” wrestled its way up to #32 on the weekly Hot 100, while in Morgan’s home country, the charts were not so welcoming. With a beat that could set off an earthquake, shimmering synths that get a sloth jiving, and twin stereo voices that could turn grapefruit into honey, this piece of wizardry attracted mainstream attention to the hitherto underground duo set to release a new album in early 2013.

#3. “Break My Heart” by Victoria Duffield

Victoria Duffield - Break My HeartWe named Shut Up and Dance, debut LP from Abbotsford, BC dance pop star Victoria Duffield as album of the year. She topped the Billboard Emerging Artists chart with the album’s title track, a platinum single and 49th biggest of the year. The irresistible “Break My Heart” was the third single released from the album and scaled up the Hot 100 to #35 on the weekly Hot 100. The album is filled with gems, and this dazzling dance tune of flashy Ryan Stewart tweaks, keyboard toots, and unbreakable pop hooks was our favourite. The song is enjoyed best with its suburban neighbourhood dance invasion music video and is so energizing, it’ll have grandpa doing cartwheels.

#2. “Clone” by Metric

Metric - CloneNot an uncommon feature in motion pictures, the last time we remember a song about clones was back in the 1980s care of Alice Cooper. JUNO-winning new wave band Metric of Toronto whose members consist of three Js and an E released their fifth album this year, Synthetica, which made it to #2 on the Billboard Albums chart in June and was named by CBC’s Q as the 10th best album of the year. The song deals with the idea of making decisions based on society’s expectations (becoming a clone) or taking the road less taken. In any case, “it’s too late in the day” to change the course one set off on in the past. An extremely catchy song, with a swaggering groove, this one just compels you to keep hitting that replay button.

#1. “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me MaybeWas there every any doubt? At one point, we were diggin’ “Curisoty” slightly more than the biggest international Canadian hit of the year, but our enjoyment of “Call Me Maybe” was longer lived. Before the endorsement of Justin Bieber on Twitter, before Carly Rae Jepsen was signed by Scooter Braun and company, before the song topped the charts all around the world, before it even entered the Hot 100 at home, we heard this amazing tune when it first came out on Vancouver Radio Station Virgin 953 and instantly fell in love. It was like a tiny, humble seed planted in soil with questionable fertility and did nothing but grow, albeit slowly, until shooting up into a fruit-bearing tree that spread its branches around the globe. This really was the best song released in 2012, fresh-sounding, catchy, expertly produced, and intelligently composed by an exceptionally talented singer songwriter named Carly Rae Jepsen.

Related Posts

Top 20 Song Faves of 2012, Part 1 (#20 to #11)

2012’s Song of the Year

Top 10 Music Video Faves of 2012

2012’s Music Video of the Year

Top 15 Album Faves of 2012

2012’s Album of the Year