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.

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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

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

Definitions

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.

Top 10 Single: Serena Ryder’s “What I Wouldn’t Do”

Serena Ryder - What I Wouldn't DoSerena Ryder is doing very well. In fact, we can now refer to her as a multi-platinum artist! This makes us happy, because she is so wonderful. She already has 4 shiny JUNO trophies to decorate her home. She now has a triple platinum single under her toque, not to mention two golds.  Moreover, three of her studio albums have gone gold. Serena’s “Stompa” peaked at #8 on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100, and her latest track, “What I Wouldn’t Do” has now entered the Top 10 as well. The music video, released a couple of weeks ago, is simply a blast. We’ve embedded it below for your enjoyment.

“What I Wouldn’t Do” / Harmony on iTunes   Serena Ryder’s Website

Gold/Platinum Certifications Late July 2013

Music Canada announced some fresh record certifications at the end of July.

2013 - 07 - 23

Definitions

Gold = 40,000 units sold. Platinum = 80,000 units sold. 2x Platinum = 160,000 units sold. 3x Platinum = 240,000 units sold. Etc.