The Canadian Music Blog is an online magazine dedicated to providing information about popular music performed by Canadian recording artists, that is recording artists who are Canadian citizens regardless of where they are based.
Stay Tuned! Quebec’s Dominique Fils-Aimé heralds the slate alphabetically with her R&B album. It is one of 10 Canadian records that have been shortlisted for the annual Polaris Music Prize, a cash reward of $50,000 presented to the disc of music deemed by judges to have the most artistic merit. Dominique’s provincial cohorts Elisapie and FET.NAT join her with singer-songwriter disc The Ballad of the Runaway Girl and alternative album Le Mal respectively.
Ontario’s Haviah Mighty caught the judges’ ears rapping on the 13th Floor. Also from the province of black flies and horseshoe falls is R&B JUNO winner Jessie Reyez who gets the nod for Being Human in Public.
The CMB’s pick of the batch is Les Louanges‘ alternative LP La nuit est une panthère. Working Class Woman Marie Davidson follows with another alternative effort. Both artists hail from Montreal. Toronto alt-rock outfit PUP attracted attention with some Morbid Stuff. Well-known rapper Shad, a JUNO winner, is shortlisted for A Short Story About a War. Finally, BC’s Snotty Nose Rez Kids make the grade with Trapline, another rap album.
Unlike the past couple of years, there is no clear frontrunner for the 2019 award. Any of these could find themselves 50 grand richer. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Toronto on September 16.
The annual CCMA Awards takes place this year in our 4th largest city – Calgary – on September 8. Two performers have thus far been announced – Alberta’s Tenille Townes (pictured above) and Old Dominion. Local lad Paul Brandt will be receiving a humanitarian award. The Canadian Country Music Association has unveiled the artist nominees, and they are as below. Find musician, radio, and industry nominees at the CCMA website. You can vote for the Fans’ Choice award here.
The gentlemen rule in most categories, while the ladies fare better in the Single of the Year and, most especially, Video of the Year sets.
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The Fall – Dallas Smith
Feels Like That – The Reklaws
The Journey BNA Vol. 2 – Paul Brandt
Love A Girl – Tebey
New Tattoo – Tim Hicks
State Of Mind – Hunter Brothers
James Barker Band
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
James Barker Band
The Washboard Union
INTERACTIVE ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
James Barker Band
MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Sons of Daughters
ROOTS ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion – Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion
Both Ways – Donovan Woods
Heart Of Glass – Jessica Mitchell
Juliet – Dan Davidson
What We’re Made Of – The Washboard Union
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Criminal – Lindsay Ell
Dive Bar – Gord Bamford
Good Together – James Barker Band
Somebody’s Daughter – Tenille Townes
Walls Come Down – Meghan Patrick
Those who began watching Season 3 of hit television series Stranger Things were pleasantly surprised to see it open up with a Canadian song – Corey Hart‘s “Never Surrender”, the biggest hit of 1985. The characters in the show were even singing along to it! Corey was not the only Canadian icon featured in the season, as actor Michael J. Fox made an appearance of sorts; blockbuster feature film Back to the Future was showing on the cinema screen during an episode. It may also be news to some that the actor who plays star Mike Wheeler – Finn Wolfhard – is Canadian; Finn is from Vancouver. We should have learned by now, however, that there really are … stranger things … than CanCon in Hollywood.
There have not been a lot of releases the past couple of weeks as things slow down for the summer. JUNO award winner Daniel Caesar launched his album Case Study 01. An eponymous rock album appeared from Espanola. The Pearl of Bermuda, Heather Nova, a Canadian citizen, contributed a singer-songwriter disc. Navet Confit got very alternative on a prime ministerial kinda party. And punk band Necking advised, Cut Your Teeth. EPs included Adam Baxter‘s Infinity, Jonah Yano‘s Nervous, Andre Papanicolaou‘s Modern Pain, Part. 2, and Sons of Daughters‘ Love in a Bar.
Slayers Carly Rae Jepsen, Jean Leloup, Loud, and Shawn Mendes find their albums longlisted for 2019’s Polaris Music Prize, a smattering of 40 great Canadian albums. The prize looks at both LPs and EPs released between May 1, 2018 and May 31, 2019. In fact, 19 are 2018 albums and 21 are 2019 works. The list includes 10 JUNO award winners plus nine nominees. Unlike last year, there is no clear frontrunner in this year’s batch making for an exciting run to the cash award of $50,000. The jury of 199 members considered a mere 233 albums. The Short List of 10 albums will be unveiled on July 16 and the winner announced at the annual gala in Toronto on September 16. Find the longlisted albums below.
The summer solstice 2019 sees a mixed bag of releases as we near 300 albums and 100 EPs for the year to date. A couple of popular band members have released solo albums, namely Arcade Fire’sRichard Reed Parry with Vol. 2 of his Quiet River of Dust series – That Side of the River – as well as Walk Off the Earth’s (Ryan) Marshall with Layers (see the MV for his collaboration with Calgary’s Jocelyn Alice “Mr. Parachute” below). Both albums are solid and could be classified under the broad alternative category. Also pleasing within the category is Paul Cournoyer‘s Le détroit which has enough musical details to charm the listener.
Many of this week’s EPs are electronic works punctuated by JUNO nominee Daphni‘s Sizzling. Daphni is of course one of the projects (along with Caribou and Manitoba) of Dundas, Ontario’s talented Dan Snaith. We were quite taken with Mimosa Nova from BICHAÏ which has a more nocturnal, chillout jazzy feel, but all four of these electronic EPs are well done.
Find these and more in the table below.
New singles out include “Sweet Love” from Kiesza, perhaps her best song since her JUNO winning Sound of a Woman stuff. Red hot country artist Meghan Patrick contributes “Wild As Me”. Multiple JUNO nominee Coleman Hell delivers his latest – “Polite”.
Somi is a Canadian singer originally from Ontario and now based in South Korea giving Canadian K-pop some new muscle. She’s just 18 years old, and she’s killin’ it. The MV for her debut solo single “Birthday” has been out only two days and accumulated over 11 million views. It is Top 30 on the YouTube trending chart. The song has crowned the major K-pop charts. Somi’s full name is Ennik Somi Douma. The flashy, colourful MV is embedded below for your viewing pleasure. Go Somi! iTunes
Nova Scotian folk slayer Old Man Luedecke, a multiple JUNO winner, returns with his latest disc, Easy Money. With three JUNO nominees, he commands the new releases this week. Electropop maestro Jérôme Minière offers his latest minion of fun, Une clairière. Rapper Killy kills it with a long play record entitled Light Path 8. Pop specialist Virginia to Vegas releases an EP on Hartland St.
Outselling all of these (digitally at least) is Cool It from pop newcomer Claudia Bouvette (see MV for track “Don’t Like It” below). Also worth checking out are alternative album Les vents violents from Phile and R&B flavoured house EP Corazón from BC’s Pat Lok. Find these and more in the table of new releases below.
Claudia Bouvette - Don't Like It (Official Video) - YouTube
Three JUNO nominees pilot this week’s new Canadian artist releases. Instrumental outfit Blitz/Berlin offers its latest, There Will Be No Miracles Here. Alt-rock group Hollerado returns with Retaliation Vacation. And, sixteen years after the last studio album, Forest of Love appears from Saskatoon rock band The Northern Pikes.
Charmers include a self-titled work from Badge Époque Ensemble a collective of musicians that includes US Girls’ live band put together by Toronto’s Maximilian ‘Twig” Turnbull. It may remind some of 60s jazz-rock lengthy jams. Very cool stuff. Jacques Surette of Nova Scotia contributes a gorgeous album entitled Marche, Marche, Marche containing extremely catchy folk-rooted singer-songwriter nuggets. As far as EPs go, Jip Less‘ Cap sur l’éclaircie showcases a batch of pleasant songs that should hit the spot for music lovers.
Find these and more in the table below but first…
Some delectable singles and music videos have hit the shops. We will profile a couple of these later, but be sure not to miss the MV for radio hit “Love Me” by Felix Cartal & Lights. Award winning singer Alicia Moffet enjoys a shockingly spectacular comeback with R&B song “Take Control”. Believe it or not, it debuted on top of the iTunes chart and sits at #4 at this writing. Few do vocals better than Alicia. We haven’t heard from City and Colour for a while, but not to worry, he’s still got it as proven on his new single “Astronaut”. Country artist Jessica Mitchell features Tim Hicks on her new song, “Somebody Gonna Get Hurt”.
One of the nation’s best known roots artists launches new album Countrywide Soul; Jim Cuddy is a multiple JUNO winner. Along similar lines and also with a JUNO trophy on his shelf, Justin Rutledge releases Passages. A trio of JUNO nominees join them. Singer-songwriter Jenn Grant contributes Love, Inevitable. Also are a couple of jazz artists. Kevin Breit presents guitar-oriented album Stella Bella Strada, and our favourite album of the week belongs to Tara Kannangara with the very nicely done It’s Not Mine Anymore. Find a total of 20 new releases in the table below.
London, Ontario’s Akua Carson, a Canadian of Ghanaian descent, is a singer, producer, and songwriter whose rich brews of musical genius embrace R&B, pop, and electronic flavours. She released 7-track album Them Spirits in March 2019, a superb disc dressed handsomely with her silky vocals and spellbinding in terms of its dreamy atmospherics. The beautiful package flows gracefully. In fact, opening track “Righteous Way” would have lulled us into a perfect snooze, but the nice addition of carefully placed piano strokes kept consciousness alive. “Heaven” (see official audio below), the standout track, will blow your mind. It builds gradually from a velvety slow-burn to a shuffle of bass and soft cords, and finally to an exhilarating electronic heavy chorus. “My Body”, musically sophisticated, throws in some interesting sounds to drool over. Akua shows some vocal prowess on track “Queen” satisfyingly backed by orchestral tip-toes. Lyrically, Akua centers the album’s theme on the passing of her father. Count Them Spirits as one to check out. iTunes