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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.

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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
Paul Brandt
Dean Brody
Tim Hicks
Brett Kissel
Dallas Smith

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

FANS’ CHOICE
Gord Bamford
Paul Brandt
Dean Brody
Tim Hicks
Hunter Brothers
James Barker Band
Brett Kissel
The Reklaws
Dallas Smith
Guylaine Tanguay

FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Lindsay Ell
Jess Moskaluke
Meghan Patrick
Guylaine Tanguay
Tenille Townes

GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
High Valley
Hunter Brothers
James Barker Band
The Reklaws
The Washboard Union

INTERACTIVE ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
Lindsay Ell
Aaron Goodvin
James Barker Band
Brett Kissel
Nice Horse

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Paul Brandt
Dean Brody
Tim Hicks
Brett Kissel
Dallas Smith

RISING STAR
Shawn Austin
Jade Eagleson
Eric Ethridge
JoJo Mason
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

SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR

Brett Kissel, Seth Mosley, Brad Rempel
Song: Cecilia (Performed By: Brett Kissel)

Gord Bamford, Bart Butler, Brice Long
Song: Down (Performed By: Gord Bamford)

James Barker, Todd Clark, Gavin Slate, Travis Wood
Song: Keep It Simple (Performed By: James Barker Band)

Corey Crowder, Jess Moskaluke, Jared Mullins
Song: Save Some Of That Whiskey (Performed By: Jess Moskaluke)

Barry Dean, Luke Laird, Tenille Townes
Song: Somebody’s Daughter (Performed By: Tenille Townes)

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Camouflage – Jess Moskaluke
Criminal – Lindsay Ell
Feels Like That – The Reklaws
Somebody’s Daughter – Tenille Townes
Walls Come Down – Meghan Patrick

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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.

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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.

TITLE ARTIST GENRE
Inscape Alexandra Streliski Classical
Dedicated Carly Rae Jepsen (JW) Pop
Shape of Your Name Charlotte Cornfield S-S/Folk
Do You Drive? Clairmont the Second (JN) Rap
Heaven Dilly Dally (JN) Alternative
Baby Teeth Dizzy (JW) Alternative
Nameless Dominique Fils-Aimé R&B
Ballad of the Runaway Girl  Elisapie (JN) S-S/Folk
Le Mal FET.NAT Alternative
Dose Your Dreams F–d Up (JN) Punk
13th Floor Haviah Mighty Rap
L’étrange pays Jean Leloup (JW) S-S/Folk
Being Human in Public Jessie Reyez (JW) R&B
Grenades Kaia Kater (JN) S-S/Folk
X Marks the Swirl Kimmortal Rap
La Force La Force Alternative
Dark Beings LAL Alternative
Premiere apparition Laurence-Anne Alternative
Mohawk Lee Harvey Osmond (JN) S-S/Folk
The Steal City EP Lee Reed Rap
La nuit est une panthere Les Louanges Alternative
Tout ça pour ça Loud (JW) Rap
Working Class Woman Marie Davidson Alternative
Radiant Dawn Operators Alternative
Pony Orville Peck Alternative
Morbid Stuff PUP (JN) Alternative
Les choses exterieures Salome Leclerc S-S/Folk
In Another Life Sandro Perri Alternative
A Short Story About a War Shad (JW) Rap
Shawn Mendes Shawn Mendes (JW) Pop
Dangerous Shay Lia R&B/Soul
Trapline Snotty Nose Rez Kids (JN) Rap
999 sydanie  Rap
The Gumption Tanika Charles (JN) R&B/Soul
Master Volume The Dirty Nil (JW) Rock
Forever Overhead Tim Baker S-S/Folk
Still TOBi  Rap
The Wake Voivod (JW) Metal
In the Land Of Wintersleep (JW) Alternative
The Same but by Different Means Yves Jarvis Alternative
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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’s Richard 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”.

Marshall - Mr Parachute (Featuring Jocelyn Alice) - YouTube
TITLE ARTIST GENRE
À l’abri de la tempête  François Roy  S-S/Folk
Hiboux Nicolas Gémus  S-S/Folk
Layers Marshall Alternative
Le détroit  Paul Cournoyer  Alternative
Libre Amanda Martinez World
Liminal Spaces Simon Legault Trio  Jazz
Space Grade Assembly Possum Rock
That Side of the River Richard Reed Parry Alternative
Angels & Daemons (EP) Nautiluss Electronic
Beach Music (EP) Daniel Wesley S-S/Folk
Funny Girl (EP) Georgette Pop
Geneva Freeport (EP) Absolutely Free Alternative
Lost in Spirals (EP) Little Snake Electronic
Mimosa Nova (EP) BICHAÏ  Electronic
Sizzling (EP) Daphni (JN) Electronic
Wilde Eyes, Steady Hands (EP) JJ Wilde Rock
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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

SOMI (전소미) - 'BIRTHDAY' M/V - YouTube

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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
TITLE ARTIST GENRE
Calm and Cents Kevin Hearn Alternative
Cool It Claudia Bouvette  Pop
Easy Money Old Man Luedecke (JW) S-S/Folk
Fates Conspire Glenn Milchem S-S/Folk
Hunters Trance Cat Clyde S-S/Folk
Les vents violents  Phile Alternative
Light Path 8 Killy (JN) Rap
Migrations Jacques Kuba Seguin  Jazz
Night Mirror New Swears Alternative
Quatre climats habitables feu doux Alternative
Times Nomadic Massive  Rap
Underneath It All Hein Cooper Alternative
Une clairiere Jerome Miniere (JN) Alternative
Corazon (EP) Pat Lok Dance
Cruel as the Grave (EP) Catacomb Saints Alternative
Hartland St. (EP) Virginia to Vegas (JN) Pop
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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”.

TITLE ARTIST GENRE
Badge Époque Ensemble Badge Époque Ensemble Rock
Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion Country
BloodMyth Ensign Broderick Alternative
Déséquilibre Marc-Antoine Beaudoin  Alternative
Dovetale Krief Alternative
Forest of Love The Northern Pikes (JN) Rock
Here Tonight Taylor Knox Rock
Marche, marche, marche Jacques Surette S-S/Folk
Monami Foreign Diplomats  Alternative
Retaliation Vacation Hollerado (JN) Alternative
Sainte-Foy KNLO Rap
Skye Consort & Emma Björling  Skye Consort & Emma Björling  World
Skye Wallace Skye Wallace Rock
There Will Be No Miracles Here Blitz/Berlin (JN) Alternative
Cap sur l’éclaircie (EP) Jip Less  S-S/Folk
Dark Cloud (EP) Jay Whiss Rap
Goodbye, Lightspeed (EP) JT Soul Rap
Kadooh (EP) Kadooh Country
Maybe – Side B (EP) Valley Pop
RoseGarage  (EP) RoseGarage  Rock
Vicelove (EP) Sam Drysdale Pop
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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.

TITLE ARTIST GENRE
A contre-courant Pierrot Fournier  S-S/Folk
Agitpop Lowest of the Low Rock
Apres vous Alex Thériault  S-S/Folk
Baby You Can Free Your Mind Mind Bath  Alternative
Bangerz Brass Bangerz Brass Rap
Black Mamba Les Évadés  Jazz
Corps coquillage Laura Babin Alternative
Countrywide Soul Jim Cuddy (JW) Country
It’s Not Mine Anymore Tara Kannangara (JN) Jazz
Love Jean-Paul De Roover S-S/Folk
Love, Inevitable Jenn Grant (JN) S-S/Folk
More Harm Than Good Part 2… Nomvdslvnd Alternative
NightDrive The Liquor Store R&B/Soul
Passages Justin Rutledge (JW) S-S/Folk
Sky Patrick Ballantyne Rock
Stella Bella Strada Kevin Breit (JN) Jazz
Untl We’re Each Someone Else Stuck Out Here Rock
Les Heures maladives (EP) vice E roi S-S/Folk
Relaxe (EP) Emmanuel Travis  R&B/Soul
Rires jaunes (EP) Moutarde Baseball  Rap
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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

AKUA - Heaven [Official Audio] - YouTube

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