7 new Canadian artists who should be on your radar!
Undoubtedly one of Canada's most exciting bedroom pop stars is Abby Sage. With a sleek fashion aesthetic, she produces a sound that is just as refined as her visual style. After her swirling, angsty 2021 hit 'Smoke Break', she has returned in 2022 with two new singles. The first of which, 'Pool Party' instantly sets a gloomy, enticing mood by opening with a dark, rolling guitar line. Her vocals match the submerged allure of the lyrical content as if she is singing with the kind of voice that would lure you underwater, never to return.
The second track, 'The Florist', is a little more blissful yet, Abby's smooth vocals are just as entrancing. The instrumentals are used mostly atmospherically, creating a gentle bed of sonic texture that provides a platform for her to repeatedly sing her hypnotic melodies. Although this track has a less menacing tone, is still holds a trademark magnetism that you may just get lost in!
Smooth Indie outfit Bealby Point capture the carefree, coming-of-age beauty of 00s Indie and distill it into 6 well-rounded songs on their new EP 'Fridays'. They describe their sound as aiming to replicate their most cherished summer memories, in fact, their name even comes from their favourite beachside holiday destination. This new EP certainly succeeds in conveying these feelings as it is packed full of nostalgic joy!
'Try My Best' opens with a fun, tangled riff, that is reminiscent of the sunny festival-ready guitar lines of The Holloways, before bursting into a chorus that portrays their musical influences of The Strokes and injects a euphoric twist. The title track takes a more loose, laid-back approach with dreamy guitar lines intertwining over a warm vocal serenade that is perfect for those late nights watching the sun go down over an empty beach. 'What People Say' is also a highlight. It's bittersweet emotions are created by the contrast between a funky bass line and crisp guitar tone that have a bright composition and the slightly more heart aching vocal performance and occasional percussive angst. A well balanced EP that captures the best of mid 00s Indie and will transport you to wherever you where when you were hearing those iconic songs for the first time.
Vancouver duo ORRA, made up of partners Sarah Orr and Cameron McGregor, began writing music during lockdown as their relationship grew. Taking inspiration from 70s pop artists such as Fleetwood Mac and The Cars they give retro, natural songwriting and old-school vocal textures a lush, modern finish. Their debut single 'First Time' arrived this summer, and fittingly, it offers a warm summery haze that you can easily drift away to in the sunshine heat.
'First Time' describes the naivety of first love, detailing how a relationship that felt authentic was actually superficial the entire time. These themes are reflected sonically through an emotive, vocal-led performance that feels vulnerable and deeply honest. Instrumentally, the pair don't tread the obvious path, opting for more vibrant, eclectic tones that flavour the vocal performance rather than blending with it. Rich guitar flicks echoed sparsely around the walls of the song while textural synth chords build up a rising swell of sonic emotion. The heartfelt meaning behind this track is audible , as is the intimate connection that Sarah and Cameron have. A very stirring debut!
Rising Alt Rockers Little Destroyer were building a solid following prior to lockdown thanks to their densely layered electro-influenced sound that always packs a punch. The band then went a little quiet over the last two years but they have now returned in emphatic form with two new singles in 2022. 'hitman' was the perfect reintroduction to their sound; gritty, in-your-face and full of swagger hit is a short and sharp slap around the face that will make you stand up and pay attention. The thick instrumental layers and cool female vocal attack will remind our UK fans of Black Honey.
'Love and Anarchy' then followed last month and demonstrated more of their atmospheric range. The cluttered electro opening sounds like it is about to enter a hypnotic Post-Punk spiral like the latest Fontaines D.C album's title track 'Skinny Fia'. However, the atmosphere shifts into a confident Rock swell before soaring into an empowering chorus that has the otherworldly euphoria of Wolf Alice. Although they are still an upcoming band, these guys don't have much more improvement to make before they are ready for that killer debut album and we can't wait for it!
Emerging at the beginning of last year, Indie Pop duo Wotts have released a flurry of singles that are filled with feel-good summer energy. They blend distinctive vocal melodies with slightly retro synth hooks to build up a nostalgic, carefree aesthetic, best displayed on the infectiously dancey release 'Domino'. Following on from their dreamy single 'LEMONADE', they have returned with '6 shooter', their reimagining of The Desert Island Big Band's track of the same name.
The original track is a laid-back, melodic Rock track that puts in mind, American acts like Kurt Vile. Wotts have stuck with the endearing melodies of the original but warped them into a more stary, synth-spangled electro blend. The sound is densely populated with dreamy Pop textures that swirl and spin at will. It is as if the pair have sent the original track through a super-charged mangle and seen it emerge sparkling with light on the other side. In this day and age , seeing collaborations like this between fellow artists feels rare, yet it is really nice to see that the two bands have dropped any egos and combined their creative outputs to produce two equally exciting but distinctly different versions of the same song. They will be releasing a vinyl with both versions on very soon so keep your eyes peeled.
Miesha & The Spanks
Leaning on retro influences such as MC5 and The Stooges that kick-started the road to Punk, lead singer Miesha has performed as a duo alongside a string of drummers, her "spanks". Yet, her current, and longest lasting percussive partner is Sean Hamilton and together they have cooked up a fiery new single 'I Can't Wait'.
You can hear Miesha's influences loud and clear on this track as she combines the angular energy of proto-punk with a biting Riot Grrrl vocal deliver. The backing harmonies provide a slight bubblegum sheen that gives this track its commercial appeal however Miesha's crisp vocals cut through any soft veneer with a bold and punchy attack. The fuzzy Garage Rock riff drives the track forward with a beautifully edgy tone. An irresistible blend between high energy Punk spirit and ear worming Rock Pop melodies!
Leading the Canadian charge in modern Folk is Nova Scotia's Braden Lam. His new single 'don't let go' sounds like it comes straight off the soundtrack from your favourite adventure film. It makes you want to push your front door wide open, step outside and go and explore the world. But how does he create this desire so effectively?
Well, Braden's vocal performance is at the core of the track, demonstrating an impressive range from the soaring high notes that open the track with intense, raw vulnerability to the warm and rich resonance that brings an uplifting wave of noise later on. However, the backing band is not to be understated. The acoustics tangle with Braden's vocals providing a true, Folk-driven honesty at the heart of the song. Yet, is the powerful electronic guitar chords and powerful percussion that really make this track so memorable. Constantly flicking between intimate Folk emotion and soaring energy, this is the perfect track for your next summer road trip.
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