Pamela Claire Delivers A Love Letter In Stunning Debut Album, Lonely Sets Me Free

Fri Jul 24, 2020

Retropop artist Pamela Claire delivers a love letter to music in her debut album, Lonely Sets Me Free — plus new single and video, “Thin Air”.

A skilful blend of genres creating a powerful, eclectic and beautiful album, Lonely Sets Me Free is not just one thing — and this is where Claire's subtle mastery lies. Each track feels like opening up an unexpected present you never thought you needed but now can not live without. The songs are soulful, sad, groovy and danceable, and sometimes all at once; Pamela Claire makes music for grown-ups.

There's the jazzy title track, the disco groove of “Real Love,” and the witty country/alt-folk of “Choir,” and “Let's Stay Miserable Together.” Claire explores a rock feel on the hard-edged “Naked and Blue,” and “Little Shadow,” blues on “Let the Love In,” and turns soulful on the dancey “Directing Traffic” and “Breakthrough.” Both “Thin Air” and the critically acclaimed “End of Days” demonstrate Claire's delicate gifts in words, music and voice, delivering a pair of heartrending tunes that tear away at raw emotional truths with characteristic warmth and a disarming honesty.

Canadian Pop Punk Rapper Hollow River is “Known To Lie”

Fri Jul 24, 2020

Canadian pop punk rapper Hollow River has unleashed some fun, fast-paced sonic chaos just in time for summer in this, his latest single, “Known To Lie”.

“This song is basically from the perspective of a liar, and that framing allowed me to take the song to some really creative places, lyrically,” says the man behind the moniker, Mark MacDonald. “It’s hard to tell which lines mean a lot and which are nonsense, which is a skill the best liars have mastered.”

Watch and listen to “Known To Lie” here:

Hollow River first fledged his music career interning at Hamilton’s legendary Grant Avenue Studio (Daniel Lanois, Gordon Lightfoot, John Cage) before heading to Boston, Massachusetts to attend Berklee College of Music — where he currently resides — to pursue a double major in music production and engineering/songwriting.

Canadian Alt Garage Rockers The Vaniers Go “Wild” On New Single

Fri Jul 24, 2020

Canadian alt-garage rockers The Vaniers have gone “Wild” with their newest single, a decidedly nuanced, pared-down version of the track heard on this year’s debut EP, Who Are You To Say? — available now!

“The song has a rebellious undertone, and is mainly about being yourself, voicing your thoughts, and not caring what others think,” says the band: Diego Paz on bass guitar and vox, Alex Iacobellis on guitar, and Nick Donato on drums.

Watch and listen to “Wild” here:

The long-time friends are currently revisiting their five-track breakthrough March 2020 release, offering audiences acoustic versions of each song as well as insights into their makings. “We’d much rather be on stage or in the studio these days,” they assure. “But, for now, we all have to do our part and stay safe. Hopefully these acoustic sessions can help brighten everyone’s quarantine.”

Alt-Rocker Graham Show Music Is Nothing Short of Encouraging via Sophomore EP, Follow Your Dreams

Fri Jul 17, 2020

At over 95,000+ streams across Spotify and counting, Canadian alt-rocker Matt Graham and Graham Show Music has released his sophomore EP and title track video —Follow Your Dreams — available now!

“The song ‘Follow Your Dreams’ is an anthem meant to be motivation for anyone who wants or needs it,” Graham offers. “The opening line is ‘every morning you wake up and see nothing but future hope and destiny.’ The chorus is to ‘live the life you never lived, dream the dreams you never dreamt, and never spend the energy on time not well spent.’

Watch and listen to ‘Follow Your Dreams’ here:

“What I wanted to offer was the message that you can go after anything you want in life,” he continues. “If you never give up, success will one day come.”

It’s a mindset Matt Graham can personally attest to.

Dancehall Pioneer Nawlage Turns Up the Heat with NEW Single “ABQ to Montreal”

Fri Jul 17, 2020

If there’s two things Albuquerque, New Mexico and Montreal, Quebec have in common, it’s that they’re big fans of American dancehall/rap-fusion pioneer Nawlage, and they’re no stranger to summer heat.

And Nawlage wastes no time turning up the heat on both with the release of his new single paying honour and homage to them both, “ABQ to Montreal feat. Jawny BadLuck”

Watch and listen to ABQ to Montreal feat. Jawny BadLuck here:

Landing ahead of his forthcoming release, Influencing Since 2k5, the track features Jawny BadLuck and circles the story of a girl who’s left the desert for more Northern pastures.

“We wanted to capture the idea that a girl from ABQ — where Jawny BadLuck is from — was moving to Montreal, a place where they still appreciate and embrace Nawlage’s classic music as if it was still new,” Nawlage says. “I’ve never been to Montreal, but I noticed my Spotify streams at one point were mostly from there.”

Acoustic-Folk Country-Rock Artist Rocky Michaels Says “Our Time Is Now” When it Comes to Caretaking the Planet

Fri Jul 17, 2020

Acoustic-folk, country-rock singer/songwriter Rocky Michaels is issuing a resounding call to action and plea for awareness in his new single, “Our Time Is Now”.

Watch and listen to  “Our Time Is Now” here:

Off the Danville, California-based artist’s forthcoming album, The Great American Dream, “Our Time is Now” is a decidedly environmentally conscious song, Michaels says, and befitting of his long-standing archive of observant, engaging and relatable songwriting.

Toronto’s R&B Pop Singer/Songwriter & Producer SH3 Serves Up “Gelato”

Fri Jul 17, 2020

Multi-talented Canadian R&B pop dynamo SH3 dishes a heaping serving of “Gelato” in this, her newly minted video for the track — available now!

That said, that there’s even a video at all — let alone one so hot — for “Gelato” is unexpected; the single was never initially meant to be kept as her own.

“Just as many songwriters have, I had hundreds of song ideas recorded in my phone, just waiting to be developed,” SH3 — pronounced ‘she’ — says. “But then, my team NdroiDBeats encouraged me to make a folder of songs to be placed with other artists. Then, they challenged me to writing 100 songs in two months; I ended up doing it in six weeks.

“It was intense, but worth it.”

One of those was the track of the hour, “Gelato.” “I originally labelled it ‘Gelato Full Ref + Beat - Jeremih’ because that was the type of artist I envisioned on the song. I’m a huge fan of his writing and vocals, and the inspiration while writing ‘Gelato’ was ‘what would Jeremih sing?’

Watch and listen to “Gelato” here:

Orillia, ON’s Folk Rock Singer/Songwriter Shane Cloutier Doesn’t Wait for a “Rain Check”

Fri Jul 17, 2020

“I wrote ‘Rain Check’ when remembering the feeling of not being able to let go and move on,” says Orillia-based folk rock singer/songwriter Shane Cloutier of his new single, available now.

“It’s about feeling guilty for being stuck in difficult circumstances, and gives a glimpse of hope that someday in the future, you’ll be able to embrace the present,” he continues. “I think sometimes we carry a lot of luggage from our past, and this can inhibit and sometimes prevent us from living life the way we are supposed to.

“Rain Check”, for me, is my inner dialogue in those moments of apprehension and uncertainty. I truly believe our inner voice is how our spirit pushes forward, even when that voice feels dark.”

Watch and listen to “Rain Check” here:

Multi-Award Winning Canadian Indigenous Duo Twin Flames Take to the “Battlefields”

Fri Jul 17, 2020

Multi-award winning, chart-topping Indigenous folk artists Twin Flames are back, this time with their highly anticipated new single, “Battlefields”.

Watch and listen to “Battlefields” here: https://youtu.be/lhqXGgM38NU

The husband and wife duo of Chelsey June, Métis (Algonquin Cree) from Ottawa, and Jaaji, Inuk and Mohawk from Nunavik, are long celebrated for their sonic landscapes spanning Canada and the Arctic, and honouring their ancestors through song in English, Inuttitut and French, along the way; “Battlefields” is a stunningly poignant addition to their discography.

That said, the new song — and the first preview to land ahead of their forthcoming and third studio album, OMEN — is a surprising departure from music the band has released in the past. Backed by an album teeming with pop and synth-heavy sound exploration, this track’s theme is based on a self-reflective consciousness covering the subject of mental health, a topic that hits home for the band.

“Mental health is a battle that many people face in silence,” Chelsey shares. “This song speaks to the stigma associated with it.”

Adding to Her 200,000+ Views & Rising. Huntsville, ON's Country Artist ALEXIS TAYLOR Unleashes the Summer with "Cool With That"

Fri Jul 17, 2020

With the song at over 70,000+ streams and rising, Huntsville, ON’s country-pop artist Alexis Taylor has released a brand new video for her sweet ode to new love, “Cool With That”.

Watch and listen to “Cool With That”: 

“It’s a fun, flirty tune about that ‘puppy love’ stage of a relationship,” Taylor details. “It’s about that stage where you just can’t get enough of each other.”

That she penned “Cool With That” is par for the course when it comes to the Ontario-based singer/songwriter… You could even say it was destiny. 

“Both my parents are songwriters, and have always been very musical,” she shares. “Music is a part of me… It has always been in my blood.” 

The Boy From The South Embraces Easy “Mornings” in Sunny, Summery New Single Release

Fri Jul 10, 2020

With already over 20,000+ streams across platforms, indie-folk singer/songwriter Pedro Balaña’s — aka The Boy From The South — newest video for single “Mornings” is available now.

“This song came out as a really easy song structured around a catchy, surf-y, summer riff with a basic, hook-y melody on top,” The Boy From The South muses of “Mornings.” “I wrote the melodies in my bed, ironically, on one of the most thunderous, apocalyptic weather days I’ve ever seen in London.

“Lyrically — and meaning-wise — the vibe is simple,” he continues. “It’s that morning feeling when you wake up, the sun’s out, and you have no worries at all… That feeling of having nothing in the back of your head, just raw happiness while you can still chill in your PJs, or even hungover.”

Watch and listen to “Mornings” here:

“Breathe In The Summertime” Chase Stevens Awarded 1st Place in the Country Music Category in the Yangaroo Indie Song Contest

Fri Jul 10, 2020

Not a newcomer to the Canadian music scene, it is refreshing to see an artist like Chase Stevens take 1st Place Country Music Category in the Yangaroo Indie Song Contest.

A Toronto, Canada based singer/songwriter, Chase Stevens is recognized for his heartfelt lyrics and strong imagery. His 2019 CD, “Tumbleweed” contained 10 original songs including the critically acclaimed Remembrance Day themed song, “H.W.R.” that was featured on the CTV National News and is regularly requested at his shows.

In 2019, Chase opened for multi CMAO Award nominee, (Country Music Association of Ontario) Tianna Woods on her Southern Ontario Tour. Chase was also a co-writer on two of her recent radio releases. He makes frequent trips to Nashville where he does most of his recordings

The new single titled, “Breathe In The Summertime” was awarded 1st place in the contest that had over 300 submissions from all across Canada

Watch and listen to “Breathe In The Summertime” here:

Chris Grey had his “Reasons” when penning his latest single, fresh off his new EP, Falling Apart

Fri Jul 10, 2020

“I wrote ‘Reasons’ as I was starting to realize I was in a relationship that wasn’t good for me,” Grey shares. “I couldn’t imagine not being with her, but the relationship was making me miserable. This song captured the moment I was halfway leaning into the relationship, and halfway getting out of it.”

Watch and listen to “Reasons” here:

The single — one of 6 tracks on his newly minted EP Falling Apart — serves as a bookend,  so to speak; it marks both the beginning and end of the relationship, all in one track. “The vocal sample you hear in the bridge and that plays throughout the track is from one of my old, unreleased songs. It was actually the first song I wrote about her, and ‘Reasons’ was the last song I wrote while I was still with her…”

Alexiane Releases New EP Bad Sounds and Promises to Be Anything But

Fri Jul 10, 2020

With more than 41+ million streams across platforms — including her chart-rising breakthrough hit “A Million on My Soul” — Canadian alt-pop singer/songwriter and producer Alexiane has ushered a new six-track EP to the table; Bad Sounds.

“We all have different demons to face,” Alexiane says of her music and the new release. “Music is the best way I know to look those demons in the eye. For me, advancing is writing, and fighting is creating.”

Born in Montmagny, Quebec to a Senegalese father and Canadian mother, Alexiane is no stranger to shuttling between Montreal and Senegal, in West Africa, soaking up the Afro-Latin, French, and North American soundscape along the way. With her style self-described as “dark, cinematic pop with African undertones” and her alumni stacking as UCLA’s Music Business & Music Production, Bad Sounds serves as a good showcase for the multi-faceted, emotively astute artist’s breadth of talent.

Jesse Cook Celebrates “Tempest” 25 Years Later With a New Version

Fri Jul 10, 2020

Award-winning, multi-platinum and gold selling, and Internationally acclaimed guitarist, composer and producer Jesse Cook knows a thing or two about unexpected turns in the road.

In fact, his whole storied career is because of one.

For starters, the multi-talented virtuoso was one foot out the door, just about to set out on his highly anticipated Tempest 25 Tour this past March — a celebratory 25-date cross-country concert special marking 25 years of music — when the country shut down for COVID-19.

The unforeseen delay inspired Cook to pivot; he released a new version of the song, the creation of which also served as an experiment of sorts along the way.

“The recording started as a simple idea,” he explains. “I’d use this pandemic time to record a new version of ‘Tempest’ and see if it would sound different.

“Have I changed as a musician, or as a producer?

“Oddly enough, the process seemed familiar,” he continues. “25 years ago, the original was created with me alone at my house, playing all the instruments because I couldn’t afford to hire musicians. This time, it was me alone because of social distancing.”

JONT Says Thank You For The Medicine in Jubilant, Joyful NEW Album

Fri Jul 10, 2020

Stacked at 10 tracks teeming with unbridled jubilance and heart-bursting bliss, Canadian alt-folk and dance-pop artist Jont says Thank You For The Medicine with his new album release — available now!

Electronic beats — plus a choir, string quartet, sitar and harmonium for good measure — all hold and share space on the Halifax, Nova Scotia-based singer/songwriter’s 11th and most recent sonic offering. “There is so much joy in these tunes…” Jont muses about the release as a whole. “They are the antidote to the tough side of what we’re going through right now.”

One such song is “Surrounded By Love,” complete with a newly released video reminding audiences about the most important things in life while encouraging them to “sing along,” Jont says, and “have a dance, wherever you are.

Watch and Listen to “Surrounded By Love” here:

Ned LeDoux Releases “Dance With Your Spurs On”

Fri Jul 03, 2020

Ned LeDoux has stayed busy performing numerous live stream concerts and promoting music from his Next In Line album during the COVID-19 lockdown. His upbeat “Dance With Your Spurs On” single was made available two weeks ago, and today the lyric video for the song was released. Ned co-wrote the song with Corb Lund, who joins him on the vocal track and in the video. The clip can be viewed HERE.

“This is a song I wrote with Corb Lund, who gave me the idea about two years ago,” said Ned. “It’s about living life to the fullest in the cowboy way. You’ll still be spinning as they lay you in the ground. We perform this one in our shows, and we actually named the tour Dance with Your Spurs On.”

Paris/France Electro-Prog Funksters Moôn Are Landing on Earth with Out Of This World Sophomore Release

Fri Jul 03, 2020

With their head in the sky and their eyes to the stars, progressive electro-funksters Moôn are Landing on Earth with their sophomore release.

Founded in April 2018 by Murphy and Martiti, MOÔN, through its funk 80’s and electro-modern influences, MOÔN offers hisown universe, mixing dancing rhythms, a lunar atmosphere and down to earth lyrics.

A swirling constellation of sonic outer-worldliness, Moôn and its ‘nauts — Murphy on vocals and keys, Martiti on guitar, and Bardin on drums — call on a meteoric mix off analog and digital sounds to create a cosmic confluence of pop, electro, funk, hip hop and alt rock music.

Landing on Earth serves as follow up to previous singles “Amiba,” “Sad Clowns” and “ILU” — complete with 42,000+ streams across YouTube alone. The trio released their debut EP Welcome to the Moôn in 2018.

Watch and listen to MOÔN - I Need To Know (Official Video) here:

Kendal Thompson’s “Not UR Girl” Gets Remixed by Live/Electronic Wunder-Producer Pat Makes Music

Fri Jul 03, 2020

As if Canadian alt-wave, art pop indie artist Kendal Thompson’s song “Not UR Girl” couldn’t get any better, the stand-out track has been remixed and reimagined by Toronto-based producer Pat Makes Music, and now that 'song repeat x1’ option feels so limiting.

Known for their penchant to combine live instruments with electronic music, Pat Makes Music — who holds performance credits with Hugsnotdrugs, Poshley Slums, and remix nods for Soha, DJ Shine, Rex Manning, and more — is also working with Thompson to design her live show.

The track in its original form first landed in 2018 as part of her album, Ok Cool. Its recent video release has 27,000+ views and counting, and has Thompson (literally) exercising her acting chops in a vampy, deliciously retro visual treat.

Watch and listen to “Not UR Girl” (Remix) here:

“I Don’t Want To Be The President” Says Kelowna's Award-Winning Hall of Famer KENNY "BLUES BOSS" WAYNE in New Single

Fri Jun 26, 2020

Multi-award winning ‘Blues Boss’ ball-of-fire (and just-announced 2020 Western Canadian Music nominee) Kenny Wayne does nothing short of go for it in this, his latest single from this year’s album Go, Just Do It! — “I Don’t Want To Be The President” — available now.

And by that, we mean groovily, musically, and politically.

“Who can resist Kenny Wayne having a blast performing this song?” asks Rock and Blues Muse’s Martine Ehrenclou. “Take it with you into your weekend and see if it doesn’t get considerably better.”

“I actually stumbled across this song and had music already written that would fit perfectly,” Wayne notes of the happenstance around the track being made. “And the timing was right to mention the importance of this year’s election.

“To help get this message across, it needed a good beat… It needed a younger generation person to get the message to the youth.”

Watch and Listen to “I Don’t Want To Be The President” here:

Cashbox Canada Reviews Archive