Douglas Von Irvin’s Carnival Sink their Teeth into Negativity with New Ballad, “Vampire Lovers”

Fri May 14, 2021

It’s a carnival horror-lovers just won’t be able to resist: Douglas Von Irvin’s Carnival, or DVIC — the Toronto- and Los Angeles-based garage-pop songwriting collective — has just released the third and latest single from their upcoming EP, Meet The Monsters, and it’s called “Vampire Lovers”.

Judging from the title and the “monster” nature of DVIC’s forthcoming release, it’s reasonable to expect a frightening, gruesome, and fictitious tale about vampires romantically sucking the lifeblood out of one another, right?

Well, that actually is the case…. But not quite to the tee.

The enigmatic lyrical mastermind and lead singer behind DVIC, Douglas Von Irvin, revealed the ambient, four-minute ballad came about after some personal reflections about how exhausted he had become after being consistently surrounded by people that “have to be the center of attention all of the time.”

Comparing their behaviours to the desperate cravings of vampires, Von Irvin said those people “actually take energy” and “leave nothing behind.

Check out “Vampire Lovers”  on YouTube here:

Folk Singer/Songwriter Brendan Scott Friel Releases New Album, Summer Moons & Video for “All In”

Fri May 14, 2021

From a spinning cauldron of music, melody, and magic, get spell-bound by Canadian troubadour, Brendan Scott Friel with his recent album, Summer Moons, and new video for single “All In”.

Check out “All In” on YouTube here:

Friel’s dedication to enchanting truths, breathless vocals, and stunning instrumentation makes up the wonderment of this latest project. A collection of experiences, memories, and wishes are detailed on the 10-track sophomore album Friel worked tirelessly to stitch together.

“I wrote this album in the afterglow of some major exciting life events,” Friel reveals. “I had married the woman I love; we had bought and fixed up a small home together; I was working with one of my favourite producers… So many things I had been chasing came together, rather suddenly, and after the initial excitement, there was this odd calm and almost sadness.

Prog-Rocker Bob Lord Unleashes Decades of Creative Invention with New Album -Playland Arcade

Fri May 14, 2021

Endlessly inventive, Bob Lord brings prog-rock firmly into the 21st century on Playland Arcade.

There are 19 tracks in Bob Lord's latest release, Playland Arcade, a cornucopia of musical offerings in a range of styles and moods. He grabs you by your ears and dancing shoes from the first track — “Fry Doe.” This is prog-rock for the 21st century, with a musical imagination that has vast parameters, blending a cool, funky groove and massive bass guitars with Latin-style percussion recorded in Havana, Cuba and rock syncopations.

The Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based musician and composer injects a sense of fun into a genre that's often been critiqued for taking itself too seriously. With tracks like “Hey” and “Yo Soy Miguel,” he'll put a smile on your face as you admire the musicianship.

It’s typical of the sense of joyous invention that permeates Playland Arcade. Check out “Lobster Roll” fom Playland Arcade here:

Charlottetown Rockers Arsenal Mills Refuse to “Cry No More” in Rockin’ New Single

Fri May 07, 2021

Multi-award nominated East Coast rockers Arsenal Mills have dropped a new straightforward installment from their forthcoming EP, Lovesick & Broke; “Cry No More”.

Vocalist and guitarist Brad Milligan says “Cry No More” first came together very spontaneously and naturally. “Griff brought this big, sing-along chorus to me that he’d been working on,” Milligan recalls of the band’s lead guitarist, Griffen Arsenault. “From there, and in only a short time, we had all the music and lyrics written out.”

The song has an infectious, driving beat reminiscent of classic 80s New Wave, and has already proven to inspire feet to move along to it. “I remember everyone in the studio at the time was dancing along to the song while we were recording,” Arsenault recalls. “We figured that was a good indication of how fun this song is!”

"As far as drums and percussion go, this was the first time we decided to mix live and sample drums in a song,” drummer Josh MacNeil explains. “I love how punchy and quick it is; it doesn’t mess around, and just gets straight to the point.

“I couldn’t be more excited about how it turned out.”

Award-Nominated Indigenous Country Artist Conrad Bigknife Releases New Single, “Nothing But Me”

Fri May 07, 2021

Award-nominated Indigenous country artist Conrad Bigknife is embracing the sweet side of living solo with this, his new single, “Nothing But Me”.

The latest to land following the Saskatchewan-based artist’s fourth newly minted album, the self-titled Conrad Bigknife, and heart-wrenching lead single, “I Miss You,” “Nothing But Me” isn’t another ode to a “high lonesome” kind of life…

Instead, audiences will find a celebration of the peace and contentment that can be found in solitude, even when your heart may yearn for another from time to time.

“Now, I understand it's me, all alone
Doesn't mean my rambling heart is set in stone
I feel it beat. I’m here and I am free
Living on my own I’m meant to be - nothing but me”

Watch and listen to “Nothing But Me” on YouTube here:

Elina Filice Teams Up with Neolithic for IGroovy New Single, ”Everything About You”

Fri May 07, 2021

Genre-defying singer/songwriter and spoken word artist Elina Filice has returned with her third release of the year — an infectiously groovy tune called “Everything About You.”

Available now, Filice this time enlists the help of friend and groove-master, Neolithic. The pair met while studying at BIMM Dublin, and have collaborated on projects and performances over the years.

“Everything About You” features a laid-back beat, jazzy guitar licks, and a stuck-in-your-head chorus. Sprinkled with hooks and layered vocals, the thoughtful lyrics are coupled with intricate production and a surprise acapella outro.

“This song is about when love gets hard,” Filice shares. “It’s realizing that love goes through seasons, and even the less shiny things about someone or a relationship are still your favourite parts.

“All of the imperfections make up a perfect whole.”

Fado Singer/Songwriter Teresinha Landeiro Looks to Tomorrow on New Single “Amanhã”

Fri May 07, 2021

When Vogue asked Teresinha Landeiro the question “past or future?” in a recent profile, the rising Fado artist’s answer was the opposite of ambiguous: “Future, always.”

And so goes the flow with this, the release of her latest single “Amanhã” — arriving ahead of the Portuguese singer/songwriter’s forthcoming album, Agora, this April 30th via Justin Time Records.

Check out “Amanhã” here on YouTube:

Featured as a “gem” that “shines brightly” by Consequence of Sound, Landeiro has quickly been confirmed as a foremost representative of the new Fado generation.

Ottawa-based Composer Huguette Lavigne Makes Her Piano Dance on the “Rails”

Fri May 07, 2021

Ottawa-based pianist and composer Huguette Lavigne returns with another sparkling addition to her collection of solo piano pieces, “Rails”.

Featuring a lovely, dancing upper melody supported by ascending arpeggios, “Rails” carries the listener along a sun-dappled stream just shy of three minutes long. Much like many of her over 40 piano works, this is another beautiful manifestation of Lavigne’s desire to let go and let the muse take her wherever it pleases. 

Check out “Rails” on YouTube here:

“There is something about breaking the rules that can be terribly satisfying,” she says. “My fingers sometimes go where they want to on the keyboard and at times I sort of have to take them back home or rein them in.”

Jonathan Chandler – Faded Blue Ink

Fri May 07, 2021

When it comes to talking Jonathan Chandler is a man of few words. When it comes to songwriting his vocabulary is endless.

So it makes it hard to write a story about an artist like this but this is the one where his music says it all.

Check out "Faded Blue Ink" here on YouTube:

The Ottawa area musician is known for his work in the award winning rock band Amos The Transparent, the acclaimed folk duo Silent Winters and the quirky The Andy Kaufmans.

‘Faded Blue Ink’ is his first solo album with Jonathan Chandler & The Bandwagoneers.

The James Clark Institute – Next Best Thing

Fri May 07, 2021

For his new ten song album “The Colour Of Happy” James once again called upon the talents of producer/musician Moe Berg (The Pursuit Of Happiness) a man who knows his way around a hook. As well as being a fan Moe also added his unique guitar sound and vocals to the new record. Moe Berg says “James takes the power pop traditions of The Beatles, Jellyfish and Split Enz and combines them  with the high IQ lyrics of Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson. The result makes him one of Canada's greatest unsung songwriters”. 

The single from the album is ‘Next Best Thing’ is a catchy, happy tune – certainly something we all need right now. Check it out here on YouTube:

While touring still won’t be happening for a little while, a live stream album launch performance is slated for some time in late June.. Meanwhile Clark is keeping busy writing new material and drawing his “Clartoons”.

Kayla DiVenere Spins Teen Fantasy in Nostalgic, Youthful Obsession with New Single, “Justin Bieber”

Fri May 07, 2021

The year is 1990 and your walls are adorned with cutouts from the latest teen magazine of your favourite heartthrobs... From the back of the bedroom door, to the ceiling above your bed, the closet and your locker, you are inundated with posters of your first real celebrity crush... Take a deep breath of that nostalgia, and press play on Montreal-born now L.A.-based Kayla DiVenere and her single, “Justin Bieber”.

Both an homage to a teen fantasy spun out like an audio book of every girl’s diary, and an instant pop classic, DiVenere pulls no punches and risks it all to candidly reveal her affinity for the Biebs himself.

Calling on him to be her “boyfriend,” while she mercilessly offers to be his “baby,” the track is laced with clever references to the pop sensation’s career including “you don’t have to be sorry”—  a clear nod to his singles.

“My song 'Justin Bieber' conveys a comedic side to infatuation where reality and Hollywood life blend together,” DiVenere explains. “Justin was every young girl's dream celebrity crush, leading me to write a song that is so relatable.

Watch the adorable video of “Justin Bieber” here on YouTube:

Powered Up West Coast Outfit The Garrett Band Issues “The Warning”

Fri May 07, 2021

Consider yourself on high alert in the most melodic way possible. Vancouver-based progressive rock quartet The Garrett Band have a hard rockin’ heads up for everyone with their new single “The Warning”, dropping April 24, 2021.

Arriving directly on the heels of their current top ten Cashbox Radio Top 20 Pick Hit, “Systematic”, “The Warning” is the sonic harbinger for the band’s upcoming fourth album due out on Canada Day. With commanding, staccato strings interwoven with powerful lead guitar and kick drum strikes supporting lead vocalist/songwriter Sean Garrett’s soaring voice, the song pulls no punches about some big pitfalls.

“The Warning is about addiction, self-destruction and a change that needs to be made before it is too late,” the band asserts. “You never had no faith, You always crossed the warning sign”

Check out the YouTube of “The Warning” here:

Country Outlaws The Divorcees Serve a Double Shot of Blue-Collar Frustration on “Must Be Nice”

Fri Apr 30, 2021

Reeling from a litany of hard knocks is a truth The Divorcees know all too well; and now the five New Brunswick-based country outlaws are letting it all hang out on this, their latest single, “Must Be Nice”.

Never shying away from what’s real, and how to pen it, this old-school country group have done it again: speaking tough, unabashed honesty from lives lived to an audience who are right there with them. “Must Be Nice” is a song with grit and groove, simmering in thinly-veiled anger towards big banker profits in the midst of working-class misery, and it's this genuineness that members Alex Madsen, Jason Haywood, Denis “Turtle” Arsenault, Shawn Thomas, and Kevin Macintyre have yet to shy from doing for nearly twenty years, and keeping fans with them every step of the way.

“’Must Be Nice’ is for every single hard-working person out there who gets out of a 12-hr shift from a job they've done for years,” the band shares. “It’s for people who work for multi-billion-dollar companies for minimum wage — with no health plans and needing food stamps to get by. It’s for the ones who flip on the news to hear their company got sold out from under them.

Calgary Pop Songbird K BESD Embraces “Our Love” with New Single

Fri Apr 30, 2021

If Canadian songbird K BESD’s previous single, “TUFF TIMES,” was the call, her latest in “Our Love” is the answer. Available now, BESD continues to solidify her status as an anthem enthusiast and purveyor of better days, and now she’s back — imploring audiences to stand up with this new,  emotionally-charged offering.

Packed with the Calgary-based powerhouse’s vocals, swooping melodies, and motivational lyrics, “Our Love” reminds the listener that regardless of what happens, love will be the lasting foundation you can count on, stand on, shout from, and cling to. Pop in fashion, and R&B in sultry pockets, “Our Love” carves its charming message in a welcomed ear-worm type of way; packed with plenty of layered vocals, the song also features the sounds of a gospel choir — which lends to the overall vibe of a song about overcoming and relying on love to save the day. The adorable, unexpected twist in the bridge, is the inclusion of the beautiful cameo of a children’s choir and clapping percussion.

Canadian RnB / Soul Artist Ty Richard is Hitting “Restart” in New Single, featuring Liv Marie

Fri Apr 30, 2021

Canadian soul-R&B artist Ty Richard is hitting “Restart” with this, his newly released single.

Slicing through with a superbly polished sound, gloriously minimalistic arrangement, sparse mix, and brilliant engineering, this superb duo — featuring Liv Marie — is a preview into the Toronto-area artist’s forthcoming 2021 LP, In Time & Grace, and follows previous tour and studio collaborations with Brooklyn dream-pop outfit Cigarettes After Sex and Australian soul duo Breathe.

With flowing melodies, the song’s seamless structure takes audiences through a gamut of scenes that support the silky, studied, and sculptured vocal textures and melodies that make up this brilliant work.

The lyrics, though introspective and sometimes fairly personal, immerse listeners deep within this duo’s universe — a tango of promises and regrets that amount to a compelling, rich and vast pop song that is sure to go around the airwaves.

Canadian Acoustic Quartet Samways Release Meaningful New Single, “The Wind of Death”

Fri Apr 30, 2021

Don’t let the title fool you... The folk music forecast just got brighter and livelier with the release of “The Wind of Death” from Canadian acoustic quartet, Samways.

The second single to drop ahead of the group’s forthcoming debut album, the song juxtaposes   a muscular, driving rhythm and sunny vocal harmonies with the moving poem, “The Wind of Death.” Written by Canadian poet and journalist Ethelwyn Wetherald well over a century ago, the poem touches on the tenuous and reflective last moments of someone’s life.

The wind of death, that softly blows
The last warm petal from the rose
The last dry leaf from off the tree
Tonight, has come to breathe on me

Respectively all known and loved Toronto-based artists in their own rights, lead songwriter, guitarist and composer Nathan Hiltz — and the vocal trio of Shannon Butcher, Jessica Lalonde and Melissa Lauren — have combined their formidable talents to form the creative core of Samways.

As they succinctly put it, they create and perform “acoustic music with lyrics drawn from early Canadian poetry.”

Folk Rocker John Stamp Soars with New Single, “Airplane Mode” featuring Peter Stroud

Fri Apr 30, 2021

Being mature used to be an antithesis to rock and roll, but no more with folk rocker John Stamp and his soaring new single, “Airplane Mode”.

A fifty-something year old on a whim, you can hear the energy of a satisfied, fulfilled lifetime of helping others in his works... Which would make sense, as he successfully ran a social care company until he was recently fifty-something-else, he shares.

As a music lover, Stamp also had the opportunity to see a ton of concerts around the world — which led to his collaboration with Sheryl Crow’s touring guitarist, Peter Stroud.

Check out “Airplane Mode” on YouTube here:

When a particular 2018 show left Stamp’s jaw on the floor when it came to Stroud’s playing, he reached out to the musician via social media in regards to his project. Stroud was, at the time, and like many of us, stuck at home, and therefore evermore happy to partake.

At Over 1.3 Million Streams, Indie Rocker Jennifer Hall Unveils Ethereal New Single “SFA”

Fri Apr 30, 2021

Chicago-based indie singer/songwriter Jennifer Hall leans into empathy and compassion with the release of this, the newest single “SFA”.

Long-time fans of Hall will instantly distinguish the new track as having a softer lilt to the songbird’s vocals than previous releases. There’s a classic, bass-driven vibe to “SFA,” smooth on its cut, while Hall’s perfectly timed vocals give leverage to the overall tone of the track;  where once she soared to effortless heights with an infinitely booming instrument, “SFA” steps back into a decidedly softer, more muted undertone. Hall recognizes the track showcases her deviating away from her sound of yesteryears, pushing play in a forward momentum. “It really needed a different kind of touch, vocally speaking,” Hall says. “Different from how I’m used to singing, with lots of power and volume.

“’SFA’ called for softness, and singing that was still full of feeling — but also gentle. It felt really great to sing in this way. I felt like I had opened a new door and found another way to express myself vocally, like I was really letting in the softness.”

Check out “SFA” on YouTube here:

Elina Filice Teams Up with Neolithic for Groovy New Single, ”Everything About You”

Fri Apr 30, 2021

Genre-defying singer/songwriter and spoken word artist Elina Filice has returned with her third release of the year — an infectiously groovy tune called “Everything About You.”

Available now, Filice this time enlists the help of friend and groove-master, Neolithic. The pair met while studying at BIMM Dublin, and have collaborated on projects and performances over the years.

“Everything About You” features a laid-back beat, jazzy guitar licks, and a stuck-in-your-head chorus. Sprinkled with hooks and layered vocals, the thoughtful lyrics are coupled with intricate production and a surprise acapella outro.

“This song is about when love gets hard,” Filice shares. “It’s realizing that love goes through seasons, and even the less shiny things about someone or a relationship are still your favourite parts.

“All of the imperfections make up a perfect whole.”

Melleefresh, Canada’s Greatest Dance Music Singer and Play Records Label Owner Celebrates 25 Years

Fri Apr 23, 2021

Simply put: rarely do you come across a globally heralded, multi-award winning female veteran of the music industry who continues to be a ground-breaking, ceiling-shattering revolutionary in all she does for three decades, and counting.

But such is the case for Canadian electronic music scene queen Melleefresh as she toasts her landmark and visionary 25 year tenure helming Play Records — and even longer as a veritable artistic force to be reckoned with in her own right.

Deemed “one of the pivotal figures in North American dance music” by Clash Magazine, the Toronto-based EDM dynamo has been a prominent avant-garde performance artist for the last 30 years.

Linked above are 16+ pages of deeply entrenched, wildly fascinating Canadian industry lore (think crossover tales of: deadmau5, Kevin Hearn pre-Barenaked Ladies, Peaches, Atom Egoyan, The Tragically Hip, Fashion Cares, an arrested ‘Care Bear’ on the front page of The Sun…)

And yet, the candid collection barely scratches the surface of the insightful tales this iconic artist and businesswoman can speak to.