31 March 2023

31 March 2023 - Maisy Stella - i’m only seventeen

For at least a year, this blog has practiced Stella Parity.  That means we post as much of each Stella sister as the other.  If we post Lennon, we post Maisy.  When possible.

Thankfully, this is one of those times where it is possible.  

According to the artist, who wrote this, "This is an unreleased song". 1) it's incredible 2) Without Maisy there would be no Billie Eilish, so.....

31 March 2023 - Lennon Stella - Fancy

Since we opened the month with Stellas, it makes sense to end it the same way.   And the pride of Whitby, Ontario is the best way to finish a month of Canadian music.

Lennon Stella didn't end up in the country music landscape like her parents did.  Instead, she went with thought-provoking pop music, with a light, airy feeling.  This particular brand of light and airy comes with horns, but still.  

Lyrically, it's a dreamy, imaginative song, with an apparent lyrical reference to Marcy Playground, although with the French interpretation of the lyrics at spots, it's hard to tell.  

(Editor's note: I love that we can make callouts to things we wrote a decade ago)

I hope you've enjoyed this March as much as we have.  Every year, it's a bigger challenge, but every year, we're discovering new music along with you - music that stays with us.  

30 March 2023

30 March 2023 - Rush - YYZ

The largest airport in Canada, and 21st busiest airport in the world, is Toronto Pearson International Airport, in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.  

Its IATA code?  YYZ.  (I'll let you debate whether it's Why-Why-Zee or Why-Why-Zed)

I've been to every Tim Hortons at that airport.  It's a great airport.  

In the early days, Canadian airports were identified by two letter codes - and Toronto's main airport was YZ.  This was used for ease of communication between airports.  If an airport was open and not closed due to weather, it was easy to send a Y - for yes - and the two letter code via Morse code, and quickly communicate their status.  

In the 1940s, as more airports were being opened worldwide, all airports were forced to adopt a 3-letter code.  So, every Canadian airport - since they already had the protocol in place - just added the Yes signal to the beginning of all their airport codes.   It's why they are the only country to consistently name all their (commercial passenger) airports with IATA codes all beginning with the same letter.  

You've learned something today.  Maybe.  

Alex Lifeson didn't learn anything today, because he already knew Morse Code - because in addition to being the guitarist for Rush, he's also a commercial pilot.  So, he heard - . - - - . - - - - . . - Y Y Z - quite a bit.  One day, when he was flying the band into Pearson, he introduced the rhythm of that airport code to the band.  

An instrumental classic, written by Neil Peart and Geddy Lee and NOT Alex Lifeson, was born.  You can hear that morse code, that rhythm that stuck with them, from the very beginning of the song - that's the odd-sounding rhythm you hear at the start.  

We couldn't not include a live version of this, eh?  Yes, there is an extended Neil Peart drum solo, and you're welcome.

29 March 2023

29 March 2023 - Once A Tree - Breakdown

When you dig into Canadian music, you find stuff.  I found this group while researching another post - for reasons that will become clear in a minute.  

Take this musical duo, Once A Tree.  A husband-and-wife duo, and named by Rolling Stone as one of the new artists you need to know, they met while both separately leaving their religion, Jehovah's Witnesses, and used their excommunication from their separate communities  to fuel their musical creativity.

Once A Tree's music has been described as a blend of electronic, pop, and R&B. Their lyrics often touch on themes of love, loss, and self-discovery, as well as issues related to Indigenous identity and cultural preservation.

This song, from their 2017 album Phoenix, was produced by Hayden John Wolf, who also co-wrote the song.  He also happens to be half of the duo, alongside his wife, Jayli, who is the other vocalist for the duo and who also co-wrote the song.   It is a hauntingly beautiful and heart wrenching song, about turmoil and what looks like a near-breakup surrounding great loss.

I cannot recommend it enough.

28 March 2023

28 March 2023 - Cœur de pirate - Tu peux crever là-bas

Aujourd'hui, nous allons parler d'une chanson de Cœur de pirate qui a été largement ignorée, mais qui mérite d'être mise en avant : "Tu peux crever là-bas".

"Tu peux crever là-bas" est une chanson triste et émouvante qui raconte l'histoire d'une personne qui essaie de surmonter une rupture difficile. La chanson commence par des accords de piano mélancoliques et se développe en une ballade douce-amère qui met en valeur la voix fragile et expressive de Cœur de pirate.

Les paroles de la chanson sont sombres et poignantes, exprimant le désespoir et la douleur ressentis après une rupture amoureuse. Cœur de pirate chante : "Tu peux crever là-bas / Je ne te retiens pas / J'essaie juste de faire passer le temps / Avant de tout abandonner".

La production minimale de la chanson permet à la voix de Cœur de pirate de briller, capturant toute l'émotion et la vulnérabilité de l'artiste. La chanson est un témoignage de la profondeur et de la qualité du talent de Cœur de pirate en tant que musicienne et chanteuse.

Bien que "Tu peux crever là-bas" ne soit pas aussi connue que certains des autres hits de Cœur de pirate, elle reste une chanson puissante et émouvante qui mérite d'être découverte. Si vous cherchez une chanson pour vous consoler après une rupture, ou simplement pour vous plonger dans un état de réflexion mélancolique, "Tu peux crever là-bas" est un excellent choix.

(you didn't actually think we'd not post her twice this month, did you?)

27 March 2023

27 March 2023 - Carly Rae Jepsen - Western Wind

I didn't have strong feeling about this song, except that I liked it and I really wanted a folky song to highlight Carly Rae Jepsen, and this song fit the bill.   

So, I let ChatGPT write the rest of this post.  I'm embarrassed to say it writes better than I do.  

Carly Rae Jepsen has made a name for herself in the music industry with her catchy pop songs and infectious melodies. While she's known for hits like "Call Me Maybe" and "I Really Like You," one of her lesser-known tracks, "Western Wind," is definitely worth a listen.

"Western Wind" is a dreamy, synth-pop ballad that showcases Jepsen's ability to craft a memorable melody. The song's opening line, "I get lost in the memory / Of what it felt like when I loved you," sets the tone for the rest of the song as Jepsen explores the emotions of a past relationship.

The song's production, which features twinkling synths and a driving beat, creates a dreamlike atmosphere that perfectly complements the wistful lyrics. Jepsen's vocals are delicate and vulnerable, conveying the raw emotions of the lyrics without ever feeling over-the-top or melodramatic.

While "Western Wind" may not have been a hit on the charts (editor's note: it was in Japan), it's a gem that showcases Jepsen's songwriting and vocal talents. The song's intimate lyrics and dreamy production make it the perfect soundtrack for a rainy day or a quiet night in.

If you're a fan of Carly Rae Jepsen's poppy sound, give "Western Wind" a listen. It's a hidden gem that proves Jepsen is more than just a one-hit wonder.

well, shit, ChatGPT wrote better than I do.

26 March 2023

26 March 2023 - Tommy Genesis - 100 Bad

Tommy Genesis is the type of artist that plays the Pornhub Awards.

That's true.  She absolutely did that.  

No, they weren't held in Canada.  She had to cross a border to attend.  

Yes, she's Canadian.  Vancouver.  

Tommy Genesis is a literal walking embodiment of a Wicked Guilty Pleasure, and "100 Bad" is her supporting evidence. This song is like a car crash: you know it's bad, but you just can't look away. It's a mesmerizing, hypnotic track that sucks you in from the very first beat.

The song is built around a sparse, bass-heavy beat that throbs throughout the track. Over this beat, Tommy Genesis lays down a series of blunt, confrontational verses that are delivered with an unapologetic swagger. The production is minimalistic, but it's incredibly effective in creating a menacing, almost eerie atmosphere that perfectly matches the song's dark themes.

Lyrically, "100 Bad" is a celebration of bad behavior. It's all about living life on the edge, taking risks, and doing whatever you want, consequences be damned. The chorus is catchy as hell, with Tommy Genesis repeating the refrain "I'm 100 bad, bad, bad" over and over again. It's a simple, effective hook that will get stuck in your head for hours on end.

Of course, the subject matter of "100 Bad" is not for everyone. The song is full of explicit lyrics and graphic descriptions of sex, drugs, and violence. It's not a song you'd want to play for your grandmother, unless your grandmother happens to be a badass who loves a good bassline.

Despite its controversial content, there's no denying that "100 Bad" is a great example of Tommy Genesis' unique sound and style. She's a boundary-pushing artist who's not afraid to take risks and challenge the norms of the music industry. Love it or hate it, "100 Bad" is a track that demands your attention and refuses to be ignored. So go ahead and indulge in this guilty pleasure – just be sure to turn down the volume if your boss walks by.

25 March 2023

25 March 2023 - Les Louanges - Qu'est-ce que tu m'fais

Les Louanges is a Canadian band that has been making waves in the music industry with their unique sound and undeniable talent. One of their most popular songs is."Qu'est-ce que tu m'fais".

Les Louanges is a band from Quebec, Canada, and they have been creating music that is both innovative and captivating since their inception. The band consists of lead singer and guitarist Vincent Roberge, bassist and keyboardist Philippe Fleury, drummer and percussionist William Côté, and saxophonist and keyboardist Mathieu Leclerc.  You know we love a band with a saxophonist.

Their music is characterized by a blend of genres, including jazz, rock, and pop. They use a variety of instruments to create their unique sound, and their lyrics are often introspective and thoughtful.

It's easy to see why this song is so well-received. The song begins with a simple beat and a catchy guitar riff, but it quickly evolves into a complex and layered composition. The lyrics are in French, and they explore themes of love, desire, and the ups and downs of relationships.

The song has a distinct Canadian flavor, with lyrics that are both poetic and introspective. The band's use of multiple instruments and intricate arrangements adds depth to the song, and it is a perfect example of their unique style.

Les Louanges is a truly special band.  Check them out!

24 March 2023

24 March 2023 - The East Pointers - Save Your Lonely

For those who haven't been here for a while, you might not have heard of The East Pointers, 2017 Juno Award winners and 2023 nominees, and Canadian treasures.  

We last posted about this great folk group in 2021, during our first #MapleLeafMarch.  Since then, there has been huge changes for the greatest folk group to ever come out of Prince Edward Island - and unfortunately, the biggest one isn't positive.  

Founding member Koady Chaisson passed away in January 2022, while the group was working on their latest EP, House of Dreams.  Koady did work on all seven songs on the EP before he passed, which means his music and his image live on in this song and video.  

As of this writing, we have heard that the band is going to continue as a duo, and we hope they do for years to come - because they're making wonderful, award-worthy music. 

23 March 2023

23 March 2023 - Alessia Cara - Scars To Your Beautiful

During Maple Leaf March, I recognize that I feature a lot of artists that haven't really been heard outside of Canada.  They SHOULD be guilty pleasures everywhere, but in a lot of cases, they just aren't.

Today's artist is not one of those.

Alessia Cara of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, has three top 10 hits in the US. This is one of them, hitting #8 on the pop chart in 2015.  It is a huge body positivity anthem.  It is, however, not your typical "you're beautiful just the way you are" anthem.  It discusses cutting, depression, and eating disorders - all real things that affect so many people.  

The video features real people struggling with all of these things - and if you look closely, you'll see another pop star - JoJo - among the real people, because being somewhat famous doesn't make these issues go away.

We found a pretty cool performance of this song, from the 2017 VMA awards.  We love how Cara starts all made up and ends up without makeup or a fancy dress.  It's quite neat.

22 March 2023

22 March 2023 - Banx & Ranx ft. Rêve - Headphones

Banx & Ranx are from Montreal.  They are a producing/music-making duo who won the 2023 Juno Award for Breakthrough Artist - which is wild, because they aren't a new act, having created music for the better part of the last decade.  They are multiple Grammy nominees.

Their music is modern and innovative, injecting Caribbean rhythms and music into a unique electronic sound.  Their services are in high demand, with artists outside of Canada clamoring to work with them.  Their music is catchy.  This song is going to be your latest earworm.  

But let's be honest.  We used this post to feature Rêve again.  

By the way, they really did shoot this video in all the locations listed here.  

A second version of this song exists, featuring not only Rêve, but also Vancouver rap artist Tommy Genesis.  It's pretty good, too.

Rêve does a pretty dirty solo version of this song herself.  I guess we should say dirrty.

21 March 2023

21 March 2023 - Simple Plan - Jet Lag ft. Natasha Beddingfield, Marie-Mai (and more)

Simple Plan are a power-pop-rock band from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  

Which means they are bilingual.  

So, that means they do multiple versions of some songs.

Take this fun little song about travelling a lot and missing the one you love.  This version, in English, was recorded with British singer Natasha Beddingfield - and was an international hit.  The video was filmed largely at YYZ - Toronto Pearson Airport - and Toronto Sheridan Gateway Hotel.... but they want you to think it's a hotel in Chicago, despite the Westjet and AirCanada planes and Canadian flags everywhere.   Anyway, it's a fun song. 

True story - I've flown in and out of YYZ a lot.  Great airport and I instantly recognized it.

This version is just like that version, except the female version is almost completely in French and sung by Quebec singer Marie-Mai.  Also, Simple Plan sings some stuff in French, too - although not all the lyrics. I wonder if Natasha and Marie-Mai hung out together at all in that hotel room.

It is essentially the same song and same video.

Official version #3 of this song is filmed by the band in English at YYZ still, but Chinese pop star Kelly Cha is somewhere in China singing almost entirely in Mandarin.

Other than the Kelly Cha footage, it is essentially the same song and same video.

Official version #4 is..... completely in English, but this time, the woman is in Jakarta, Indonesia, because she is Tantri Syalindri, vocalist for the band KOTAK - who all seem to be hanging out in the room with her.  

It is essentially the same video.

That's it for the official versions, but there is this French demo version we found floating around..... Vocals for the female part were provided by some obscure Canadian artist who seems to go by some French name with an œ in it.... something something Pirate.  

Apparently, when Simple Plan performs the song live, they just find whatever female pop-rock vocalists happens to be standing closest to the stage.  Here, they get Sierra Key, vocalist for the band VERSA (who at the time were VersaEmerge, standing in for Natasha Beddingfield.

For this Australian appearance, they partnered with Jenna McDougall from Tonight Alive on an acoustic version of the song. The two bands happened to be on an Australian tour together, so it made sense. 

The band is still together.  Most of these performances above are from 2011, when the song was new.  This one is from 2022, in Montreal, and yes, it's the French version, and yes, that's Marie-Mai.

20 March 2023

20 March 2023 - Jayli Wolf - Lead Me

If you read what I wrote on Saturday, you know I think Jayli Wolf released one of the most important songs of the last decade.  

This song is a little less important - but no less about indigenous and female empowerment.  The song and video are both super dark.

But we're not going to talk about that.  

We're going to talk about why Jayli Wolf is one of my most listened to artists on Spotify.  It's not because I want to feel pseudo-Canadian guilt, or that I only listen to First Nations protest music.  No, it's because this strongly emotionally-charged music slaps, and it slaps hard.  She's a fantastic musician and a fantastic songwriter, and she paints a picture with her music and lyrics like no other artists is doing today.

19 March 2023

19 March 2023 - Rare Americans - Moving On

"But they're Canadian!"

The rarest of Americans.  Of course, technically, they are - because they live in the Americas.  We in the United States seem to think we have dominion over the term "American", but we really don't. 

Anyway, this young bunch of punks formed in 2018 in Vancouver, and are gaining traction.  This song is a truly a sad song - about a probable breakup.  We've all been there.

But c'mon.  You came here for the animated video.  

18 March 2023

18 March 2023 - Jayli Wolf - Child Of The Government (stripped down)

A year ago, I posted the most important thing I've ever posted on this blog. It's less about a great song (and it is GREAT) and more about the Sixties Scoop, a shameful period in Canadian history.

Go read it.

Done?  Good.  Welcome back.  

Now here's a stripped down version of the same song.  For literally any other song, I'd probably have just updated that original post with an extra video.  Not this time.  That post was too perfect and this song is too raw.  

17 March 2023

17 March 2023 - Metric - False Dichotomy

The Juno Awards were on Monday.

Canadian band Metric were nominated for a couple of them, including Group of the Year, based in large part on their 2022 album, Formentera, their first in four years (back to that in a second). This was one of the singles off that album, and it's something of a banger in its own right.   While they didn't win, it's still an honour to be nominated.

Just because it took them four years to release anything new does not mean they didn't do anything.  In 2021, they did this thing.  That brought the band to an international spotlight once again, so it made a lot of sense for them to follow it up with something more than a limited pressing vinyl only greatest hits album (they did that, too).  

Back to this song and not anything from a Michael Cera movie.  This continues Metric's history of flashy, modern synth-rock, bringing a unique sound that actually works post-pandemic.

16 March 2023

16 March 2023 - Babygirl - Always

Last year, we featured a lot of new music.  One of the most popular posts we featured was by a band called Babygirl.   

We figured we'd check and see if they have any new music, and indeed, they do.  And their sound has gotten deeper and richer - a more mature Babygirl, if you will.  

This song was released a few months ago, and it is a pop-rock cool jam about breaking up and those conflicted feeling that still linger afterwards.  It's mournful and beautiful and bass-heavy, all at the same time.  The video was filmed in your mom's house a vacant house that was owned by a 100-year old woman who probably bought it for $40 in the 1970s (not my joke - it's from the behind the scenes video).  

By the way, the band has a new EP coming in April - you can pre-save it on your favorite streaming service and I'm willing to bet the band would appreciate it.  

15 March 2023

15 March 2023 - Lindi Ortega - Tin Star

So this was like five years ago. One of my favorite country singers, Lindi Ortega, was playing my local 250 seat venue.

I was beyond stoked. At the time I was running a country site (after I left WGP and TC) where the writers were more concerned with the comings and goings of Florida Georgia Line or Sam Hunt as opposed to country music of substance like the Turnpike Troubadours or Elizabeth Cook. Needless to say the teaching of new writers was fun, the content, not so much.

That night it was nice to not only see a favorite artist of mine, but to write about her performance which was amazing. And maybe turn someone on to a great country artist...from Canada.

I was fortunate to chat with her after the show. She signed her Tin Star CD for me and we took a picture (which I told her I wanted to use for the review...well and again years later for this blog).

Anyway, Lindi is awesome. She hasn't put out a record in years and I for one would love another one. But until that time comes I'll enjoy her previously released records.

14 March 2023

14 March 2023 - Avril Lavigne - Bite Me

You probably know we write this articles in advance.  So, we are writing this not knowing how the Juno Awards went last night - but we are pulling for this song to be Single of the Year as we write this. 

So, if it won, congratulations to Avril.  If it didn't win, SHE WAS ROBBED.

(Update: It did not win.  This did.) (She did win the Fan Choice Award, so that's good)

Let's talk about this song.  Released in late 2021 on Travis Barker's new label (he's drumming on the song as well), it's a throwback to Paramore Lavigne's earlier work - that pop-punk that defined her career for so long.  Clearly, it's an endearing love song that isn't at all angry.

It's also the best thing she's done in a decade. 

The video for the acoustic version of this song is kind of hilarious - with Avril doing dental work with a giant pair of boltcutters.  More interestingly, this extremely angry song works really well as a melancholy ballad.  

The "Tonight Show" live version of this song falls somewhere in the middle of the two versions - keeping both the anger and melancholy.

13 March 2023

13 March 2023 - The Weeknd - Sacrifice

The 2023 Juno Award nominations were announced at the end of January.  The Weeknd led all nominations with six. 

The awards are tonight, in Edmonton, hosted by Simu Liu.  The Weeknd, and specifically this song, are predicted to win big. If the predictions are right, we look like geniuses right now.  If they aren't, we're probably going to be posting some Avril Lavigne tomorrow.

Released as a single in January 2022, it reached #11 on the US pop charts, and was a hit all over the world.  Written by the artist and a score of others, including hitmaker Max Martin, the song has a funky sound that evokes memories of Michael Jackson and his style - which clearly influences The Weeknd. Lyrically, it's a typical club banger, talking about the hedonistic nature of the narrator's life. 

12 March 2023

12 March 2023 - Lights - Banner

This is the 18th post we've made about Lights on this blog.  That is more than any #WGPHOF member.  That is more than my previous overposting of Charli XCX (17, by the way - 16 by me - if you include this post that totally featured her). 17 of these posts about Lights have been written by me.  

So why so much attention to a shapeshifting, namechanging artist?

Those who have known me for decades could tell you not only what my favorite album was (House Tornado, by Throwing Muses) but my SECOND favorite (Surfer Rosa, by the Pixies).  Since the late 1980s.  No album came close to those two for me.  Perfect albums.  I continually come back to them, for decades.  

Scott Colvin (who I will for this very last time give credit for scooping me on this one and who it's really killing not to post Britney Spears today) knows this. So when he reads the next paragraph he might be floored.

I can't say that anymore. Because over the past two years, I keep coming back to two other not-new albums: Roses by Cœur de Pirate, (by the way, also someone we've posted about no less than 18 times) and Siberia by Lights.  And the latter more than the former. 

(and, by the way, also Little Machines. Two albums now among my favorites)

Is Lights the new Kristin Hersh?  That may be an exaggeration, but the lyrical structure that Lights comes back to, song after song after song, is one that is flexible and hits hard.  This perhaps doesn't resonate more than it does with "Banner" - an uplifting, hopeful, but still dark song.  

I mention flexible.  I chose "Banner" here for a reason.  It was the first acoustic song of hers that I had heard (and I didn't know at the time it was Lights, because had I known, my blind spot would have told me to turn it off).  As of this writing, this version - the acoustic one - is her most played song on Spotify, by far.  

11 March 2023

11 March 2023 - Drake - God's Plan

Canadian rap artist Drake has released a LOT of singles.  Literally, more than 140 in his 14-year-so-far career.

His biggest worldwide hit by far is this one, from 2018.  Written by Aubrey Drake Graham and a bunch of other people, the bigger story here is the video, where Drake really gave away almost $200,000 to random Miami residents (the video implies almost $1 million, but I assume not everything was done on camera).

But videos don't get to be the #1 song of the year as determined by Billboard, as this song was in 2018. This song was - it also spent 11 weeks atop the weekly charts - and was only knocked down by another of his own songs.  In total, Drake spent 29 of the 52 weeks of 2018 topping the Billboard pop charts - which is absolutely gigantic. 

By the way, in total, Drake has spent 54 weeks topping the Hot 100 - which is 5th most all time - Mariah Carey, Elvis Presley, Rhianna and Beatles are the only artists with more,  He's also got the most #1 debuts on the chart, with 7 - including both this single and the one that replaced it ("Nice For What"), the first time that a #1 debut replaced a #1 debut at #1.  

It's pretty standard Drake-brand hip-hop, but also, it's got some real feeling behind it, so there's that. 

10 March 2023

10 March 2023 - Rêve - Tongue

I figured, why let œ have all the clipboard fun?  Let ê get some play!

Seriously, the artist known legally as Briannah Donolo grew up in Montreal, Quebec... and started with music at a very early age.  A cunning linguist herself, she speaks both English and French, and yes, her music is in English, even with the non-standard English-language letter in her name.

Rêve brings an electronic sound that does not feel out of place in the club - a sexually-charged club that serves tongues at mealtime, but still.  The song is definitely not safe for work, as it is pretty overt in its sexuality - it's not talking about lengua tacos, unless that's some kind of euphemism, in which case, it IS talking about lengua tacos, if you know what I mean, winky-face emoji.  

This fresh new Canadian artist is nominated for THREE Juno Awards this year, which will be awarded Monday, and I'm not gonna lie - I'm rooting for her.

If you prefer your music without body parts on a platter, but with the same entendre-filled lyrics, but also, you aren't prone to seizures, go ahead and check out Rêve's performance below.  

09 March 2023

9 March 2023 - Corb Lund ft. Hayes Carll - Bible on the Dash

When most people in the U.S. think Canadian country the first thought likely is Shania Twain. And while that’s a pretty picture it’s akin to putting ketchup on fries.

Canadian country to me starts, but nowhere stops with Corb Lund.

Corb’s been doing his thing for almost 30 years. His sound is definitely western. The dude can write straight-up sentimental classic country, but he’s actually at his best when he lets his freak flag fly.

“Bible on the Dash” with Hayes Carll (who is American, but we’ll forgive him) is one of his freakiest…and best. In fact, I’d say this may be grooviest song ever. And it’s funny. Dig.

08 March 2023

8 March 2023 - Korea Town Acid - Telepathic Communications

I looked at the date I first discovered Korea Town Acid.

March 8, 2022.  It was a candidate for last year's #MapleLeafMarch.  Probably because Korea Town Acid was a 2022 Juno Award nominee for Best Underground Dance Single of the Year (not for this song).

In this video, we see a woman looking at times disinterested and bored as she explores what appears to be Toronto at night.  That woman has a name.  Her name is Jessica Cho - born in Seoul, Canadian since a very young age, and based in Toronto.  Jessica Cho is Korea Town Acid.  Korea Town Acid is Jessica Cho.  

Musically, the song is 100% electronic, with what sounds like lasers punctuating an ambient beat.  An ominous voiceover accompanies the captivating music.  

07 March 2023

7 March 2023 - Cœur de Pirate - Adieu

You know, we write these posts of English-language QWERTY keyboards.  There's no œ key.  It takes some effort for us to CONTINUALLY write about Cœur de Pirate.

And yet, here we are.  Writing about Cœur de Pirate again.

Ms. de Pirate (You know I know her real name, people.  Issa joke) has released eight album.  Seven of them are really really good, and a couple of them are among my personal favorites of all time.  The eighth is her sophomore album, Blonde.   

But, to be fair, I didn't love all of the other seven right away (Roses and Perséides, absolutely I did from first listen), and that's what's happening with Blonde as well.  It's growing on me.  It's songs like this one - a clever pop song with a double bassline and a wicked video with a Bewitched theme (Cœur de Pirate as Serena) - that are selling me on this album.

If you don't know French, you don't know that this is a sad breakup song - and a raw one at that, early in the process, when you don't want to see the person.  On her native instrument, the piano, Cœur de Pirate really drives the true underlying sadness of the song home.  

06 March 2023

6 March 2023 - Isabella Lovestory - Sexo Amor Dinero

Wait a minute.

That's not French OR English!

That's right, gentle reader.  Isabella Lovestory is a Latina artist based in Montreal.  Her edgy music is definitely performed tongue-in-cheek, primarily in her native language of Spanish (she was born in Honduras, but Canadian since her mid-teens), Reggaton with a strong women's empowerment undertone might be unexpected in Canadian music, but here we are.  

Of course, "Lovestory" isn't a traditional Honduran last name.  Her last name is Rodriguez.  This is a persona - she is both a musician and performance artist, and she has fun with it.  Music is meant to be enjoyed, even if she is singing about "amor hardcore".  

She is certainly an artist to watch.

05 March 2023

5 March 2023 - DVSN - Don't Take Your Love

Most of the year, we are a five-day-a-week blog, at most.

In #MapleLeafMarch, there's too much content for five days.  So, we step it up to all seven.  This is why we're posting on a Sunday.

Today, we're going back to the 1990s.  No, wait, this song was released in 2022.  I'm sorry.  I just heard the song and I thought for sure that it must have been from the 1990s, given the sound I was hearing.   

No, DVSN (formerly dvsn - not a joke) are a modern duo, active since 2016 and signed to Drake's label.  Drake wasn't even on DeGrassi in the 90's yet.  The sound sure does bring back memories of 90's R&B, but the freestyle feel points more to modern hip-hop, so I guess it's a fusion piece.

The duo themselves are pretty renowned in their own right, with one half of them being the producer behind some of Drake's biggest hits, which is probably why Nineteen85 has a few Grammy nominations (and a win, for Best Rap Song - "Hotline Bling", which he co-wrote and produced- in 2017) in the past on top of the Juno nomination for DVSN this year.  

Also, they're Canadian.  I feel like I have to say that.  This video was clearly filmed in Toronto, their hometown.  

04 March 2023

4 March 2023 - Harm & Ease - Steady Roll

I don't know a lot about Harm & Ease - or, I didn't when I went searching for information about this great band from Burlington, Ontario, Canada, who happen to also be nominated for a Juno Award this year.  

SO I did a Google search.  The first result was their official website and here was the description given:

"causes of plagiarism essay using spatial order do essay writing websites work what to write my college essay about local business plan writer."


Luckily, that was just some wacky preview text and there's a lot more information at their official website.  Turns out this breakthrough band has been around since 2010 but spent some time kicking around Argentina before returning to Toronto.  But they're in Canada now, and their music rocks - and you should take notice.

03 March 2023

3 March 2023 - Lisa LeBlanc - Pourquoi faire aujourd'hui

Those outside of Canada probably think Quebec is an outlier, but New Brunswick - the province where Lisa LeBlanc hails from - is bilingual, and the only officially bilingual province in Canada.  French is pretty widely spoken there. 34% of residents could conduct a conversation in English or French. But do you hear about Bloc Brunsycois?  No, no you don't.  

Actually, there was a Parti Acadiaen in the 70's and 80's, which was trying to separate the francophone portion of New Brunswick into a new province, but that's not really the same thing - they still wanted to be Canadian.  

You've learned your Canadian cultural fact of the day, Americans.  And probably a few Canadians.

But let's talk about Lisa LeBlanc.  She describes her music as "trash-folk" and yes, she does sing songs in both English and French (although primarily French).  A 2023 Juno Award nominee for best francophone album, Chiac Disco.  1) it's damn good 2) this song, which is very much NOT folk, closes that album.  It is, in fact, a disco romp with a lot of roller skating in the video.  

For those who don't know French, the song title literally translates to "Why Do Today".... as in, what you could do tomorrow.   It's more about living in the moment and less about procrastination.  It's also super fun.  By the way, if you listen closely, she DOES give a couple of little English-language clues (which is a hallmark of Chiac, a dialect of French that borrows some words from English).

I was thinking - what would this song look like live?  I got my answer.  Boy, doesn't she look like she's having fun here?

02 March 2023

2 March 2023 - Flower Face - Sugar Water

Flower Face is the stage name of Montreal artist Ruby Mckinnon.  

This is the third single off her SIXTH album, The Shark In Your Water, released in 2022 after a four-year wait. She tends to do a fair bit of her recordings in her bedroom.  I don't know if this one was recorded there (the video implies that it was not), but I do know she wrote the song and performed all the instruments and vocals.  

Before you go there....  I wasn't one of those people waiting for her alt-pop gem of an album for four years. I *just* discovered her, and think she's fantastic.  The reason I keep coming back to #MapleLeafMarch is because I keep discovering artists I love that I would not have otherwise heard.  Canadian independent music doesn't get play in the States like it should.  

The self-deprecating video plays like a game of Rock Band and shows Flower Face's multiinstrumental talents.

01 March 2023

1 March 2023 - The Stellas - Gravy

I have been waiting a YEAR to post this.

Last year, we went hog wild on The Stellas and their daughters.  And, as I was writing these posts last year, I wondered out loud - didn't mom and dad ever exploit the acting talents of their daughters.

Yes.  They did.  And at about 2:05 of this video, it looks like Maisy is providing vocals, too (she at least knows the words).  

To be fair, this 2014 single was after the debut of the ABC show Nashville.  

That's right.  It's #MapleLeafMarch #3.  Get ready for another month of Canadian content.