Canadian Beacon: Echoes Of…, Crowleys, Maya Blue & More New Homegrown Sounds

Ten new tunes from around the corner and around the country


One of the joys of doing this site is that I basically get to do whatever I want. One of the other joys is that I get a constant stream of new music from Canadian artists of all stripes and styles. I decided to put the two things together into this recurring feature spotlighting new singles and videos from around the country. Let’s get started:


Echoes Of… | Anaanaga

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In the space where melody and emotion intertwine, a new artistic approach has emerged: Echoes Of… Hailing from the northern expanse of Nunavut, this evolving artistic endeavour draws inspiration from the beauty of their hometown, infusing their music with the spirit and stories of the people, neighbourhoods, and experiences of life in Iqaluit. Fronted by the vocals of Andrew Morrison (Jerry Cans, Terry Uyarak), Echoes Of… is an approach to creating music that prioritizes collaboration which leads to a mesmerizing auditory journey. The lyrics delve into the heart of life in Nunavut, inviting listeners to explore a day in the life of one of Canada’s most fascinating cities. Today, Morrison shares the first single, Anaanaga which was recorded during COVID-19 isolation. The track was captured while Andrew brought his kids to visit his mother / their grandmother for the last time. This was the last song he ever sang to his mother and this release is an ode to the deep beauty of that moment.”

The Crowleys | Seasons

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Throughout their years together, The Crowleys have focused on building a danceable set through a Venn Diagram of inspiration from ’60s rock, ’80s pop and modern psychedelia. Peppered throughout their music is a driving and crunchy rhythm, distinctive synth warble, diverse vocals, and mind-melty pedalporn guitar.Their debut LP Strange Seasons is a collection of songs by a Hamilton, group of friends who wanted to share music with each other, and now the world. The music for the track Seasons was largely written by keyboard player/guitarist Justyn Horlick. It’s an emotional jazzy turnaround that repeats for most of the song. The ending, inspired by the Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings song 100 Days, 100 Nights, features a transition from 4/4 time to 6/4 time. The lyrics were penned by vocalist Giuliana Frontini on a hot day in November when she noticed that she was unsettled by the temperature. While the theme of Strange Seasons is lightly steeped in environmental angst there is a romantic current throughout with lyrics often referencing a relationship with another person as a means of surviving the elements.”

Sarah Segal-Lazar | Earlier

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sarah Segal-Lazar has been making music since before she could talk. Folks say she took her first steps in ¾ time. By the time she was nine, she was sending songs into the local radio station. These days, the femme fatale of folk splits her time between the busy streets of Montreal and the red shores of P.E.I. — sharing her own special blend of folk and country wherever the wind may take her. Her latest album Valleys is produced by Canadian luminary Matthew Barber. After putting off making it for years, always waiting for the right time in her career, Sarah decided to finally let it out. “I’d say to myself, I’m not wasting these songs. I’m not going to record them until I move to Nashville and get signed, until I move to New York and get signed. And then one day I woke up and realized, I don’t want to get to be 50 and be resentful that I never recorded this album. So I reached out to Matt and just went for it.” Highlight single Earlier is a bittersweet and wistful track on the perils of a relationship destined to not be, and the struggle within that realization.”

August Brodie | Sofa King Lonely

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Writing songs from the back of an ambulance during his late-night shifts as an EMT, pop-punk-pretty-boy August Brodie is fuelled by a mission to get out of his small town and onto a stage where he belongs. Hailing from Thunder Bay, Brodie has just the right amount of piss and vinegar to bring you back to that college breakup you’re still mad about. His sound is new nostalgia, touching on emo, pop and punk, with unexpected nods to hip-hop. With 2.5M streams and an MTV video premiere under his belt, Brodie is perfectly primed for his new home of Wax Records. Sofa King Lonely is his latest song and most vulnerable yet. Written, recorded, and produced in a four-hour window before his flight to Toronto, there was no room for overthinking — only his raw, unfiltered emotions as he fulfilled his wish of travelling away from his hometown and pursuing the road ahead.”

Maya Blue | Hey

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Maya Blue have been together since 2019, playing festivals, bars, and venues across the greater Toronto area. Their debut, self-titled EP was released in 2021. Now, they’re sharing their first LP, Trouble in Mind. Pulling from rock, blues, indie and Canadian music, Nick DePaul (guitar/vocals), Tyler Pasta (drums), and Derek Osborne (bass) tie these influences together with unique grooves and classic guitar tones. Produced by Aidan Robson at the legendary Catherine North Studios (City and Colour), this rock ’n’ roll record kicks off with Hey, a punchy track straight out of the late ’60s/early ’70s with a heavy blues-rock riff.”

The Lightning Struck | Inbetweening

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Lightning Struck are an indie-rock band from Toronto. To watch them is to be transported to New York’s Lower East Side sometime between ’69 and ’91 — the days of Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth, The Ramones and Television. Of course, this careful curation of sound didn’t happen by accident. In 2000, Loren Davie moved to New York City after listening to The Velvet Underground and Nico one too many times. After 20 years of making music there, he returned to Toronto, bringing that New York sound with him. One night while he was walking home from an open mic, Davie became fascinated with the unknown stories of everyone passing around him, and he got to thinking how much of life is spent in transitional moments between events. In some way it’s the “real” life we fail to acknowledge. Inbetweening is about those moments that happen between what we think of as events — walking from one place to the next, waiting for something. Generally these happen when you’re alone, and it’s in these moments that self-reflection happens — when we give ourselves permission to think about what things actually mean.”

Hunter Sheridan | The Moment’s In A Hurry (ft. Mattie Leon)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian singer-songwriter Hunter Sheridan unveils a new single titled The Moment’s In A Hurry (ft. Mattie Leon), about the moment you realize you are truly falling in love. Next, you’re trying to capture and preserve every detail so you can enjoy it as much as possible. Through self-recording and producing, the message of the song is highlighted by simple instrumentation and storytelling lyrics that are strengthened by catchy melodies and a nostalgic atmosphere. Hunter adds, “Mattie started playing this awesome picking pattern on the acoustic guitar, and then we started building the song lyrically while not getting over complicated with the arrangement to highlight that daydreamy, romantic style.”

Flint & Feather | The Very Thing I Fear

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Albertan folk/roots duo Flint & Feather are thrilled to celebrate harvest with the highly anticipated release of their debut single The Very Thing I Fear. Best described as Rocky Mountain Folk-Pop, the song documents the introspective journey of a traveling troubadour who has lost themselves amidst an ever-changing world. The Very Thing I Fear offers a preview of Flint & Feather’s first full-length Rebirth, a collection touching on themes of love, loss, hope, and redemption. Flint & Feather is the musical project of Joal and Lauren Kamps, a free-spirited husband and wife team who are passionate about cultivating community through music, storytelling, and laughter. Explaining their single, Joal says: “I had been backpacking in Europe for several months when I caught my reflection in an old mirror in Amsterdam. At first, I didn’t recognize myself. It was this stranger looking back who sent me down a path of introspection and soul-searching. In the midst of my journeys, my identity had become blurred. The Very Thing I Fear documents the restlessness and recklessness one might experience while feeling a lack of overall direction in life. It marks the passage of time moving on from youthful passions and longing for a renewed sense of purpose. It’s our hope that the song resonates with others in similar scenarios, even if they remain unresolved… for now.”

Theo Tams | Parallel Universe

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Fresh off the back of his most recent trilogy of covers, Uncovered (Volume 2), Theo Tams is sharing new music. On a recent trip to Copenhagen, the artist teamed with up-and-coming producer Mahrow to create a global anthem exploring the concept of soulmates and all the myriad directions our connections can go in. “I get super-inspired by travel and I was in the beginning stages of planning my wedding at the time,” explains Tams. “I just started thinking all of those thoughts like ‘What if we never met? What if I lived here instead? What would my life look like?’ ” The song’s sultry production and vocals capture what Tams describes as that “flirtatious energy that comes with travelling and being somewhere new, the feeling that you can be whoever you want to be when you’re out of your comfort zone.”

Mylie Taylor | Better Yet

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “20-year-old Mylie Taylor is a Toronto artist drawing inspiration from the ’90s grunge scene. Her writing puts a spotlight on the darkest parts of life, with all of her songs relating back to mental health as a core theme. She shares the most vulnerable parts of herself, discussing topics many view as uncomfortable: mental illness, addiction, and death. “Wish I didn’t hate getting older, so many didn’t get the chance,” she sings on Better Yet, a heavy song with complex emotions surrounding mental health.”

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