Canadian Beacon | Kandle, The Darcys & Tons More New Homegrown Sounds

Fkn Bruce Springsteen. Now, don’t get me wrong; I love The Boss as much as any old white dude. And I grudgingly understood when he had to postpone his Canadian tour dates to get treated for a peptic ulcer. But I was hoping he might push the shows back a few months — not AN ENTIRE GODDAMN YEAR. Especially in a market where people have literally been waiting decades to see him. Ah well. On the plus side, you don’t have to wait one minute more to enjoy the best new music this country has to offer:


Kandle | Live A Lie

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Coming back bolder than ever, self-produced and in charge, fearless chanteuse Kandle proves once again that her cinematic, raw songwriting can’t be packaged up and put in one simple category. Her new single Live A Lie is just a taste of the next album (due in spring 2024) from one of Canada’s finest songwriters. Live A Lie reflects on the unattainable dream of one day reaching a point in our chaotic timelines where life can finally be enjoyable, and if we don’t kill ourselves in the process, we must not want it bad enough. We exist in a society that is burnt out, with a model and structure that no longer functions. What, if anything, is the reward for paying these bitter dues? “With this song being about living a lie, and the search for the truth, we decided to make the music video an episode of The X-Files! This cinematic homage still layers in some welcome levity, with epic performance pieces and considerably more dancing than an X-Files episode typically contains. Happy 30th anniversary X-Files!”

Everybody’s Side Project | Stink Piss

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Saskatoon artist Daryl Uhrin launched their solo pop-punk project Everybody’s Side Project, born out of significant personal loss. The untimely passing of loved ones led him to channel his grief into his music, reigniting his deep-rooted passion for songwriting and performance. Despite typically critical audiences, Everybody’s Side Project has received ample support, which has encouraged him to pursue this endeavor wholeheartedly. Everybody’s Side Project is more than just a musical venture for them – it’s a testament to the transformative power of music, its ability to heal, and its exceptional capacity to turn adversity into opportunity. “While Stink Piss narrates a story of betrayal, it’s also about strength and resilience,” Uhrin says. “It’s about facing our demons, standing up to those who’ve wronged us, and finding our own path despite the challenges.”

The Fugitives | Edge Of The Sea

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Fugitives are a Vancouver folk-roots group headed by songwriters Adrian Glynn and Brendan McLeod, and joined by banjo player Chris Suen (Viper Central) and violinist Carly Frey (Coal Porters). They’re set to release their sixth album No Help Coming on Oct. 20, containing songs that address the climate emergency. Today, they share the new video for Edge Of The Sea. No Help Coming follows their acclaimed 2020 album Trench Songs, which set to music poems written by First World War soldiers.”

Helena Deland | The Animals

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Today, acclaimed Montreal songwriter and musician Helena Deland released her second album Goodnight Summerland, a tender collection of folk songs meditating on the joys of life, the questions we face as we grow older, the agonies and ecstasies of love and the abject sorrow of loss and grief. Deland also released a stunning video for new single The Animals, directed by Romain F. Dubois. In keeping with this soaring, torch song’s callout to an estranged lover, the atmospheric, nocturnal video depicts water droplets traveling through unsettled, burnished landscapes and moody, inky black skies. The Animals follows previous single Strawberry Moon, a folk lullaby full of wistful piano melodies, textured guitar and Helena’s exquisite, crystalline vocals.”

Apryll Aileen | In These Flames

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “There are lots of people who sing but not everyone has a voice. Apryll Aileen is a classically trained pianist with a touch of science and spirituality. An alt-pop soulful vocalist, guitarist and songwriter from Atlantic Canada, she transcends genres, creating her own undefinable sound with influences coming from pop, rock, electronic, folk and R&B. She doesn’t imitate — she creates. Apryll’s new full-length Bad Things spans love, heartbreak and adventure while dancing through inner shadow work. It is an album that inspires and uplifts while simultaneously shining a light on that which drags us down. It is one woman’s journey on the road as an artist, forging her own path and exploring the depths of her soul through internal introspection and connection with others. In These Flames plays with fire, toys with trust issues, and hints at the double life of being a spy. Trust can be a volatile agent; when violated, it can either go up in flames or slow burn over the heat of passionate embers. What happens next is a mystery.”

The Pairs | Annie’s Daughter

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Family is what ties The Pairs together. With soaring harmonies, they share stories of life’s hope, hilarity, and hardship. An honest, quirky stage presence and their unbottled chemistry, quickly connects them with their audience. The line between the stage and the crowd becomes blurred as if we’ve all pulled up a seat around their family’s lively kitchen table. Powered by three classically trained vocalists and a former punk drummer, The Pairs offer a unique blend of music that will hug your eardrums and inspire you to dance. When Will We Find Our Way is their new EP that aims to engage people in hopeful conversations about making real change within ourselves. Annie’s Daughter is an ode to the resilience of children, and a plea to grownups to pay close attention to the ways in which young people push against the confines of our rigid systems and structures.”

Davis Hall & The Green Lanterns | Homer

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:2022 Maple Blues Award Drummer of the Year Jim Casson (Downchild, Hogtown Allstars) recently released Canboro Canborough, the second album from his musical adventure Davis Hall & The Green Lanterns. While the recording of the first album searched for an identifying sound, this album focuses on the core group of Casson on drums, N. Jay Burr on tuba, Wayne DeAdder on guitar, Mike Branton on slide guitar and a guest appearance by Mark Lalama (Sisters Euclid, Dizzy & Fay) on keyboards. The sound is funky, rootsy, quirky and fun. As was the case on the first album, these songs were built from the ground up, starting with drum improvisations and then creating bass lines, and chord structures to fit those initial drum parts. “Canboro Canborough puts the brass in the bass, the grit in the guitar, and the fun in funky,” says Casson. “There is a lot of laughter on this album.”

Dan Mangan | Fire Escape

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On tour now supporting his Juno-nominated album Being Somewhere, singer-songwriter Dan Mangan returns with the second reimagined track from the record. The buoyant and bouncy Fire Escape has been stripped bare and reawakened as a tender ballad; with punchy synths being replaced with woodwinds. “Imagine yourself at a party where you feel too anxious to engage with all the perfectly well-meaning folks around you,” details Dan. “You spot the familiar face of someone who understands you. You catch their eye and gesture toward the fire escape. As you make your move to get away, you anticipate the fresh air and mutually understood stillness that awaits you through the window on the landing. They might rescue you from your head, if only for a moment of respite. Now imagine that the party is actually just the increasingly manic fever dream of modern society. I love how this elsewhere version falls apart in the middle, but rises tenderly for a final plea.”

The Darcys | I’m Starting To Think I’m Bad At Parties

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Tell me your day rate / Playing hard to get used to be all the rage / I’m contemplating time and space / Counting UFOs and low flying planes / You and me / We’re the same way aren’t we? / You tell me the answer to the question on my mind / Hands up hands high / If you don’t feel like feeling lonely tonight / I’m starting to think I’m bad at parties darling / I bet you think that I think it’s charming hardly.”

Aidan Skira | I Tried

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “19-year-old Aidan Skira is self-taught, self-produced, and self-animated, with an organic following of bedroom-music-heads and kids from the suburbs who relate to the heartbreak of being exposed to the truths of adult life. With a drive to help others find light in dark times, Aidan knows he has a unique perspective to share with the world and he’s bringing his people with him. He will release his first EP this winter. His latest single I Tried was inspired by the need to break up with a now-ex as his overall happiness progressively worsened in the relationship. When he ended up breaking it off and stopped communicating with her, she made up disgusting rumors and Aidan was attacked by her friends for things he didn’t do. The song talks about how he dealt with the whole situation.”

The Sarandons | The Great Divide

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Sarandons are the collaborative endeavor of Toronto music stalwarts Dave Suchon (vocals/guitar), Damian Coleman (bass/vocals), Edmund Cummings (keys/vocals), Craig Keeney (lead guitar) and Phil Skot (drums), who have been creating together in different projects for over a decade and a half. Produced by Dan Hosh (City and Colour, Glorious Sons), The Great Divide is unique in The Sarandons’ song catalogue — one of their darkest and heaviest songs to date. The visualstake lyric videos to the next level. The Sarandons reunited with Barto Bak, who had done their video for previously released single, “Stand Down, a stop-animation romp in the style of the Monty Python’s Flying Circus intro. For The Great Divide, Barto built on a cut-up squares motif and created a grainy strange black-and-white talking-head video.”

Star Collector | Crashin’

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The brand-spankin’ new video for our new single Crashin’ is a a riff-ready, boot-stompin’, bass-thumpin’, cowbell bashin’ ode to celebrity excess from the Attack, Sustain, Decay… Repeat album.”

Loose Fang | Goodbye

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The beauty found in art, as in life, is about friction: Joyful songs with sorrowful lyrics, minor-key riffs over doo-wop chord progressions, or a post-communist refugee songwriter surrounded by a cushion of North American veterans of guitar pop. Adam Sabla is an example of all three, and leading the band Loose Fang seems to be a perfect fit for him. The Czechoslovak-Canadian tunesmith was lucky to find a full band of collaborators (Jay Slye, Catherine Hiltz and Ian Browne) and bunker down in the port town of Steveston, B.C. to create the full-length Live Wires, Black Sheep, a title that reflects their penchant for guitar buzzing and finding the wandering souls of the nearly deceased guitar generation. The title of their focus track Goodbye says it all — it’s about a breakup after a long, co-dependent relationship — the kind you’re in when you don’t know how to be because you’re young. It’s flawed but formative and impassioned — both during and after.”

Astral Swans & Chad VanGaalen | Earth People

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Calgarian indie experimentalist Astral Swans and noise-pop multi-media maven Chad VanGaalen have joined forces for a split EP, featuring three songs of each. The EP is the first in a series of sonically stranger releases from Astral Swans continuing into 2024. Birthed from a residency at a downtown hotel in Calgary came a set of experimental pop songs affixed to a moody techno sound-space that sound unlike anything else bearing the name Astral Swans. VanGaalen and Matthew Swann (Astral Swans) met in the ’00s as mutual fans, and this split hearkens back to their scrappy, improvisational roots.”

Jimmy Rankin | Sue St. Marie

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On his new LP Harvest Highway, Jimmy Rankin hits the road again, time traveling and traversing far-flung destinations — along with his native Nova Scotia, of course — through his singular brand of east coast folk-rock. The Cape Breton icon’s eighth solo album is rich in the narrative songwriting traditions that Rankin has been honing for nearly his whole life, filled with crackling yarns and poignant chronicles about feverish marriages in Thunder Bay, unmoored Newfoundlanders, lovers on the run, and fallen soldiers in France. “I don’t think I could’ve written this song in my 20s or 30s,” says Rankin. “My kids are getting older, we’ve moved away for close to eight years and then came back home to the east coast, and my wife and I celebrate anniversaries in the decades now. I’m getting older but in a good way and maybe even getting a bit wiser… The point being that at my age, I can take a step back and see with a wide-angle lens the things that matter to me now: Love, family, friends, being home and at home in my own skin.”

Allen Dobb | All Costs

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After more than a decade-long retreat from recording and performing, singer-songwriter Allen Dobb is returning with a new album, Alone Together, due out Feb. 9. It’s a collection of 10 new original songs drawn from characters, stories, and landscapes that are part of Dobb’s experience working as a range management specialist in the interior of British Columbia. The first single All Costs is also the first song written by Dobb in several years. It charts the course of a rural couple coming to terms with their years spent together living on the land.”

Free Under Fire | Nothing For The Soul

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Free Under Fire are a Canadian rock band known for their groundbreaking yet nostalgic rock. Emanating from Toronto, they released their debut album Beauty in Extremes in 2022. “Nothing For The Soul, as well as most of our music, fits neatly under the umbrella of a singular idea — that human beings flourish under pressure,” they say. “That we are only free when faced with trials and tribulations that border on the impossible, and we only encounter the best in ourselves when pushed to our absolute limit.”

Charlie Houston | Cranberry

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Cranberry is the new indie-pop single from Charlie Houston about the anxieties of causing unnecessary stress on those around you. “This song was inspired by me burning a rubber spoon onto a pan onto a pan and then thinking the fumes from the burnt spoon might kill me,” Charlie reflects. “I freaked out and ran into my room but knew I was overreacting so didn’t want to talk to anyone about it. I’m terrified of being a burden on the people around me.” The delicate arrangement of soft acoustic strumming, twinkling piano, and upbeat percussion perfectly wrap the vulnerable hook ‘I don’t wanna be a burden, baby’.”

Berk Jodoin | Aces & 8’s

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Berk Jodoin shares Aces & 8’s, the first single from his new album Fly Away, slated for release in spring 2024. Why do we do what we do? Why do we chase elusive goals? Why do we work ourselves to death just trying to live? These are the questions Jodoin was asking himself as he wrote Aces & 8’s. The answer? “It makes no difference, ‘cause we’re all gonna die,” Jodoin intones over the song’s stomping blues beat. It’s fatalist to be sure, but in Jodoin’s view, “This is as honest as a song can get. We all have our own answers to those questions, but in the end it’s the same for everyone.”

Virgo Rising | Vampyre Year

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Out of a period of friction came a remarkable transformation for Virgo Rising. It’s been three years since the band recorded their beloved debut Sixteenth Sapphire, a delicate bedroom-pop EP. Their path seemed clear: the buzz was strong, their new material was going over well with audiences, and a followup seemed like an easy slam-dunk. But Virgo Rising is of that venerated school of thought in which an artist’s job is to plumb their depths in search of something new; repeating themselves, while the easier option, was out of the question. And so, they raced down an emotionally fraught path to delicately deconstruct their sound and build it up from scratch. The result: Bedroom-pop is out, replaced by haunting, a wooden folk and a searing indie-rock that seems poised to outshine their celebrated debut. “We are so honoured to finally be putting this EP out into the world after working on it for so long,” says Jenna Wittmann, lead guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. “We’ve put so much love, thought, and care into these songs. They’re so special to us, and we hope they feel special to others, too.”

Previous articleNow Hear This: Brendan Scott Friel | 2021
Next articleThunder Pie | Kid In Philly