Canadian Beacon | Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Ginger Beef, Loony & More New Homegrown Sounds

It snowed here. Looks like it might stick around. So that sucks. But here’s something that objectively doesn’t suck: The latest roundup of new Canadian music from every corner of the country. Let’s start shovelling:


Snotty Nose Rez Kids | I Got Paid Today

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Hip-hop enthusiasts have reason to celebrate as the dynamic rap duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids (Yung Trybez and Young D) release I Got Paid Today. This highly anticipated single showcases their extraordinary lyrical skills and storytelling abilities and features vocal cameos from Tia Wood and Lex Leosis. The single sets the stage for their forthcoming album, due for release next summer. I Got Paid Today is a raw and rhythmic anthem with an electrifying beat handled by Boogey The Beat (A Tribe Called Red / The Halluci Nation). The track paints a vivid picture with its lyrics and plays on the tropes of shopping as a therapeutic act with a catchy hook inspired by the iconic Mean Girls moment: “Get in, loser. We’re going shopping.”

Ginger Beef | Dew

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Calgary instrumental pop duo Ginger Beef just released their self-titled debut album. To celebrate, they also premiered the video for their second single Dew. A glossy retro-influenced track, Dew is full of breezy positive vibes and even features a few lyrics. In Mandarin. “We grew up in the ’80s / ’90s and wanted to make an unabashedly retro track to capture some fond feelings from those times,” says MSG (aka Warren Tse). “It’s easy to sing along to because the name of the song also conveniently doubles as the lyrics. And if you listen carefully, you might hear a coded message in there too.”

Classified | Wonder

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nova Scotia rapper and producer Classified released his new single Wonder. The track (which features Nova Scotia singer-songwriter Ian Janes) paints a picture of an individual grappling with personal loss, societal challenges, substance use and questions about identity and existence. It’s a profound reflection on life, questioning the whys and hows and trying to find meaning amidst struggles. “I’ve had a lot of time to think over the years. Really, any time I’m not on the go my mind is usually racing. I think a lot of people are like that too; just wondering about things,” says Classified. “It’s like when you go to bed at night and all of your thoughts come at once, this is what that song reflects. Thinking about various personal what-ifs, questioning society, wondering why things are the way they are. The things we wonder can feel personal, but really, we aren’t that unique. This song connects my personal thoughts to what everyone else might wonder about too, giving a glimpse into both my life and our shared experiences.”

Dearest Henry | This Life

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Regina musician Michael Harmel has debuted his solo singer-songwriter project Dearest Henry with the single and video This Life. The name Dearest Henry is an homage to Michael’s grandad, who was also a musician. He inspired Michael to explore all types of music and ultimately led to him learning to play the guitar. This Life is a personal account of loved ones lost. “After losing my father (in 2021), I took some time away from music to reflect and focus on family,” said Michael. “As I find music can be healing it was important for me to return to songwriting and the creative process. I hope that sharing some of my more personal songs such as This Life will resonate with others who have also experienced loss.”

Loony | Counting Thunder

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Loony’s new single Counting Thunder might be her most experimental track to date — and her hardest-hitting. Written with Grammy-nominated collaborators Akeel Henry (John Legend), Adam Pondang and Dan Farber, “Counting Thunder is waiting for the storm to hit,” says Loony. “You feel it coming before you even see it, because you’re always expecting it, constantly trying to calculate its proximity to you. You’re trying to control it, get it over with, and prevent yourself from getting hurt. I have a lot of anxiety, especially in relationships, and I think especially once you go through trauma you’re just waiting for the next bad thing to happen. But that’s just in all of life, in general. Things are always happening, and we apply meaning to it — it’s all random chaos and we all try to act so big and tough but we’re literally all afraid, all the time, and working so hard to try to control things. And I don’t know, it’s kind of funny, and tragic, and at the time I was writing it, it felt like such a personal song but now I don’t think it is. I think it’s one of my favourites, though.”

Jose Lobo | Quiero Esculpir Mi Vida

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:José Lobo’s debut LP In All Good Hope is out now. To mark the occasion, Lobo has shared Quiero Esculpir Mi Vida. “It’s a song based on the word main-tenant in French which, when separated, means to hold hands and I thought of this idea of holding hands with the present, to be the sculptor of one’s life, the lyrics are about accepting what I have while searching for what I want and always being able to be present which is really hard at times,” says Lobo. “The song is quite simple in that it is mostly guitar and later joined in by strings, synths, and piano. My album comes out with this song and this song hopes to be a summary of a lot of what the album represents, of all the memories it holds.”

Sun Junkies | Stay 4 The Night

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sun Junkies are a four-piece band from Brantford that formed in 2018. Their sophomore LP Parachuting discusses the toxic nature of overindulging in nostalgia, the existential dread that comes with measurable time, and the insane pressure of trying to make the most of fleeting youth. Although it’s mainly about time, Parachuting has many other recurring themes and deals with topics like the soul crushing monotony of the 40 hour work week, as well as the coping mechanisms and anxiety that come with such a mundane reality. Featuring an orchestral arrangement of pianos, violins and horns juxtaposed with growling feedback and distorted guitars, these songs will (hopefully) make you feel like you’re unreasonably sad at the most debaucherous party you’ve ever been to.”

Charlie PS | Slow Burn

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver rock artist Charlie PS has a sound that can be described as a sonic melting pot. Inspired by everyone from Stevie Nicks and Ann Wilson to Grace Potter and ZZ Ward, Charlie blends strong vocals with energetic riffs to create her own sound. Slow Burn is from her new EP Even If It Kills Me, produced by David Ziehr at Echoplant Studios in Vancouver. The five tracks from this project reflect the ups and downs of her life over the past three years, and circle back to the motif of trusting yourself with the process when it comes to personal growth.”

Baby Jey | Swing Like This

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Edmonton indie-pop group Baby Jey are melding genres in pursuit of getting listeners dancing with Swing Like This, a pedal steel guitar-inflected anti-capitalist dance-floor anthem. “I wrote the lyrics as a note in my phone backstage after having a conversation with our steel guitarist,” explains bandleader Jeremy Witten. “Partly, I was reflecting that our previous album Someday Cowboy had a lot of love and breakup songs and I wanted to do a more straight up dance song. We were also talking about how the word ‘swing’ comes up in a lot of different genres of music, like how new jack swing is a subgenre of R&B and western swing is a subgenre of country music. The word ‘swing’ isn’t confined to one genre of music — on the dance floor, to ‘swing’ simply means to move with an easy flowing but confident rhythm… So (this song) symbolizes the broad range of musical genres that have inspired us as a band. It’s a celebration of that on a dance floor.”

Rose Cousins, Jill Barber & Jenn Grant | Dark Angel

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Rose Cousins, Jill Barber and Jenn Grant have come together to share their cover of Blue Rodeo’s Dark Angel, from their record Five Days In July, an LP that “is woven into our Canadian landscape,” claims Cousins. “That record, especially Dark Angel, was a top song in the soundtrack of my teen emotional world.” Adds Grant: “There’s so much love in these voices. It’s an honour to be a part of it, to celebrate the anniversary of a band we truly love, and friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Kristin Carter | I’m Still Here

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Contemporary pop artist Kristin Carter has unveiled her new single I’m Still Here. Written by the Vancouver artist — who also co-produced with Marcus RamsayI’m Still Here is an enchanting sound bath created entirely from Carter’s voice, using expressive harmonies and overtones that allow the strong and purposeful lyrics to come alive. “This song was inspired by my reflection on some really challenging moments in my life,” she says. “When I’ve considered the feeling of impossibility from these struggles, I’ve often wondered how I even made it through. I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit for what we endure, and the courage it takes to go forward. Life is hard. We’re all trying our best. We are forever changed by what happens to us, but most importantly after it all; we are still here.”

Andrea England | Halifax

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto musician Andrea England, whose songs have been recorded by everyone from Meghan Patrick to Pussycat Dolls Nicole Scherzinger, just released her ambient Americana EP Evidence Of Love, produced by Juno winner Hill Kourkoutis. Award-winning Nova Scotia artist Carleton Stone can be heard in the ambivalent first single Halifax, about the conflicted emotions that come from living away from home. “I started my life and artist career in Halifax, and my time there influenced a big part of who I am as a woman and songwriter,” Andrea explains. “It’s a nostalgic song about a lost love forever connected to a place and a time — and to write it, I drew upon my first real heartbreak, one that literally led me to leave a city I loved.”

Maggie Andrew | Come Clean

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nova Scotia singer-songwriter Maggie Andrew draws together a melange of influences in her lavish, innovative alt-pop, fusing the likes of irreverent punk, melodic rap, simmering R&B, and indie-rock. On her latest electrifying single — the moody, rain-soaked Come Clean — Andrew bares her teeth again to send a vicious missive to someone she thought was a friend. Over brooding, loud-quiet-loud guitar (courtesy of Carleton Stone) and skittering hi-hats, the multi-faceted artist insists that she’s not sad — she’s fucking mad.”

Kellie Loder | Can’t Go Back

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kellie Loder’s musical journey began on the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador, lending to their songwriting prowess, and distinctive blend of folk, Americana and indie-pop influences. Loder’s fourth studio record, due in 2024, features stories of love, heartbreak, life and transitions. Can’t Go Back, the album’s second single, gives listeners a glimpse of the pure authenticity of a promising songwriter.”

Sydney Mae | Rhythm

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sydney Mae is an award-winning pop artist in Toronto. She has been recognized for her gift of superior storytelling and room-silencing vocals that draw you in to see the world through her eyes. “My music has always come from a place of deep self-awareness and learning,” explains Mae, who is originally from Calgary. “There’s something within me that is desperate to explore the human experience, and when others see themselves in my lyrics, it’s truly still a bizarre experience. I have a mountain of gratitude for that special connection.” Her new EP Rhythm, is carefully driven by themes of self-compassion and resilience. “Each of these songs was written from a lesson that brought me a little bit closer to finding and honoring a deeper connection (or rhythm) with myself before anyone or anything else.”

Sam Drysdale | Love & Violence

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sam Drysdale is a singer-songwriter rediscovering the roots of his musical style. At its foundation, Love & Violence is about a romantic relationship where both parties have become more concerned with their own individual perspectives, opposed to the pursuit of a more selfless, wholesome definition of love. The atmospheric single reflects how fine the line can become between even the most contradictory emotions when passion is high. On his latest project, Drysdale strives to strip things back to the core of his songwriting, channeling the raw emotionality he discovered early on through the artists he grew up admiring. Paring things back to their essence and focusing on potent lyrics and intimate melodies, Drysdale uses his talent for crafting compelling narratives and connects with the passion that first inspired his musical journey. Love & Violence represents the first page of this next chapter.”

Busty And The Bass | Never Get Enough

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Jazz-funk collective Busty And The Bass share the new track Never Get Enough, led by the smoky vocals of ascendant soul singer Katie Tupper. The sensual R&B single is an emphatic ballad about the conditional longing and desire for the one you love: ‘We got less time than you think we do / Forever ain’t long enough.’ Katie’s sultry voice soars throughout the song, while building budding tension until the band swoops in with an anthemic coda. “The words and vocal melodies came relatively quickly to me once I heard the track the guys had made,” says Tupper. “I knew I wanted a lot of vocal layers and harmonies to hold their own against the lush production that comes with a busty song. I wanted the lyrics to be classic and soulful and the idea of never getting enough of someone even if you could spend forever with them seemed right.”

Norma MacDonald | Comes In Waves

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On her sixth album In Waves, singer-songwriter Norma MacDonald explores new songwriting tactics, reimagines old demos, and conducts sound experimentations that expand her folk and country influences into ’60s pop, Motown harmonies, and jangly indie-rock. MacDonald lives in Halifax and has earned multiple award nominations for her five previous albums. For Comes In Waves, she and partner Chad Peck (of indie-shoegaze trio Kestrels) enlisted Juno-nominated producer Daniel Ledwell (Jenn Grant, Fortunate Ones) at Echo Lake Studio in Nova Scotia. “I didn’t realize I was writing about the pandemic when I wrote Comes in Waves until probably a few months later,” she says about the latest track. “I think I had told myself that I just came up with this song about the desire to change everything about myself and feeling stagnant out of nowhere.”

Los Duendes | Elf-Man

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver psych / Latin / fusion group Los Duendes have shared Elf-Man, the second single from their debut album Me Recuerdas, due out Nov. 17. It’s a cinematic cumbia with a descarga inspired by ’70s salsa. With this track, the group highlight the correlation between western soundtracks, ’60s surf-guitar and psychedelic cumbia from the Amazon. “This song was composed to fuse the genres of cumbia, spaghetti western and cinematic music,” says guitarist Seb Chamney. “The chord progression of D minor to A flat major is what gives the song its unique harmonic flavour.”

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