Canadian Beacon | Breeze, iskwē, Mother Mother & More New Homegrown Sounds

First the Buffy scandal. Then the Guess Who lawsuit. What’s next? Will Geddy Lee reveal he’s really American? Will Drake announce a country album? Will Mary Berg learn an adjective besides “amazing”? Truly, these are exciting times in Canadian culture. Here’s something else to get excited about: The latest and greatest new songs from coast to coast to coast. Say it ain’t so, Geddy:


Breeze | Ready For Love

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto’s Breeze are back with their album Sour Grapes, due Dec. 8. The album delivers a distinctive ’90s-inspired sound that explores the complexity of relationships and builds upon the Brit-pop new-wave sound that garnered critical acclaim for their 2021 release Only Up. The pace and vibrant energy carry through on Ready For Love with emotive vocal pleas tugging at heartstrings while the cascading rhythm effortlessly sways the dance floor, evoking the bravado of Fontaines D.C. and the melancholy of The Human League. Recorded by the band at Montreal’s Hotel2Tango, the track was written by keyboardist James Kearns while sick with Covid — then taken to a dramatic new level in the studio.”

iskwē | Part Two

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Continuing her recent string of dynamic electronic pop single releases, iskwē | ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ (short for waseskwan iskwew, meaning “blue sky woman”) is sharing Part Two, its title meant to reflect “the second act in the story of a wonderful love affair that came to a crashing halt… This is a song about a broken heart, my broken heart, after a rocky relationship finally came crashing down,” explains iskwē. “We should have known, and we probably did, that things would end as passionately as they began. We ran the other to the ground while simultaneously pulling each other back to our feet, but the landing got slipperier and slipperier with each recovery, until enough was enough.”

Mother Mother | The Matrix

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Kicking off a bold new era, platinum pop-rockers Mother Mother share the new single and video The Matrix. It heralds the arrival of their forthcoming album Grief Chapter, due Feb. 16. On Grief Chapter, vocalist, songwriter and guitarist Ryan Guldemond swings big, goes as grandiose with songwriting as he does granular, tackling concepts like life, death, mourning, and the freedom that comes with accepting the inevitable. But these heavy themes, magically, are buoyed by lyrical moments of complexity and lightness. As Guldemond explains, “death and grief rooted themselves in these songs, but not morosely. It’s used more as a reference point for how to live more fully and presently. Life is fleeting, therefore it’s precious, and death is the most effective way I know to frame this miracle of living.” The Matrix deploys dreamy keys and swooning vocals that give the illusion of a future-facing lullaby. The video taps into this otherworldly energy, and also contains a number of Easter eggs and references to Mother Mother lore woven throughout the single-room set for fans to discover.”

Wiesinger | Sitcom

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Wiesinger’s motto is Fun Music for Fun People. Despite being located in the rural county of Barrhead, they are quickly carving a name for themselves as being one of the hardest-working and catchiest emerging pop-rock acts in Western Canada. The trio consist of husband-and-wife duo Justin (vocals/bass/keys/songwriter/video guy) and Chelsey Wiesinger (drums/percussion/samples), with Daniel Bellerose on lead guitar. Numerous songs on their sophomore album Stuck in Your Head are based on experiences from Justin’s award-winning memoir The Childlike Heist 2019. He dealt with mental health struggles for much of his young adult life and used a few songs from those seasons, as well as newly penned ones, to help share hope and his journey of recovery with listeners.”

Geordie Gordon | Tambourine

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Geordie Gordon’s new LP Tambourine is available now. The Toronto singer-songwriter — currently a member of two internationally acclaimed indie acts, U.S. Girls and Islands — is also sharing the video for the title track. “Tambourine is the second song I wrote for the album that would eventually share its title,” he says. “I had decided to mine pivotal moments from my past, expanding each memory into a song. For this track I delved into the classic literary narrative of the queer coming-of-age story. Growing up, I was so singularly enamoured with creating music that exploring my queer identity took a back seat. That all changed one night when a friend took me into the city to see the album-release concert for The Hidden CamerasThe Smell Of Our Own.”

Kelly Sloan | Tangled

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto singer, songwriter, and musician Kelly Sloan has just released her new album Insides Out. In celebration, she’s sharing the video for Tangled, a song that “tries to explore the difficulty in realizing and embracing the need for personal change,” says Sloan. “So many of us are a tangled ball of yarn and the answers are often floating within reach but we are unable to unravel ourselves enough to see them. The choruses are comforting assurances to the confusion, encouraging us to hold on.”

Ryan McMahon | Feed Your Mind

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Ryan McMahon shares Feed Your Mind, the latest single from his album Live Now, out Nov. 10. A hard-hitting roots-rock track, Ryan describes it as “a song about seeking out and seeing beauty in things right now, while I’m alive and while I still can.” Live Now is McMahon’s first album since 2019’s In Line For A Smile, and a collection he has been eager to share since the pandemic forced him to pause all musical activity. McMahon says, “The entire record is a reminder to myself of just how rich my life is, and how to dig in and persevere no matter what is going on around me.”

Vishtèn Connexions | More Love (ft. 6 Hearts)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Award-winning Acadian roots duo Vishtèn have joined forces with two members of successful P.E.I. band The East Pointers to create 6 Hearts, for the new song More Love. After the passing of Vishtèn’s member Pastelle LeBlanc, remaining members Emmanuelle LeBlanc and Pascal Miousse created Vishtèn Connexions, working with other artists as a way to move forward. Their upcoming EP Expansion will feature six different artists on six songs.

Bile Sister | Can’t Backstab Me Baby

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Bile Sister shares a video for Can’t Backstab Me Baby from her new album Living On The Edge. Bile Sister is the synth-punk project of Toronto multimedia artist and producer Julie Reich, aka one-half of microtonal rock duo Body Breaks. Can’t Backstab Me Baby is a throbbing blockbuster of distortion and pulsating bass. The video is a collaboration with artist Zoja Smutney whose work explores how architecture creates movement through the body. She stars in the video and tracks the song’s slow build into a frenzied boiling point against a stark concrete backdrop. “We filmed for just a few hours in West Hollywood Park,” Reich says. “Visually, the location was perfect because of the symmetry and symbolism of the stairs. They represent struggle but also they symbolize movement and the idea of going up or down in life and having the power to choose the direction. The yellow tape and the pylons on either side of the staircase were perfect symbolism for being held back, restricted, having fear, but also, through movement, being able to release oneself from that restriction.”

Jeen | Hold My Head Up Higher

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Jeen is gearing up to release her next album Gold Control on Feb. 2. Today, she shares the third single Hold My Head Up Higher, which sees her joining forces again with long-time collaborator and indie icon Ian Blurton, co-producer of her last five albums. Their strength in working together shines on this track; its swirling chorus shimmers along the flesh and induces frisson with ease. “This is the second co-write/feature that Ian and I have done in the past couple years,” Jeen elaborates. “When we were in pre-production for Gold Control, Ian and I bounced an idea he had back and forth for a couple weeks long-distance before really solidifying the song in studio rehearsals. It’s always fun collaborating with Ian, so I’m really happy we got the chance to do it again on this album.”

Chin Injeti | Make You Understand

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Chin Injeti’s cathartic new album Vessels: Volume Three was inspired by the art of collaboration and made through conversations and friendships. Produced mostly by Injeti, a lot of the tracks deal with self-realization and remind listeners no one is truly alone. Make You Understand was inspired by a melody Injeti put on TikTok that he then sampled with daysormay. The title is about trying to make someone see you for what’s really happening in your life. Stylistically, the production is all about dynamics on and off/loud and soft in order for the lyrics to shine through.”

Spectes | The Old Regime

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver post-punk band Spectres have announced their new album and shared the first single! Presence is due March 15. Charming and dreamy, The Old Regime ebbs and flows with thundering drums, vocals blended in with the other instruments with elegent texture and contrast, and etherially layered bass and six string guitars. Sonically leaning into the band’s pop and shoegaze influences, the song has clear post-punk and rock undertones and is sure to get the band’s longstanding fanbase itching to find out what the next single has in store for them.”

Mike Ruby | A Million You’s

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mike Ruby is a singer-songwriter from Toronto with a story that’s far from ordinary. He moved to New York at 19 to pursue a career in jazz as a sax player, receiving a full scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music. That education and exposure gave him a unique sense of musicianship that shines through his melodic writing to this day. After signing a record deal, he began playing with Brooklyn synth-pop band St. Lucia, which opened his ears to a realm of synth and dance-like possibilities. His second solo EP A Million You’s consists of what-ifs, self discovery, and introspection. The emotive title track encompasses all of these themes, taking the listener on a vulnerable journey through an emotional songwriter’s lens.”

Gwyn Love | Get Over U

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Growing up in small-town Oklahoma, Gwyn Love knew they were destined for something bigger. Now, as the first American artist signed to Vancouver’s 604 Records, they’re ready to take on the world. The lyrically heavy dance-pop song Get Over U captures the sadness of a breakup and what is portrayed on the outside to other people. It’s the feeling of wanting to stay home and be sad, but also wanting to go out to numb the sadness for a bit although you will still feel it.”

Tom Hanley | Overnight

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Originally from Uxbridge, Ont., Tom Hanley began his musical journey as the singer-guitarist in pop-punk bands with terrible names, performing at high school parties. In college, he started a funk band called Juice that recorded and toured for eight years. After years of deliberation, countless wedding gigs, and 60 songs, he’s ready to share his debut solo single Overnight. Together with songwriter/producer Nixon Boyd (Hollerado, Dizzy), Hanley has taken the first steps to establishing his own sound and production aesthetic. Overnight was written right at the beginning of the pandemic. It’s about the first few days of lockdown and how it felt like everything was changing so fast and we had no control. It’s also the title of his forthcoming EP.”

Sluice | Archiviste

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Acadian power-pop quartet Sluice present a history lesson, a love letter to home, and a fist-pumping banger with Archiviste, the most fun you could possibly have learning about niche Nova Scotian Acadian history while soaking in your 1990s nostalgia — like Gin Blossoms on speed (but make it nerdy). Written on the heels of a series of research residencies at the Argyle Township Court House and Archives in Tusket, digging through hundreds of years of newspapers, manuscripts, property records, and photos, the album presents a collection of stories that document a largely unknown past anchored in the oldest Acadian region in the whole world. Nudging facts next to feelings, the award-winning band mix a wide-range of influences — from Weezer to Motörhead, The Ramones to The Lemonheads, Thin Lizzy to Jimmy Eat World — to document a resilient, proud, and exceptional part of the world whose history is well-known (to some), but only at the surface.”


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