Canadian Beacon | Comeback Kid, Sam Jr. & More New Homegrown Sounds

You know what they say: It ain’t over till it’s over. And even though new releases are finally (FINALLY!) starting to taper off for the year, there’s still plenty of new music to be found out there. Here are the Canadian gems that found their way to my in-box over the past few days:


Comeback Kid | Trouble In The Winner’s Circle

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian hardcore punk rock heavyweights Comeback Kid have announced that their brand new EP Trouble will be released on March 15. Alongside the announcement, the influential five-piece also shared the dynamic, infectious, tongue-in-cheek lead single Trouble In The Winner’s Circle. Speaking about the track, lead vocalist Andrew Neufeld says: “Trouble In The Winner’s Circle is about public meltdowns. Having the world crashing down on you on display for the masses to see, like peering into a fishbowl. It’s a tongue and cheek rock anthem driving its point to the bitter end.” Accompanying the single is a music video directed by Daniel Priess and produced by Neufeld. The compelling video, which deftly highlights the song’s message, finds the band ironically trapped within a fishbowl in the midst of an underground fight club.”

Sam Jr | YRU

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This song,” says Toronto singer-guitarist and longtime Broken Social Scene member Sam Jr., “is about people imposing their lifestyles on others, despite their own feelings of entrapment and unhappiness.”

Moonriivr | 10,000 Suns

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following the release of Moonriivr’s debut album Vol. 1, the quartet of vocalist Gavin Gardiner (The Wooden Sky), guitarist “Champagne” James Robertson (Lindi Ortega), bassist Ben Whiteley (The Weather Station), and percussionist Lyle Molzan (Kathleen Edwards) are releasing a video for their track 10,000 Suns. Crafted with a Tascam 388 tape recorder, Vol. 1 is representative of an idiosyncratic brand of exotic indie-folk, laced with sweetly reverberating slide guitars, wonky string synths, and nimble percussive environments. Of this song, Gardiner says: “10,000 Suns addresses the weight of the past. How one can be crushed by shame, anger and regret. I’m not searching for answers within the song, but simply living in the present and looking towards love and forgiveness.”

Loony | Nothing Else Feels The Same

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Maybe it’s the count in, maybe it’s the first lyric — ‘I can give you something to believe in’ — or maybe it’s the nostalgic, soulful vocal stacks in the chorus and bridge that makes Loony’s new single Nothing Else Feels The Same feels like a warm, familiar blanket, safely wrapped around your memories. “Man, this song has lived so many lives!” Loony (aka Kira Huszar) explains. “It’s gone through so many different versions over the last year or so until it finally felt right. Ultimately, it was a live floor studio session that just fit it best, with some of my favourite musicians in Toronto pulling up. This is a song that I’ve always wanted to make — something simple but true, overtop a bed of organic sound.”

Kroy | The Wolf

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kroy is the stage name of singer, songwriter and composer Camille Poliquin, the Montreal singer-songwriter and half of Juno-winning duo Milk & Bone. Kroy’s deeply personal approach and bold pop explorations have earned her millions of streams. Kroy has been described as a visionary artist and Montreal’s queen of electropop, and is known for her soaring voice, synth-pop melodies and brooding lyrics. Today, she returns with her second single of 2023, The Wolf, an ominous track forgoes drums to centre her vulnerable voice as she sings of a frightening, all-consuming love that you can’t live without. Influenced by Beth Gibbons (Portishead), the track embraces country-goth darkness, reminiscent of her debut EP Scavenger.”

Hua Li 化力 | Cherrier

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Hua Li 化力’s project has often worked the fruitful tension between opposing forces, whether being mixed-race, bisexual, or overtly political and softly vulnerable. New single Cherrier is a song about coming of age in the late noughties in the Montreal neighbourhood, Plateau-Mont Royal. Grounded by a driving synth bass line, the song leaps from 2009 to 2019 and back again as Hua Li attempts to overturn traumatic memories of people and places she tried to avoid but kept getting pulled back to as a performer and DJ. She says: “Thankfully, since writing this song, I’ve been able to kiss again on Rue Cherrier and reclaim these parts of the city from a place of healing and celebration.”

Aidan Skira | Happy Meals

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A true visionary, 19-year-old Aidan Skira is pushing boundaries and defying expectations. Creating a community around him, he’s leading the pack in the underground music space in Toronto, performing meaningful live sets and growing his fanbase at a rapid rate. A one-man-show, Skira creates his own music, graphics, and videos from his basement. Passionate about connecting in an authentic way, he knows his music is helping kids from a “no attention span generation” find meaning amidst the chaos of the world. “It’s not always easy to put yourself out there in the way that I do. It’s a really vulnerable position but when you have a vision for yourself or a calling, you’ve gotta go for it head first sometimes,” says Skira. His latest single Happy Meals is not about saying f*ck the haters, but rather showing those who didn’t believe in you back then that you’re serious and you’re doing this.”

Classified | The Hardy Boyds (ft. Mike Boyd)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Classified, the acclaimed hip-hop artist, has released his latest single Hardy Boyds. The track features a collaboration with his brother and esteemed Nova Scotian MC Mike Boyd, celebrating a powerful comeback filled with confidence and camaraderie. Classified shares, “This is straight-up boom-bap hip-hop. I wanted to bring in hard-hitting beats and clever lyrics, bouncing off my brother Mike, tapping into that old-school flow and vibe. Just all around fun with this one. It was an absolute blast creating this track.”

Steve Maddock | Holy Man

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver musician Steve Maddock shares his new single Holy Man, the first single from his new album Jack Of All Trades, set for release on Feb. 16. The album is a joint venture between Steve and Mike Reveley. Mike is a former Vancouver jazz arranger/composer who founded the Capilano University Jazz Studies Program where Steve studied. A rocking shuffle with an eight-piece band and a great solo by Vancouver jazz guitarist Bill Coon, Holy Man is a song about a man seeking redemption with the help of a strong woman. “We have all, at one time or another, experienced situations where we need support to overcome personal problems,” says songwriter Mike Reveley. “All too often these problems are drug and alcohol related. We all know someone who is struggling with an addiction.”

Elliott BROOD | Bluebird Wine

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Hot off the release of Town, the first album of a two-part set that will continue with Country in 2024, Elliott BROOD share a cover of Rodney Crowell’s Bluebird Wine, a staple of the country-folk songbook. With base notes of Texas country, full-bodied Americana and flutters of rim-shot percussion, Elliott BROOD infuse their own experiences into the 1970s hit. Transformed into a true country ripper, Bluebird Wine chirps and hops along with a peppy verve. True to form, Elliott BROOD layer on their signature stomp and clap sound and their unique blend of vocal tones, creating an elixir of lifestyle, a feeling to imbibe that brings joy and fullness.”

We Found A Lovebird | Dylan Phase Again

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “A trance-like ditty about getting sucked into Dylan’s kaleidoscopic world, again.”

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