Canadian Beacon | Wine Lips, Naomi King, Royal Castles & More New Homegrown Luminescence

Can you see the light? Sure you can. It’s straight ahead, over on the horizon, just above the pines. Yep, there it is. There’s that golden orb again — or, as we call it around these parts, the Canadian Beacon. So put on your shades and peep the latest and greatest tracks from coast to coast to coast:


Wine Lips | Fried IV

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Due April 5, Super Mega Ultra is the fourth full-length record from Toronto rockers Wine Lips. Today, the band unveils Fried IV, the second preview single. If it sounds familiar, no wonder. “I’ve written a version of Fried on every record we put out so naturally I had to add a Fried IV to this album,” says singer-guitarist Cam Hilborn. “The record had about 14 songs in the works and I was having a hard time coming up with an idea for Fried IV, so it was looking like it might not happen this time around. I was very transfixed on a riff from a song we decided to cut from the record so I just ended up reworking the whole song into something I was stoked about. It was the last song recorded for the record, I hadn’t even rehearsed it with Aurora (drums) before going to the studio and I pieced the lyrics together right before recording them. We pretty much worked that song out on the spot with our engineer Simon, and it became one of my favourite tracks on the record.”

Naomi King | Fetish

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver alt-rock musician Naomi King shares their empowering track Fetish, the lead single from the album Black Water, set for release on May 17. They wrote the bare bones, in-your-face lyrics about one of their friends, who unfortunately turned out to be exactly what Naomi had thought. “Fetish is a song I wrote about a friend,” says Naomi. “Funnily enough, just a few months after I’d written it, he proved himself to be exactly what I knew he was. If only I’d listened to myself and trusted my gut. I know who I am in the eyes of men — I’m a fetish.” Fetish is a fun single that comes with a sexy music video. Naomi admits, “I really leaned into the whole fetish thing. Maybe a bit too much.”

Royal Castles | Stage Fright

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Hailing from Guelph, Royal Castles are Katrin Sawatzky, Jordan Gabriel and AJ Johnson. Together they blend riffy guitar licks, wooly bass and ear-candified harmonies to create their own sound of nostalgic but contemporary garage-power-pop. The band’s sophomore album Just The Hits was released in 2021 and recorded at North Of Princess Studio with producer Zane Whitfield (Glorious Sons, Blue Stones). Royal Castles have partnered again with Whitfield and are in the midst of releasing five new songs towards an EP entitled Singles Night, set for release on April 19. Stage Fright can be paralyzing if you let it, but it can also act as a fuel to make you push past something that scares you. That’s what the third release ahead of Singles Night is about — fearing something or someone and pushing past to harness that nervous energy.”

Kroy | Joligentil

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Embracing the loneliness that comes after the fireworks and examining the power dynamics present in intimate connections, the new single from Kroy, Joligentil is a powerful, vulnerable journey through love and murder. Kroy is the stage name of singer, songwriter and composer Camille Poliquin, the Montreal singer-songwriter and half of Juno-winning duo Milk & Bone. Her deeply personal approach to music and her bold pop explorations have seen her accumulate millions of streams and has been described as a visionary artist and Montreal’s queen of electropop, known for her soaring voice, synth-pop melodies and brooding lyrics. “I’ve always been obsessed with security cameras (I actually have them in several rooms in my apartment) and I thought it was a simple but visually precise way of conveying the meaning of the piece,” she says of her new single. “I’m alone. I was left alone. But the traces of what was done to me will never truly leave me. And I feel exposed, like a deer in the headlights of a car at night. I’m on the stage, I’m in the screen. I’m alone. My wounds are gaping, but only the sharp eye can recognise them. And only the valiant heart knows not to take advantage of them.”

Action Forever | In The Dead Of Night

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sim Bansal of Action Forever grew up in Brantford. His obsession with music began at age five and, for the next two decades, his natural talents were fostered by a musical family upbringing and constant exposure to a unique and eclectic mix of influences ranging namely from ’80s pop, to progressive rock, to jazz and Indie. For years, he has been working on a body of original fringe-pop music for a four-piece band, now being released under the name Action Forever. The music, while lively, electric, melodic and danceable, explores darker themes such as loneliness in a digital age, abusive relationships, loss of identity, and mental health. The semi-autobiographical track In the Dead of Night is a reflection on the obvious downsides of being in a long distance relationship — not being able to hold your partner in your arms, look into their eyes, or hear their real voice next to you. For Sim, he started to believe the seed for the song, in part, came from a feeling of codependence. Upon analyzing what he’d written — in the moment, sort of quickly and instinctively, those lyrics struck him as more troubled than romantic.”

Erica Dee Mah | The Garden

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Yukon orchestral folk musician Erica Dee Mah shares her new single The Garden, the lead single from her new EP Paper Wealth, set for release on May 8. Erica wrote the song as a tribute to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver’s Chinatown. “I see the garden as a symbol of long-lasting cultural resilience,” says Erica. “I was inspired to write the song after visiting the new Chinese-Canadian museum in 2021 with my brother and seeing how much the Chinatown community was struggling.” A singer-songwriter and contemporary guzheng player, Erica grew up in Smithers, and then lived in Vancouver from 2000 to 2014 before moving to Whitehorse. In 2022, she released The Sargasso Season, an original collection of songs written on the traditional 21-stringed Chinese zither. Erica writes about transoceanic journeys, Chinese-Canadian identity across generations, and finding connection in new landscapes.”

Sam Weber | Hey Hey

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Sam Weber is a Canadian musician known for his distinctive style that blends elements of folk, rock, and Americana. A perceptive and compelling singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in the vein of Jackson Browne, The Band, The Wood Brothers and Gillian Welch, Weber has been touring independently and internationally with his band since 2013. Years spent refining songs at home in North Saanich, B.C., working in studios in Los Angeles, and gigging relentlessly across Canada and throughout the western U.S. have honed Weber’s craft to a fine point. Leading into spring 2024, Weber is sharing Hey Hey, a song whose tumbling percussion and introspective acoustic guitar serve to articulate and realize the concept that the truth always rises to the surface, he explains.”

Kellie Loder | The Month Of May

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kellie Loder is sharing the final advance single, The Month Of May, from their upcoming album Transitions, out April 19. “I love saying the title to this song out loud just as much as I love singing it,” says Loder. “Artists, and lots of other people, are big feelers. We can’t stow our emotions on shelves or pack it in bags and just not look at it. We have to feel it even if it means being sad through the summer because our hearts got broken in the month of May”. There is something truly captivating about Juno nominee and the ECMA 2023 Songwriter and Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year Kellie Loder. Their lyrical brilliance is honest and vulnerable in ways that make the music feel deeply personal lending to their unmatched songwriting prowess, and distinctive blend of folk, Americana, and indie pop influences.”

Mitchell Makoons | Changing Man

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Incorporating traditional Ojibway music and culture with modern influences, roots-rock musician Mitchell Makoons has received radio play across Canada and the U.S., with three of his singles reaching top 10 on the Indigenous Music Countdown. Formerly known as Mitchell Mozdzen, he released five EPs under his legal name. In early 2021, Makoons decided to change his stage name to something that nodded to his Ojibway heritage. Makoons is an Anishinaabemowin word that means “Little Bear or Bear Cub.” Since Mozdzen’s spirit name is “Standing Strong Black Bear” and he is only 5’5, this name is perfectly fitting.”