Canadian Beacon | iskwē, Grievous Angels, Scenic Route To Alaska & More New Homegrown Sounds

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay! We made it through another Friday! A frosty cold beer is comin’ my way — but first, let’s get through these fine new singles and videos from my fellow hosers. It’s the truth, it’s actual. Everything is satisfactual. See you on the other side, bluebird:


iskwē | Exhale

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The creation of meaningful art can only occur in moments of despair or triumph; there is no grey area. iskwē is an award-winning Indigenous creator whose catalogue drips of a spectrum of emotions and is powered by resilience. Following several seasons of high highs being met with low lows, the Cree Métis artist retreated south to Mexico and inward to her soul to paint a 10-song collection that illustrates the gut-wrenching roller coaster ride that has been her recent life. nīna, the opus of iskwē’s rebirth, is the Cree translation for “me” and was chosen as the title of her fourth solo album as an ode to the profoundly autobiographical elements. The album is the sonic manifestation of the divine feminine explored through vignettes of love, passion, anger, betrayal, and loss. The album’s focus track, Exhale, is a reassuring call to the self, as iskwē encourages herself: “Blue sky woman, it’s time for you to breathe out.” The tense yet shimmering song holds onto the vulnerability at iskwē’s core.”

Grievous Angels | This Is How The City Falls

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Many musicians talk the talk when it comes to social justice, but few walk the walk like Grievous Angels have for close to four decades. Of course, it helps that co-founder and main songwriter Charlie Angus has been an NDP MP since 2004. But Grievous Angels have always been, and continue to be, a collective unit dedicated to carving out a unique place within the alt-country and folk worlds with songs and performances that reflect the tragic beauty of life in Canada’s blue-collar North. Angus recently announced that he will not be seeking re-election, stating, “After 20 years fighting for people in the House of Commons, I am returning to my roots. Those roots have always been in music and grassroots activism. You can get a clear sense of how those roots come together on Last Call For Cinderella, which has been called a powerful soundtrack for dystopic times. The band takes on disinformation, the climate crisis, economic uncertainty and addiction while providing a powerful antidote of hope. And it’s a pretty kick-ass record.” Last Call For Cinderella will be released on May 7, and fans can get a potent preview with the first single This Is How The City Falls, written by Angus in the aftermath of 2022’s month-long convoy occupation of downtown Ottawa.”

Ctrl+V | Apple Blue

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “I imagine us as a rock band, trapped inside of a nightclub,” says frontman Harry Parsons of the Newfoundland rave punk band Ctrl+V (pronounced Paste). After more than a decade of being a drummer in touring bands, he began to experiment with making electronic music. Along with co-writer/producer Sweetboy Music, the songwriting soon began to flow, and the pair began shaping their sound, influenced by darkwave, hard rock, and a dash of punk. Their debut EP Prequels is dark yet optimistic. Mysterious yet fun. The bittersweet opening track Apple Blue sets the mood with a feeling of isolation and loneliness. Says Parsons: “The title puts me in a neo-noir film headspace. It’s like a David Lynch version of a heavy song.”

Christian Hryshka | Something That I Can Believe

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Edmonton singer-songwriter Christin Hyshka shares his new single and video Something That I Can Believe, the lead single from his new album Rescue set for release on June 13. The hopeful folk-roots song speaks to the search for faith and meaning in today’s world. “I wrote Something That I Can Believe as a case for belief,” says Christin. “Maybe it’s belief in your family or your country, in principles or in God. We have so much information coming at us in all directions today that it’s hard to know what to believe, but that doesn’t dismiss its importance.”

Scenic Route To Alaska | Lasts Forever

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Scenic Route To Alaska are releasing their new album Lasts Forever as they head out for a run of tour dates throughout Canada this spring. They’re also sharing the album track Stardust, an indie-rock gem that explores themes of love and existential musings against a cosmic backdrop. With introspective lyrics and mesmerizing melodies, the song takes listeners on a journey through the interstellar and emotional realms, reminding them of the enduring power of love amidst the vastness and chaotic nature of the universe. Born and raised in Edmonton, the trio of childhood best friends have been a consistent force in Canada’s music scene since 2011. The seventh album from Trevor Mann, Shea Connor and Murray Wood, Lasts Forever offers a matured yet light-hearted sound, weaving catchy melodies with Trevor’s vocals as they navigate through themes of love, loss, and nostalgia.”

Basement Revolver | Pull Yourself Together

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Basement Revolver have always centered around the friendship of bassist/keyboardist Nim Agalawatte and guitarist/vocalist Chrisy Hurn. Lead guitarist Jonathan Malström and drummer Levi Kertesz round out the band’s larger-than-life sound. When tour plans went on hold through 2020, Basement Revolver found time to wrestle with questions about identity, faith, mental illness, and sexuality. Their sophomore LP Embody is explicit about these new ideas and new thoughts, addressing them with a deeper sound and crisper production to adroitly express the complexity of the world. It is an album of friendship, of working out identity together, and making deeply personal art. The deluxe version of the LP features Pull Yourself Together, written about Hurn’s experience having really bad panic attacks at parties. Maybe it’s not the kindest way to talk to yourself, but it was Chrisy’s way of giving themself some tough love and saying, “Get it together!”

Neavv | Heartburn

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Alternative synth-pop angel Neavv managed to transform the bittersweet experience of meeting the right person at the wrong time into a poignant melody that serves as the perfect remedy for heartburn. Heartburn beautifully captures the heartbreaking essence of finding love at the most inopportune moment. When timing is everything, timing is everything. Neavv is an artist, songwriter and producer currently residing on Vancouver Island.”