Canadian Beacon | Thunder Queens, Classified, Custie & More New Homegrown Sounds

I woke up way too early. Well, to be precise, my cat woke me up way too early. Now she’s sleeping on the couch. And I’m too tired to come up with something pithy to write here. So let’s just get on with the show, ’cause daddy needs a nap. But heaven forbid you sleep on these fine finds:


Thunder Queens | Roadtrip

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Embark on a sonic journey of revelation in motion with Thunder Queens, the London, Ont., trio of Violet Bruneel, Lola Hayman and Clara Magnan. On their debut album Strike One, they deliver a blend of doom-tinged grunge, onyx-toned punk, and multi-part harmonies — all while creating a mesmerizing sound of their own. Today, they also hit the road with a new video. Bursting with the nostalgia of summer drives, Roadtrip is a wholesome ode to cruising with friends, gas station snacks, chasing the horizon and endless laughter. In this vibrant clip, Thunder Queens transport us back to the thrills of being a teen without a driver’s license, eating candy under the blazing sun, wind in your hair, pink sunsets, and fun roadside pit-stops. Roadtrip is a celebration of friendship, fun, freedom, and the unforgettable memories we share on the road. So grab your crew, turn up the volume, and let Thunder Queens be your soundtrack to adventure.”

Classified | Amnesia

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Classified has released his new album Luke’s View. With an impressive discography boasting 18 studio albums, Classified has left an indelible mark on the hip-hop landscape. Luke’s View promises to be another milestone in his illustrious career, showcasing his unparalleled talent and unwavering dedication to his craft. “This album has been almost three years in the making,” says Classified. “I never planned on starting a new album, but during the pandemic I found myself having a lot of new things to write about… so I put a song together. A couple months passed and I wrote another song, and another… and slowly, over the last few years, I ended up with 11 songs and a finished project. This project is really just my views on what’s going on with the world, in my life, and my point of view just watching everything unfold in front of me. Some people will agree with what I’m saying, some will really relate, and maybe some won’t. And that’s fine. That’s why I wanted to call this project Luke’s View, because it’s just that. My take on the information in my life that I have.”

Custie | On E, And Everything In Between (Eeextra)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Custie is an emerging artist from London, Ont. His distinct sound explores pop as it intersects with singer-songwriter, R&B and alternative music. His song On E, And Everything In Between deals with addiction. Although Custie hasn’t personally struggled with addiction, it has affected the lives of people close to him. E stands for ecstasy in the broadest sense, and also energy. There’s been this uptick in songs about energy, the cosmic pull of stars and planets, and attributing behaviours and interactions to continuums beyond our capability of understanding. Though Custie doesn’t believe in astrology, he always seems to write romantic things that bring the possibility of it to light. E is an attempt to stylize and leave much of the song up to listener interpretation. “By giving things concrete names, it makes everything very topical,” Custie says. “I always like to find a way to have my listeners move with me by presenting a song with a certain kind of allure in mystery. Hence the E… stands for anything you’d like.”

The Bloody Hell | G

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian punks The Bloody Hell share their new video for their instrumental saxophone track G, off their latest album Nobody Cares. For the video, the band decided to tap into stock footage archives and the results are tantalizing, breaking down great G words from gorgeous to gruesome. “G is a song we had kicking around for a while but it never felt complete. We struggled to find the right vocal approach and had back burnered the song for a few years. When putting together the Nobody Cares album we decided to give it another go and called in our good friend Adam Nelson to lay down a saxophone melody in place of the vocal melody. The saxophone did the trick and became a total outta left field kinda track for us, and to our surprise has resonated with a lot of listeners.”

Elyse Aeryn | Cowboy

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Nominated for the 2024 ECMA Rock Recording of the Year for debut album Joy State of Mind, singer-songwriter Elyse Aeryn is known for her fiery and rebellious rock ’n’ roll. Her bluesy melodies, paired with her bold, warm voice, make for an authentic and ageless sound. The winner of Music Nova Scotia’s 2023 Country Recording of the Year and The Coast’s Best of Halifax Readers’ Choice Award for Best New Artist has a fierce new single, Cowboy. “I was imagining what it would be like to live so boldly,” Elyse offers. “As the chorus started flowing, it hit me that I am stepping into that energy. I don’t want or need anyone to save me. I am the cowboy.”

John Gogo | Larry’s Grandad

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Balladeer and actor John Gogo hails from a musical family on Vancouver Island. He’s best known for his folk songs about people and places, the true and the tall tales of the West Coast. John’s sixth LP, Western Balladeer  is slated for a summer release. The LP features Duke & Goldie, daughter Jeri Gogo, Tyler Lieb, David Essig, Ed Peekeekoot, brother Paul Gogo, cousin Brent Gubbels, Alan Moberg, Tobin Stokes, Rick Scott, Daniel Lapp, Dazy Weymer and Valdy. The lead single Larry’s Grandad is a true and personal story that tells of a time when life was both harder yet simpler. It was inspired by a family story told to John by Larry Glenwright in Nova Scotia, who he met while he was on tour in the Maritimes in 2019. Larry told of how his grandad was a coal miner as a young boy and how he met the love of his life. John was immediately drawn to the charming story and knew it would fit right in with the songs he liked to write.”

Bodywash | Kind of Light (Khotin Remix)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “There are many places like home. On I Held the Shape While I Could, the 2023 sophomore record from Montreal duo Bodywash, home is a mutable thing; a location that is fixed until it isn’t. Over the album’s 12 tracks, Chris Steward and Rosie Long Decter reflect on their separate and shared experiences of losing a sense of place, the way something once solid can slip between your fingers, and their attempts to build something new from the fallout. Steward and Long Decter met in college in 2014, but didn’t immediately share a musical language. Working toward their own blend of airy vocals, intricate guitar work and atmospheric synths, Steward’s abstract guitars and Long Decter’s cascading vocals act as the album’s ambient throughlines: Blurring the digital and organic, gesturing toward something intangible, just out of reach.”

Riley Michaels | Doctor, Doctor!

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Introducing Riley Michaels, a rising star in the world of pop-rock. Drawing inspiration from iconic artists such as John Mayer and Prince, Michaels has developed a unique sound that blends the emotional depth of pop with the infectious energy of rock. A two-time Niagara Music Awards winner, his music strikes a chord with listeners, touching their hearts and moving their souls. His song Doctor, Doctor! is about that person that you know is bad for you to love, but you do it anyway, because you just can’t get over them — no matter how bad they are for you. Though Riley is known for his sappy and emotional love songs, he wanted to make this one a real rock ’n’ roll groove. This song was a collaboration between Riley and Ryan Guay from the band Street Pharmacy.”

Etienne Siew | Chasing Dreams

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver folk-roots musician Etienne Siew shares his new single Chasing Dreams — also the title track from his debut album set for release on June 20. The driving, energetic country-influenced track is full of inspiration about trying to live a life doing what you love. “Chasing Dreams was written as a reminder for listeners that life is too short not to go after the things you love and to work towards your passions that truly light you up inside,” says Etienne. “The lyrics were pieced together on early morning drives to various jobs, as I dreamed of working for myself and being an independent artist. The instrumentation and slide guitar represent the energy of forging ahead to get to the places you want to go!”

Sam Weber | Kind Dog

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist Sam Weber is releasing his second single from upcoming album Clear + Plain (out Aug. 23), the languid and intimate Kind Dog. This calm acoustic number features a swinging rhythm complimented by Garret Lang’s upright bass playing. It’s a song which Weber identifies with deeply, a lyrically devotional track inspired by his many border crossings. Speaking of the song’s production, Weber explores its intricacies: “I love how reserved the band played it. We played it so quiet and so together, it’s like every little nuance and creak of a chair was catalogued on the fly in all the players’ attention. Everything was heard and felt and incorporated as we went. It made for a really focused and intense process, but super musical approach from all the people involved.”

Deanna Knight | How Do We Love

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Deanna Knight has always believed in music’s healing power. Over the course of a career now into its third decade, the Ontario-born vocalist and songwriter has developed a sound she calls “genre-fluid,” encompassing folk, soul and jazz, with lyrics that empower listeners through messages of hope and spiritual awakening. Every Little Spark, Knight’s second solo album, is a powerful showcase of her talents, recorded at Toronto’s Union Sound and at Garth Richardson’s studio near Knight’s home on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast. Deanna joined forces with multi-instrumentalist/producer Les Cooper (Jill Barber, Good Lovelies) rekindling a long-time friendship. How Do We Love, which Knight has always imagined as a James Bond theme, is now fully realized with a lush string arrangement and cinematic vibe. It’s all part of the new musical tapestry she has developed over the past few years.”

Parade | The Bridge

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Parade are an experimental pop-rock trio based out of Toronto, featuring Stefan Hegerat (drums, compositions), Chris Pruden (synthesizers) and Laura Swankey (vocals, electronics). Drawing on their diverse backgrounds in jazz, classical, and electronic music, the trio pushes the boundaries of genre and form by blurring the lines between improvisation and composition to create unique and immersive sonic landscapes. The hope behind Parade is that the music dwells on all we have to celebrate, while acknowledging all we have to mourn. The Bridge is a song about transformation. It’s about taking control of one’s life to attain what’s really important. “When I was writing this song I was fixated on the idea of literally using a bridge to escape something and the idea that an emotional escape can feel just as arduous, if not more so, than a physical one,” says songwriter Stefan Hegarat. “I find the duality of fear and excitement during periods of change to be endlessly fascinating and I think that I managed to capture a lot of those complicated messy emotions.”

Shn Shn | Glimmer

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Shn Shn is an electronic experimental pop artist who ventures into the realm of production and soundscapes, immersing herself in the exploration of sonic textures and emotional landscapes. Their music sounds like a blend of lush vocals, meditative beats, and swelling pads, to craft cinematic-inspired music that transcends conventional boundaries. Creating from a space of curiosity, contemplation and care, they question the nature of existence in this bizarre, absurd and exciting world. Glimmers are not always loud and boisterous and in your face, sometimes they are subtle. Shn Shn’s new song Glimmer, represents moments of joy, hope and possibility; which are themes that they explore in their upcoming album. Glimmer aims to take listeners on a journey that twists and turns as the music unfolds into its different parts. The frosty bells fold over themselves, the whispered vocal delivery invites you in, and the apex where the music beat and bass create a completely different vibe suddenly return you back to the bells from the beginning, always moving in cycles.”