Canadian Beacon | The Secret Beach, Geoffroy, Romi Mayes & More New Homegrown Wonders

I don’t know about you, but I am good and ready for a long weekend. Especially because it includes a slate of new singles and videos from a long list of fine Canadian talents. Crack the first beers, set up the red Solo cups and let the games begin:


The Secret Beach | All This Living

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Secret Beach are an ever-shifting group of musicians and co-conspirators orbiting around the songs and voice of Prairie-based songwriter Micah Erenberg. The band moniker — in the same vein as Guided By Voices and Tame Impala — helpfully points out that a songwriter is not an island (or indeed, a beach) unto themselves, and the contributions from the involved parties go a long way in making this project what it is. Today, he shares All This Living, a song about “not giving up on your dreams,” says Erenberg. “Even if you wish you could have gotten certain things done earlier, it’s never too late to get them done now. That goes for anything, be it in your career, personal life, health, spirituality or otherwise. Don’t let yourself be defined by the person you were. Embrace the person you can be.”

Geoffroy | Hotel Bed

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal artist Geoffroy is sharing the second single from his upcoming LP Good Boy. Hotel Bed is a romantic, colourful, and celebratory song that highlights the international sounds featured throughout his fourth full-length record. Once again, the perpetual saga of relationships unfolds,” Geoffroy explains. Hotel Bed follows the story of a girl who, tired of her new partner’s indecision and conflicting messages, reaches her breaking point.” “I began crafting it on the piano at my cottage and through numerous studio sessions, it gradually transformed into what you hear today,” he adds. “The music video features Remesha Drums, a group of drummers originally from Burundi. The drums they play on are called ingoma and are made out of a specific type of wood that can only be found there.”

The Dream Eaters | Oh Tanya!

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Dream Eaters have evolved from a dream-pop band into a full-on video art project with an extensive catalogue of weird and darkly humorous music videos of their catchy pop songs. The duo started working together after vocalist Elizabeth LeBaron, originally from Calgary, started working at the same Brookly bar as singer-songwriter Jake Zavracky, who is originally from Boston. “Oh Tanya! is a very good example of our songwriting style,” says Zavracky about their new single. “It’s a melodramatic parody of pop music that, at the same time, says something that is meaningful to us. Tanya is not a person, the name is a proxy for anything that can be lost.” LeBaron adds that “there’s a lot of vibrato and longing in it, like a wet ’80s New Wave love song.”

Mike Repic | Alive

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Out of the ashes of seclusion and addiction, Mike Repic rises up through desperation to bring a unique, honest and modern sound. Blending pop and rock sensibilities, while not shying away from acoustic, electronic and orchestral nuances, Repic’s songs spark a modern, yet classic approach into the medium. Creating dark, thoughtful, sensitive, but ultimately hopeful music with an optimistic narrative, Alive is Repic’s triumphant new release. It’s about walking through hell, only to come out the other side and realize you’re still living in fear. After getting off of drugs I’ve had to give my head a shake and tell myself ‘look at what you’ve gone through in your life, this shouldn’t scare you.’ It’s ultimately an uplifting song to give myself a kick in the ass to not be afraid to go after the things I want in life.”

Kacy Lee Anderson & The Waverley Pickers | #Croptopnroll

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Waverley Pickers are a cosmic country sisterhood formed by one of Canada’s most naturally gifted artists and ex-barrel racers: The one and only Kacy Lee Anderson of Juno-nominated folk duo Kacy & Clayton. Hailing from the absurdly isolated Rural Municipality of Waverley No. 44 (Pop. 422) in Southern Saskatchewan, the ensemble are connected to the fountainhead of great country music — and known to dabble in astral travel. The album Early Hits has an apt title for the debut collection songs you’ll find here, since Anderson effortlessly converted childhood schoolmates Brenna Lynn Kuffner and Callie McCrea into an uncommonly tight-knit ensemble just one short year prior to the making of the album. Co-produced with Kacy’s song-fellow Trixie (whose piano, fiddle and accordion work dances around Kacy’s transcendent vocals with a cryptic mirth), the record also features exquisite performances by Clayton Linthicum on six-string & pedal steel guitars.”

Kaïa Kater | Maker Taker

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Grenadian-Canadian musician Kaïa Kater’s new LP Strange Medicine is available today — along with the new video for Maker Taker, a song Kater says she couldn’t write “without picturing the myriad of ways the words would be perceived by others – friends, managers, agents, labels. I decided instead to journal my thoughts without the expectation of presenting them to anyone. These are the messy feelings that came out: the duality of loneliness and the addictive adrenaline of the stage, the desire to de-condition my femme upbringing of centering others over self, and finally, the goal to please myself first in my songs and performance—something I had previously only ever understood to be fundamentally selfish and vain.”

Astral Swans | The Coward

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Following 2023’s split release with Chad VanGaalen, discordant art-pop songwriter Astral Swans (Calgary’s Matthew Swann) is back with split No. 2 — a 7’’ with garage legend Julie Doiron due June 14 via Swann’s own Stoner Bird Records. Ahead of that, Astral Swans share The Coward, one of his two experimental tracks on the EP. The Coward is a “weird one” for Swann, playing on different valences of what the word means, contrasting synthesized and live recorded instruments in a rumination on — among other things — suicide; how those that go through with it are often labelled with the term.”

Naomi King | Shadow

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Vancouver alt-rock musician Naomi King just released their new album Black Water. Completely self-written and produced, Black Water is a deep and personal project, exploring mental health, bipolar disorder, manipulative relationships, coercion, assault, and healing. From quiet and ambient tunes, to loud and angry rock, to happy pop, to fantasy soundtrack themes, Black Water explores the deepest parts of some of the hardest years of King’s life. To celebrate the release, Naomi also shares the video for the third single Shadow. Directed by Naomi, the beautiful B&W video artfully conveys the simple beauty of the song. “Shadow is a song about loss of innocence,” King says. “About losing oneself when surrounded by others. Many people go through hard times that force us to create versions of ourselves that might actually survive.”

Vicky Von Vicky | Freak Me Out

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Vicky von Vicky delves into themes of love, loss, and life experiences, expressing themselves with candidness, vulnerability and a big serving of humour. Their distinctive sound draws inspiration from punk, grunge, classic rock, as well as soul and hip-hop. Following the release of two albums in 1998 (self-titled) and 2000 (Farmers & Artists), the band took a hiatus in 2001. The band reunited in 2019, and now they are eager to unveil their Broken Chairs EP on June 14. They offer a taste with the new alt rock single, Freak Me Out, which follows a person through a traumatic event as they begin to feel the effects of it.”

Romi Mayes | C’Mon Baby

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “She’s back! After a nine-year hiatus, Winnipeg blues-roots guitarist and singer-songwriter Romi Mayes returns with her C’mon Baby, the lead single from her new album Small Victories, set for release on June 28. On this track, Romi borrows from Tom Petty’s Honey Bee, creating a sexy, seductive song about what goes on in your mind when you want someone but choose to say nothing. “I started writing this song in 2010 when I was driving home from a solo tour to Manitoba from Ontario,” says Romi. “The highway outside of Sault Ste Marie was closed all the way to Wawa, so a lineup of semi trucks and I were all stuck in Batchawana Bay for the night. Luckily, there was a motel on the highway and they had just enough rooms, food, and beer to keep us happy. I played an impromptu show for the truckers and then went to my room. No cell service, a white-noise fuzzy TV screen and a blizzard. I stayed up all night and only came up with a couple of the parts, but played it over and over again til sun-up.”

Samy Volkov & Dana Wylie | My Heart Up Against You

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After previewing their first collection of original classic country duets The Day Had To Come, with the stunning singles Secret Subway Conversations and Long Long Gone, Edmonton singer-songwriters Sammy Volkov and Dana Wylie offer one last taste ahead of the album’s May 31 release with My Heart Up Against You, a weeper that finds Dana taking the lead. It’s a song that contains a hefty spiritual truth within its classic narrative of love and heartbreak — that when love and desire is born in need and desperation, it has as much potential to harm as to heal. Wylie says, “I mostly write folk stuff that leans in the direction of blues and jazz, but over the last several years I’ve written a few country songs and haven’t really known what to do with them. I’ve also always loved country duets, and have a particular soft spot for the Gram Parsons records on which Emmylou Harris is featured heavily. It was getting to know Sammy over the last few years that spurred the idea of a duets album, because I consider him to be the ideal singing partner, and I had a feeling he had a few country songs up his sleeve as well. And as it turned out, he had way more than me!”

Tom Hanley | Take It Away

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Originally from Uxbridge, Ont., Tom Hanley began his musical journey as the singer-guitarist in a slew of pop-punk bands with “terrible names,” performing at high school parties. In college, he started a six-piece funk band called Juice, recording and touring for eight years. After years of deliberation, countless gigs and 60 songs, he’s ready for a change. So he teamed with songwriter and producer Nixon Boyd (Hollerado, Dizzy) on the song Take It Away. Take It Away is about the rising cost of living, and how tough it has been for the younger generation to get a foothold. “This song makes me want to go out and do something to change how our country is being run,” says Hanley. “To change the narrative we are telling the next generation. What they should work towards and the path they should take because it’s not leading to the same results that it did even 10 years ago.”

Liam Barrack | Lucky

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto indie-pop singer-songwriter Liam Barrack follows up his January single Empty Spaces with Lucky, continuing a string of releases which embrace pop production while mining the complexities of Barrack’s inner world. Angsty yet upbeat, Lucky is an introspective blend of indie pop rock which grapples with themes of uncertainty. Lucky is about feeling simultaneously very fortunate but also very scared of when your luck might run out, and the process of living in fear of the future; making it hard to live in the present.”