Home Hear Canadian Beacon | Homeshake, Mustafa, Numb Talking & More Class Acts

Canadian Beacon | Homeshake, Mustafa, Numb Talking & More Class Acts

Sign Of The Day (Found On The Continuing Education Center Near My Home): “Please use the door at the front side of the building.” Um, did you mean Please Use Front Door? Something tells me this place might not be able to teach you very much. Thankfully, you can definitely learn a thing or three from the fine Canadian artists responsible for today’s crop of new singles and videos. Pay attention to these class acts:


Homeshake | Empty Lot

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Homeshake — the solo project of Toronto’s Peter Sagar — unveils the new single and video for Empty Lot, from his second album of 2024, Horsie, out June 28. Inspired by a dream Sagar had in a hotel, the song explores how dreams become a storage space for emotions, and whatever is leftover for the waking state. The video, starring Salina Ladha and directed by Jim Larson, was inspired by the film Paris, Texas. It opens with Peter abandoning his car in an empty parking lot and wandering into a desert before stumbling upon a limousine and beginning a psychedelic, dream-like journey, accented with fast transitioning colors. Says Peter: “The transformation is complete, and I can leave now.”

Mustafa | Gaza Is Calling

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Mustafa shares the single Gaza is Calling, which arrives alongside a Hiam Abbas-directed video. The song, written in 2020, chronicles the story of one of Mustafa’s childhood friendships that was affected by the kind of violence perpetrated against working-class communities worldwide and the plight specific to Palestinians. All net proceeds of Gaza is Calling will benefit the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund. “Gaza is Calling is about my first experience with heartbreak in friendship,” says Mustafa. “I was 11 when I met this boy from Gaza. We were inseparable. With him I shared one of the deepest loves I’ve ever known, he grew up alongside me in a housing project in Toronto. And not even this love was a match for the violence we were up against; the one in our new home, the one that followed him from Gaza like a cold wind. In the end it was all the bloodshed between us that didn’t allow us to see each other without tears appearing, and one of the last notes he sent to me was about how we would continue on in another life.”

Numb Talking | Sunflower

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Ontario’s Numb Talking is the solo project of Sufian M, a musical space exploring the duality of extremity and its absence, distance and closeness, acknowledgement and disavowal, pain and its mending, home and its cross-border search. At the core of numb talking are the wishmaking and healing capacities of songs as hummed prayers, admissions, cautions, reminders and celebrations. The voice whispers and projects in a mix of shoegaze and nu-metal tendencies that invite, warn and laugh with the listener. There’s something hopeful about sunflowers. For Sufian, it imbues a lifelong wish to feel “real” on the song “sunflower.” It’s about flirting with someone, trying to connect, trying to make meaning of self and someone else, and using each other. The song captures the temporary privilege to do so during a time when the world felt like it was finally fully collapsing, and there was something overwhelming about that.”

Lisa Humber | Dance Within

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto indie-pop musician Lisa Humber shares her dreamy, introspective single/video Dance Within. The second release in Lisa’s quadriptych of new music for 2024, it was created with producer/guitarist Justin Abedin. Since their collaboration began in fall 2020, Justin has been key to Lisa’s musical journey, contributing to her debut EP The Space Between and recent single The Devil’s Advocate. On Dance Within, Lisa explores the idea of finding joy as an act of resistance in a world influenced by social media’s curated illusions. “The song delves into the struggle between truth and fallacy, the pursuit of genuine answers, and the freedom of letting go,” says Lisa. “Amid the constant stream of thoughts, it emphasizes embracing positivity with ‘Feel good about feeling good’ and examines the true nature of happiness with ‘Joy is often misunderstood.’ Dance Within encourages listeners to seek authentic joy and resist the pressures of comparison and perfection.”

Jed And The Valentine | Mineral

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After releasing their debut album Awake! on April 11, Edmonton alt-folk project Jed And The Valentine have released a new video for the single Mineral. Jed And The Valentine is the musical collaboration between Jonah Morris and Maria Khaner, whose sound is rooted in soulful harmonies and lyrics inspired by the majestic landscapes of western Canada. It’s all there on Awake!, nine songs that mark their first two years of working together, and the creative energy they continue to feed off of. As Maria says, “We chose the songs for this record with the intention of highlighting the idea of feeling present in one’s body and really experiencing the world instead of just letting it happen to you. Once we settled on that theme, the songs seemed to fall into place exactly how they needed to.”

The Out Seer | Fading

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Hailing from Vancouver, The Out Seer was formed by guitarist/vocalist Ashley Pearce as a creative outlet among friends, including Amanda Chan, Davis Yates, Lachlan Tocher and Aybars Savat. Rooted in a shared commitment to musical growth and exploration, The Out Seer’s journey is marked by a dedication to creating feel-good alt rock music. Their song Fading captures the essence of a faded friendship of someone who once held a significant place in our lives. Although the absence may initially sting, there’s a comforting realization that with the passage of time, the sharpness of pain diminishes. What remains is a bittersweet memory that eventually fades into the background, allowing us to find closure and move forward. The lyrics describe watching the stars and drawing comparisons to how they start to disappear in the light of the sunrise. A new day, a new beginning, and any memories — both good and bad — fade away into the night sky. The lyrical content might seem sad, but it’s actually got a feel good vibe to it. Think about enjoying the sunlight of a new day and forgetting any pains of the past, and feeling happy and free!”

Just Graham | Blood Gutter

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Toronto artist Just Graham is a songwriter at heart. Since picking up a box violin at the age of five, he has always played by ear and listened to the melody. Drawn to the intimacy and immediacy of the stage, Graham reached his 10,000 hours by performing with countless groups. A singer and multi-instrumentalist, the highlight of this chapter was co-leading indie folk outfit Common Deer from 2014 to 2021. In the stillness of the pandemic, songwriting flooded back in. A new honesty emerged both in texture and words. Graham now knows a greater responsibility and seeks his best both in sentiment and delivery. Owning his stage name from a solo project back in 2007, Just Graham wants to remind you that love isn’t dead, and beauty lies in imperfection. Graham’s latest release is the slow groove, trance-inspired synthpop of Blood Gutter, which was inspired by the trauma of Graham and his partner witnessing a skateboarder struck by a car who they initially thought had died. Graham used a Roland Jupiter JP-08 synthesizer to create the line that the song is built around, its experimental sound coupled with violin, acoustic guitar, and a prominent rhythm section.”

Mo Kenney | Evening Dream

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On their fifth studio album From Nowhere — due Sept. 6 — Mo Kenney embraces the textures of ambiguity and the rich blur of being, failing, and becoming. As they shift through lush arrangements that touch on dreamy folk, sparse alt-country, and warm, hazed-out lo-fi pop, everything is up for interpretation and nothing is fixed. The driving single Evening Dream, produced by fellow Dartmouth local and Canadian favourite Joel Plaskett, has all the hallmarks of a post-summer come-down as Kenney reminisces about the nebulous feelings of flings. It’s about a romance that just wasn’t meant to be, reminiscing about it and wishing them well. There’s that bittersweet process of losing a love, but knowing and accepting that it is for the best.”

Mark Perry | Big Elevator (Nanton)

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “B.C. singer-songwriter Mark Perry shares his new single Big Elevator (Nanton), the second single from his new album Glimpses. Canadiana at its finest, the song evokes feelings of nostalgia while road tripping through the prairies. “I was driving northward after a gig in Nanton, Alberta,” says Mark. “It’s a community that proudly displays its historical grain elevators. I sat in the back of the van. The snow was falling. I wrote this song, as is, in about 30 minutes. A retro glimpse of a grain elevator town.” Hailing from Smithers, Perry delivers good-humoured and thought-provoking performances that get festival audiences up on their feet and make theatre crowds feel like they’re in his living room. He has 14 albums and counting in his catalog, and calls what he does “Northwest people music,” writing songs inspired by the people and diverse landscapes, from ocean currents to mountain tops.”

Kelly Jamieson | When The River Turns To Dust

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Kelly Jamieson considers himself a late bloomer as a singer-songwriter, but since the Toronto artist released his self-titled debut album in 2015, he has fully dedicated himself to the craft, and has slowly but consistently been building an impressive body of work that ranges from deftly executed heartland rock to lush balladry. Jamieson displays that diversity once again on his third full-length Too Close To The Sun, made in collaboration with producer/multi-instrumentalist Craig Smith, who also helmed Jamieson’s 2020 album Pure Gold. Work on Too Close To The Sun commenced in early 2022 at Smith’s studio in Collingwood, Ont., with a crew that also included drummer John Hall, and contributions from Austin keyboardist Jay Stiles. Jamieson credits Smith for having an overall vision for the record, while simultaneously not imposing any creative restrictions.”