Canadian Beacon | Maddie Jay, Cassidy Mann, Roki & More New Treats

Sometimes — hell, who am I kidding?; most of the time — the music world is a damn sausage fest. Not today. Female artists are well-represented in this roundup of new tracks from here, there and everywhere — three words you can’t spell without HER, BTW. Welcome to Ladies’ Night (or at least Equality Night) in the Beacon Room:


Maddie Jay | Name Your Price

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “On its face, Name Your Price feels like a love song, but there is something a little more sinister woven in,” says Maddie Jay of her new track. “Throughout my life, I’ve found myself jumping from one intense relationship to another, persistently seeking to be chosen by people who are not offering their love to me freely. My previous attempts at writing love songs often felt a bit insincere and incomplete, so, in this song, I made a conscious decision to bring that part of me to the forefront. The song is about the relentless and high stakes pursuit of commitment and validation, often at the expense of my own happiness within the relationship. When your entire sense of self-worth hinges on whether you’ve ‘won’ someone over, the pressure to keep them around can feel like a matter of life or death. I produced this song over a tape loop that I made with some friends and I love how the cyclical, relentless nature of it mirrors these cycles I find myself in over and over again.”

Cassidy Mann | Disappointing The Internet

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “As a lyricist and singer-songwriter, Cassidy Mann often reshapes a small moment into a powerful and poetic song that feels both personal and relatable. With family hailing from the community of Sagkeeng First Nation, her Indigenous heritage continually influences her music, specifically through her storytelling. While Mann’s first EP If It’s Not Forever served as a catalogue of how her early relationships ended, her newest single Disappointing the Internet comes from a more introspective place. “When I wrote this I was spending a lot of time online but I didn’t feel like I had much to offer in that space. I wasn’t posting anything but was constantly comparing myself to people who were, in every aspect of my life. I started to wonder how I’d feel if I stopped going on the internet at all and of course, that’s exactly what I needed at that time. This song is about the dichotomy of not existing in the digital world in order to exist more fully in your real life.”

Kylie Fox | Brandi Baby

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Like the tides of the Bay of Fundy on which she was raised, or the steadfast city line that broods along its port, Kylie Fox has been devoted to honing her craft as a songwriter for as long as she can remember. Growing up with a mother who would sing to her, and a father who sat at the helm of every kitchen party with his Yamaha and uninhibited voice, it became clear to Fox from a young age that music was how to show love, how to express identity, and how to connect with the people around her. Grand, ethereal and epic, Brandi Baby is Fox’s “coming-of-age song. It touches on my awkward high school years where I had the confidence to go to a school dance by myself, my early touring years where my ambition and my schedule prevented me from dating much, to when I found real big love in my now-fiancé and drummer Ryan, where I feel so free and safe.” She continues, “I used to straighten my hair to Brandi Carlile every day in high school, and she became a big influence for me becoming a musician. The Story was the first song my partner and I danced to and we are going to use it as our first dance at our wedding next year.”

Brayden Bell | Box Office Bomb

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Brayden Bell is an indie-folk producera and songwriter with ballroom gravitas and campfire-folk relatability. His considerate songwriting pulls truth in detail from the luminosity of everyday emotional directives, like dandelions growing through the sidewalk. The Calgarian’s soaring falsetto brings a sensitivity to a contemporary midwest-emo phrasebook, a Hozier filmstock captured through a Julien Baker lens. Bell has written and produced dozens of songs for synchronization with his publishing project We Are Crickets. Now, he’s releasing his first EP under his own name. Box Office Bomb is the result of the first time Bell carved out time for his solo music. While it was a lot to try and capture everything without getting lost in the nuances of production, he learned so much along the way and had a really fun time doing so. “I loved the idea of ‘Everyone’s life is their own movie,’ and although we may not be Zendaya or Leonardo Dicaprio, we still made it to the big screen,” he says. “Our movie can be a Box Office Bomb and that’s OK. We’re still here telling our story.”

Kristin Carter | Euphoria

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Contemporary pop artist Kristin Carter is celebrating the release of her new video Euphoria. Co-written by the Vancouver artist with fellow Canadian Steve Mitchell in Nashville, Euphoria is the second single from Carter’s debut album Full Bloom, which dropped in April. Euphoria — co-produced by Carter and Marcus Ramsay — is a dance-friendly pop anthem that radiates through Carter’s surefire and breathless vocal delivery against a lively and upbeat production. The video was directed by award-winning filmmaker Eva Tavares. Carter says, “While the song was written about the excitement of a new romantic connection, we wanted to try a unique approach with the video but stay true to the confidence that forms the heart of the song. We decided to focus on the inner conflict between one’s authentic self and the ideal self they aspire to become. Against the backdrop of pulsating neon lights and a mesmerizing dance floor, the video encapsulates the journey towards self-discovery and empowerment if one can embrace confidence and unlock their true potential.”

Ghostkeeper | Lipstick

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Here is the first new music of 2024 from Ghostkeeper, the duo of singer-songwriter and guitarist Shane Ghostkeeper, and singer-songwriter, percussionist and electronics manipulator Sarah Houle. This configuration is responsible for their critically acclaimed 2023 album Multidimensional Culture. Lipstick opens with a strangely inviting, other-wordly noise, a chirping, digitized cicada perhaps, before settling into a sultry drumbeat. The beat  betrays an interest in sounds and rhythms from trap music, and the futuristic-sounding sonic architecture of contemporary R&B acts like FKA Twigs and Rosalía, but the song is grounded by the two singers, who each take a verse, their voices filtered through a pleasingly psychedelic lens. Shane explains: “This song was conceived out of a sweet moment of romantic nostalgia: shared cigarettes outside of Broken City after a show, shooting our own Super 8 music videos, and a photo booth picture that remains in the breast pocket of my jean jacket that Sarah sent to me while away at art school in Halifax after our very first summer of love. Lipstick is dedicated to all you lovers out there.”

Nia Nadurata | boo hoo

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Nia Nadurata’s new single boo hoo is an up-tempo, bossa-inspired pop track that puts a playful spin on the classic tale of doomed love. Nia’s vibrant energy and clever lyrics turn the bittersweet truth of a failing romance into a bouncy, feel-good track. With influences from Sade and Amy Winehouse, there’s a timeless feeling that will have you dancing and singing along to another one of her catchy choruses. Nia reflects, “This song is the perfect anthem for those who have tried to make a dying relationship work… and hopefully leaves you realizing you’re too good to be fawning over a mediocre love affair!”

Golden Feather | Anything, Anymore

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Golden Feather of Hamilton are following up their recent yacht rock tune Awakenings with a bright and melodic new pop rock exploration of a long-term relationship’s growing divide.Written a few months before band member Bradley Germain separated from his wife of 15 years, Anything, Anymore explores complex feelings of “confusion and disorientation at every turn” over upbeat and searching vocal and guitar lines whose major harmonies juxtapose the song’s subject matter. Anything, Anymore is taken from Golden Feather’s upcoming debut album Release, due Sept. 20. Says Germain: “I had felt the distance and disconnection grow, on a subconscious level. This song is the beginning, or process, of me reckoning with that feeling. I didn’t see it in my conscious mind. Although I felt her drifting away, turning to the mind and heart of another, I couldn’t admit that to myself outside of song. The muse was telling me that something was ending, and that something was beginning.”

John Orpheus | U Funkin Right

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “The musical journey of John Orpheus has taken him from the Caribbean bush to festivals across Canada and the U.S. to opening for Liam Gallagher on a U.K. tour. Orpheus is known for his rabble-rousing live shows filled with audience participation, chanting, and impromptu dance-offs that feel more like Caribana road parties than concerts. Lush with hip-hop swagger and “whole school” vibes, his new Get Right! EP is a catchy, fun sendup of the era when funk, punk and pop could all be found on the same dancefloor. Influenced by early Prince, Rick James and ’90s hip-hop’s affection for Parliament Funkadelic, Get Right! is a funky throwback that feels like 2024. The focus track U Funkin Right is a slinky and melodic number anchored by bass synth. “There’s an energy that drapes the track like a sensual fabric and that feels like sex and truth,” explains Orpheus. “It’s a track about falling in love with your boldest, baddest self.”

Zdan | I Think We’re Alone Now

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “It’s been over a year since I’ve put out new music,” says Winnipeg-raised, Nashville-based singer-songwriter Brandy Zdan. “Your ’80s baby finally recorded her version of the Tiffany classic. Recorded at the historic Blackbird Studios in Nashville. I hope you enjoy. Turn it up, share it and let me know what you think.”

Nok Novm | Funky Shins

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Formed in early 2008, Nok Novum are an instrumental band from Canada. They were conceived as a two-piece, with guitarist Grant Cooper and drummer Brady Mason welcoming Scott Giffin on guitar and Cam Dougall on bass in 2013. They have developed a textured sound that cleverly fuses ’70s prog-rock, jazz-fusion and heavy metal, creating a sound that is chaotic yet mesmerizing. All of the production choices were purely instinctual on Nok Novum’s new song Funky Shins. “The song title comes from a Siri autocorrect during a group chat where we were describing a particular section as Funky Shit but was corrected to Funky Shins,” explains Giffin. “Felt appropriate.”

Secondhand Dreamcar | Eight of Spades

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Secondhand Dreamcar are a nine-piece soul/roots superband fronted by Canadian Folk Music Award nominee Dana Wylie, along with producer Harry Gregg on bass, Jamie Cooper on drums, Kyle Mosiuk (Hello Darlins) and Chad Murphy (Dallas Smith) on guitar, Rooster Davis on organ, and a horn section led by Dave Babcock. This group of Alberta heavies craft a distinct, funky, and lyrically driven sound. Eight of Spades is the group’s first release, and it’s a song about finding satisfaction in whatever life has to offer at any given moment, and about watching someone struggle in that dance with life and loving them for it. The song’s title refers to the tarot card the Eight of Pentacles, which encompasses the joy that can be taken in mundane work and activities, in everyday life. “Lyrically, our songs deal with the nitty-gritty of the work of life, from a spiritual perspective. Because I believe that if there is a reason we are all here living a life, it is because there is something we are supposed to learn,” says lyricist Wylie. “Musically, we work to engender joy in collaboration, collectivity, collegiality. We love writing and playing music together, and our songs are an embodiment of that.”

Roki | The Fall

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Roki stands poised at the vanguard of a new wave of artists who are redefining the boundaries of contemporary music as she continues to carve her niche in the alternative pop landscape. Brooding, charged single The Fall demonstrates an honest and heartfelt perspective on human existence amidst today’s complex social climate. It’s about a mixture of things: Life, and the fragility of it, feeling societal pressures, the fact that we’re all made up of energy and vibration, and we’re sensitive to the environment around us. In this big world, sometimes we can feel so small, like we’re unable to make change but still feeling like we have to take responsibility for the situation we’re in. “The Fall moves me; it gets me thinking about life and our potential as people,” says Roki. “You have to listen to it LOUD on a bassy system; you need to feel it rattle your insides.”

Ouri | Quiet Drumming

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Montreal producer and multi-instrumentalist Ouri shares the single Quiet Drumming, featuring Japanese-Canadian musician and frequent BadBadNotGood collaborator Jonah Yano. The new single showcases Ouri and Jonah’s stunning vocals weaving seamlessly amidst an expansive sonic landscape. Ouri shares about the process of working together: “When I had an afternoon with Jonah in my studio last summer, I knew that the music we made couldn’t feel like fiction, it had to feel like a documentary of that moment. We naturally went for an epic longing, his beautiful folk touch and my explosive production met in the middle.”