Published Nov 03, 2020Fall 2020 has seen a massive wave of live albums, with bands like Arctic Monkeys, the War on Drugs and Belle and Sebastian looking back on past years of touring by releasing concert LPs.
On the other hand, some breaking Canadian artists are keeping their focus squarely in the present. If you want dream pop tunes wrapped in blankets of fuzz or soul-baring music that straddles the realms of pop, R&B and hip-hop, this month's batch of New Faves has got you covered. Here are 8 emerging Canadian artists to check out this month.
For fans of: The Cure, the Chameleons UK, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart
If there's one thing we've learned in the last few years, it's that former hardcore musicians are hella equipped to create masterful indie pop. The latest group to trade in octave chords and mosh parts for dreamy, shoegazing pop tunes are Applewhite, a band with strong ties to the Pacific Northwest hardcore scene. Their self-titled debut LP, due November 17, is packed with hooks, dreamy riffs, textural harmonies and downright timeless pop tunes.
For fans of: Tame Impala, Future Islands, Broken Social Scene
Michael Werbicki, formerly of Royal Tusk, last released music as Motorbike James back in 2014, but he's returned to the name with a thrillingly chill blend of electro-pop, indie rock and R&B. With an album on the horizon, a pair of singles are out now: "me Roll" sounds like a synthesizer popping a wheelie, while "Enamored" layers a deeper mood with drums, keys, and guitar. Both are finely calibrated for a casual dancefloor.
Hua Li 化力
For fans of: Bahamadia, THEESatisfaction
Sitting at the intersection of spoken word, R&B and hip-hop, Montreal's Hua Li 化力 simultaneously seeks to uplift and educate, weaving in elements of her chosen genres into an intoxicating haze of compelling storytelling and enrapturing rhymes. She'll continue to do so with forthcoming EP Yellow Crane, a love letter to her maternal hometown of Wuhan, due November 20 on Next Door.
For fans of: Kilo Kish, Tkay Maidza
Originally known as AlienKanye, Vancouver's Benita Prado started out producing beats in GarageBand before becoming a ghostwriter after a few early SoundCloud successes. Now, a few years later, she's released the two-song EP STRIP, showcasing her vulnerable, empowering songwriting and powerful vocal chops.
For fans of: Shad, Kendrick Lamar
They say stew tastes better the longer it sits, and SOAP — the self-titled collaborative album from MC Scribe and producer Onglish — had been simmering on the back burner for five years. This labour of love has something for everyone, between Scribe's lyrics that weave in family, faith and ferocity, and Onglish's emotional production, from the vulnerable "Vices" to the swaggering "Great Death."
Rachel Evangeline Chiong
For fans of: Eyehategod, Sharptooth
Emotionally charged and full of fury, Winnipeg's Vagina Witchcraft have released their beast. Their new self-titled debut mixes elements of hardcore with doom and sludge's monstrous riffs and sound, with vocalist Kayla Fernandes bringing their passion and intensity to the fore, taking on personal, political and social issues with their flaming war hammer howl.
For fans of: LEON, Lianne la Havas, Amy Winehouse
Ruby Waters won't let herself be confined to one genre — her sound contains an air of melancholy that the Métis singer-songwriter overlays with lyrics of heartbreak that are best healed with cigarettes and alcohol. She's already followed up last month's EP, If It Comes Down To It, with a feature on DillanPonders' new single "JUNGLE."
You Will Always
For fans of: Real Friends, Sorority Noise, Box Car Racer
Hamilton emo quartet You Will Always are here to remind listeners that they don't have to go through life alone. Debut album Dependent, Reliant, out November 5, is filled with hard-hitting songs like lead single "Brutally Honest" — the punchy track aptly reflects its title, as vocalist (and Counterparts member) Alex Re tells his story of overcoming a failing relationship and debilitating addiction.
Listen to tracks from these and other New Faves in our Spotify playlist.