8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in February 2024

Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, featuring freaky art pop from Winnipeg, industrial metal by way of Toronto and tender country from Vancouver

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Feb 13, 2024

It’s been a disturbingly warm February, the kind that finds you trying to balance the pleasure of sun on your skin with the fear of what that sunshine means. Ignorance is bliss and death in equal measure! But let’s forget the existential fear for a second and focus on this balmy month’s New Faves, the up-and-coming Canadian artists who might help ease your state-of-the-world anxieties. Need some heartfelt, golden-hour folk rock? We’ve got that. How about some clattering industrial metal? We’ve got that too! This month’s crew also brings goofy, technicolour dance pop, ferociously funny feminist punk and much more.

Keep reading to meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, and head over to our Spotify playlist to hear them alongside our previous homegrown favourites.

Doctor Cement
Toronto, ON
For fans of: Bauhaus, Clipping, Backxwash

Despite the influx of young talented artists bursting onto Toronto’s heavy music scene, Doctor Cement rise up through the ranks with a sound that's both familiar and fresh. Having released two EPs last year in Full Body Removal and Necrosearch, the duo is  beginning work on their debut full length. If you're a fan of heavy music with a rave and industrial twist, Doctor Cement should be on your radar.
Mark Tremblay

French Class
Winnipeg, MB
For fans of: Jack Stauber, retro game scores

Despite the temptation, don’t sleep during this class.  Founded and masterminded by beat-wizard Megumi Kimata, French Class features vocalist Tiana Garcia and other guest collaborators — Their glitchy arrangements are just sparse enough to let the far-out sounds breathe and bleed beyond, yet tactile enough to move your feet. “Taxi Cab” is the best kind of bumpy ride, with a relentless beat and buoyant synth solo, and latest single “Dance!” manages to be lyrically subversive and just plain fun.
Matthew Teklemariam

Ruby Doom
Brantford, ON
For fans of: Destroy Boys, Crawlers, Pollyanna

Confident and fiercely unserious, Ruby Doom is a riff-slinging group of multi-media artists who joined forces to create haunting punk songs set deeply in the winters of Southern Ontario. This Brantford-based punk band welcomes fans of Riot Grrrl and Scott Pilgrim's Sex Bob-Omb in equal measure, and their six-song Eating Paul EP shows that Ruby Doom is more than ready to take the punk scene by storm. 
Emma Schuster

Fredericton, NB
For fans of: Julianna Barwick, Pharmakon, Björk

Self-described as "the ethereal converging with the feral," DenMother has built a reputation on her intense and deeply visceral electronic music. Drawing on her respect for astrology and spiritualism, DenMother's work uses religious imagery to connect the dots between spiritual planes and feminist rage. She recently released a series of singles, with tracks oscillating between trance-like downtempo meditations and icy industrial pop in songs like "Swords." Keep an eye on DenMother — you never quite know what she'll do next. 
Penelope Stevens

Hannah Harlacher
Vancouver, BC
For fans of: Basia Bulat, Widowspeak, Sharon Van Etten

Hannah Harlacher writes the kind of songs made to soundtrack your quiet breakfasts and golden-hour walks through familiar neighbourhoods. Accusations of easy listening usually read more like insults than endorsements, but Harlacher's songs hit something deep in the chest, the kind of music that makes you feel — even just for three minutes — like things might settle in the way they're meant to. Her latest, "Dog Day," is a gently guiding hand, taking the subtle thrum of the previously released "Sensitivity Is a Virtue" and diffusing it into sunlight.
Kaelen Bell

Toronto, ON
For fans of: YEBBA, Emily King, Lake Street Dive

Jennarie’s debut track is the greatest comeback to body-shaming bullies. “My Body Treats Me Better” is a "therapeutic bop" made for bedroom karaoke while getting ready for a party, or as a reassuring hand that pulls you out from your self-loathing cave of blankets and laundry. Jennarie is cooking, sizzling chops from her jazz background and sprinkling radical self-love in her viral Tiktoks. Her next single will be served piping hot this spring.
Rachel Chiong 

Ness Nöst
Vancouver, BC
For fans of: Bonnie Raitt, Fiona Apple, John Prine

Ness Nöst independently raised the money to record her forthcoming debut EP Working Hours. The five-song collection chronicles the narrative of a woman grinding through the service industry,  battling misogyny, substance abuse and self sabotage. The EP is set to drop later this month, promising more of Nöst's melancholy, biting and sentimental songwriting — her work's stripped down production harkens to the artists who focus on telling stories through their lyricism, building worlds with words. 
Francis Baptiste 

Halifax, NS
For fans of: the Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, Norma Jean, Dillinger Escape Plan

The Halifax heavy music scene has been having a bit of a renaissance as of late, and ONGORAH might be one of the most exciting new bands to emerge so far. The group effortlessly combines the groovy riffs of early southern metalcore with a whole load of mathy weirdness to create something truly unique and ruthlessly heavy. If you like your heavy music with a side of dissonance, make sure to check out their debut EP, out now.
Jeremy Sheehy

Listen to tracks from these and other New Faves on our Spotify playlist:

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