8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in March 2024

Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, featuring righteous London garage rock, glam stomp by way of New Brunswick, Vancouver country and more

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Mar 13, 2024

Flowers are blooming! Snowstorms are battering the trees! Sun and cloud are in a constant battle for supremacy! The weather is all mixed up, and it's safe to say we are too — thank god we've got our March New Faves to ground us with some solid tunes.

This month's crew of up-and-coming Canadian artists might just be the thing you need to ease your mind, covering everything from gentle folk and glitchy electronic pop to glam rock stomp and twinkly country. And more! There's always 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.

Dawson Forsey
Vancouver, BC
For fans of: Kevin Morby, Amen Dunes, Lucinda Williams

Like watching a classic Western through a smear of Vaseline, Dawson Forsey's music is a hazy escape, the shapes and sounds of old-school country crooners melted and obscured just so. His 2023 release, the six-song Howdy Stranger, finds the Vancouver artist riding through sleepy-eyed, dust-blown balladry, boot-stomping romps and jangly country rock — clever and heartfelt, the bit never feels like pastiche, and Forsey imbues every twang and pedal steel peal with real conviction. 
Kaelen Bell

Bathurst, NB
For fans of: Foo Fighters, Black Sabbath, Gros Mené

Perhaps New Brunswick's youngest — and certainly most stoked — gigging band, Bathurst's MESSE are leading the charge for the heavy rock revival in the province. With bright purple stage attire and musicianship far beyond their years, MESSE have already shown a level of commitment and professionalism that could only come from Acadie (if you know, you know). MESSE's latest EP, J'mettrai le feu, is rife with heavy riffs and stoner metal chugging, perfectly capturing their intense, headbang-inducing live show. If you want to get in on the ground floor, get into MESSE; these whippersnappers have a lot of promise.
Penelope Stevens

Jake Nicoll
St. John's, NL
For fans of: Kelly McMichael, Monomyth, Belle and Sebastian

There's a scene of timeless, harmony-drenched pop rock brewing in St. John's. Just like New Faves alum John Moran, songwriter Jake Nicoll collaborates with Kelly McMichael — and just like those two, Nicoll writes carefully hewn songs full of laser-sharp melodies and meticulous arrangements. Recent EP Ego Trip nods to '60s rock and pop classicism, while a forthcoming full-length is more focused on acoustic sounds.
Alex Hudson

clay pigeon
Montreal, QC
For fans of: Leith Ross, Phoebe Bridges, Father John Misty

Singer-songwriter James Clayton — otherwise known as clay pigeon — has been waiting almost three years to share his first single with the world. Having cut his teeth in the Berlin open mic scene and more recently touring full-time with Canadian bands like the Franklin Electric and Sasha Cay, Clayton is now ready to make his mark. A talented guitarist, Clayton showcases his delicate fingerpicking skills on "Dark Blue," the first single from his on-the-horizon debut LP, scheduled to drop this summer.
Vanessa Tam

Thunder Queens
London, ON
For fans of: Sleater-Kinney, Ty Segall, the Runaways

Thunder Queens — the shit-kicking trio of Violet Bruneel, Lola Hayman and Clara Magnan — make music for staying alive. Their garage-adjacent tunes fold in elements of deep purple doom, scrappy punk and classic pop melodies, making debut album Strike One (arriving April 24 on Victory Pool Records) a thrillingly confident introductory statement. Despite their ages, the trio have played together for over half a decade, and their musical symbiosis is present in every note. Equal parts reverent and forward-thinking, their larger-than-life energy is on full display with latest single "All These Problems."
Kaelen Bell

Customer Service
Halifax, NS
For fans of: Remo Drive, Sorority Noise, Mom Jeans

Within weeks of releasing their first EP Live More Forever, Customer Service have racked up nearly 10,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, catapulting these anthemic emo-rockers to a new plane. After spending the last year touring Ontario, Quebec, and the entirety of the Maritimes without any released music, the group have shared five of their most beloved tracks with the world, capturing the freewheeling fun of their on-stage presence. Witty and eclectic, the lyrics on Live More Forever sew a detailed patchwork of a full year of longing. 
Emma Schuster

Avalon Tassonyi
Toronto, ON
For fans of: Kevin Morby, Leonard Cohen, Nap Eyes

Avalon Tassonyi's third LP, Sprigs & Brush, is a fully acoustic tape-tracked left turn, filled with songs that sound like they've existed since time immemorial. Tassonyi's previous projects (Snooker Emporium, Inland Island) dabbled with the psychedelic, but these self-titled releases are remarkably grounded. They're celebrations of finally finding one's feet and leaving trauma behind; listen to "Bad Idea" and try to keep from welling up. Tassonyi is a wellspring of beautiful melodies, gentle hooks and rollicking folk.
Anthony Boire

Aiko Tomi
Toronto, ON
For fans of: Hatchie, Grimes, Korea Town Acid

Why clamour to overshare, when what we really need is a dark mode ode? Toronto hyperpop upstart Aiko Tomi enticingly purrs the term on the chorus of upcoming single "Some Lights Need to Be Dimmed" (arriving at the end of March), while producer Andrew Rasmussen's synth riffs glimmer like the influencers and chronically online social media contacts making our feeds a FOMO free for all. Tomi's lyrical deftness doesn't just reveal the blinding glare of materialistic boast-posting; Her savvy ear for production and equally catchy voice will also make you — to paraphrase a much different elder pop artist — dim your screen and dance in the dark. 
Kyle Mullin

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

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