8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in December 2022

Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, including blistering Ontario metal, ramshackle punk from Montreal and a pop soothsayer by way of Winnipeg

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Dec 8, 2022

The holidays are fast approaching, which means long nights of eggnog, off-key Christmas carols and long-simmering familial beefs finally coming to a head over plates of stuffing and ham. December can be an intense month, one where the childlike magic of the holidays butts heads with the exhausting adult responsibility of actually making it happen. This month's New Faves provide outlets for your wonder and your angst, swinging between gentle pop, luxe R&B, itching punk and punishing metal; whatever you might need in order to make it to January, they've got it.  

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

London, ON
For fans of: Ella Mai, Joyce Wrice, H.E.R.

On her debut single "Make Sense," Eleanor arrives dizzyingly fully formed. It makes sense that the R&B auteur is a seasoned session singer, having contributed vocals to recorded projects by artists like fellow mononym Emanuel. "Are we there yet? Did we make it?" she presses repeatedly over a cozy meld of contemporary chillhop-inspired beats and timeless, slow-burning soul guitar, self-soothing in a melodic conversation with her mother about the social pressures to reach arbitrary milestones.
Megan LaPierre 

Winnipeg, MB
For fans of: Charlotte Cornfield, Boy Golden, Leith Ross

FONTINE cautiously enters the uncertainty of love in her debut single, "Homemaker." "I've never been someone's girl / So forgive me if I'm a little scared to give this thing a whirl / But honey, you know you're making it easy," she contemplatively sighs, intertwining her elegant melody with a woozy, hypnotic synthesizer and delicate backbeat. Known for her work supporting Boy Golden, the Winnipeg-based artist is gearing up to release her debut EP, Yarrow Lover, in 2023. Until then, let the soft, meditative qualities of "Homemaker" carry you into eternal bliss.
Myles Tiessen

Loon Town
Montreal, QC
For fans of: Broken Social Scene, Sufjan Stevens, Rilo Kiley 

Loon Town exist "somewhere between Montreal, Whitehorse and Kitchener," and their spritely pop rock is equally unburdened by location or time. Crafting songs from burbling horns, bright-eyed guitar and the intertwined voices of Danielle Savage, David Lacalamita and Nicolas Hyatt, the four-piece — rounded out by percussionist Mili Hong — make music for some long-lost computer game, all bright colours and gentle adventure. A joyous confection, Slow Space holds just enough sour in its kaleidoscopic sweetness.
Kaelen Bell

Piss for Pumpkin
Montreal, QC
For fans of: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bikini Kill, Duchess Says

Named in honour of singer Annie MacLeod's childhood pet guinea pig, Piss for Pumpkin have quickly risen to the top of Montreal's DIY scene. Friends since undergrad but officially a band for just over a year, MacLeod, bass player Isaac Seglins and drummer Matt Sagar boil up a stew of grunge, riot grrrl, and fist-pumping no wave noise. "Conditioner" from their debut album Scared to Die (out now!) is the perfect example of the skyscraping heights the trio wrings out of just bass, drums and voice. 
Ian Gormely

Puma June
Toronto, ON
For fans of: Feist, Charlotte Day Wilson

The feeling is fragile, but Barrie, ON-born singer-songwriter Shanti Abbott (formerly of folk duo Concordia) is agile in capturing it with shaking hands. Written in early 2020 during her first year as a registered nurse, "Lost Years" — her debut single as Puma June — sees Abbott mourning imagined present-tense conjugations of elsewhere: on a stage, in a Paris cafe or anywhere else the conflating pressure of expectations and true desires may have called. Abbott's brand of R&B-laced chamber pop gives FOMO depth far beyond an acronym.
Megan LaPierre

Ryan Robinson
Montreal, QC
For fans of: Car Seat Headrest, the Replacements, Built to Spill

Ryan Robinson's noisy alt-rock hooks are always in service of his biting lyrics; the Montreal (by way of Vancouver) writer and multi-instrumentalist unearths hard-won insights on his debut EP Forfeit, released this past August. "I wish you nothing but the best" is repeated on one chorus, and, with each repetition, it becomes clearer how much a person needs to pour into that sentiment to make it true. Amidst a maelstrom of guitar on "The Boxer," Robinson bellows, "You said the worst things about me were special," yearning for the dispatch to not be smothered. With an LP in the works, Robinson and his band are just getting started.
Noah Ciubotaru

Shirley Hurt
Toronto, ON
For fans of: Aldous Harding, Angel Olsen, Andy Shauf 

Ruthlessly poised and unnervingly self-assured, Sophia Katz's debut as Shirley Hurt feels entire lifetimes in the making. A spiritual sister to the alien art-folk that Aldous Harding mined on this year's Warm Chris, Shirley Hurt is a stately and muscular exercise in clarity and restraint. Katz and her collaborators build their arrangements like ladders to the sky, each song reaching some new plane of heartbreak and anxious self-discovery — she never once feels at risk of falling. 
Kaelen Bell

World Eaters
Guelph, ON
For fans of: Bolt Thrower, Tomb Mold, Blood Incantation

With the recent resurgence of old school death metal, World Eaters have been the best kept secret in Ontario heavy music. Playing a riff-oriented death metal that prides itself on placing substance over style, the five piece (formerly a two-piece made up of founding members David Gupta and Winter Stomp) make bruising music that refuses to relent. With a handful of splits and EPs to their name, World Eaters have begun to move away from their Bolt Thrower worship into a sound all their own. 
Mark Tremblay

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

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