8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in January 2023

Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, including shaggy Vancouver post-punk, whip-smart pop from Montreal and cosmic slowcore by way of Winnipeg

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Jan 13, 2023

It's the first New Faves of the new year! This month's batch of up-and-coming Canadian artists are here to kick 2023 off on the right foot, brandishing icy pop tunes, glimmering dirges, prickly post-punk and shaggy indie rock as they charge headlong into the unknown. However you're hoping the year will shape up, January's New Faves have you covered — if nothing else, your soundtrack is set. 

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

Toronto, ON
For fans of: Kaytranada, Rochelle Jordan, Chippy Nonstop

Since her 2019 single "NITEVISION" kicked off her international come-up, Toronto club DJ BAMBII has been cutting her teeth with heavyweight sets for Boiler Room, Red Bull Music and Pep Rally, as well earning her stripes with contributions to Kelela's new album alongside fellow Canadian co-producer Kaytranada. Recent single "RIDE WITH ME" keeps the rising artist's beat going with a sensual track about love in the club while we await her full-length debut.
Allie Gregory

Winnipeg, MB
For fans of: Living Hour, Mazzy Star, Phoebe Bridgers

Bedtime's debut single "unseen" is designed for deep introspection. The Winnipeg duo released the single on New Year's Day, welcoming 2023 not with a bang, but with pensive vulnerability. Indie music for the heartbroken romantic, slowcore pop for the misanthropic insomniac — "unseen" is for those who exist and prevail through quiet isolation. Led in tandem by Mirella Villa and Hailey Primrose, Bedtime's airy melodies twirl and spin with unrestrained sparkle, dilatory melodies and guitar shooting the song into a weightless galaxy. "You're leaving me behind," the duo sing in unison as the song fades to black.
Myles Tiessen

Jacob Brodovsky
Winnipeg, MB
For fans of: John K. Samson, the Weakerthans, the Mountain Goats

On the John K. Samson-assisted I Love You and I'm Sorry, Winnipeg singer-songwriter Jacob Brodovsky spins mundane observations with imaginative insights, using lyrical richness and splashes of humour to paint in pensive musings and quirky, comforting colour. Across soothing to spunky indie folk arrangements, Brodovsky explores inner worlds and outer realities. The troubled "Night Baker" finds him mocked by sourdough and begged by bagels, but when its euphoric swaying coda emerges, the words "He can lie and watch the bread rise" never felt so good. 
Chris Bryson

Vancouver, BC
For fans of: Ought, Television, Preoccupations 

Co-op have been making music since 2016, but this month's Reward System finds them hitting their stride like never before. While the basic tenets of their sound remain — dour post-punk guitars and tumbling, textured percussion — the Vancouver three-piece move with a newly honed confidence, expanding their melodic universe to places both more gentle and more fierce. Look no further than buzzing earworm single "Magic Eraser" for proof of the band's gradual metamorphosis. 
Kaelen Bell

Empty Nesters
Montreal, QC
For fans of: Duster, Good Morning, Slowdive

Eric Liao started his Empty Nesters project in 2016 and quickly plugged into Ottawa's punk scene through house shows, DIY venues and local festivals. A deep catalogue of singles, EPs and demo compilations has displayed Liao's savvy ability to absorb influences from shoegaze, post-punk and garage rock to produce his own blistering recordings. As Liao wades through his 20s, Empty Nesters has evolved, finding a new home base in Montreal and earning spots on POP Montreal's lineups the past two years. His new single, "Going Bye" — mastered by Ev Bird and accompanied by a video spoofing mukbang — explores in-betweenness, his vocals locked into a gauzy wash of hypnotic guitar and blunted drums, singing about holding onto a layaway, suspended in a perpetual state of coming soon and wanting more. 
Noah Ciubotaru 

Montreal, QC
For fans of: Purity Ring, Milk & Bone, Fred again..

The organic sparsity that characterized the melancholic ESSENCE of Mayfly's 2021 debut EP was fittingly transient. On follow-up HIDEAWAY Vol. I (out January 13), the duo return to the beginning of the life cycle, reborn as nymphs in the entrancing waters of dark electropop and splashing about in EDM beats. But it's still Charlie and Emma's vocals and vulnerable admissions, swirling together hypnotically with newfound trance resonance, that give the project its wings. (Shad feature when?)
Megan LaPierre

Elissa Mielke
Toronto, ON
For fans of: Joni Mitchell, Helena Deland

Ontario singer-songwriter Elissa Mielke has a towering, reverent voice — one that she highlights by making her ballads as stripped down and raw as possible, as heard on last year's Mouse EP. Her powerful pipes make everything she sings sound kind of like a church hymn, which is why it's so appealing when she cuts the mood with an irreverent lyric about a white horse in the Tower Records parking lot ("Woman's Worth") or Mary and Joseph looking at "fish and things" at the aquarium ("Body Knows").
Alex Hudson

Montreal, QC
For fans of: YlangYlang, Seefeel, Jeph Jerman

Montreal's Catherine Debard (YlangYlang) and Léon Lo's first full-length under the collaborative moniker Mue arrived via Toronto label Halocline Trance this past November. Ripe with philosophically pregnant titles like "Ambeing" and "Andand," it thrives on abstract synthesis with an emphasis on conjunctive production, living beats and synth lines that consume and consummate with the material flows of their respective environments, setting their logics apart from the track-stacking loops and drifts that overwhelm the ambient genre.
Tom Beedham

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

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