8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in July 2022

Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, including some Montreal party-starters and an experimental composer by way of Alberta

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Jul 7, 2022

July welcomes a new batch of emerging Canadian artists who push the boundaries of sound and feeling — from spectral soundscapes to giddy pop music and shoegaze exorcisms, these artists explore the disparate corners of Canada's musical universe.

Some featured on this list have been developing their sounds quietly over time, while others arrived suddenly like asteroids, bright and loud and white-hot. Keeping reading to meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, and head over to our Spotify playlist to hear them alongside our previous homegrown favourites.

Bibi Club
Montreal, QC
For fans of: Stereolab, Alvvays, Luna Li

In Montreal, there's a mantra that serves as a lifestyle during the summer and a reminder of better days to come during the winter: "Beach day every day." Local duo Bibi Club (Adèle Trottier-Rivard and Plants and Animals' Nicolas Basque) embody this idea on forthcoming debut album Le soleil et la mer, eight tracks of jangle-pop guitars, lounge music synths and Trottier-Rivard's dreamy voice. The album's not out until August 26, so you better listen to the singles now, while the weather's still nice.
Matt Bobkin

Rachel Bobbitt
Toronto, ON
For fans of: Lucy Dacus, Julia Jacklin, Sharon Van Etten 

A distillation of the enormous and unutterable, Rachel Bobbitt's "More" is an unflinching rumination on the uterus-bearing experience. The lead single from her debut EP, The Ceiling Could Collapse (due July 15), the track sits at the precarious core of the Toronto-via-Nova Scotia songwriter's world — a weight honeyed by sheets of cotton vocals traipsing over Justice Der's physiological guitar work.
Megan LaPierre

Mariel Buckley
Calgary, AB
For fans of: Lucinda Williams, The War on Drugs, Lydia Loveless

Mariel Buckley's sophomore album, 2018's Driving in the Dark, draws comparisons to Lucinda Williams and kd lang with its astute and occasionally devastating storytelling. "Shooting at the Moon," the first single from her upcoming album Everywhere I Used to Be, introduces warm beds of synths and an almost motorik rhythm to her dusky, melancholic and sturdy take on alt-country. Buckley's been fine-tuning her vision for years now, and she deserves to be talked about in the same breath as the artists who inspire her.
James Martens

Group Therapy 
Toronto, ON
For fans of: Turnover, Japanese Breakfast, Slow Crush

Whether you're drifting towards finding peace or spiralling into despair, there's always time for therapy. Group Therapy, that is. The Toronto four-piece's debut EP, Lighter (released in late May), is layered with shimmering guitar interplay, towering distortion and disintegrating hooks courtesy of guitarist-vocalist Annie Mo — all anchored by a backbone of brawny, kinetic drumming. Group Therapy take those feelings of passiveness and disbelief and release them with a tender fury.
Chris Gee 

Chaya Harvey
Vancouver, BC
For fans of: Angel Olsen, Joan Shelley, Bedouine

Chaya Harvey's hypnotic folk songs sway gently — tender reflections on finding joy when you're surrounded by sadness. The songs on her stunning second EP Born in Spring are all finger-picked guitar and quietude; when you hear birds sing on the tender "As I Went Walking," you're left to wonder if Harvey beckoned them with her exquisite voice.
Laura Stanley

Jonathan Kawchuk 
Edmonton, AB 
For fans of: Ryuichi Sakamoto, claire rousay, Matthew Cardinal 

Jonathan Kawchuk is a collaborative artist, though his preferred duet partners tend to be the silent, contemplative type — the whispers and calls of trees, rocks, streams and mountain ranges appear all across his latest record, Everywhen, mingled with layers of sine tones and voice. It's a deepening of the magic found on his 2015 debut North, giving voice to that without (in the traditional sense, anyway). A composer who works in elemental forces large and small, Kawchuk's patient, transmutative music is visceral and cerebral in equal measure, creating structure from the breeze and formlessness from wood and stone. 
Kaelen Bell

Vancouver, BC
For fans of: Pixies, Cayetana, Helium 

Audiences at this year's editions of Sled Island and Music Waste can attest: Vancouver supergroup Megamall — featuring members of Non La, Supermoon and Dumb — sling deft, fuzzed-out rhythms studded with impossibly catchy, shredding guitars. Don't turn tail at the foreboding name of their debut EP, Escape from Lizard City (out now on Fanta Records); press play, take the trip, and find out what lurks. It's worth the mileage.
Leslie Ken Chu 

Rap Buffet
Montreal, QC
For fans of: Griselda Records, Slaughterhouse, ScHoolboy Q

Montreal rappers Misa, T.K, Striky, and Frank'emcy have teamed up to offer a scorching selection of bangers with their self-titled EP as Rap Buffet. Keep your eyes and ears peeled in the coming months, as the collective are set to open for big acts and serve up solid solo projects in the near future. Each member of Rap Buffet is thrilling and unique in their own right, but this grimy ensemble is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
Antoine-Samuel Mauffette Alavo

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

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