8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in November 2023
Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, featuring ferocious Ontario hardcore, high-energy punk and tender chamber pop from out East and glittering Montreal folk
Published Nov 16, 2023Winter's nearly got her claws in us, but there's still enough sunshine and blue sky to lift your spirits ever so slightly. November's New Faves have the same effect, a crew of up-and-coming Canadian artists who can help keep the warmth alive.
From merciless hardcore and high-energy pop-punk to gentle folk and elaborate chamber pop, this month's crew of newbies are here to wake you up and shake you loose. Grab a scarf and a hot bevvy and hit the streets — there's still plenty out there to see, and November's New Faves are ready to soundtrack your journey.
Keep reading to meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, and head over to our Spotify playlist to hear them alongside our previous homegrown favourites.
St. John's, NL
For fans of: PUP, Sleater-Kinney, Jawbreaker
You might be getting burned out on its revival, but Needle Crafts prove that the world really does need more pop-punk. Anyone who's felt the joy of friendship or the simple struggles of modern life will find something on Frow'd Up, no matter how specific the song titles may be. From their hyper-local lyrical references to their massive choruses and grin-inducing riffs, Needle Crafts toe the line between nostalgia and modernity. There's an uplifting chaos at play, but most importantly, Frow'd Up is plain old good rock music from people who truly mean it.
In All Fairness
For fans of: Oso Oso, Arm's Length, Hot Mulligan
Originating as the solo project of singer-songwriter Billy Ellis in 2018, In All Fairness went away for a while and then re-emerged last year as a full-fledged band. The Hamilton-based group's Everyone Leaves EP — recorded with up-and-coming producer Ryan Fitz and mastering engineer Kris Crummett — ought to be an instant hit among fans of the current wave of emo and pop-punk led. You can hear the whole thing now, but Everyone Leaves single "Blurry" is perhaps its crown jewel, an especially comfy, catchy slice of emo-pop that reaches a whole other level thanks to a lovely solo by 1975 saxophonist John Waugh.
For fans of: Power Trip, Spiritworld, Ringworm
Fresh off a tour of the Maritimes with Apes and a killer new single — the ferocious "Feast of Blades" out last month — Helsreach are making waves in the Halifax metal scene. For a band who have been together for a little over a year, they've accomplished plenty and managed to nail down an entirely unique texture all their own. Given the quality of their latest single —and last year's self-titled album — it's safe to say that the best is yet to come.
For fans of: Sufjan Stevens, Milton Nascimento, Mutual Benefit
An open window, a rustling canopy, a mote of dust in sunlight — these are the visions conjured by José Lobo's debut full-length, In All Good Hope, the kind of record that creaks and breathes like the rooms it was recorded in. Sung in Portuguese, Spanish, French and English, many of the songs on In All Good Hope were written as "an homage to the morning, [Lobo's] favourite time of day." Every song on the record glows with the slow patience of a quiet morning, all dappled light and careful movement. Step inside and get lost in Lobo's soft acoustic webs — there's a whole world waiting.
For fans of: Arthur Russell, Jessica Moss
From late-night improvisation sessions during a snowy winter in Fredericton, NB, emerged pallmer, the chamber pop string duo of Emily Kennedy (cello and vocals) and Mark Kleyn (viola). Since that fateful winter about five years ago, pallmer have shown off their natural chemistry through a number of hypnotic recordings, including 2021's ghostly Quiet Clapping EP. On their forthcoming release Swimming (arriving next year), pallmer's gorgeous string arrangements and Kennedy's bucolic lyrics are enriched with electronic touches courtesy of producer Joshua Van Tassel.
For fans of: Hatebreed, Comeback Kid, Terror
The same resurgence that's sweeping the American hardcore scene is taking Canada by storm too, due in large part to bands like Ontario's Rust. Formed in 2019, the group's brand of crushing riffs and breakdowns have taken off, thanks to 2022's World Upside Down EP and recent single "Facedown," which is set to appear on a new release in early 2024. Rust complement their two-stepping and pit-enlivening tracks with features from fellow Canadian hardcore acts like Die Alone and Cold Shoulder, tying together the sounds and ethos of a new act who understand what hardcore should be.
For fans of: Purity Ring, Petal Supply, A.G. Cook
Sineila blends the vocal stylings of Lorde with the bouncy, glitched-out production of hyperpop and trap. Since releasing her Jealous EP earlier this year, the Montreal-based songwriter has been making herself familiar to fans of similarly danceable electropop, opening for acts like Snow Strippers and PC Music's Hannah Diamond on their Montreal dates. She hasn't slowed since, dropping an EP of Jealous remixes and starting Furtive City, her side project with Canadian producer Cashboii. Keep your ears and eyes out for whatever comes next.
For fans of: Electric Wizard, Bolt Thrower, Primitive Man
Although they can primarily be described as doom metal, Ethereal Tomb enhance the slower shades of their crushing sound with blackened bits of hardcore, thrash, sludge and crust. For their latest album When the Rivers Dry, lead vocalist and guitarist Alexander Senum focused his lyrics on depictions of "Indigenous existence/resistance, and reclamation," as well as themes of "ecocide, suffering, love and grief." Behind him, the rest of the trio — bassist Aidan Weatherall and a rotating cast of drummers — whip up a noisy concoction of groove and aggression. Senum's lyrics challenge the various systems that perpetuate colonial narratives, ideologies, practices and violence; that's the world Ethereal Tomb is confronted by, and one that they confront right the fuck back. This is anti-oppression as noise, decolonization as cacophony, loud and in your face and fed up — exactly as it should be.
Listen to tracks from these and other New Faves on our Spotify playlist: