8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in September 2023

Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, featuring explosive Vancouver rock, hard-edged Montreal rap and rich R&B by way of Hamilton

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Sep 8, 2023

September has arrived, and along with some yellowing leaves and cool winds, it brings a new stock of up-and-coming Canadian artists to get excited about. Fall is a season of big rebirths and tiny deaths, and this crop of New Faves is here to soundtrack all those sweater weather growing pains. From gentle folk-pop and silky R&B to thrashing hardcore and spritely indie rock, this crew does it all. Pull out your toques and start slamming PSLs — this is the sound of autumn's beginning. 

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

Vancouver, BC
For fans of: Erosion, Trigger Effect, Dead Ranch

Comprised of former members from Barn Burner, Heron, Brass and Dead Quiet, Vancouver's Fearbirds have only released one single so far in "Big Talk." But if it's any indication of the band's upcoming music, expect whiplash-inducing songs that are heavy on crushing riffs. You can also expect the band's debut record to come in the very near future — keep your ears and eyes out. 
Mark Tremblay

Fléau DiCaprio
Montreal, QC
For fans of: Conway the Machine, Too$hort

Fléau DiCaprio has been active on the Quebec rap scene scene for a while, but has really taken his career to the next level by dropping his debut album Chien Mangé Chien. Backed by Danny Ill's stellar production, Fléau brings his signature off-brand bars and thumping flow to instrumentals that are trap-focused and rock-tinged. The up-and-coming rapper matches the energy of the elite features (Shreez, Obia, Tronel) and has the whole city buzzing with this refreshing and hard-knocking sound.
Antoine-Samuel Mauffette Alavo

Grade School
Vancouver, BC
For fans of: Alvvays, Peach Pit, Winona Forever

With their slick guitar riffs and breezy melodies, Kingfisher Bluez enrollees Grade School follow in the footsteps of the label's indie pop alumni Peach Pit and Winona Forever. The poppy songs from this North Vancouver five-piece are catchy and cool, making even cringe-y feelings (the forever-embarrassing cross to bear that is having a crush, for one) sound cool. Their debut LP How to Make Wooden Planes arrived September 1, just in time for cuffing season. 
Laura Stanley

Toronto, ON
For fans of: Career Suicide, Circle Jerks

Do you like your punk loud, fast, and snottier than Jello Biafra with a cold? Well, you're in luck, because Toronto's loud, fast and snotty Imploders are here to scratch all those itches. Started during the pandemic by various TOHC mainstays, the band released two albums in 2021, a breakneck, 6-minute EP, and a session for Toronto's best radio show (yes, those still exist, kids), Equalizing Distort. From the furious opening scream of that first EP, through the 16 unpretentious blasts that fill their recently released self-titled debut LP, the band explodes (perhaps…implodes? muahahaha!) on every one of their sub-two-minute rippers.

It's L.A. meets NYC by way of MIN, with a pinch of BC peppered in for good measure. You wanna dance? You wanna mosh? Then get the lead out and check out Imploders, out now on both Neon Taste Records and Static Shock Records.
Marko Djurdjic 

Somebody's Curses
Toronto, ON
For fans of: Radiohead, Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing

There's a space in the back of your mind, where the world seems a bit more artistic, yet fatigued and crepuscular. This is where the moody alternative indie sounds of Somebody's Curses — a mysterious multi-instrumentalist new to Toronto — make their home. Debut single "Bedhead" is an experimental slow burn that toys with the crisp studio richness of Radiohead while making it entirely their own. Somebody's Curses is planning to release a heavier follow-up called "MAD GOD" later this month, before a self-titled record arrives in October.
Stephan Boissonneault

Steph Wall
Vancouver, BC
For fans of: Blondshell, Courtney Marie Andrews, Tim Buckley 

Steph Wall defies categorization. With each single leading up to the September 13 release of her new album My Angels, we've been led down a different path in Wall's sprawling musical landscape. Surf, soul, pop, indie, country and jazz all fall squarely within her range. "Destroyer" feels like a diary entry, as stream-of-consciousness lyrics snowball into a catchy, up-tempo hook that'll play on repeat in your mind long after the song is over.
Sophie Noel

Toronto, ON
For fans of: Garbage, Metric, Mazzy Star

The dream of the '90s is alive in Thermal, the latest project from Josh McIntyre. Best known as a DJ and producer in synthpop duo Prince Innocence, McIntyre spent many a lockdown revisiting the music of his youth, which led him to write guitar-based tunes for the first time since his days as Little Girls. Teaming up with Lauren Armstrong, the duo laid down a pair of slinky alt-rock-tinged singles before expanding into a five-piece for their latest, "Groupie," which captures the spirit of the era without devolving into musical cosplay. 
Ian Gormely

Hamilton, ON
For fans of: Summer Walker, H.E.R., Ari Lennox.

With only three songs to her name, Hamiltonian R&B musician Whitness is already booking festivals and making waves. The singer-songwriter is still emerging, but she's striking a chord amongst R&B listeners by providing introspective, moody singles that hint at a promising career ahead. Besides her recent performance at Tim Hortons Field and her pop-up concert during the Art Gallery of Hamilton's fall Festival, Hamiltonian R&B die-hards may recognize the artist from this year's Fresh Up R&B Festival. Whitness is rising fast — don't miss out.
Sarah-Jessica Rintjema 

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

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