8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Should Hear in March 2020

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Mar 4, 2020

It's so easy to keep listening to your favourite artists, but these eight rising acts will make you glad you went outside your comfort zone. From artists you may have heard on Spotify but haven't fully explored like Men I Trust and Whipped Cream to local talents poised for a national breakthrough like Marlaena Moore and JT Soul, this crop of emerging Canadian musicians certainly won't be best-kept secrets for much longer.

Dana Gavanski
Toronto, ON
For fans of: Aldous Harding, Cate le Bon

Dana Gavanski casts a spell on listeners with her psych-washed folk songs. On her debut LP Yesterday Is Gone (out March 27th via Flemish Eye and Ba Da Bing), Gavanski shows how rich her sound has become since her 2017 EP Spring Demos, mixing playful bops with overcast, rockier tunes for irresistible results.
Laura Stanley

Toronto, ON
For fans of: Anderson .Paak, Raphael Saadiq

Congo-born, Toronto-based Desiire leverages his African roots with R&B, hip-hop, garage and jazz sounds to create tracks that maintain a quiet storm level of ferocity. Amongst new singles, a recent Wavelength appearance and a project poised to drop soon, Desiire will soon be a need more than a want.
Ryan B. Patrick

JT Soul
Montreal, QC
For fans of: Drake, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Post Malone

Raised in Montréal's east end, 20-year old JT Soul's music weaves in and out of the R&B and hip-hop lanes, but it's his knack for writing music and his ear for pop-world undertones that puts his music, including his 2019 EP Goodbye, Lightspeed and fresh new single "Aquarius," at the forefront of the quickly changing local scene. 
Erin Lowers

Marlaena Moore
Edmonton, AB
For fans of: Angel Olsen, Mitski, Lucy Dacus

The title of Marlaena Moore's forthcoming third album, Pay Attention, Be Amazed! (out March 27), isn't just wishful thinking: her vocal melodies and woozy, psych rock textures — aided, in part, by co-producer Chad VanGaalen — are certainly commanding. Summery, self-effacing singles "Imposter" and "I Miss You" make it clear that Moore's the real deal.
Matt Bobkin

Men I Trust
Montreal, QC
For fans of: Mac DeMarco, Jay Som, TOPS

Despite having minimal media support and no label, Montreal dream pop trio Men I Trust earn almost 1.3 million monthly Spotify streams (for comparison, that's slightly more than Metric). It's not clear how they got so famous, but their success is well-earned, since their songs are filled with reverb-y synth-pop hooks and wobbly soft-rock grooves. Catch them touring surprisingly large venues in March.
Alex Hudson

Waterloo, ON
For fans of: The Haunted, Skeletonwitch, Vader

Raider pillage the best of death and thrash for their own blazing (yet fun) fury on debut LP Guardian of the Fire, out March 20. Despite only forming in 2017, the Waterloo quintet sound export-ready, and not just to nearby markets but even to the far reaches of Europe, from which many of their influences hail.
Bradley Zorgdrager

Whipped Cream
Vancouver, BC
For fans of: Rezz, TOKiMONSTA

After conquering North America's biggest EDM festivals and teaming up with emo rap megastar Lil Xan, Whipped Cream — the dark bass project of Kelowna-born producer Caroline Cecil — is set to appear at Coachella this summer. "So Thick," last month's contribution to the Birds of Prey soundtrack, currently clocks over 2 million Spotify streams.
Alan Ranta

Yohei S.
Toronto, ON
For fans of: Appleblim, Ex-Terrestrial

Though Yohei S. may be less known than his Parallel Minds label co-founders Ciel and Daniel 58, it's hard not to get excited about him after hearing the label's latest offering, Eight Two Five. Yohei's two contributions ("Ccontac" and "Down by Three") shine with chunky house percussion and raved-out atmospheric goodness.
Daryl Keating

Latest Coverage