9 Emerging Canadian Artists You Should Hear in April 2020

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Apr 6, 2020

As the world continues to stay under lockdown to slow the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it might be the perfect time to buckle down and discover your next favourite artists. From rising R&B sensations like LOONY and Tasha Angela to the leaders of Canada's next rock vanguard such as Babe Corner and Wares, these nine emerging artists may make isolation speed by that much quicker.

Babe Corner
Vancouver, BC
For fans of: Mazzy Star, Vivian Girls

Vancouver four-piece Babe Corner make a big impression with their debut EP, Killer. Much of the five-song collection channels the Jesus and Mary Chain's romantic slow-burn, but the true standout is stunning closer "Cigarette," a timeless piece of pop perfection that could have been released at any point in the past 60 years and would still sound fresh.
Alex Hudson

Casey MQ
Toronto, ON
For fans of: Caribou, SOPHIE, Yves Tumor

Toronto producer Casey MQ recently co-founded Club Quarantine, the hottest online queer dance party in this age of physical distancing. In between DJ sets from the likes of Charli XCX and Charlotte Day Wilson, MQ has previewed tracks from an upcoming full-length that continue to push his sample-driven sound and ethereal vocals.
Matt Bobkin

Montreal, QC
For fans of: Frank Ocean, Tame Impala, D'Angelo

Montreal's Chiiild are difficult to pin down. An official press release refers to them as both a "band" and a "collective" — and yet that same press release refers to Chiiild with the pronoun "his." After some extensive Googling, I still can't figure out what "his" actual name is, but one thing's for sure — the psych-learning R&B of debut EP Synthetic Soul is undeniable.
Alex Hudson

Scarborough, ON
For fans of: Jessie ReyezSZA

LOONY's JOYRiDE EP, due April 23 via AWAL, leverages the Scarborough-based singer-songwriter's love of R&B, hip-hop, jazz and rock sounds and penchant for lyrics about the various permutations of love, relationships and destiny. Current singles "WHiTE LiE" and "NO!" reflects her passion and proactive approach to expression.
Ryan B. Patrick

Joey O'Neil
Dawson City, YT
For fans of: Fiver, Kacy & Clayton

Joey O'Neil wrote her upcoming album Ever Ahead, due April 10, on a road trip from her home in the Yukon to Ontario and back again. In this collection of postcard-like, twanged-out folk tracks, highlighted by O'Neil's knock-out sing-speak vocals, she pens an ode to her trusty truck, sings about sadness, and even covers The Littlest Hobo's theme song for charming results.
Laura Stanley

P'tit Belliveau
Moncton, NB
For fans of: Mac DeMarco(Sandy) Alex GKirin J. Callinan

P'tit Belliveau's Greatest Hits Vol. 1 has such a unique mix of songs that it feels like a career-spanning selection, but it's actually the Moncton-based musician's cheekily titled debut record, out now via Bonsound. While jumping between French and English, P'tit Belliveau blends country, folk, synth-pop, and surf rock and has a hell of a lot of fun doing so.
Laura Stanley

Pale Mare
Toronto, ON
For fans of: High on Fire, Black Tusk, Neurosis

Pale Mare may brand themselves sludge metal, but they're more like slush metal, pushing through the gnarly sound of bands like High on Fire but with Chris Colohan-esque yells and a bit more punk pep — must be the wet sleet mixed in. Pale Mare II, their second EP, is days old, and the title reflects their no-bullshit approach.
Bradley Zorgdrager

Tasha Angela
Toronto, ON
For fans of: Jorja Smith, Solange, Corinne Bailey Rae

In a time where the world feels uncertain, Toronto songstress Tasha Angela is the clue to get lost from it all. Tasha released her debut EP Hidden Gems in February, introducing her butter-like vocals and soul-baring vibrations that hint at a more modest era of music. 
Erin Lowers

Edmonton, AB
For fans of: Flasher, Woolworm

Wares are fighters, and they prove it on forthcoming sophomore album Survival, due April 24 on Mint Records. Cassia Hardy's confident vocals and ripping guitar solos lead the Edmonton quartet through tales of desire, pain and passion, with lyrical and instrumental urgency playing off of each other for an album filled with tension and, more importantly, release.
Matt Bobkin

Listen to tracks from these and other emerging Canadian artists in our Spotify playlist.

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