Exclaim!'s Staff Picks for October 31, 2022: NNAMDÏ, Hanorah, chemical club

Photos (clockwise from top left): Hanorah by Monse Muro, NNAMDÏ by Dennis Elliott, chemical club by Ian Filipovic, Nicholas Craven by Guillaume Landry

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Oct 31, 2022

Happy Halloween! As you try your best to sidestep the tricks today, we're here with another treat for you, as per usual. While you can't unwrap it directly, we're handing out a fresh batch of Exclaim!'s Staff Picks. Exclaim! New Faves alumnus seems to be a popular costume this year, as well as Class Of grad and sirop d'érable pur.

Be sure to stop by our album reviews section and knock on the door for more delicious new ear candy.

chemical club
Pale Blue
(Arts & Crafts)

Ottawa duo (and recent Exclaim! New Faves) chemical club dripped out singles throughout 2022 until their Pale Blue EP finally dropped in late September. With unaffected (yet affecting) double-tracked vocals and sweetly straightforward arrangements full of Strokes-y guitars and gentle synths, a haze of melancholy hangs over the five boppy pop ditties. I'm reminded of the best of those circa-2010 blog buzz bands, like the Drums or Wild Nothing.
Alex Hudson

Nicholas Craven & Boldy James 
Fair Exchange No Robbery

The individual styles of the Montreal-based, Exclaim! New Faves alum and the dour Detroit MC prove an exceptional match on Fair Exchange No Robbery — one as rich as the sirop d'érable pur they spoof on the cover of 10-track tape. With their vivid melodies punctuated by vocals and instrument leads, Craven's tightly wound loops pave Boldy's latest collaborative inroad into Canada as perfect foils for his stern street reflections.
Calum Slingerland


Dedicated followers of Montreal soul artist Hanorah may know she's an avid reader, and her debut full-length is imbued with a reverence for striking imagery. Even the titles of the songs ("Candle Wax," "The Drudge," "Winter Shade," etc.) comprising Perennial — deeply evocative in its own right — are intriguing enough to warrant a page turn, and the way their outlines are filled in by and around bricolages of organic grooves inks a fresh chapter for a timeless sound.
Megan LaPierre

emily jeffri 
"what became of you...?" 

Seventeen-year-old Oxford-based producer-singer emily jeffri has been steadily unleashing spooky synthwave tracks over the last year. Her latest, "what became of you...?" — a natural viral hit over on TikTok — brings with it the tease of a brand new EP. The artist is planning to make the project a collaborative effort, asking fans to send voice memos over Instagram to have their voices heard on forthcoming tracks. 
Allie Gregory

Please Have a Seat
(Secretly Canadian)

There's something for everyone on NNAMDÏ's latest release, mostly because he covers so much sonic ground. Please Have a Seat fluctuates between pop, noughties indie rock and electronic, even sprinkling in a trap-inspired beat here and there. To listen to this record is to get a full-spectrum view of NNAMDÏ's tastes — almost as if you're scrolling through his personal music library. With radical earnestness becoming cool, this sort of sincerity is something other artists should keep their eye on.
Sydney Brasil

Kris Ulrich 
"Friends on the Internet"
(Birthday Cake)

The love stories we craft in our heads can sometimes loom larger than the real thing. Kris Ulrich's warm, tender "Friends on the Internet" is an ode to those heart-skipping, impossible crushes — a love song for someone left behind in another city, from another life. Relegated to daydreams and obsessively watched Instagram stories, it's the kind of bittersweet infatuation that can twist your stomach or lift you, just briefly, into the clouds. Over coppery lap steel and washes of piano and synth, the Winnipeg singer-songwriter embraces that strange digital distance with an open-hearted optimism; sometimes the dream is all you need.  
Kaelen Bell

Latest Coverage