8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in August 2022
Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, including an East Coast heartbreaker and some scrappy power pop by way of Manitoba
Published Aug 02, 2022Summer is gearing up for its long, slow goodbye, but this month's gang of emerging Canadian artists provide enough heartache, heat and pure energy to keep that summer feeling alive, even as the days grow shorter. From bubbly Afropop and twinkling folk to sugar-rush power pop and bruised alt-rock, August's New Faves come from across provinces and genres, pulling sounds and feelings from across a vast spectrum.
Keep reading to meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, and head over to our Spotify playlist to hear them alongside our previous homegrown favourites.
For fans of: Speedy Ortiz, Diet Cig, Palehound
On "Crushin'," Booter's Alannah Walker (one-half of indie-pop duo Cannon Bros.) sings hyperactive musings about continually falling for the straight girl, never catching that unattainable person's eye. It's a theme touched on throughout the quartet's debut record, 10/10: "There are songs on this album that are clearly gay," she says of the album, on which she writes queer lyrics openly for the first time. Joined by Tunic frontman David Schellenberg on bass, Hut Hut drummer Ian Ellis and guitarist Brendon Yarish, the Winnipeg-based project's debut arrives September 9 through Midwest Debris.
For fans of: Bomba Estéreo, Chicha Libre
There's nothing verboten about Empanadas Ilegales's delicious dance music. Cooked up during the pandemic, 2021's Papayón and freshly released follow-up Creepy Mambo stir together salsa saxes, cumbia percussion and surf rock guitars for an intoxicating mix of band members' Latin American roots with the psych stylings of the West Coast. Most songs run between five and nine minutes, but are worth multiple helpings to savour each and every instrumental element.
For fans of: Foxygen, Drugdealer, j ember
Multi-instrumentalist and Haley Blais collaborator Trevor Lang released his first earworm, "The Instruments," back in 2020, laying a wordless, subtly effervescent foundation for an EP of the same name, dropping August 26. Across a string of singles since then, Lang has introduced his knack for savvy psychedelic pop arrangements and a sensitive yet opinionated lyrical voice.
For fans of: Angelique Kidjo, Dennis Brown, Popcaan
Public speaker, music educator, health and wellness connector, and musician — Dejehan Hamilton does it all. Growing up with Trinidadian and Jamaican heritage, the Afro-pop artist was raised on a mixed musical diet of soca, calypso, reggae and dancehall. These can be heard on last year's "Strangers," in which Hamilton encourages anyone nursing the wounds of a breakup to get up and dance.
Sarah Jessica Rintjema
For fans of: A Ghost Story, the Craytes
Known for a background in heavy music through the Great Sabatini and Cell Press, Sean Arsenian and April Furlotte's folk project Sweetheart Grip dabble in everything from sombre dirges to twinkling, upbeat folk songs. Their new album Uplifter arrived July 29, a collection that's sweet and haunting in equal measure. With this new record under their belts, expect more mesmerizing live shows from the duo in the future.
For fans of: fanclubwallet, dad sports, Clairo
Eric Graham and Michael Watson both play in fanclubwallet, and traces of that band's snappy, sensitive pop rock can also be heard in the music they make under the name chemical club. The Ottawa duo recently signed with Arts & Crafts, and their excellent new singles "Every Morning Is a Chance," "Spring" and "Hell in a Heatwave" blossom with chiming guitars, boppy drum machines and aching melodies, gesturing towards recent bedroom pop trends while sounding completely timeless.
For fans of: MUNA, Empress Of, Allie X
The debut solo project from the Caveboy frontperson, Mint Simon is a self-described "theatre kid turned band lead turned pop star," a songwriter who plumbs the glittering depths of love and heartache on the dance floor. Pulling from the supersaturated pop of the '80s, Simon's small handful of thunderous, bass-forward singles reveal an artist with a fully developed — but always mutable — sense of self. Desire, liberation, devastation and discovery; let Mint Simon guide you through the dark.
St. John's, NL
For fans of: Julie Doiron, Jennifer Castle, Angel Olsen
It's been five years since Kate Lahey dropped Feeling Things — her award-winning debut as Weary — but the singer-guitarist is still doing just that. Her languid delivery belies the incisive words that chart both the pain of fresh wounds and the tender scars that linger long after, as evidenced by "Scraped Knee," the first single from her sophomore effort Hush, out August 12.
Listen to tracks from these and other New Faves on our Spotify playlist: