8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in December 2021
Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, including a Quebecois actor turned hip-hop producer and some rising hyperpop stars
Published Dec 06, 2021The year is almost over, but these artists won't let it run out before they make their mark, earning a fresh crop of fans for 2022 and beyond. Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, including a Quebecois actor turned hip-hop producer and some rising hyperpop stars, and then listen to them and more rising homegrown talent in our Spotify playlist.
For fans of: Salem, Bladee
8485 is on the rise and you can't stop her. The Helix Tears collective member blended hyperpop, pop-punk and witch house on her plague town EP earlier this year, which established her as an elite singer-songwriter through epic, poetic songs both lighthearted and unapologetically sincere. She recently collaborated with chiptune legends Anamanaguchi for the Rocket League soundtrack, and is set to tour North America with fish narc and blackwinterwells in 2022.
For fans of: Land of Talk, Big Thief, Soccer Mommy
Born out of the pandemic, Fjord Mustang infuse their explorations of today's dark world with optimism and hope. Stories of isolation and evolving with life's sudden changes are soundtracked by honeyed vocals and engaging instrumentals. Beginning as a remote collaboration between the band's three members, their demos were slowly refined into songs that truly reflected their cathartic experience of pandemic life. Debut LP Solitaire is set to drop on February 2, 2022.
Saint John, NB
For fans of: MF DOOM, Ghettosocks
Stephen Hero's darkly sly humour is an easy entry point to his multifaceted music, and his MF DOOM fandom shows through offbeat rhyming and layered lyricism. EAT THE RICH, his anti-capitalist new EP with Motherhood's Brydon Crain, boasts tracks like the abrasively industrial "Livin the Dream" and the acoustic guitar-backed call to arms "Nose to Tail," which will make you nod your head as you hoist your pitchfork.
For fans of: 100 gecs, Ke$ha, Poppy
Hyperpop artist Madelline emerged this year with an impressive and consistent aesthetic and musical style. Whether it's the glorious hedonism of her recent video for "Wish I could party all the time!" or the Midsommar-esque cult in the clip for NOISE COMPLAINT EP track "daffodils," Madelline brings a chaotic energy which Montreal truly needed after last winter's strict curfew.
For fans of: Dâm-Funk, Hit-Boi, Raphael Saadiq
A versatile producer with a knack for melding genres, Anglesh Major is 7ieme Ciel Records' latest signee and has just released his debut EP Ephemere. Mixing his usual Afro-trap stylings with funky R&B, Major manages to create captivating moods and catchy tracks. Whether you catch him on your TV screen (he's also a rising actor in Quebec TV and theatre) or your headphones, he always leaves an impression.
Antoine-Samuel Mauffette Alavo
For fans of: the Weeknd, Majid Jordan
Mauvey's style may be monochromatic — as he's almost exclusively dressed head-to-toe in his namesake shade — but his music's anything but one-dimensional. New mixtape The Florist, out December 10 via 604 Records, features an uplifting blend of R&B, Afropop and hip-hop, with tender lyrics and production brimming with intricate details. His interest in visuals extends to more than his fashion sense — each track comes with a music video that's just as vivid.
For fans of: Frank Ocean, Kelsey Lu, Banks
Magi Merlin has created a buzz for herself this year, culminating in signing to Montreal label Bonsound. Her unique vocals pair well with the atmospheric and experimental nature of her songs. Following the release of intoxicating sophomore EP Drug Music earlier this year, a stunning performance at Osheaga Get Together and a sold-out show at M for Montreal, Merlin made it clear that she is here to stay.
For fans of: Molchat Doma, Dehd, Preoccupations
Tired Cossack's music toes the line between veneration and piss-taking, teasing beams of light out of post-punk's gloomy corners. Driven by a smirking sort of sincerity, Stephen Levko's full-length debut — the loose-limbed Hocus Pocus — colours the bruised motorik rhythms of Cold War-era post-punk with a streak of fantasy, imbuing it with the spirit of Ukrainian folk and rambling country.
Listen to tracks from these and other New Faves on our Spotify playlist: