8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in October 2022
Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, including a Prairie-raised storyteller, a Toronto pop heartbreaker and some blustering, soulful blues from Iqaluit
Published Oct 04, 2022Fall is officially here! It's time for changing colours and changing moods! This month's crop of emerging Canadian artists are here to soundtrack this season of shifts and transformation, ranging from bone-rattling soul and spritely power-pop to electrifying art-rap and tender-hearted folk. October's New Faves do it all and they do it well — whether you're looking to be washed over or bowled over, there's something here for you.
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: Snoop Dogg, Lil Yachty, Roddy Ricch
Known as the "Modern Day Hippie," the producer, rapper, songwriter and audio engineer Buddah Abusah believes in a concrete philosophy that he calls the "hippie lifestyle": living by peace, love and equality. Though it's been a minute since he's dropped some new tunes, things are in the works — the born-and-bred Hamiltonian is known for collaborating with like-minded local artists, equipping his love for community with his classic '90s hip-hop influences and modern styles to perfect his signature sound, one he's titled "Buddah Vibes."
Sarah Jessica Rintjema
For fans of: Alison Russell, Madison Cunningham
"A lot of people think I took a break from music. The truth is, I was in survival mode," reads a quote from the Anishinaabe singer-songwriter, addressing the nine-plus years that have passed since her self-titled EP. Her debut full-length, Fool Under Water, arrives October 28, and tells her own story of escaping from domestic violence, as well as those of the women around her. As rich, rootsy lead single "Intuition" suggests, Barker's sterling inner knowing has made its way to the surface.
For fans of: the Pretenders, the Rolling Stones, Neko Case
Toronto's Lenny Bull — who formerly performed under the country-rock moniker Torero — is pure fringe-swinging swagger on her sophomore EP Strange Vacation, a hazy burst of rollicking throwback power pop. Calling to mind the Replacements' heavy-lidded cool and the Stones' loose-limbed danger, Bull's songs — from the dust-blown road song "Vegas" to the patient glide of "Champagne Holiday" — are richly felt postcards from another time.
For fans of: HAIM, Liz Phair, Counting Crows
If you've been around the Vancouver scene, then you'll have heard of Dust Cwaine; a staple of the drag community, Cwaine is known for their effervescent performances. During the pandemic, they started recording their debut album Arcana, featuring the Natalie Imbruglia-meets-Len banger "Innuendo" and the Third Eye Blind-esque hook of "Hearts in Atlantis." The album channels the sonic appeal of the '90s, twisted into fresh, modern shapes — playful and endlessly engaging, it's truly the product of its maker.
Dawn to Dawn
For fans of: Braids, Imogen Heap, Tirzah
Dawn to Dawn's music is all about the in-between moments, the liminal spaces that hold you when life is too complicated for defined shapes and feelings. The trio — Adam Ohr, Patrick Lee and Tess Roby — make supple, ambient-leaning pop music, made for both closed-eyes dancing and solo walks through the neighbourhood. Bouncy synthetic basslines, whorls of diaphanous synth and clicking drum machines carry these songs beneath Roby's rich voice. There are no hard edges on Postcards from the Sun to the Moon; it's all in the melt.
For fans of: Maggie Rogers, Taylor Swift, Lucy Dacus
Anna Katarina's blazing, country-flecked pop rock is all summery chords and swinging rhythms, but there's a streak of black running through the golden-hour tones — Katarina's lyrics bite with a subtle ferocity, cracking these songs open to reveal new shades. Produced with Andy Schichter, this month's Daisychain is expertly crafted, lived-in pop; the kind of clear-eyed record that makes saying goodbye to summer just a little easier.
Jodie Jodie Roger
For fans of: Shamir, Japanther, Backxwash
Jodie Jodie Roger is a livewire hot enough to melt Vancouver's notoriously icy crowds. Across alter egos Solomon Grundy and Rudi Sainte-Cloud, the Montreal transplant growls attention-seizing aspirations like "I want to have the biggest dick in the world!" atop bouncy 808s and corrosive rap-rock beats and riffs. Riding the tide of their debut LP — February's Drowning Lessons — into summer, Roger has delivered banger sets at Music Waste and Wonderhorse Festival. Dive in and let Roger's chaotic good heat you up ahead of the oncoming winter frost.
Leslie Ken Chu
For fans of: the Band, Wilco, Gary Clark Jr.
Josh Qaumariaq stands out in every possible way with his bellowing vocals, vulnerable lyrics, impassioned shredding and striking fashion sense, which all help inform the Trade-Offs' exciting take on blues rock. The singles from sophomore album let go, give in, fall down (due November 4 via Aakuluk Music) find the band showing off some soul and country chops while Qaumariaq's lyrics share stories about the ups and downs of life north of the 60th parallel.
Listen to tracks from these and other New Faves on our Spotify playlist: