8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in March 2022
Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, including the first Nsyilxcən singer-songwriter and Montreal's beatmaking ambassador
Published Mar 08, 2022This latest batch of emerging Canadian artists to discover includes the first Nsyilxcən singer-songwriter and Montreal's beatmaking ambassador. Meet this month's New Faves below, and then listen to them and more rising homegrown talent in our Spotify playlist.
For fans of: PJ Harvey, Nine Inch Nails, Jenny Hval
Montreal-based producer and guitarist Vicky Mettler's debut album as Kee Avil is a tightly coiled, finely wrought vision of avant-pop. Crease, due March 11 on Constellation, finds Avil pairing nimble, seasick guitar over skin-tingling microbeats à la Bjork circa Vespertine; but where that album found release in florid sensuality, Avil is more interested in creeping tension. A vital player in Montreal's experimental music scene, Avil's cerebral, itching debut rarely moves beyond a simmer, industrial music buried beneath a blanket of snow.
For fans of: Elliott Smith, Pearl Jam, Laura Niquay
Featuring songs in both English and the greatly endangered Nsyilxcən, singer-songwriter (and, full disclosure, occasional Exclaim! contributor) Francis Baptiste's upcoming album Snəqsilxʷ (Family), due April 29, is a lightly dappled and warmly considered collection of loose-limbed folk rock. A deeply personal record that holds immense cultural weight at its heart, Snəqsilxʷ (Family) finds clarity in an ancient language and invigoration in familiar sounds. Awash in chiming guitar and gold-toned keys, Baptiste's music is alive with a sense of discovery.
FFO: Ramones, Vivian Girls, Bikini Kill
Guitarist Bella Bébê and bassist Megan-Magdalena used to play under the name bb. Now with journeyman drummer Tony Dallas behind the kit, they're kicking up a joyful racket under the name Bratboy. Debut single "Blue Eyes," from their forthcoming album Bratworld, is a frantic bubblegum-punk smasher, its careening instrumental breaks giving way to sugar-sweet chorus harmonies and hinting at a promising future for the new project.
For fans of: Westside Gunn, Mach-Hommy
With the release of Craven N 3, Montreal producer Nicholas Craven can now be considered the uncontested Canadian ambassador of drumless hip-hop. With appearances from Stove God Cook$ and Boldy James as well as a rare French verse from veteran Connaisseur Ticaso, Craven's grimy yet soulful sample-based beats are as lit as a gas oven heating up a trap house in the cold winter.
Antoine-Samuel Mauffette Alavo
For fans of: New Order, Alvvays, Cocteau Twins
Looking to unwind from life's many stressors? Try Crystal Eyes. On upcoming sophomore album The Sweetness Restored, coming on April 22 via Bobo Integral, the synth rock quintet incorporate the blissful excess of '70s rock without succumbing to overindulgence, as on six-minute centrepiece "I Still Believe in Love" and closer "No Heaven." Rounded out by contributions from Basia Bulat and Eve Parker Finley, the album has all the good-natured camaraderie we've been desperately craving.
For fans of: Craig David, Daniel Bedingfield, Mariah Carey
For decades, queer kids have had to use our imaginations to see ourselves in the intimate fantasies of pop music. R. Flex is bringing those fantasies to life, losing themself to the ecstasy of intimacy on recent singles "La La Land" and "Too Late," both of which are slated to appear on the Flex with Benefits EP, due April 1. Straddling the worlds of pop and R&B, Flex weaves an engaging tapestry of sounds influenced by everyone from N*SYNC to Ariana Grande. Heed their advice, and "Check the Flex."
For fans of: Screaming Females, Green Day, Swearin'
Cathy Schultes has quietly plied away at music for the last five years, releasing collections of acoustic emo tracks as Kitty Prozac, aimed at empowering trans people like herself. Now a trio including bassist Ellipsis Gilbert and drummer Rae Flewitt, Kitty Prozac will be releasing their debut LP None Shall Be Afraid on March 18 via Fanta Records. If electrified singles "Jesus Was A Trans Girl" and "Vacation" are any indication, it's going to be a full-blown, shred-happy power pop knockout.
Leslie Ken Chu
For fans of: Fuzz, Spacemen 3, Ultimate Spinach
Lammping make Nuggets-era garage rock that embraces the slick, cutting-edge sound of modern music production. Their mesmerizing music is a blend of California surf, krautrock and '90s slacker tunes that rehash the history of psych. Recent single "Everlasting Moor" features dissonant melodies and cosmic guitar solos while lead singer Mikhail Galkin reminisces about a solitary breakdancer in a park. Latest EP Stars We Lost is out now on We Are Busy Body.
Listen to tracks from these and other New Faves on our Spotify playlist: