100 Mile House (AB)
A journey that started with an accidental meeting at a show in Toronto 13 years ago has led Peter Stone and Denise MacKay to share their unique brand of transatlantic folk at shows and festivals across this great continent. Their latest release, Hiraeth, has been defined as ‘a sense of nostalgia and longing for place or person that may never have existed’. The album is a conversation about our deepest fears and the ability to find hope in the darkest places. With past works receiving critical acclaim and multiple award nominations, there is plenty of reason why 100 Mile House is one of Western Canada’s top emerging bands in 2018.
Aasiva is Colleen Nakashuk, a young Inuktitut songwriter and exciting addition to Nunavut’s flourishing independent music scene. Aasiva’s sound—airy and lively—is shaped by her melodious voice set against playful ukulele. With Inuktitut lyrics and delicate throat singing elements interwoven throughout her songs, her music offers a fresh, buoyant, and distinctive twist on Indie folk.
Adrian Teacher and the Subs (BC)
Anything Adrian Teacher puts his name to is full of energy and enthusiasm. A Vancouver based songwriter and performer, Adrian is best known for his work with Apollo Ghosts, COOL TV, and as a back-up musician for several independent bands. After self-releasing music for over a decade, it is no surprise that Adrian Teacher and the Subs recently supported Japandroids and Wolf Parade on a tour through the United States. His album Mount Benson was nominated for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize. Wake up and have a listen to “Hello Everyone.” This collaboration was well worth the wait.
Ava Wild (SK)
“White Toothed Bastard”
From the skies of Saskatchewan, Ava Wild began to collect inspiration and translate her world through music. With a honey sweet voice laced in a red shoe attitude, Ava Wild dances with crowds and grasps her audience’s attention with her authentic storytelling. It makes sense for Wild to record most of her material live off the floor to capture a raw and unprovoked sense of clearness and truth. Have a listen to “White Toothed Bastard” and allow it to seep into your afternoon at the beach.
Bleum is an electronic music project created by producer Daniel James and singer/songwriter Brittany McQuinn. They began making music together in 2016, and in the two years since have won a Toronto Independent Music Award and released an EP for Brittany’s solo project. Finding a match in a sensational electronic pop sound, they decided to join forces as Bleum. They are now based out of Fredericton, NB and playing regular shows on the East Coast.
“I Will Not Return as a Tourist”
Micah Visser named his band after the Winnipeg neighbourhood where he grew up and spent his childhood learning violin, saxophone, guitar, piano, and computer programming. It was there too, where Visser forged a sound that would take an indie sensibility and make it glisten, finding its way to a new kind of 21st century pop. It is to no surprise that Boniface’s album artwork also reflects the illuminating glow of the music. His stunning debut single I Will Not Return as a Tourist sets out his stall: a song that presses quiet lyrical introspection against a furious pop swell, that is at moments frayed and wild and at others immense and gleaming.
Calla Kinglit (YT)
Calla Kinglit is a musician, songwriter, and poet who draws inspiration from the awe of wilderness and exploring the human experience. In 2018, she released her debut album comprised of songs written while living as a researcher in the Congo Basin in the Central African country of Cameroon, exploring the vast and redemptive beauty of her home base in Canada’s Yukon wilderness, manoeuvring through landslides in the Himalayas, and contemplating the spiritual journey of one small being. “Dreamer’s Sea” is reflective and beautiful, allowing us all to breathe again.
Conor Gains (ON)
Conor Gains is the guy you hear at the local blues bar and it sounds like he’s been doing this act for decades, perfecting his catchy and melodious guitar tones, supported by a full band of bass, back-up vocals, saxophone, and horns. With deep respect to jazz and blues, Gains’ tone is paired with the soulful, adventurous exploration of contemporary music and gives an air of familiarity while at the same time acting as something unique and transcendental. He’s young, strong, and full of grit. If you see Conor Gains is playing a show in your town, that is where you belong.
A vocalist and multi-instrumentalist from Charlottetown, Kinley Dowling is a well-known member of Newfoundland’s Indie ensemble Hey Rosetta! Her recent solo album release, Letters Never Sent, was produced by Colin Buchanan of Paper Lions. With each song representing a letter addressed to a different and specific person, the music is brought to life in a tropically tinged indie-pop style that is a treat to the senses. Her single “Golden Days” will without a doubt brighten up your day.
Meryem Saci (QC)
Meryem Saci is a soulful singer, songwriter and MC with a vibrant vocal range that reflects the diverse influences of her upbringing. She commands the stage with her powerful voice and eclectic fusion of sounds creating her own unique genre with primal, high energy Afro-Arabian rhythms and compelling melodies. Born and raised by her single mother in Algeria, the two were forced to escape the civil war and immigrated as political refugees to Montreal, Canada. “Good Life” will make you get up and dance your heart out in happiness and hope.
Pat LePoidevin (NS)
A songwriter truly inspired by stories and community, his latest album has been nominated for two Music Nova Scotia awards and has received critical acclaim in Atlantic Canada. Engaging in the topics of futurism and outer space, Captain Myles & The SPR is a raw collection of songs based on a story involving two children flying in a rocket ship, while dealing with isolation and relationship struggles. Have a listen to the indie rock single “Broadcast” to get to know the characters on this fantastical and whimsical journey.
With three nominations for Music Newfoundland awards, the trio has rightfully named their unique sound as “angular pop,” spreading their catchy guitar licks and beautiful melodies throughout the East Coast. With an electronic flair, it is clear that Jack Etchegary, Sarah Harris, and Liam Wright were meant to play music together. Leave all your thoughts behind and listen to “Meditations.”
Quantum Tangle (NWT)
“Freeze, Melt, Boil”
Fusing old world sounds and new world flair, Quantum Tangle are a Juno Award-winning Canadian musical group who combine traditional Inuit throat singing and spoken word storytelling with blues-influenced folk rock. Combining their talents of throat singing, haunting melodies, and traditional legends, Greyson Gritt and Tiffany Ayalik draw from their respective Anishinaabe-Metis and Inuit backgrounds to create songs that examine systemic racism and colonialism, while offering ways to empower marginalized groups. It’s time to listen and hear these stories.