A couple of weeks ago, I was commenting to Jeff Giles (our “Big Boss” at Popdose) about where our readers are coming from — geographically speaking, that is.Â Since we’re mostly staffed with writers from the U.S. it’s no surprise that the large majority of our audience lives in the U.S. “But what of our north American neighbors neighbours right above us?” I fretted to Jeff. “Why aren’t they are second highest audience?”Â He didn’t have an answer, but suggested that 2009 be the year of Canadian outreach.Â So, in an effort to suck up to our Canadian friends, here’s a non-Rush mix of Canadian artists culled from quite a lot of time spent on MySpace. Oh, and one more thing:
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“Lost in You,” Zaki Ibrahim (download)
When I first heard Zaki Ibrahim’s music, I was really captivated by not only her voice, but her ability to weave electronica sounds into a new soul vibe.Â The more I listened to her album, the more I started hearing Sade’s vocal styling — and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, either.Â Ibrahim comes from Vancouver, but spent time bouncing between British Columbia and Capetown, South Africa.Â While living in South Africa, she was influenced by the mix tapes people would pass around that contained a wide spectrum of musical genres — which is probably why her own music is quite diverse.Â This is the only French language song on the CD, but I love how it starts as a ballad and then transitions into a wonderful blend of haunting sounds.
“Touch Your Toes (Part 2) (feat. Kiyomi),” Grand Analog (download)
These guys hail from Winnipeg, Manitoba and are fronted by Odario Williams (pictured on the album cover sporting a really yellow tie). This tune is from their latest EP, and it’s got such a cool blend of hip hop, electronic and jazz flourishes that, for me, it’s quite impossible for me not to like this song.
“Royal Gregory,” Holy Fuck (download)
One of the reasons why this band is so appealing is not only because of their name, but also how they describe their music on their MySpace page.Â Under the category “Sounds Like” they wrote, “Poo.” But one listen to this dirty disco instrumental and you’ll know that it’s not poo-like at all. Rather, the scatological description is just their Trontonian modesty coming through.
“Impossible Baby,” The Stance (download)
Somewhere in the world, Van Morrison and Ray Davies are grinning with pride.Â Not only did the White Stripes ride a wave of neo-Kinks/Them music to great success, but it seems there was enough room in the pool years after they got out and moved on for Halifax natives like the Stance to swim in.
“Operator (A Girl Like Me),” Shiloh (download)
Now that Avril Lavigne is an old married woman whose current career move is partnering with Canon selling cameras, what’s a tween to do?Â Since nature abhors a vacuum, enter Shiloh — a 15 year old singer/songwriter from “All over Canada” whose single, “Operator (A Girl Like Me)” is enjoying quite a bit a success on Canadian radio and TV.Â Her full length album will be out in March, but for now, we can all suck on this.
“Old School,” Hedley (download)
Lifehouse and Rob Thomas are probably cursing the boys from Hedley for writing a soaring power ballad like “Old School.” Hedley aren’t from Hedly, B.C.; rather, they come from Abbotsford (outside of Vancouver) and took their name from Hedley because the town was for sale at one time for the low, low price of $346,000 — at least according to the Wiki.Â Moreover, to paraphrase Tom Cruise from Cocktail, “When a bet in on the table, a man doesn’t walk away from a bet” (or something like that), the boys from Hedley bet their lead singer (Jacob Hoggard) $150 that he wouldn’t audition for Canadian Idol.Â I guess he needed the cash because Hoggard not only auditioned, but placed third in the 2004 competition.
Before closing this out, I wanted to mention some other Canadian musical artists who didn’t make the cut on this mix, but are well worth checking out:
4. Emm Gryner
5. The Inbreds