The Glorious Sons' second full-length album, Young Beauties & Fools, is all about honesty.
More specifically, it's about exploring the adventures (and frequent misadventures) of main songwriter Brett Emmons in the truest way. It's also an album where The Glorious Sons — rounded out by Brett’s older brother Jay Emmons (guitar), Chris Koster (guitar), Adam Paquette (drums) and Chris Huot (bass) — capture all the listlessness and confusion of young adulthood in 10 doses of modern rock.
Glorious Sons’ hardscrabble tales come naturally. A high-spirited rock band with blue collar roots, they truly found themselves when Brett quit school in 2013 to join them as lead singer. Subsequent years of hard touring and hard partying — sometimes in places so sketchy, as Brett puts it, “There was no electricity in the building” — provided fuel for the songs on Young Beauties & Fools.
Whether it’s the rock 'n' roll bender “My Poor Heart,” the not-so-classic boy-meets-girl story of “Josie,” or the deeply embarrassing punch-up at a wedding tale “Everything Is Alright,” Brett’s songwriting deftly explores the imperfect humanity of both himself and the many characters he introduces over the course of the album.
It wasn’t easy to capture that realness. The band wanted to range further, to grow and evolve from the successes of 2014’s The Union album. That record was an immediate hit on the Canadian radio rock landscape. Glorious Sons scored seven consecutive Top 10 rock radio tracks, won two SiriusXM Indie Awards (Group of the Year and Rock Group of the Year) and received a Juno Award nomination in 2015 for Rock Album of the Year.
More info & tour dates: theglorioussons.com
The Aaron LP is a culmination. It is the moment when an artist and songwriter discover their truest, most comfortable and most dynamic self. It is the moment when years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears come into clear focus. It is the moment when you are finally able to lay your soul bare for the whole world to see. It is the moment where SonReal and Aaron Hoffman are one and the same.
SonReal is the moniker of Canadian singer, songwriter, rapper and visual artist Aaron Hoffman. With years of international touring, more than a dozen award nominations, over 75M YouTube views and over 100M audio streams to his credit, Aaron has made a name for himself as SonReal.
But there is more to SonReal. His musical and creative journey began as a young rapper based in Vernon, BC playing nearly empty bars to friends. Undeterred, he moved to Vancouver and the now infamous 1851 House, where he found himself immersed with creatives — friends with dreams just as big as his, in lanes all their own. An aspiring DJ. An aspiring videographer and filmmaker. An aspiring music industry executive. All under one roof, and all realizing they had complementary skills and ambitions. It was here that the SonReal project truly came to life, supported by friends and partners who still ride together to this day.
What grew from there was one of the most unique collective projects to emerge from the Canadian underground in some time. Bursting on to the scene with the quirky, now-viral video sensation “Everywhere We Go” (22M views) SonReal and his team set a high bar for visual content and songwriting. EPs and mixtapes followed suit, featuring songs and next-level videos like “Preach” and “For The Town” before SonReal’s full-length debut in 2017, One Long Dream.
What has become obvious as you look back on SonReal’s career is that he has never been comfortable being placed inside a box. Often told that his versatility and genre-bending tendencies are an obstacle, SonReal has always stayed true. Constantly pushing boundaries in his music and in his visuals, he has always aspired for more. Tracks like the Platinum-certified single “Can I Get A Witness” and “Problems” from One Long Dream were the first indication that SonReal had more to say as a songwriter, and more to accomplish as an artist.
The Aaron LP is the culmination of this creative journey to align the artist persona of SonReal with the songwriter and person, Aaron Hoffman. First and foremost, the album is a collection of honest songs. Co-produced in LA by Trevor Muzzy, the songs are lush, deliberate and expansive. Hoffman and Muzzy poured over every detail together over a four-month period, ensuring that this album would be SonReal’s masterwork. Whether its folk-tinged acoustic ballads like the album opener “Fearless” and “1000 Highways”, the soul-infused tracks “Healing” (ft. Jessie Reyez) and “Quit”, or the intensely personal joints “Voicemail” and “Ted”, every song is a deeply relatable look into the person behind the music - Aaron Hoffman. Of course, he still has bars as evidenced by tracks like “Parachute”, “Dive Bar” and the album closer “Back To You” — but those bars now support a broader, more ambitious creative endeavour.
SonReal’s versatility is no longer an obstacle – The Aaron LP will see daylight in a musical climate that applauds musical and creative flexibility, where previously stark genre lines have been blurred by the biggest artists in the world. It just turns out that as he always has been, SonReal was once again ahead of the curve.
More info & tour dates at sonreal.com
JJ Wilde is coming. Debut single “Wired” out February 1st, 2019.
More info & tour dates at jjwilde.com
Rough, pillowy music.
As a high school student in Toronto, Young Clancy played in a handful of bands, usually on bass but occasionally guitar or drums. Nothing stuck. In university on Canada’s east coast, where he studied creative writing, Clancy quietly dabbled in songwriting with voice and guitar. He gave nervous performances at open mics and posted loosies to soundcloud where his heartfelt ballads racked up tens of plays by the few friends who knew they existed. As a graduate, Clancy found himself somewhat stagnated, bartending full-time at a sleazy steakhouse in Toronto’s financial district. Unsure of what was next, he began taking vocal lessons and teaching himself production on Ableton live and gradually began making the music he truly wanted to hear: thoughtful, lyrical songs inspired by Neil Young with gritty, inventive production inspired by Kanye West. This culminated in an EP that finally saw the light in 2017.
The ‘Yung Prince of the Basement’ was born, and so was his actual home built. Less than a year later, Clancy proposed to and married his uni sweetheart, Elise Troister - founder of Second Cousin Vintage, painter and stylist. In Toronto’s Hallam-neighbourhood, in their den, living room and basement, they’ve built a fledgling creative hub: a studio and vintage outlet for all manner of fashion and music. In just a couple short years, Elise has amassed an impressive client list of photographers, creative directors and artists including Bobby Bowen (stylist/creative director), Neva Wireko (photographer/creative director), and Charlotte Day Wilson (singer/producer). Downstairs, Clancy steadily toiled away on what would be his next move: a collaborative EP featuring several of Toronto’s most exciting up-and-comers - Maddee (singer), Chris Larocca (singer), MI Blue (singer/ filmmaker), Matthew Progress (rapper/ filmmaker) and Jonah Yano (singer) - while also finding time to get in the studio with artists like Daniela Andrade (singer) and Yoko Gold (singer).
You can feel the energy they’ve built around their home as soon as you walk in - an alternative to the wintery coolness of Toronto’s downtown shops and tracksuit-wearing, sing-rapping archetype - their space is warm and inviting - disarming even. Much like the racks of clothing that fill Elise’s shop upstairs and the dusty Lowrey organ in Young Clancy’s basement studio - their house is vintage. But the work they do is different, exciting and as a part of Toronto’s ever-expanding creative universe, ultimately new.
More info & tour dates at youngclancy.com
She grew up thinking that hearing music in colour was normal. It wasn’t until she was explaining the colour of a song to her mother at age 11 that Willa was told that in fact, it was not normal. Funnily enough, her uncle, the man who taught her to play piano also had synesthesia; a cross sensory condition which allows those who have it to experience things with more than one sense.
Whether having synesthesia is a leg up or not, Willa can confirm that the upcoming singles she’s written over the last year are a brand new colour from her previous release, Criminals and Dreamers, which accumulated nearly of 11 million streams. Still inhabiting the cheeky dark side of those previous songs written with Vancouver’s Ryan Guldemond, there’s a soft sparkle to the new songs that Willa found after taking this last year to find her voice with new collaborators in her new home; the vibrant gem of Toronto, Canada.
More info at willamusic.com
Classified is one of Canada's most well-known and beloved songwriters and musicians. Hailing from Enfield, Nova Scotia, he's had a number of gold and platinum certified singles including "Oh...Canada", "That Ain't Classy", "Higher" ft B.o.B, "3 Foot Tall" and the best-selling Canadian rap song of all time, the 5x Platinum single "Inner Ninja". His latest release, "Greatful", is his fifteenth studio album.
The OBGMs are a punk rock quartet from Toronto Canada. Formed in 2008 by vocalist and songwriter Densil McFarlane and drummer Colanthony Humphrey, they were joined by Joseph Brosnan on bass and Jemuel Roberts on keys in 2011. Their blend of thrashy punk rock, rock and roll, break-beat and hip-hop influence make them one of the most unique bands Canada has to offer. Their self-titled album was recently remixed by Dave Schiffman and is slated for release via Black Box later this summer.
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Northcote is the moniker of Nanaimo BC based singer/songwriter Matthew Goud. With three full lengths under his belt and tours alongside genre mainstays such as The Gaslight Anthem, Frank Turner, Chuck Ragan, Dave Hause and more, Northcote has become entrenched as Canada's strongest contribution to the 'Revival' punk community. Whether he's playing solo, duo or full band, audiences are in for an intimate, positive exchange of creativity and music.
Alan Frew is familiar to fans around the world as the lead singer of Glass Tiger. His is one of the most iconic voices of the 80's. In recent years, Frew has been writing solo material including "Believe", the theme for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games performed by Niiki Yanofsky.
In the fall of 2015 while preparing to release his album "80290 Rewind", Frew was struck down by a stroke. He has made a full recovery and returned to the stage this past April to debut songs from that album. Alan has dedicated himself to spreading awareness on behalf of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
More info & tour dates: alanfrew.com