Scorching alt.rocker “Futureproof” is from St. Catharines band @Kapturmusic

KAPTUR, “Futureproof” (free DL link below)

While my blog posts tend to be full of electronic dance pop, when a solid rock song comes along I am always happy to write about it.  This is even better when the talent is not far from home in the form of St. Catharines, Ontario rock quartet Kaptur with “Futureproof” from their EP Go To Waste.  This is tasty new rock – think Cage The Elephant via later Radiohead with some sophisticated 80’s new wave alt.rock inspiration thrown in – anchored by wicked guitar playing (Johnny Marr comes to mind for some reason), layered production, and solid songwriting which makes the 5 minutes of “Futureproof” go by in a flash.  So rock up your mix and get “Futureproof” for free right here.

Published in: on August 28, 2017 at 9:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dazzling dueting: “Space” by Halifax’s @Fambamusic featuring @Toitomusic and @officialKarli

FAMBA featuring TOITO and KARLI, “Space”

‘Tis the end of summer season that is very befitting for duets, and you can add “Space” to that list fresh out of my own homeland.  At the helm, we have Halifax producer/DJ Famba – he of the fun blast “Right Here, Right Now” that got to #2 on my chart late last year – along with two vocalists from Hamilton, Ontario, Justin Toito and Karli.  Although I haven’t heard of either before, they both appear to have significant online followings.  And what a pairing – this is one dazzling duet that is not a dance song about outer space (despite the artwork), but about the space when you’re in a relationship, and how that often gets closed to where we are together as one – no space between us required!  Their warm, graceful vocals are what set the song apart from other duets.  “Space” is a romantic, pop/dance treat to tingle your emotions and go for a whirl on the dance floor too.  Famba and team have a winner in which Tipsy Records once again has partnered with the great taste of Epic Oslo 🙂  Give this one a solid listen above as I expect you’ll want to move quickly to buy your copy for your own mp3 library 🙂

Published in: on August 23, 2017 at 10:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Montreal’s @Frameofficiel will turn heads with “Bad Decisions” featuring @Bijoudream

FRAME featuring BIJOU, “Bad Decisions”

The dance music world can seem so closely knit together when you find a song by Canadians released through an Italy-based label.  So chalk another one up for Manifesto with “Bad Decisions” by producer Frame featuring fellow Montrealer Bijou on vocals.  What starts off kind of like dreamy Billie Eilish-meets-Gwen Stefani with a lazy vibe somehow transforms into a darker, minimalist electronic song that is entirely captivating and something Lana Del Rey might appreciate.  You’re not entirely sure if the subject of the song is actually making bad decisions because she wants to, though she sings about not knowing why, making it an interesting and convincing puzzle.  “Bad Decisions” will keep those heads nodding and toes tapping in the wee hours at a club.  Make a good decision by getting your free download for now at the link above.

Published in: on July 13, 2017 at 9:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Hungry Ghosts” by Canadian duo @TheBigEast offers well-crafted songs for cottage-country fun

THE BIG EAST, Hungry Ghosts

I don’t write about pop/rock records with heavy country music influences a lot unless they are well-sung, genuine songs like from Huntsville, Ontario duo The Big East in Hungry Ghosts, the follow-up album to 2014’s Under Currents.  James Jones and Kip Daynard are here to offer up a good time for all, a signal for you to jump into the vehicle and head to cottage country, and the songs work best when they are full-tilt rocking or soft and heart-felt.  “Too Far Gone” is the winner here, a retro-rocker in the John Mellencamp style of rock that gets things off to a barreling start following the other opener, also a rocker called “The Wild Life”.  Most of The Big East’s inspiration seems to continue to draw from The Eagles and Neil Young, but can also easily appeal to fans of more recent bands such as The Lumineers or Mumford & Sons.  “Love Monkey” is probably the bluesiest and most soulful song within that might catch your ear, but another one worthy of attention is the tender ballad “My Heart Belongs To Me”.  The Big East has already started to receive notable airplay in Canada with some of the fine songs within.  Check out all of the songs on Hungry Ghosts at the link above.

Published in: on May 7, 2017 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Breathe by #DiamondCafe is a new project by Vancouver’s @TristanTmusic for Michael Jackson and Prince fans

DIAMOND CAFE, Breathe (EP)

I’ve been a big believer in Vancouver singer/songwriter Tristan Thompson since his debut release Here For You in 2014 yielded a soulful piece of pop ear candy called “Tidal Wave”, which also topped the BILLCS Top 30.  That song as well as “Burn Again” and the title track received significant national radio airplay in Canada for an independent performer, and got notice overseas, particularly in New Zealand.  

Fast forward three years, and the singer, who is not even 20, has created a new project called Diamond Cafe, after a second album last year stalled and the label behind it folded. The EP Breathe is full of five lush, soulful pop/dance songs that will appeal mostly to Michael Jackson and Prince fans, but also to fans of performers as diverse as Sade and Adele.  The singer has also taken on production duties, and he’s definitely on the right track though perhaps some songs might benefit from a deeper sound.  His now-richer vocals with some commanding high notes score throughout, and the songs to zero in on are the title track, “Commercial Love”, and “Diamonds”.

I think Diamond Cafe will find friends with club DJ’s, EDM fans, and R&B/soul fans interested in hearing 80’s/90’s sounds mixed in with the style of today.  Some of the songs, like “Diamonds” could benefit from remixes.  Tristan Thompson should find a new and more mature audience with Diamond Cafe.  Check out the entire album on Spotify at the link above.

Published in: on March 11, 2017 at 3:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Prince Edward Island’s @LonelyKidhey arrives with “Dancing Just To Be Cool” featuring #JoshCarter

LONELY KID featuring JOSH CARTER, “Dancing Just To Be Cool”

While Canada has a fierce EDM scene, some people wouldn’t associate the east coast with dance music.  And following Halifax’s Famba (the insanely catchy “Right Here, Right Now”) comes Prince Edward Island’s Lonely Kid with on-point pop/dance tune called “Dancing Just To Be Cool”.  It’s a celebration for the nerd in all of us to get up and let loose, though most of us are guilty of doing exactly what the title says (and to heck with it, says I 😛 ).  The song is at its best when the tempo soars and Josh Carter’s voice becomes its most expressive, bringing out the vibrancy in the song.  Through Tipsy Records, Lonely Kid will be making many, many more friends in 2017 if he has more tricks up his sleeve like “Dancing”.  Give it your attention at the link above.

Calgary’s @Kiesza rocks out with loving tribute “Dearly Beloved”

KIESZA, “Dearly Beloved”

Calgary’s Kiesza scored internationally two years ago, particularly in the dance music scene with the hit “Hideaway” from her major label debut Sound Of A Woman.  This led to her winning three of Canada’s Juno Awards and some Canadian radio awards as well, plus featured vocals on albums by Duran Duran and Tribe Society.  Kiesza steps away from dance music for the rock-inflected, guitar-led “Dearly Beloved”.  Her vocal recalls mid-80’s Pat Benatar and while the rock ante is stepped up, “Dearly Beloved” continues to be an uplifting, danceable tune that is in turn a beautiful tribute to a friend who passed away recently.  The song will hit home with anyone and is a natural for radio play despite the shift in style.  We’ll see what her new album brings us later in the year.  Watch the video – and check out that colourful outfit 🙂 – above.

Published in: on January 8, 2017 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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@TrevorGuthrie changes it up on the #EDM tip with “Wanted”

TREVOR GUTHRIE, “Wanted”

Canadian singer/songwriter and former soulDecision frontman Trevor Guthrie has found a great home in the EDM world post-“This Is What It Feels Like”, and continues to release wonderful positive and summery songs like “Wanted”.  It’s probably his best solo single yet, with great hooks both musically and lyrically that give it a double whammy effect for both radio and clubs.  Sony Canada is on board with this one and I hope it sees release in the rest of the world.  I’ll be interested in seeing what remixes surface which might take it to another level.  In the meantime listen above and pick it up on iTunes where available.

Published in: on July 27, 2016 at 4:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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@Spirixmusic weaves his progressive spell over “La La Land” by @DVBBS & @Shaun_Frank featuring @iamDelaneyJane

DVBBS & SHAUN FRANK featuring DELANEY JANE, “La La Land” (Spirix remix)

Newly based in L.A., teen producer/remixer/performer Spirix continues to cast an inventive, progressive spell over some recent dance music songs, two of which are currently on my personal chart (#1 his co-remix of Brandon Skeie’s “So Bad”; #14 his collaboration with LZRD on the original “Take Me Apart”).  Here he shakes up the latest from my Canadian EDM contingent – the DVBBS lads, Shaun Frank and vocalist Delaney Jane, “La La Land”.  Quite honestly, it doesn’t sound much like the original, and though I know many EDM fans already love the original, I think Spirix’s approach improves on it.  He keeps the aggressive pace already well-established for DVBBS front and centre in his remix as well as the carefree melody which is attractive about the original.  Yeah for some it may be too busy and I think Delaney Jane’s voice perhaps is over-transformed, but you can’t deny the kind of reaction this remix will make in a packed club.  Download it for free above and see why! 🙂

Maple Leaf #EDM: @YoungBombs reshape “Lost” by Connor Phillips (@cphiltv) into an emotional whirlwind

CONNOR PHILLIPS, “Lost” (Young Bombs remix)

It will leave a lump in your throat, make your eyes well up, and maybe you’ll just need to go and hug someone on the dance floor.  British Columbia native Connor Phillips’ rather simple and short acoustic song “Lost” gets an emotional makeover from fellow Canadian duo Young Bombs.  It’s not only ear-catching but incredibly moving thanks to Connor’s low key vocal mixed in with an outpouring of synths.  “Lost” is definitely a new favourite for me, and having had a daughter in dance competitions until recently for 10 years, I can see choreographers latching on to this remix for some beautiful dance routines.  Get it for free at the Soundcloud link above.  

Published in: on April 9, 2016 at 3:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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