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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It’s team #CanadianEDM with @DVBBS and vocalist @DanteLeon on “Angel”

DVBBS featuring DANTE LEON, “Angel”

Canadian brothers Alex and Chris, raised outside of Toronto in Orangeville, Ontario, aka DVBBS, continue to show that they are an international force to be reckoned with in the busy EDM world with sellout concerts and prolific releases.  The boys continue to diversify and follow up their Top 10 club hit “Never Enough”.  Like previous release “Gold Skies” with Sander van Doorn and Martin Garrix, DVBBS takes another side step into emotional dance songs with “Angel” in which they pair up with Toronto singer Dante Leon.  Dante’s affecting hip hop-flavoured “Hotline Bling” styled vocal is attractively matched by DVBBS’ subtle layering of sounds which bounces along with a futuristic bass rhythm that suits the wonder in the theme of the song.  DVBBS are so known for their partying and “Woozy Gang” antics but “Angel” is smart and impressive and should not be underestimated.  Pick it up on iTunes.

Published in: on February 15, 2016 at 4:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sweet 80’s pop/R&B throwback: “Knock Me Off My Feet” by Toronto’s @DanTalevski

DAN TALEVSKI, “Knock Me Off My Feet”

Regular readers of this blog know that two songs from 2015 that I wrote about prominently were “Guilty As Sin” (which finished as my #10 song of the year) and “My Religion” by Toronto singer/songwriter Dan Talevski.  Dan’s talent can slide very easily into the list of many Canadian performers that broke out in 2015, but he will need a few more songs under his belt to find that wider audience that will eat up his songs.  “Knock Me Off My Feet” is simply sweet 80’s-influenced pop/R&B  (with obvious an obvious Michael Jackson reference point) that will have no problem getting national radio play across Canada and could easily turn heads outside of Canada.  It contains a universal message with another fine vocal that fits into the pop/R&B style so smoothly.  It’s not as spicy or edgy as his previous singles lyrically but Dan Talevski is well on his way with “Knock”, which should have some long legs and last through the summer.  Pick it up on iTunes.

Published in: on February 14, 2016 at 5:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Enjoy the Prince-ly vibe of “Change The Channel” by #Toronto’s @FrancescoYates

FRANCESCO YATES, “Change The Channel”

“Change The Channel” is a 20 year old Toronto singer’s collaboration with Pharrell Williams from his recent self-titled EP available worldwide through Atlantic Records.  I remember seeing Francesco perform this song in concert in the summer and I saw the heads turning in the audience by people who were wowed by the Prince falsetto and vibe of this song.  It helps, like Prince, that Francesco is a wicked guitar player, and to me “Change The Channel” should be the next song you hear by him on radio.  Pharrell definitely has a way with working with younger singers to bring out the best in their talents.  Do not be surprised if the always busy Francesco amasses a huge following over the next year; I’m sure he will feature prominently at the 2016 Juno Awards in Canada 🙂  Watch the video for “Change The Channel” up top.

Francesco Yates performs on Saturday October 3 on the Cinemark Coke CineStage in The Woodlands part of Houston, Texas.  Watch for him at several “WE DAY” throughout Canada.

Published in: on October 3, 2015 at 1:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Snazzy ‘n jazzy “Dizzy” by @TylerShawmusic

TYLER SHAW, “Dizzy”

Things just keep getting better for Canadian singer/songwriter Tyler Shaw, who I’ve written about a number of times in these blog pages.  “House of Cards” was his most successful single yet, continuing to receive massive national airplay in Canada, not to mention Tyler recently opening up for Kelly Clarkson and Nick Jonas in concert.  “Dizzy” should take that success and run with it, hopefully south of the border too.  It’s got a slick and snazzy pop style with a jazzy R&B undercurrent along with a potent vocal to make it stand out big time from a lot of sound-alike pop on the radio today.  I don’t doubt for a second that “Dizzy” will be a fun concert performance number too.  There has been so much fine and breaking talent out of my country this year and Tyler Shaw’s “Dizzy” ranks up there as one of the catchiest recent releases.  Watch for Tyler’s debut album Yesterday on September 4.

Amid many recent solo performances this year, Tyler Shaw plays The Virgin Mobile Mod Club in Toronto on Thursday, September 10 along with Eleven Past One, Heist, and Adrian Mitchell.

Published in: on August 21, 2015 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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