Meet Canada’s new fresh-voiced charmer @QuintonnCochran with “In Your Eyes”


Fans of the CBC’s recent Searchlight Showcase will already know 17 year old Torontonian Quinton Cochran as a finalist in that competition.  But if you don’t like me, then we have a new fresh-voiced domestic talent to root for.  Immediate comparisons will go to Shawn Mendes and they aren’t unwarranted with a similar easy-going charm that goes a long way on its own.  Quinton may have an edge though with a voice that could likely sing any song put in front of him and make it work.  New single and lyric video “In Your Eyes” has Quinton singing in a higher, more powerful voice sometimes equally suited to someone like Shawn.  He’s also newly signed to Radar Love Records, which is run by Glass Tiger drummer Michael Hanson, which is a great previous Canadian music generation connection to have behind him.  Quinton Cochran is definitely one to watch starting NOW!


Published in: on October 20, 2017 at 10:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“High Tide” is gentle and inspiring folk/pop EP from Toronto’s @JustinNozuka



It’s so hard to believe that Justin Nozuka’s first album Holly was released 10 years ago this Fall, and the thoughtful and emotion-wrenching lead single “After Tonight” became one of my go-to songs for not only the next year but forever more, it has endured so very well.  Flash forward and we’re now at the start of a fourth album release for Justin.  He’s chosen to release it in EP parts instead of all at once, so the first three-song offering is called “High Tide”.  It’s a gracious blend of folk and pop and rock like no one else is making.  Inspired greatly by love and nature, you can feel the gentle power particularly in “No Place In Mind”, which reminds me a lot of songs from Justin’s 2010 album You I Wind Land & Sea.  Opener “All I Need” is satisfying and slicker pop, and could be a nice slice of ear candy for pop/adult/alternative radio.  “Hourglass” takes some kind early advice from parents to reflect on and use as empowering self-realization.  High Tide is a true pleasure to hear, with a lot to say crammed into the thoughts of three songs.  You can check out the entire EP at the Spotify link below, but be sure to pick it up at your favourite digital store too.

Toronto’s @InMyComa returns as a quartet with a cool video for rocker “Beautiful Mind”

IN MY COMA, “Beautiful Mind”

Even in the music world, six years between your first two records is a long time, but when you can engage fans like Toronto-based band In My Coma did supporting their debut album Magnets & Miracles, then you turn them into keepers who stick with you for when your new music is ready.  Now at last we have the new single “Beautiful Mind”, with a more refined, polished sound that also continues to allow In My Coma to rock out like they have done in the past as they continue to acquire wider appeal for their songs.  

The original trio of vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Jasper James, bassist LauraDoll, and drummer Mike Paterson was expanded not long ago to include keyboardist Linz Clark, and In My Coma has really gelled as a quartet in concert, opening for the likes of classic Canadian rockers Moist, the diverse USS, and most recently longtime rockers Nazareth.  

To make a big splash, the band has a striking video for “Beautiful Mind”, with ink-and-paper-like images of the band members performing with a series of often comical characters, including the John Oliver-inspired #JustAddZebras, in this case a dancing one.

The music of In My Coma appeals to fans of rock music transcending the 80’s new wave of Duran Duran, and 90’s grunge of Pearl Jam, to the likes of today’s Cage The Elephant.  The co-founder of Moist, Mark Makoway, has produced the band’s upcoming second album Next Life, due on October 6.  

I’m looking forward to the ongoing evolution of In My Coma – some of the finest taltned folks in the biz who are already getting early support from the likes of long-time radio host and Canadian music historian Alan Cross.  Give the video a good solid watch up top!

Published in: on September 18, 2017 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Gunshot” is potent new music from Toronto’s @Blajkofficial


BLAJK, “Gunshot”

After belatedly finding out out about their 2016 EP Limited with a recent focus on their hypnotic song “Lethal”, Toronto’s Blajk are back to follow it all up with “Gunshot”.  The first minute is deceptive with Jordan Radics’ voice in a higher key that makes you think it will be a slower pop song.  That leaves us unprepared for the rocking crunch of drums and stormy synths that follow which you might find more at home in an Imagine Dragons song.  But Jordan’s voice returns to his intense deeper tones, stepping up the urgency and mystery that is attractive about “Gunshot”.  Can’t wait to hear what this talented quartet will offer us next.  Check out “Gunshot” at the Spotify link below.

Blajk plays in the NXNE festival at Toronto’s Port Lands on Saturday, June 24.

Published in: on June 17, 2017 at 8:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Take Me Down” is new from #Toronto powerhouse vocalist @JuliaCarlucci


Following up her 2015 EP For Me is Toronto’s Julia Carlucci with “Take Me Down”.  Regardless of how you find your music – through radio, digital playlists, or online – “Take Me Down” is vocal-driven R&B-inspired pop whose intent is to bring the house down and make you remember who sung it.  And with the video showcase above, Julia has an appeal that could transcend Lady Gaga, Cher, and Céline Dion, even though her most immediate inspirations are the likes of Alicia Keys and Beyoncé.  Set in a classic pop setting with orchestra backing, I’m certain you’ll be hearing more of Julia Carlucci as word gets out about “Take Me Down”, as they already have in other parts of the world (Japan and Indonesia, being two)!

Published in: on March 18, 2017 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Evolution of @DiegoGomesmusic begins with “Understand Me”

DIEGO GOMES, “Understand Me”

Long a fan himself of hip hop, dance music and big trap beats, Toronto’s Diego Gomes begins his evolution with a foray into dark, emotional hip hop with “Understand Me”.  The need to be wanted and taken seriously in the lyrics is put into stark contrast with a beat-heavy, bleak melody, which is given context by the video, where the singer met the wrong kind of gal, is stuck in awful place, and seemingly has no way out.  While this is hardly anything new – obviously influenced by the classic likes of Eminem and Akon, but probably some newer young turks as well – it’s well done enough to gain some respect from fans of this style of hip hop.  It will be a stretch for the singer’s long-time Canadian fan base of his pop songs, but stick with Diego as he evolves because he has much more to offer coming up this year.  Check out the video for “Understand Me” above.

Published in: on January 30, 2017 at 10:30 pm  Comments (2)  
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“You” is captivating progressive soul from #Toronto-based singer/songwriter @itsJoelmusic

JOËL, “You”

Toronto-based singer/songwriter Joël Lemay is back, dabbling this time in acoustic progressive soul with “You”.  You’ll recall that when I wrote about Joël’s “You Fucked Up” last Spring, it received the most blog post views I had in a few years for one post, and the song subsequently reached #12 on the BILLCS Top 30.  “You” is very understated for Joël, after seeing his live show back in November, it seems like it draws on the potency of songs by R&B singers like D’Angelo and Maxwell, and also fits alongside recent songs by the likes of Brandyn Burnette.  Where the song ignites more is about 2/3 of the way through when some wild background vocals surface and bring out a different side to the song.  Be sure to stick with “You” all the way through at the link above to hear more of what the music of Joël is all about. 

Published in: on January 26, 2017 at 11:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Hey it’s new music from @ElevenPastOne called “Wrong Way Home”

ELEVEN PAST ONE, “Wrong Way Home”

The talented quartet from just east of Toronto surprised us last week with “Wrong Way Home”, a gritty funk-edged taste of what’s to come after the domestic success of their 2014 album The World Is Ours.  With Daniel Richter’s slick and ever-listenable voice leading the way, I’m hoping these guys will breakout into the rest of North America.  I’ve seen them a number of times in concert and they are the real deal in solid musicianship.  “Wrong Way Home” may be a little darker than some of their other songs but continues to show that there’s more to Eleven Past One than just the catchy pop song you hear on the radio.  Can’t wait to hear more.

Published in: on June 6, 2016 at 9:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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@DzekoandTorres continue with more emotional dance/pop with “Home” featuring #AlexJoseph

DZEKO & TORRES featuring ALEX JOSEPH, “Home”

Toronto’s Dzeko & Torres are smashing it on the BILLCSTop30 with their collaboration with Hellberg called “Care For Me”.  They follow that up with an equally emotional track that could fare well on dance music radio called “Home”.  Also available in various remixes, “Home” features a memorable, earnest vocal by Alex Joseph which will remind you a lot of Ryan Tedder.  The layered production keeps the sound and vibe moving enough to be a captivating 3 minute single.  Watch for this one to do well in dance radio and club circles and pick it up on iTunes.

Dzeko & Torres return to play home base Toronto on Friday, April 29, 2016 at Uniun.

Published in: on April 17, 2016 at 2:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Toronto-based singer/songwriter Joël LeMay (@itsjoelmusic) scores with his R&B flavoured story “You Fucked Up”

JOËL, “You Fucked Up” (free download)

Toronto has many fine up and coming performers who are finding themselves in the midst of a keener interest in R&B/soul – which Toronto has always fancied back to the 1950’s.  And yes I’m talking about beyond Drake and The Weeknd who we really have to thank for flinging the door open wide. 23 year old Joël LeMay actually hails from closer to North Bay from a family of music-makers, but is rooted in Toronto now to create his craft.  “You Fucked Up” is an excellent start.  It’s a fine piece of storytelling when your lover is cheating and has ‘splainin’ to do.  But that seems to happen after she drinks lots of whiskey, so what kind of mess have you got yourself into?  “You Fucked Up” is over 4 minutes long but breezes by because of the gritty, captivating vocal that makes you want to hear this story.  The production by Manuso Joshua is deftly subtle, allowing the song to bask in R&B/soul/alternative folk flavours.  If “You Fucked Up” is any indication, Joël should do well both as a solo performer and an in-demand featured vocalist who can adapt to many styles.  Download “You Fucked Up” for free at the link above and watch for more new music every month from Joël.


Published in: on April 1, 2016 at 8:58 pm  Comments (2)  
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