Shawn Mendes album cover
Shawn Mendes album cover

Music News Digest, April 27, 2018

One of the most-anticipated Canadian albums of the summer is the self-titled third full length from multi-platinum pop artist Shawn Mendes. Universal Music Canada has just announced May 25 as the release date for the 14-song album.

“In My Blood” and “Lost In Japan,” the first two tracks heard from the upcoming album, have received rave reviews and commercial success, reaching  the #1 and #2 spots on the overall iTunes chart in the US, Top 5 on iTunes in 50 countries, and holding the #1 and #2 spots on Spotify’s “New Music Friday” playlist. Mendes will promote the album on The Late Late Show With James Corden, appearing there for a full week, June 4-7.

– Canadian Music Week (CMW) has announced its first round of prizes for the first annual CMW Hackathon taking place May 8 - 9, 2018 in Toronto. Worth over $5K,  the prizes will include a Universal Music Canada Vinyl and Merch Prize Pack, dinner for winning team at the Thompson Hotel, passes for Ottawa Bluesfest, Moogfest, The Indie Awards, Canadian Music Week Conference, and O’Cannabiz Expo, Rebelution VIP tickets and autographed merch package, Beyerdynamic headphones, a five year subscription and music book certificate from Canadian Musician and more.

As part of the Tech and Innovation Summit, the CMW Hackathon will feature the best engineering minds competing to create innovative tech solutions to help Canadian musicians monetize their every career move. Winners’ presentations and awards will take place at 4:10 pm on Wed. May 9 at the Sheraton Centre Hotel.

–  The Weeknd recently earned three honours at the 35th annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards, held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. He was recognized for co-writing his own “Starboy” and “I Feel It Coming,” as well as “Unforgettable,” by French Montana Featuring Swae Lee. Other Canadian songwriters winning awards were Frank Dukes (for “Fake Love” by Drake), Alessia Cara (for “Stay” by Zedd Feat. Alessia Cara), Shaun Frank (for “Closer” by The Chainsmokers), Partynextdoor (for “Wild Thoughts” by DJ Khaled), Doc McKinney and Henry “Cirkut” Walter (for "I Feel It Coming," and "Starboy"), and Jason “Daheala” Quenneville (for "Starboy").

– Hotly-tipped Vancouver band Jo Passed will release Their Prime, its first full-length effort in Canada on Royal Mountain Records (worldwide on Sub Pop) on May 25. The album was recorded during the fall/winter of 2016/17 at Thor’s Palace & KW Studios, both in Vancouver. An official video for Their Prime cut “MDM,” directed by Eleanor Petry, is out. The group plays Royal Mountain's CMW showcase on May 12 at The Garrison, then Vancouver's Red Gate Arts Society on May 25.

– Calgary hip-hop artist Eazy Mac released his latest album, Music for the Lyrically Impaired, to all streaming platforms earlier this week. Guests on the full-length include Evrlove Blake, King Los, Bdice, Golden BSP, Pressa, Philip Solo, Lil Windex and Brandon Taylor. Blake is featured on this new video for "Save Me."

– Toronto folk-rock singer/songwriter Ahi will release In Our Time, his sophomore album, on July 13 on 22nd Sentry/Thirty Tigers. He made a mark by winning the 2017 Stingray Rising Star Award for his song “Ol’ Sweet Day," which has gone on to receive over 2.3M streams to date. Check the new album's first single here 

– Applications are now open for the Anglophone SOCAN Publisher of the Year Award, to be presented at the Toronto SOCAN Awards Gala on June 18. To be eligible, the music publisher must be based in Canada, and their repertoire must be in large part Anglophone, or having had a significant Anglophone impact, creatively and commercially. Any publisher whose representative sits on the selection committee is not eligible for this honour. Submission form here. Deadline is May 8.


Charles Neville, the saxophonist in famed New Orleans group The Neville Brothers, died April 26 of pancreatic cancer, at age 79.  His brother Aaron Neville confirmed his death to WWL-TV. Charles Neville was the second-oldest of the four brothers who, for three decades, formed the core of the Neville Brothers, one of the most important and influential bands to emerge from New Orleans. For many years, the Neville Brothers were the closing act on the final Sunday of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. 

In the 1950s, Neville toured with bands that backed such rhythm & blues stars as Johnny Ace, Jimmy Reed and B.B. King. After a stint in the Navy, he joined singer Larry Williams’ band, but his music career was soon sidelined via crime and drug addiction. In the early 1960s, he served time at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola for possession of marijuana.

In the '70s, his uncle, George Landry (aka Big Chief Jolly) of the Wild Tchoupitoulas, brought his nephews Charles, Aaron, Art and Cyril together to record the 1976 album The Wild Tchoupitoulas, sparking the formation of The Neville Brothers. Charles' horn playing was featured on the track "Healing Chant" from the groups breakthrough 1989 album Yellow Moon, and it won a Grammy for best pop instrumental performance.

After the Neville Brothers broke up in 2012, he continued to tour as a member of Aaron Neville’s solo band, and he also led his own jazz combos. Charles was the father of singer Charmaine Neville, a popular presence on New Orleans stages. Sources: The Advocate,

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