Single Servings: April 19, 2021

Each week Single Servings brings you a balanced diet of the freshest Canadian tracks, spanning Electronica to Rock, Folk to R&B, and everything in between. Remember to support the artists by purchasing their music or adding them to your playlists!

 

Shad – Out Of Touch

Release Date: April 16

Label: Secret City Records

The Toronto rapper returns with this timely broadside on the state of the world. Although lightened by a nice vocal part by Phoenix Pagliacci, the message remains that if we don’t start working together to fix our problems, we’re doomed. Shad’s as yet untitled new album will arrive later this year. He was to be a part of the City View Drive-In concert May 22 in Toronto, with Haviah Mighty, k-os, and others, but covid restrictions are jeopardising that date.

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Ruby Waters – Blow

Release Date: April 16

Label: Independent

With a melody that hypnotizes from the opening notes, this latest effort from the Toronto R&B artist continues to build on her previous EP, If It Comes Down To It, and her 2019 breakout single Supernatural. Blow also shows Waters isn’t about to shed her badass image anytime soon either, judging from its action-packed video, complete with vintage muscle car.

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Islands – Set The Fairlight

Release Date: April 16

Label: Royal Mountain Records

Not much has been heard from these Montreal indie rockers since co-founder Nick Thorburn put the band on hiatus in 2016. But now with a line-up bolstered by brothers Evan and Geordie Gordon, fixtures of the Guelph indie rock scene, Islands is returning with Islomania on June 11. If synth-drenched first single Set The Fairlight is any indication, they’re going for broke this time.

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Sarah Neufeld – The Top

Release Date: April 16

Label: Paper Bag Records

Neufeld, longtime string player in Arcade Fire and Bell Orchestre co-founder, offers a heart-stopping preview of her new solo album Detritus (out May 14) with this simple, yet utterly affecting piece best described by the composer herself: “Performing The Top is at once trance like and difficult; one off-putting thought easily throws the whole thing off the rails. It was the first brick in the album, the only piece without drums or other instrumentation. It’s just me, centred in the whirlwind of my own creation.”

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Celeigh Cardinal – Ahead By A Century

Release Date: April 14

Label: Independent

It’s rather amazing how The Tragically Hip’s Ahead By A Century has become a quasi-national anthem. Is it because of its sing-along qualities? Its coming-of-age imagery? Juno winner Celeigh Cardinal seems to lean heavily on both with her joyous interpretation that takes the song to a place that confirms it is now firmly part of our national identity.

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Les Louanges – Pigeons

Release Date: April 16

Label: Bonsound

Last year’s Juno winner for Francophone Album of the Year, the artist also known as Vincent Roberge, continues to follow it up at his own pace, and similarly, this latest single seems content to play the long game in order to win your heart. Its breezy charm is a direct descendent of classic French pop, and somehow complements the video’s unsettling images of Roberge alone in an empty hotel.

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The Effens – Eventually

Release Date: April 16

Label: Hidden Pony Records

The turn of the century may go down as the most disjointed era in rock history, and new bands now being influenced by that period are proof. Toronto’s The Effens appear to be slightly more on the Radiohead end of the spectrum, as opposed to the Green Day end, which probably bodes well for their long-term goals. Given those touchstones, Eventually is more fun than it has any right to be. The Eventually EP is out July 30.

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Silverstein – Bankrupt

Release Date: April 16

Label: UNFD

Speaking of turn of the century rock, Burlington, Ontario hardcore heroes Silverstein are celebrating their 20th anniversary with a Juno nomination this year for Rock Album of the Year for 2020’s A Beautiful Place To Drown. However, newly recorded single Bankrupt is the result of pent up fury over what’s transpired over the past 12 months. Whatever your taste in rock, this is a catharsis we can all use right now. Silverstein has a U.S. tour booked for November, with a date in Toronto slated for Dec. 12. Fingers crossed.

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Nadjiwan – Star Nation

Release Date: April 16

Label: Heading North Music

Toronto’s Marc Meriläinen (aka Nadjiwan) has been carving out a distinctive musical niche for many years, mixing his Indigenous heritage with a love of sci-fi and prog rock. The latest Nadjiwan album, Star Nation (out May 28), is his most ambitious work yet, a “space rock opera” that draws from the legends passed down of “star people” visiting our planet. Headphones are definitely recommended.

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