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!
Backxwash – I Lie Here Buried With My Rings And My Dresses
Release Date: May 7
Label: Ugly Hag Records
There’s been growing anticipation over what 2020 Polaris Music Prize winner Backxwash is going to do next, and this first glimpse shows that the Montreal artist definitely hasn’t softened any edges of their sound. If anything, the combination of rap and metal is taken to even further extremes here, providing a defiant challenge for uninitiated listeners. If you can handle it, the full album I Lie Here Buried With My Rings And My Dresses is set for release June 20.
Mike Boguski – Here’s To Tomorrow
Release Date: May 14
Blue Rodeo keyboardist Mike Boguski continues to expand his musical reach as a solo artist with this latest single that finds him joined by Tim Vesely (Rheostatics) and BR band mate Colin Cripps. Fans of turn-of-the-‘90s British rock will surely be receptive to this proggy jam, marked by Boguski’s use of a Korg M1 and Cripps’s trademark Edge-like guitar tones.
The Zolas – Yung Dicaprio
Release Date: May 12
Label: Light Organ Records
Staying on the ‘90s British tip, Vancouver’s The Zolas stir up some of the ghosts of Blur, Suede and The Charlatans on this latest taste of their new album Come Back To Life, out July 16. That theme extends to Yung Dicaprio’s lyrics as well, as frontman Zach Gray has said they were inspired by a recent obsession of the 1996 film version of Romeo + Juliet starring a certain Young DiCaprio. Could a full-blown Britpop revival be not far behind?
PACKS – Two Hands
Release Date: April 28
Label: Royal Mountain Records
These Toronto slack-rockers seem to be living up to that description, having recently landed a US deal with uber-hip Brooklyn label Fire Talk Records without ever venturing outside Canada. However, that’s not to disparage their entrancing sound born out of singer/songwriter Madeline Link’s efforts that just happen to tick all the right indie boxes. Debut album Take The Cake is out May 21.
Lumiere - LE.DÉFI.DE.L'AMOUR
Release Date: May 14
I won’t try to explain the concept behind Montreal artist Étienne Côté (aka Lumiere )’s new album A.M.I.E.S.A.M.O.U.R. apart from saying it’s a story set in the early 1970s about three friends evidently looking for love in all the wrong places. But as a theatrical spectacle, it certainly shows Côté to be an artist of grand ambitions in the tradition of great French directors like Jacques Tati, and a pretty good tunesmith in the tradition of David Bowie.
The Redhill Valleys – Finish Line
Release Date: May 21
Label: Wild And Green Records
Hamilton, Ontario’s The Redhill Valleys have been kicking up a lot of dust on the Americana scene over the past few years, as they gear up to release a long-awaited sophomore album this fall. Finish Line should whet a lot of appetites with its hard-edged, bluesy sound, underscored by a star-making performance from vocalist/bassist Chelsea McWilliams.
Bocephus King – Life Is Sweet
Release Date: April 21
Label: Tonic Records
Vancouver’s Bocephus King has been delivering his distinctive (and slightly oddball) blend of folk, country and blues for over 20 years, and his latest album, The Infinite & The Autogrill Vol. 1 found him recording at home and in Meda, Italy with some of that country’s well known players. There’s certainly a light-hearted European flair to Life Is Sweet, a song (and video) that’s as good an enticement as any for all of us to emerge from our collective hibernation.
Amaka Queenette – Want You More
Release Date: May 14
Label: Public Records/Fontana North
This latest track from 21-year-old Toronto native Queenette continues to show she has all the tools to be a bona fide R&B star. As a slow jam, Want You More is irresistible, with Queenette confidently going for intimacy rather than spoiling the mood with overblown vocal gymnastic. Definitely an artist to keep a close eye on.
bigmcenroe – 88 Skate Posse
Release Date: May 11
Label: Peanuts & Corn
Formerly known simply as mcenroe, veteran Manitoba hip-hop artist/producer and label head bigmcenroe is set to return Aug. 6 with the album Brandon, described as a musical scrapbook of his hometown during his formative years in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Expect to hear radio and TV commercials from the era mixed into coming-of-age odes like ’88 Skate Posse. He’s also sharing his memories on his Brandon podcast leading up to the album’s release.
Wake Island – Born To Leave
Release Date: April 30
Montreal-based electronic duo Wake Island is comprised of Philippe Manasseh and Nadim Maghzal, both of whom emigrated from Beirut, and who infuse their Detroit techno approach with a large helping of Middle Eastern sounds they grew up listening to. Their album Born To Leave explores identity through songs in English, French and Arabic, in hopes of bringing new understanding of the immigrant experience.