Single Servings, Jan. 10, 2022

Our first Single Servings of 2022 already shows who is likely to be making a lot of noise this year, while at the same we highlight a few notable tracks we couldn’t get to before the holiday. And off we go!

 

The Weeknd – Sacrifice

Release Date: Jan. 7

Label: Universal Music Canada

Is it now Abel Tesfaye’s world and we’re all just living in it? With the surprise release of the new LP Dawn FM, the Toronto artist continues to ascend to Michael Jackson-like levels of both creativity and success. As a tough slice of modern R&B, Sacrifice comes across much more effectively than the ‘80s pop re-treads that dominated 2020’s After Hours, and finds Tesfaye finally approaching his full potential.

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Billy Talent – Judged

Release Date: Jan. 7

Label: Spinefarm/Warner Music Canada

When Billy Talent heralded its new album Crisis Of Faith back in the Fall with End Of Me, a duet with Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, it seemed to suggest a change in musical direction. But on Judged it’s clear that they’re still firmly in touch with their hardcore roots. Clocking in at 1:40, the song is a blistering show of solidarity toward anyone who’s felt at the mercy of narrow-minded thinking.

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Lights – Real Thing (feat. Elohim)

Release Date: Dec. 24

Label: Warner Music Canada

Now well into her second decade of making genre-defying pop, Lights appears to be enjoying working at her own pace, having released a clutch of singles and EPs over the past two years. This new collaboration with L.A.-based DJ and producer Elohim is a natural pairing, resulting in a catchy pop confection that’s tailor-made for modern radio.

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Alice Glass – Fair Game

Release Date: Dec. 8

Label: Eating Glass Records

The former Crystal Castles front woman’s debut solo album Prey//IV, out Jan. 28, is already generating significant buzz, and she’s thrown more fuel on the fire with Fair Game, a vicious takedown of the men who tried (and ultimately failed) to destroy her. With its repeated line, “Where would you be without me,” Fair Game has all the makings of a #MeToo anthem.

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Voivod – Planet Eaters

Release Date: Dec. 10

Label: Century Media Records

Quebec’s metal gods remain unstoppable, as they prepare to release their umpteenth album Synchro Anarchy on Feb. 11. Planet Eaters is a typically furious indictment of environmental disaster, although the opening line, “We all need to spend some time away from Earth” is a sentiment most of us can probably agree on at this moment.

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Softcult – Gaslight

Release Date: Jan. 7

Label: Easy Life Records

Back in November, we previewed this Ontario twin sister duo’s forthcoming EP Year Of The Snake, and now they’re offering another sneak peek with Gaslight, a hazy mid-tempo rocker that shows off their love of vintage Britpop and Shoegaze. Hopefully, we here at home will show them the same love as the Brits surely will.

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Joe Nolan – Spectacle

Release Date: Dec. 23

Label: Fallen Tree Records

Like a lot of artists unable to tour at the moment, Edmonton’s Joe Nolan has been filling his free time with creativity. Spectacle comes only a few months after Nolan’s acclaimed album Scrapper and finds him still experimenting with new sounds. Nolan’s crafty use of keyboards and simulated strings on this tender ballad significantly heightens the emotional impact.

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Mad Ones – Breakdown

Release Date: Jan. 7

Label: Fortune Stellar Records

The Toronto alt-rock trio released its fourth album Last Forever in November but is just getting things back into focus following the sudden passing of drummer Adam Balsam only a few weeks earlier. The video for Breakdown stands as one of Balsam’s final performances, but the band promises that his spirit will live on in their energetic power pop-friendly approach.

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Lawrence Maxwell – Listening To Keith Whitley

Release Date: Jan. 7

Label: Independent

Hailing from Prince Edward Island, this one-time member of the Royal Canadian Navy has been building a reputation within Americana circles over the past few years, and is poised to reach more ears with his third album Ballad Of Miles, out Jan. 21. Listening To Keith Whitley shows off Maxwell’s outlaw side as he salutes the legendary ‘80s country star who died tragically young.

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Kevin Hearn – Lou

Release Date: Dec. 6

Label: Celery Music

Lou Reed had a lot of success working with Canadians, from the producer Bob Ezrin to bassist Prakash John and keyboardist Michael Fonfara. Toward the end of his life he enlisted Barenaked Ladies keyboardist Kevin Hearn for his band as its musical director, and Hearn has quietly paid tribute to his former boss with this ambient piano piece that reflects how meditation became such an important part of Reed’s life during his final years.

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