Published Mar 04, 2020It's so easy to keep listening to your favourite artists, but these eight rising acts will make you glad you went outside your comfort zone. From artists you may have heard on Spotify but haven't fully explored like Men I Trust and Whipped Cream to local talents poised for a national breakthrough like Marlaena Moore and JT Soul, this crop of emerging Canadian musicians certainly won't be best-kept secrets for much longer.
For fans of: Aldous Harding, Cate le Bon
Dana Gavanski casts a spell on listeners with her psych-washed folk songs. On her debut LP Yesterday Is Gone (out March 27th via Flemish Eye and Ba Da Bing), Gavanski shows how rich her sound has become since her 2017 EP Spring Demos, mixing playful bops with overcast, rockier tunes for irresistible results.
For fans of: Anderson .Paak, Raphael Saadiq
Congo-born, Toronto-based Desiire leverages his African roots with R&B, hip-hop, garage and jazz sounds to create tracks that maintain a quiet storm level of ferocity. Amongst new singles, a recent Wavelength appearance and a project poised to drop soon, Desiire will soon be a need more than a want.
Ryan B. Patrick
For fans of: Drake, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Post Malone
Raised in Montréal's east end, 20-year old JT Soul's music weaves in and out of the R&B and hip-hop lanes, but it's his knack for writing music and his ear for pop-world undertones that puts his music, including his 2019 EP Goodbye, Lightspeed and fresh new single "Aquarius," at the forefront of the quickly changing local scene.
For fans of: Angel Olsen, Mitski, Lucy Dacus
The title of Marlaena Moore's forthcoming third album, Pay Attention, Be Amazed! (out March 27), isn't just wishful thinking: her vocal melodies and woozy, psych rock textures — aided, in part, by co-producer Chad VanGaalen — are certainly commanding. Summery, self-effacing singles "Imposter" and "I Miss You" make it clear that Moore's the real deal.
Men I Trust
For fans of: Mac DeMarco, Jay Som, TOPS
Despite having minimal media support and no label, Montreal dream pop trio Men I Trust earn almost 1.3 million monthly Spotify streams (for comparison, that's slightly more than Metric). It's not clear how they got so famous, but their success is well-earned, since their songs are filled with reverb-y synth-pop hooks and wobbly soft-rock grooves. Catch them touring surprisingly large venues in March.
For fans of: The Haunted, Skeletonwitch, Vader
Raider pillage the best of death and thrash for their own blazing (yet fun) fury on debut LP Guardian of the Fire, out March 20. Despite only forming in 2017, the Waterloo quintet sound export-ready, and not just to nearby markets but even to the far reaches of Europe, from which many of their influences hail.
For fans of: Rezz, TOKiMONSTA
After conquering North America's biggest EDM festivals and teaming up with emo rap megastar Lil Xan, Whipped Cream — the dark bass project of Kelowna-born producer Caroline Cecil — is set to appear at Coachella this summer. "So Thick," last month's contribution to the Birds of Prey soundtrack, currently clocks over 2 million Spotify streams.
For fans of: Appleblim, Ex-Terrestrial
Though Yohei S. may be less known than his Parallel Minds label co-founders Ciel and Daniel 58, it's hard not to get excited about him after hearing the label's latest offering, Eight Two Five. Yohei's two contributions ("Ccontac" and "Down by Three") shine with chunky house percussion and raved-out atmospheric goodness.