O Canada! Seeing as this week’s instalment of What’s Going On is coming to you a few days after Canada Day, I wanted to share some great Canadian acts that might not currently be on your radar yet but definitely should be. Canada has a rich musical history and these artists are blazing their own trails. With everything from dark disco to indie rock and everything in between, there’s something here for everyone.
Rapper Nate Husser has got something to say. The Montreal MC strongly believes that it’s important to have a message in his music. Formerly of the hip hop group The Posterz, Husser struck out on his own in 2016 to forge a solo career. Not lacking in confidence, Husser refers to himself as the LeBron James of Montreal’s hip hop scene. On his latest single, Husser rages against the police brutality and racism happening in Montreal and across North America as a whole. Canada is often seen as the kinder friendlier neighbour to the North but Husser makes it clear that the same racial injustices are rampant here too.
Listen to Nate Husser’s 2020 single ‘Punk Me’.
With a name like Tush, it’s no surprise that the Toronto band specializes in disco music. Tush consists of musician/DJ Jamie Kidd and singer Kamliah Apong. This disco act isn’t just all glitter and sunshine as they pride themselves on being gritty, sensual and a little rough around the edges. A staple on the Toronto live music scene pre-Coronavirus, Tush are known for their energetic and rowdy stage performances. On their 2018 EP Do You Feel Excited?, Tush covered Freeez’s 1981 dance classic Southern Freeez. Needless to stay, their modern take on the nearly 40-year-old British dance hit definitely works.
Listen to ‘Southern Freeez’ from Tush’s 2018 EP Do You Feel Excited?
Montreal’s Tedy got his start as a Youtuber flexing his comedy chops with his reaction videos. After amassing a sizable following on YouTube, Tedy turned his hand to music. Now signed to Sony Music Canada, Tedy makes an easily digestible mix of pop & soul. Tedy gets heavy on his latest single War. “We’re not kids anymore and our words have consequences. You’re not in this anymore and our knives are rust infested.” The lyrics of War are all about the ending of a toxic relationship, the importance of using your words, and knowing when it’s time to move on.
Listen to Tedy’s 2020 single ‘War’.
If you’re a fan of artists like Kindness and Blood Orange, Montreal’s Mind Bath is for you. Born Michael Brook, Mind Bath is a fixture in Montreal’s underground R&B scene. Mind Bath cites such greats as Prince, Janet Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Bjork, Erykah Badu and James Blake as musical influences. The sultry singer plays with femininity and gender norms with his presentation. Mind Bath’s music tackles themes like spirituality, gay love, strength and passion. On his latest single ‘Pray’ released in Feb 2020, Mind Bath croons “All I ever wanted was for you to have my back.” His brand of catchy pop with R&B grooves and lots of synths will stay with you for days.
Listen to Mind Bath’s 2020 single ‘Pray’.
The Zolas are back. The Vancouver indie rock band is back with new music for the first time since 2016. With what they are calling ‘Z DAYS’, the band will be releasing a new song each month until October when they’ll release the official first single from their upcoming album. Singer Zach Gray came up with the title ‘Energy Czar’ before the song was created. “She’s gonna break us like a dirty habit. Can you feel it? I can feel it now?” The song is a playful take on climate change and Mother Nature being fed up & fighting back. A fun catchy song with apocalyptic lyrics, ‘Energy Czar’ will fit perfectly on a summer playlist while also giving you something to think about.
Listen to The Zolas’ 2020 single ‘Energy Czar’.