What’s Going On: Arkells, Valley, Lili-Ann De Francesco, FRND CRCL, Yung Gravy and bbno$

It’s Canada Day long weekend, so it only makes sense for What’s Going On to bring you the latest from three of the hottest Canadian acts on the scene today: Arkells, Valley, and Lili-Ann De Francesco. Not only that, but we’ve also got new music from FRND CRCL and the duo of Yung Gravy and bbno$. As always, if you dig what you’re hearing, be sure to stream and follow these artists.

Arkells – Top Canadian rockers Arkells are out with “Skin,” their brand new single. The track serves as the official lead single for the band’s forthcoming album Laundry Pile, due out on September 21st via Universal Music Canada. Listeners can always count on the lads from Hamilton to big shiny choruses and instantly memorable melodies. While “Skin” definitely has those, it also has an earthy Americana feel that makes it unique. What’s the new tune all about? According to frontman Max Kerman: “’Skin’ is about choosing to love more purposefully, about finding meaning in the hard stuff. It’s about coming to the understanding that the best and deepest relationships are far beyond what we experience on the surface.” Real deep stuff!

Photo: Scarlet O’Neill

Listen to Arkells’ new single “Skin” below.

Valley – Canadian art-pop band Valley recently went out on their first headlining North America tour and now they’re out with their sophomore album Lost In Translation through Capitol Records/Universal Music Canada. The highly anticipated album is rooted in emotion as drummer and vocalist Karah James explains: “Lost in Translation is a tribute to our relationship over the many years as friends and bandmates, working through misunderstandings, and finding our way through the radio noise.” As you’ve come to expect from Valley, the band also sprinkled in plenty of fun musical and pop culture references throughout the album. Lost In Translation is sure to cement Valley’s place as one of the top acts on the Canadian music scene.

Listen to Valley’s new single “Natural” below.

Lili-Ann De Francesco – Rising French-Canadian pop sensation Lili-Ann De Francesco just dropped the empowerment bop of the summer. “heartless” is the latest offering from the Sainte-Adèle, Quebec-born artist and it’s sure to keep her momentum going after the success of her previous single “tout recommencer.” The track’s sultry and moody club vibes gives way to empowered lyrics about needing to look out for oneself. Speaking on how “heartless” came to be, Lili-Ann states: “‘heartless’ was written at a time where I was feeling lonely. I’d had enough of always giving to people who didn’t deserve it. This song is about me not letting anyone walk all over my feelings.”Baby Gravy 3 drops Friday, August 18th via IMPERIAL/Universal Music Canada.

Listen to Lili-Ann De Francesco’s new single “heartless” below.

FRND CRCL – The pop-punk resurgence is very real and with band’s like FRND CRCL on the front lines, that movement won’t be stopping anytime soon. The New Jersey-based band just released their third album, Suburban Dictionary. FRND CRCL’s sound is steeped in 2010s emo and pop-punk which makes Suburban Dictionary feel familiar like slipping into your favorite Hot Topic band t-shirt from back in the day. The concept album that takes you through a day in the life of a young suburbanite really speaks to the trials and tribulations facing this generation: love, social issues, mental health and insecurities. Who is Suburban Dictionary for? FRND CRCL says: “Suburban Dictionary is for those who take things not at surface value, but who aren’t afraid to stray deeper into their minds. This is very much a story of the common, a punk rock take on a punk rock revolution delivered with the spirit of punk through pop melody.”

Check out the music video for FRND CRCL’s “Golden” below.

Yung Gravy and bbno$ – Let’s talk Baby Gravy! The dynamic duo of Yung Gravy and bbno$ are back with “You Need Jesus.” With its minimalistic production, sparse beat and Spanish guitar, “You Need Jesus” allows a showcase for Yung Gravy and bbno$ to do what they do best – drop witty bars that make listeners do a double take. The track also has an accompanying Karl Jungquist-directed music video that needs to be seen to be believed. It’s got Yung Gravy and bbno$ as dancing pastors, pelvic thrusts and wacky sacrilegious hijinks. What more can you need? If you can’t get enough, Baby Gravy 3 is set to drop on August 18th via IMPERIAL/Universal Music Canada.

Listen to Yung Gravy and bbno$’s new single “You Need Jesus” below.

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