This week’s New Music Friday is dedicated to Canada’s King of New Music, Dave Bookman. Sadly, Bookie died on May 21. I can’t name another person who did as much for independent music in Toronto and Canada as he did and his passing is a great loss to our music scene at large. Many of us played or attended his Nu Music Nights at the Horseshoe here in Toronto. For many bands, he put them on the stage for the first time.
RIP Bookie, you’ll never be replaced.
It’s been a while and I apologize if you were waiting for my picks of great new music. I generally find out about these bands via emails I’m sent from dozens of dedicated music PR people, artist managers and from bands themselves. I get a lot of press release emails every day and because I’ve played in bands over the last couple of decades, I know firsthand the amount of love and sweat that we put into making music. It’s for this reason that I know the very least I can do is listen to everything that’s sent to me. I like a lot of what I hear but I know that my tastes aren’t always the right tastes for ADDICTED readers. This week, I have a mix of new or new to me music that I think everyone should check out.
As usual, if you like what you hear, BUY a song or a shirt or a concert ticket to see these artists and help support them. This applies to every artist you like. Streaming services pay artists around a penny for every 4 plays of a song. Your listens don’t help them pay their rent much less support them to create the art that we cannot. It’s for this reason that I always put links so you can spend money on these artists. Alright, enough proselytizing, here are the tunes!
Tacoma, WA band Helms Alee is one of those bands I love that are all over the place in terms of genre. They’re heavy and melodic and just sound damn great. They put out their fifth studio album, Noctiluca, on April 26. Without surprise, it’s fantastic. They just announced their North American tour so have a look to see when they’ll be playing near you. All their links are here. And have a watch/listen below.
I’m not sure what it is in the French DNA that is intrinsic to electronic music. Or vice versa. But the country has a long line of respected electronic artists. From Jean-Michel Jarre to Air to Daft Punk to Madeon, the French not only know how to construct over-the-top melodies and banging rhythm tracks, but they can also blend a variety of styles with class. My new fave doing this is L’Impératrice. This Paris-based sextet seamlessly blends and saunters between synthpop, disco, pop and downtempo. They released their first album, Matahari last month and it’s one of my faves for the year. Here are all their links and the video for the first single below.
If there’s a group that everyone needs to hear, it’s Snotty Nose Rez Kids. I’m not going to smother a description with hyperbole, but they are some of the most important artists coming out of Canada right now. They released their latest album, Trapline this month. Here are all the links. They’re on tour right now so go check them out.
I’ve been totally transparent about my love of Swedish pop music. I lean more Robyn than ABBA. And almost sorta kinda in that vein, here’s Alexandra Shanahan who performs as Maydar. She’s an R & B-inspired pop artist who’s releasing her debut 7-track EP, Fool Me Twice today. Hear it here.