pop

New Music Spotlight: Taylor Swift, James Barker Band, No Liars, Justin Timberlake, Oh Geronimo

This instalment of the New Music Spotlight offers a varied playlist to give you a taste of some of the tracks we’re into right now. From the top of the world’s playlists to a couple acts we think you should be discovering, we’ve got you covered.

In this spotlight, we’ve got five videos from pop, rock, and country. There are big label productions and indie offerings, and we are digging all of them.

Let’s do this!

Artist: Taylor Swift ft. Ed Sheeran, Future
Hometown: Reading, PA
Genre: Pop
Related Artists: Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez
Single: End Game
Notes: One of my favourite tracks from the reputation era, T.Swift kills it with bff Ed Sheeran and Future on End Game. Honestly, if this is what it sounds like to have a big reputation, we’re in.

Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: James Barker Band
Hometown: Woodville, ON
Genre: Country
Related: Dierks Bentley, Old Dominion, Kieth Urban
Single: Good Together
Notes: JBB has moved past their 2017 EP, Game On, with their new single, and it’s working. Fans are connecting with Good Together the same way they have to earlier releases – online, and live.

Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: No Liars
Hometown: Victoria, BC
Genre: Punk
Related: Farewell Letter, MakeWar, Light Fire Down
Single: Guilt Trip
Notes: The second track off their forthcoming album, The Cause & The Cure, Guilt Trip reminds me of the hits and fan favourites I loved earlier in the 2000s from Brand New, The Used and more. Turn this one up.

Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: Justin Timberlake
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Genre: Pop
Related: Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Beyoncé
Single: Supplies
Notes: This is the second single from the upcoming Man Of The Woods album, and it’s still not what we thought was coming based on the trailer. Timberlake is keeping everyone on their toes with Supplies, bringing some powerful imagery to the screen.

Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: Oh Geronimo
Hometown: Burlington, ON
Genre: Rock/Folk
Related: Hey Rosetta!, Texas King, Ivory Hours
Single: Mountains
Notes: The band explains that Mountains is a song about wholeheartedly pursuing your passions, while straddling the fragile line between ambition and humility. The track comes from the 2018 album, The Sled, and serves as a teaser for what we should all be ready to hear.

Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

New Music Spotlight: Birds of Bellwoods, Jack White, Our Lady Peace, Vance Joy and Wes Mack

In our second January New Music Spotlight, we’re highlighting three Canadian acts, one Australian act and one American act. Genre-wise we’re recommending some alt-folk, some rock, some folk-pop and a little country music.

In this spotlight, we’ve got five videos with some very different concepts. Sit back, have a watch, and a listen and let us know what you think.

Let’s do this!

Artist: Birds of Bellwoods
Hometown: Toronto
Genre: Alt-Folk
Related: Duncan FellowsYoung in the CityThe Corcoran Brothers
Song: Feel It Still – Cover – Portugal. The Man
Notes: One of my favourite Toronto bands. I’ve been talking about their talent for a few years now. Birds of Bellwoods cover Portugal. The Man’s hit, which currenlty sits with over 94,000,000 views on YouTube. It’s a great song and an amazing cover.

Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: Jack White
Hometown: Detroit / Nashville
Genre: Rock
Related Artists: The RaconteursThe White StripesThe Black Keys
Song: Connected by Love
Notes: The video, which was released on Wednesday, already has over 500,000 plays. The imagery is visually compelling and the music is dirty, synthy and bluesy all at the same time. Jack White gives us a great emotional performance and delivers lyrics we can all relate to with grace.

Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: Our Lady Peace
Hometown: Toronto
Genre: Rock
Related Artists: Big WreckCollective SoulMatthew Good
Song: Falling Into Place
Notes: Our Lady Peace gives us a great story video. It’s classic sounding OLP with a positive message. I challenge you to watch it and not smile.

Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: Vance Joy
Hometown: Melbourne
Genre: Folk-Pop
Related Artists:
Song: We’re Going Home
Notes: We’ve been fans of Vance Joy since we the first time we heard him. We’re Going Home is from his upcoming album Nation of Two which is out on February 23rd. The instantly recognizable voice is layered with beautiful backgrounds and real people. The chorus is catchy and I’m expecting to hear a lot of this track on the radio.

Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: Wes Mack
Hometown: Calgary
Genre: Country
Related Artists: Jojo MasonAndrew HyattPetric
Song: House on Fire
Notes: First let us say that we’re very happy that there’s new music from Wes Mack. It’s a fun video, with a boys vs. girls story. House on Fire is fresh and summery and it’s something we can use a big helping of. I’ve already got the chorus stuck in my head and if country music is your thing, I think you’ll really like this one too.

Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Joshua’s 10 Most Listened to Albums of 2017!

As we get ready to put a wrap in 2017, it’s time to look back at some of the music that we loved most from the year. And while this post isn’t a ranking of best albums and likely won’t match your most played records of the year… it is a list of my 10 most listened to albums of 2017!

Like years past, these 10 albums aren’t listed in any order. I don’t have the spin numbers to rank them 1 to 10, and all of them deserve to be played over and over, so it’s honestly too hard for me to put them in order just for the sake of doing so.

Unlike years past, all of the albums on this list were released in 2017… in other years I’ve listed holdovers and classics, but this year I’m keeping it current.

It’s exciting for me to note that this list includes 6 debut full-length albums, 4 albums by Canadian arists, and breaks down in a 7/2/1 split for country/rock/pop.

The truth is that this list could have been way deeper, with more and more albums listed and shared and showed off… so at the bottom of the post you’ll find the honourable mention section. It might be cheating, but those albums deserve a listen too!

The truth as well is that this list could have been way deeper, with more and more albums listed and shared and showed off… so at the bottom of the post you’ll find the honourable mention section. It might be cheating, but those albums deserve a listen too!

Ready? Here we go!

Joshua’s 10 Most Listened to Albums of 2017!

 Taylor Swift: Reputation (2017)

Most played track: Don’t Blame Me

From the moment I woke up on release day, Reputation has been in high rotation. Taylor Swift showed everyone that she’s still capable of swinging for the fences, and connecting – just like she did on 1989.

Yes, she’s a divisive artist and personality – but I’ve been team T.Swift since day 1, and if she insists on releasing bangers like these, I’m not going anywhere.

Carly Pearce: Every Little Thing (2017)

Most played track: Every Little Thing

The breakout female country star of 2017 is Carly Pearce. And on her debut album, Pearce showed that Every Little Thing is just the start of what she’s going to bring to the country music world. Her follow up single, Hide The Wine is catchy as hell, and tracks like If My Name Was Whiskey get stuck in my head on a regular basis.

Midland: On The Rocks (2017)

Most played track: Drinkin’ Problem

I saw Midland live twice in 2017, and when they played songs from their debut album, my ears were happy.

These three dudes did good work breaking into the Nashville scene, and they’ve earned a Canadian following too, with Drinkin’ Problem going to #1 north of the border before it did in the US. Listen to songs like This Old Heart and Check Cashin’ Country for that semi-throwback vibe that I can’t get enough of.

Foo Fighters: Concrete & Gold (2017)

Most played track: Run

When I shared my review of Concrete & Gold earlier this year a friend replied that it could have been summed up in one word, “awesome”.

While I’m happy to have written a little more than that, he was right. With the release of this record, Foo Fighters showed that they’ve still got it. And while we highly encourage the growth of young rock and roll acts, it’s fantastic to have these guys still ripping things up in the studio and on the road.

Foo Fighters Concrete & Gold

Little Big Town: The Breaker (2017)

Most played track: Better Man

I’ve been a fan of Little Big Town since the beginning. I can tell you where I was when they followed me on Twitter. So when an album as good as The Breaker is available to me from a band I love, you can’t be surprised that I played the hell out of it.

With the song of the year (Better Man) included, this album served as a reminder that Little Big Town are major country music stars, belonging in the upper tier of acts when we talk about Nashville.

Little Big Town The Breaker album cover

Andrew Hyatt: Iron & Ashes (2017)

Most played track: She Ain’t You

Andrew Hyatt had a hell of a year in Canadian country music. In the spring we watched him play two shows in Toronto during Canadian music week, and nearer the end of the year we caught up with him on tour with Dallas Smith.

The Iron & Ashes album is packed with tracks that Hyatt needed to share with the world and country music fans. And with a little grungy rock and a little country sweetness mixed together in his heart, Andrew Hyatt showed everyone that listened that he’s got what it takes to hang.

The Beaches: Late Show (2017)

Most played track: Money

That thing we said about encouraging the growth of young rock and rollers – The Beaches embody all of it. These women from Toronto have been ripping it up on stage, and now fans have a chance to rock along at home while listening to Late Show.

With the release of the album, radio support for their single, Money – and a US/Canada tour opening for Death From Above, The Beaches introduced themselves to a lot of new fans this year… and if I had to bet, I’d say there are more fans to be made in 2018.

The Beaches Late Show Album Cover

Thomas Rhett: Life Changes (2017)

Most played track: Life Changes

This record earned its spins from me with catchy songs, great lyrics, and Thomas Rhett’s continued ability to capture my attention. It also became a memory that I’ll never forget when it attached itself to the story I tell about learning I’m going to be a dad in 2018.

I reviewed the Life Changes album for its September release, talked to friends, family, and industry folks about songs like Life Changes and Rhett’s journey of fatherhood – and then, a week later I found out that I’m going to be a first time dad.

I’ve listened to the album a bunch more since then, and when I do, I think of that.

JJ Shiplett: Something To Believe In (2017)

Most played track: Higher Ground

JJ Shiplett’s debut album didn’t surprise me, because we’d had the chance to see him play the songs live on a few occasions before the release – but wanting to hear them again on the record and playing them a bunch is a testament to their quality and how much I like them.

Shiplett’s voice is unique, his fans are all in, and Something To Believe In album serves as an introduction to what should be a career full of music and stories from one of our favourite redheads.

Johnson Crook : The Album (2017)

Most played track: Call Me Home

Johnson Crook may not be a household name, but they’re making people take notice playing shows in Toronto, across Canada at festivals, and by teaming up with the legendary Tom Cochrane on Mr. Nobody. Songs like Call Me Home and their debut single, Minnedosa, will get you moving… you’ll dig ’em.

We’ve been covering Johnson Crook for the last few years, and have watched as they’ve developed their live show, and the songs on their album. And with four part harmonies, a roots based sound, and a touch of rock and roll thrown in when it fits best, The Album is exactly what we hoped to get from the boys on their debut record.

Johnson Crook The Album cover

And now, as promised, the list of albums that I listened to a whole bunch, but not quite enough to crack the top 10…

Honourable mentions

Shania Twain: Now, Jess Moskaluke: Past The Past, Lady Antebellum: Heart Break, The Katherines: To Bring You My Heart, Joey Landreth: Whiskey, Lindsay Ell: The Project, Jojo Mason: Both Sides Of The Bar, River Town Saints: River Town Saints, The Cadillac Three: Legacy, James Barker Band: Game On, Arkells: Morning Report (Deluxe)

5 Quick Questions with The Katherines: Holiday Edition

The Katherines released one of our favourite pop albums of the year when To Bring You My Heart dropped in January. And now, as 2017 wraps up, these music making women from Canada’s west coast are getting in the holiday spirit.

Related: To Bring You My Heart, The Katherines Album Review & Feature

We caught up with Kate Kurdyak, Lauren Kurdyak, and Kaitlyn Hansen-Boucher for a holiday round of 5 Quick Questions to learn a little more about their favourites of the season – and we have two Christmas songs from The Katherines to share as well.

Hit play on Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, check out the Q&A, and then hit play again on White Christmas. Enjoy!

5 Quick Holiday Questions with The Katherines

Q) Did you have a favourite Christmas song when you were a kid?

KHB) O Holy Night
LK) River by Joni Mitchell
KK) Same as KHB

Q) Do you have a favourite Christmas song to play live?

KHB) River – Joni Mitchell
LK) Baby It’s Cold Outside female part with KHB singing the guy’s
KK) Baby It’s Cold Outside

Q) If you could partner up with any artist for a collaboration on a Christmas song, who would you choose?

KHB) Mathew V
LK) K.D. Lang
KK) Billie Holiday

Q) What is your favourite beverage for a holiday party?

KHB) Hot Apple Cider
LK) Matcha Latte
KK) Moscow Mule or a Hot Toddy

Q) If you could only have 1 dessert after Christmas dinner, what would you choose?

KHB) Milk and cookies
LK) White chocolate peppermint bark
KK) Hot salted caramel cookie bars with vanilla bean ice cream

 

1 month ago

5 Quick Questions with Alexis Lynn: Holiday Edition and Butternut Squash with Sage & Chickpea Stuffing Recipe

Alexis Lynn is one to watch on the Canadian pop/R&B scene. With a voice that’s smooth and brings all kinds of power with it, this young Canadian has already shown us that she’s got talent.

We’re looking forward to more from Alexis in 2018… but before we get there, we’re wrapping up 2017 and celebrating the Christmas season with a holiday round of 5 Quick Questions with Alexis Lynn.

Enjoy!

5 Quick Holiday Questions with Alexis Lynn

Q) Did you have a favourite Christmas song when you were a kid?

Alexis) I was obsessed with Where Are You Christmas by Faith Hill (AKA Cindy Lou Who), because our family watched (and still watches) How The Grinch Stole Christmas every Christmas Eve.

Q) Do you have a favourite Christmas song to play?

Alexis) All I Want For Christmas Is You is a modern classic and so fun to perform, I also love playing White Christmas.

Q) If you could partner up with any artist for a collaboration on a Christmas song, who would you choose?

Alexis) Mariah Carey or Christina Aguilera hands down. QUEENS of Christmas.

Q) What is your favourite beverage for a holiday party?

Alexis) Hot Chocolate!

Q) If you could only have 1 dessert after Christmas dinner, what would you choose?

Alexis) Pumpkin pie every time.

Now, to help with everyone’s holiday dinner menu, Alexis has something to share! In her words, this one is “For all the fellow vegans at Christmas dinner”

Butternut Squash with Sage & Chickpea Stuffing

Prep Time: 25 mins | Cook Time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

1 small Butternut Squash
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt to taste

For the Stuffing

100 g Bulgur Wheat
1/2 tin or 200g Cooked Chickpeas
1/4 cup White Wine
1 White Onion, finely chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Boullion/Stock Powder
9-10 Fresh Sage Leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 500°F
2. Cut the squash in half lengthways & scoop out the seeds.
3. Rub the cut side with the paprika, thyme, olive oil, and salt and sit cut side up on a baking sheet
4. Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes whilst you get on with the stuffing.

To make the Stuffing

1. In a frying pan, saute the garlic and onion with a splash of olive oil until translucent.
2. Add the sage leave and fry until crispy. Break them up a little in the pan.
3. Add the bulgur wheat and coat with oil.
4. Add the white wine, the boullion and around 50ml water
5. Stir until the bulgur has absorbed the liquid.
6. Add the chickpeas and cook for a few minutes. Squash the chickpeas up roughly to help make the stuffing stuffable…
7. If the bulgur is still a little dry add more liquid. Better to be a bit generous than dry! Taste and add extra salt & pepper too if needed.
8. Remove the squash from the oven, and stuff with the stuffing mix. Any leftover stuffing, pop into a little oven proof dish (You’ll want extra stuffing…)
9. Put the squash and extra stuffing back into the oven for 15 minutes or until squishy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
10. Serve as part of a winter feast!

Recipe Notes

Little Butternut Squashes are the perfect size for 2 people. It’s easy enough to scale this recipe up for extra, just double per squash added.

Like a traditional main meat dish, this really does deserve to be served alongside a feast ‘with all the trimmings’, it’s not really a one dish meal, but I think that’s part of its beauty.

Recipe via poppyandthebees.com

1 month ago

Goodnight, Sunrise at The Bovine Photo Review

On Friday night Goodnight, Sunrise played the opening slot at Toronto’s Bovine Sex Club. It was everything I imagined and so much more.

It was warm inside and crowded for 9:15. The full room was pushing up against the front of the stage and the energy was palpable. There were plenty of friends and fans up front making it feel super familiar and comfortable.

I was expecting the band to be good, but what I got was great. There was way more intensity in the set than I’d anticipated and I guess the lesson here is to forget expectations and to go into shows with an open mind.

My favourite moment had to be when Goodnight, Sunrise started playing Remember Now. I love the official video but this was a performance at a completely other level.

Thanks so much to the band for the invite, it was truly a pleasure.

Related: Remember Now: Goodnight, Sunrise Video Release

Goodnight, Sunrise at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto Goodnight, Sunrise at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto Goodnight, Sunrise at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto Goodnight, Sunrise at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto - David Kochberg Goodnight, Sunrise at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto Goodnight, Sunrise at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto - Joel Goodnight, Sunrise at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto - Paul Weaver Goodnight, Sunrise at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto - Vanessa Vakharia Goodnight, Sunrise at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto - David Kochberg Goodnight, Sunrise at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto- Vanessa Vakharia Goodnight, Sunrise at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto - David Kochberg Goodnight, Sunrise at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto - David Kochberg Goodnight, Sunrise at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto

1 month ago

New Music Spotlight: Serena Ryder, David James, KPT, The Lovelocks, Bülow, and Taylor Swift

We love sharing new music with the world. Across genres, from indie artists and well known stars, new songs have the ability to grab you by the ears and take you away… even if it’s just for three minutes.

Today we’ve got a mix of genres, some artists that you may or may not know, and five songs (and a special bonus, sixth) that we think are definitely worth a listen.

Ready? Let’s do this!

The Music

Artist: Serena Ryder
Hometown: Millbrook, ON
Genre: Pop/Rock
Related Artists: Sarah Harmer, Jann Arden, Chantal Kreviazuk
Single: Ice Age
Notes: With Serena Ryder’s recognizable voice and sound shining throughout the song, Ice Age‘s video shows a withdrawn elderly woman who is reinvigorated when music causes a flood of long-lost memories to return to her. It’s a message of the power of music, and we dig it.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: David James
Hometown: Winnipeg, MB
Genre: Country
Related Artists: Jojo Mason, Dan Davidson, Chad Brownlee
Single: Sun Set On It
Notes: If you want to have a laugh, hit play on this video from David James. Sun Set On It is a whole lot of fun on its own – and this no frills, zero pretension, smile on everyone’s faces, music video is a perfectly put together, good timin’ companion.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: KPT
Hometown: MLPS.
Genre: Dark Electronic
Related Artists: Die Antwoord, Justice, The Orb
Single: Sequel
Notes: The video for Sequel is straight-up cinema. Watch it with your attention on the screen as the music hits and the visuals take over your screen. If you really want it to have its full effect, turn the lights off first.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Soundcloud

Artist: The Lovelocks – Staycation
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Genre: Country
Related Artists: Jessica Mitchell, Jess Moskaluke, Meghan Patrick
Single: Staycation
Notes: The Lovelocks are back with something a little different than fans are most used to from the Toronto country duo. Staycation could be a breakthrough radio and mainstream track for Ali and Zoe, and if it is, it will be well earned. Have a listen today and have yourself a little staycation.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: Bülow
Hometown: Worldwide
Genre: Pop/Electronic
Related Artists: Blitz//Berlin, ROMES, Ria Mae
Single: Not A Love Song
Notes: If you want new everything… here you go. Bülow, the teenage pop breakthrough, offers a fresh sound, fresh voice, and a sound that’s going to get stuck somewhere in your head. Get ready for it. And more where this came from.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

BONUS

Artist: Taylor Swift
Hometown: Reading, PA
Genre: Pop/Country
Related Artists: Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez
Single: New Year’s Day
Notes: New Year’s Day is the 15th and final track on Swift’s new album, reputation, and is the closest to the country Taylor that her early fans remember. The ballad fits perfectly with her very first single, Tim McGraw, and now that it’s been released to country radio, we’ll all have a chance to see how the multi-genre star performs in her original setting.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

reputation: Taylor Swift Album Review

In case you missed it, Taylor Swift dropped a monster 15 track record on Friday, officially beginning the reputation era.

It’s impossible not to know that this album was coming, or that it’s here. T.Swift is a star as bright as we have in music. And whether you wish you were part of her squad or not, you know that she’s got a million eyes and ears on her.

The 27 year old singer shows off her pop life on all 15 songs on reputation. From the songwriting to the production, there’s no country here. And while many fans of her early work will still bitch about the music she makes now, and pine over the music they loved, the Swifties that are still by her side are in on this album. And so am I.

Whether it’s …Ready For It?, End Game (ft. Ed Sheeran and Future), Getaway Car, or King Of My Heart, I find myself jamming along in my chair and confirming that Taylor Swift is a hit maker, and I’m here for it now and already can’t wait to see what she does next.

Note: Congratulations to Taylor on her Country Music Association award win for writing Song Of The Year, Better Man, performed by Little Big Town. Not a bad addition to a big week!

If you’ve been on the internet at all anytime after Friday’s release (especially on Buzzfeed Music) you’ve seen the think pieces and reactions and 98 thoughts people have had listening to reputation.

And because the internet can’t help but love and hate Taylor Swift, there are a lot of hot takes and theories about this record. We haven’t talked to T.Swizzle about the songs here, but there’s a lot of sex and drinking – and while this doesn’t feel like a concept album dedicated to those themes, it’s a pop record that isn’t shying away from either subject, and clearly embraces them.

Taylor also continues to do what she does, writing and singing about her life, the headlines, the behind-the-scenes, and the carefully decided details that she’s willing to share. We know that this is the way it’s always been. We know that it’s going to cause raised eyebrows. And we definitely know that it’s going to cause theories like ‘Dress is about Ed Sheeran’ from fans, because it feels like every story must be a true story.

Note: I’d like to take a quick second to applaud Taylor for putting 15 songs on reputation. We’re so used to shorter EPs now, and even 10 track full albums, that this feels like special bonus of music that we didn’t know we were actually going to get.

As every album I love does, reputation has one song that I can’t stop listening to…

Don’t Blame Me is a killer track and wins the album for me. From the first time I listened through the album, track four slapped me in the face in the best way. From the beats to the vocals, the lyrics, and the moment at the three minute mark where the music’s gone and we hear “Lord save me, my drug is my baby, I’ll be usin’ for the rest of my life” as strong as she’s ever been – damn, it wins!

It’s a huge bummer that reputation is not yet available on streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify – however, it’s coming, we’re sure. And reputation is available for purchase, which, we recommend.

Not everyone is going to love this album. That’s the reality of pop music and the polarizing figure that is Taylor Swift. BUT, if you like Taylor, and you’re looking for 15 songs that will contribute 56 minutes to your day’s soundtrack – we recommend you check it out.

Taylor Swift, Reputation Tracklist

1. …Ready For It?
2. End Game (ft. Ed Sheeran & Future)
3. I Did Something Bad
4. Don’t Blame Me
5. Delicate
6. Look What You Made Me Do
7. So It Goes…
8. Gorgeous
9. Getaway Car
10. King Of My Heart
11. Dancing With Our Hands Tied
12. Dress
13. This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
14. Call It What You Want
15. New Year’s Day



Indie Week 2017 Independent Women: Supermarket, presented by M88 Entertainment Group

M88 Entertainment Group LogoPresented by M88 Entertainment Group

Indie Week continued on Thursday night as we hit the Supermarket to see more talented women show Toronto music fans what they’ve got.

The M88 Entertainment Group showcase had a stacked bill which had us stopping in to check out Amanda Jordan, Alessia Cohle, and Alexis Lynn. It was fantastic to see more women on stage, and experiencing their sets.

As a sponsor of Indie Week, and the showcase organizers, M88 continued to show their support for emerging talent. We’ve seen it at events like this before, and we know that artists like Alessia Cohle have greatly benefitted from the branding, development, strategy, and management services that they offer to up and coming artists. They’re tag line is pretty clear, “We focus on the business, so you can focus on the music.”.

Amanda Jordan started the show, working with her guitar player to fill the room with music and start grabbing the attention of the assembled Indie Week crowd.

The Smith Falls, ON native was strong and smooth on stage, with a sweet voice and seemed to be effortless as she displayed all the little nuances that makes a live vocal performance special.

Amanda worked through her set of originals and covers, playing her 2014 single, Lettin’ It Go Tonight, as well as more recently tracks including Driving In The Dark, Unknow You, You Fit Me Better, and Kinda Like A Guy Like You, which Amanda performed for the first time in front of a live crowd.

It was great to hear Amanda’s versions of Miranda Lambert’s heartbreaking Tin Man, as well as Rascal Flatts more upbeat, I Like The Sound Of That. The two covers were a good balance, and rounded out the set well.

We’re not sure what’s coming next for Amanda, but we won’t at all be surprised if we start seeing and hearing more from her in the near future.

Alessia Cohle hit the stage next, bringing a full band and her own mix of originals and covers to the Supermarket crowd for Indie Week.

The Mississauga, On native came prepared to show off her voice, and her ability to perform on stage. Her energy was palpable, and it was easy to see the growth and strength that has come over the last couple of years since we were first introduced to the country singer.

Alessia played a selection of songs from her 2016 album, Talk To Me, as well as her brand new EP, Wanderlust, which was released on November 3.

Songs like the two title tracks, along with How Bad, Two Steps Ahead, and More all helped to show off the sound and vibe that Cohle is cultivating in her young career, and they offer a look into where she may be headed in the future.

Her choices of covers on the evening were a lot of fun too. With Kelsea Ballerini’s Love Me Like You Mean It, Lady Antebellum’s You Look Good, Elle King’s Ex’s And Oh’s, Carrie Underwood’s Smoke Break, Dusty Springfield’s Son Of A Preacher Man, and Maren Morris’s My Church all hitting their mark and encouraging the Thursday night audience to sing along.

Look for Alessia to hit a lot of stages in the next few months to play her new material, and then be ready for what comes next after that.

Alexis Lynn, all the way from Vancouver, BC was our last Indie Week act of the evening. The teenaged singer/songwriter brought her pop/R&B vibe to the stage and showed off what she’s got in a strong way.

Already tabbed as a top 20 under 20 talent in the 2016 CBC Searchlight Contest, the 18 year old showed all of the confidence you’d ever hope to see from a teenager on stage. And while she admitted that she’s most comfortable on the keys, she stripped it down to play her own acoustic guitar and didn’t miss a beat.

Alexis Lynn told the Toronto crowd that she’s working towards an EP release sometime soon, and to be honest, it won’t be soon enough. The power and smoothness in her voice was attention grabbing, and when she announced that she was going to play a cover by one of her favourites, nobody should have been surprised when she started singing Alicia Keys’ Fallin’.

Original songs like Same Girl, That Kiss, Even Friends, and I Love You I Do, all worked to show off what she’s got ready to share with the musical world. And her closing number, Promises, did an excellent job of wrapping things up in style.

Alexis Lynn, along with her guitar/keys/beats player Caesar, brought a groove that people danced and bobbed and rocked to from start to finish.

She’s one to watch.

Check out some more photos from Thursday night at Indie Week, and stay tuned for more live music coverage!

Amanda Jordan

Alessia Cohle

Alexis Lynn

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