A month in Canadian music

Every month I'll be sending you my thoughts about everything hot and not so hot happening up here in Canada. Working in the industry has it's ups and downs. It means I get to hear a LOT of music. The majority of that music is less than stellar (understatement). But hidden in a sea of mediocrity, after enough digging, you often find a true diamond in the rough — an artist or band that grabs hold of you and you're overwhelmed with the need to help make sure they get the attention they deserve.

Canadians and folk music have been in bed together for years. There's nothing that goes better with a Canadian summer than a folk festival. This month has been really folk-y for me!

At North by Northeast Festival I crossed paths with a folk artist from Montreal named JF Robitaille. Robitaille is a prestigious songwriter. He is a modern poet whose lyrics struck me right off the bat. Take this instance of hard-hitting imagery found in the sombre balled Winters Like These: "...the thunder you used to undress to, and the lightning just coming to bless you". His new album Calendar just came out this month on Blue Cardinal Records. Keep tabs on this rising gem. Here's a lovely video for the very catchy single "Modern Love Song. Pt.1":

Modern Love Song Pt.1

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More in the folk world, Dan Mangan is gearing up for the follow-up to his highly contagious 2009 release Nice Nice Very Nice, which truly blew away just about everyone who came across it in 2009. He's currently touring, and I had the pleasure of hearing him preview new tunes last weekend at Guelph, Ontario's Hillside Music Festival. Based on the strength of his new material, I can't wait for the new album. In the meantime, I'll keep watching this awesome video of his:

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Since we're knee deep in folk music, I have to mention my longtime personal favourite Charlotte Cornfield. I am completely biased since I work with her professionally, but the reason I do is because she is such a unique talent. This Toronto-by-way-of-Montreal youngster writes with such honesty you almost feel awkward singing along. But you don't. Instead, her infectious ballads attach themselves to your life and you find yourself listening again and again and again. She is traveling our great country this month, bringing her charming on-stage performance to new ears. Her new EP Construction On The Street is available at her shows, but the rest of the world will have to wait for her new album Two Horses to be released in October. Or you could check out her previous 2 EPs which capture raw energy and youthful sophistication like you haven't heard before. You really don't hear a writer this poised every day. Here's a video of her performing in the park for North by Northeast Festival this summer:

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As a true Canadian, I wouldn't feel right if I didn't have an east coast band in the mix. In my opinion, the best music often reigns from the east coast of Canada. Hey Rosetta! just announced a cross-country tour on the heels of their new release Yer Spring. This album has brought them to new heights and I don't think there is a more deserving band in Canada. I'm a bit surprised that widespread Canadians are embracing their far-from-mainstream rock anthems, but am incredibly happy to see that they are. There's hope after all! Hey Rosetta! emote like it's going out of style. Their music builds and swells leaving listeners breathless. I could sit here swooning for hours... or you could just watch this beautiful (and very east coast) video. Oh, and go buy the record on iTunes for yourself.

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So there you have it! A month of Canadian music through my eyes. What do you think? Send me your Canadian music suggestions via twitter @SariDelmar!


Sari Delmar is president of a Canadian artist development, marketing, and management company called Audio Blood. Delmar spent years freelance writing before moving over to the industry side. Audio Blood has helped kickstart careers for some of Canada's favourite exports and includes many major and indie Canadian labels on their impressive client list.

For more info visit http://audioblood.com and follow @audiobloodmedia.

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