10 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear This June
Published Jun 08, 2020As the first half of 2020 wraps up, it's time for another crop of rising musical acts from different corners of the country that bridge genres, scenes and languages. Here are 10 emerging Canadian artists you need to hear in June, including members of hard rock and metal's new wave, Queb rap's next bilingual superstar, and plenty of boundary-pushing pop.
For fans of: Alvvays, Los Campesinos!
In April, Century Egg released We Can Play, a five-song EP of catchy, exuberant pop sung in Mandarin and English. They teased the EP with a screenshot of today's hottest video game, Animal Crossing, which definitely fits: like AC, We Can Play offers colourful, fairyland fun at a time when an escape is needed most.
Leslie Ken Chu
For fans of: Evening Hymns, Marissa Nadler
On Camille Delean's Cold House Burning, released on June 5 by E-Tron Records, the dreamy folk-rock soundscapes she began to cultivate on her 2017 debut, Music on the Grey Mile, are fuller and woozier. Backed by Montreal heavyweights like Michael Feuerstack and Arcade Fire's Jeremy Gara, Delean's songs are richly meditative and hit deep.
For fans of: Armor for Sleep, Balance and Composure, Citizen
Like any good band with emo roots, Heavy Hearts shed any weight holding them back. The earnest nature is still there, but it comes through a much more layered, alt-rock encompassing soundscape. Room with a View, due June 26, is as beautiful as its candlelit artwork, as powerful as the flames that adorn it, and as mysterious as the multitude of symbolism surrounding it.
For fans of: HAIM, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sky Ferreira
Nova Scotia-bred/Toronto-based singer Loviet is an unsigned artist with just a few songs to her name, but she already sounds like a big-budget, blockbuster pop artist — and that's a good thing. Upcoming EP Everyone Knows the Thrill When It's Over, out June 19, channels all the coolest parts of the '80s (neon-hued synthpop) and even some of the less cool parts (glassy, chugging guitars).
For fans of: Florence + the Machine, Mitski, Hubert Lenoir
Klô Pelgag's music is poetic and calm, fantastical but harshly real at the same time. Singles from upcoming third album Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs (out June 26 on Secret City) represent her different aspects, including the playful "Remora," the tear-jerking "J'aurai les cheveux longs," the lively, grooving "Umami" and the ornate "La maison jaune." It's set to be her most elaborate project to date — and that's saying something.
For fans of: Misery Signals, Zao, The Banner
Calgary bruisers 壕Trench recall the sonic complexity and ferocity of mid-2000s scene favourites, breaking apart all-too familiar sounds and re-contextualizing them into an exciting take on metallic hardcore. Debut album Blossom, released in April, combines esoteric lyrical concepts of life, death and rebirth with a variety of heavy influences, making for an abrasive yet entirely immersive listening experience.
For fans of: Thou, Khanate, Primitive Man
It's a bit ironic, if not downright sarcastic, that Vile Creature named their upcoming Prosthetic Records debut Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm! (due June 19), because their hellish blackened doom would never allow such a passive feeling. The duo demand a reaction through their powerful rage, even labelling themselves an "angry queer gloom cult" to ensure vitriol from those they wouldn't want to stomach their message if they even could.
For fans of: Charlotte Day Wilson, James Blake
Jonah Yano first generated buzz because of his collaborations with BADBADNOTGOOD, but on his debut LP, Souvenir, due June 21 on Innovative Leisure, Yano shows that he's an immensely talented artist in his own right. While touching on familial themes, the songs on Souvenir glide between electronic, R&B and folk, and consistently shine.
For fans of: My Bloody Valentine, WHOOP-Szo
Zoon's debut album, Bleached Wavves (due June 19 via Paper Bag), gives the sounds and mythos of My Bloody Valentine's famously expensive Loveless a vital and timely (not to mention thrifty) rework. Project mastermind Daniel Monkman coined the term "moccasin-gaze" to define Zoon's blend of effect-laden guitar waves with influences from his Ojibwe heritage, and each track on Bleached Wavves features plenty of both.
For fans of: SiR, 6LACK
Coming out of Montreal, 7ième Ciel signee Zach Zoya has carved out space as a promising lyrical rapper over the past few years, but he has pushed his limits since March with his weekly series Dayzz Off, featuring video releases of energetic but diverse quick cuts produced by Bougo. Zoya continues to grow as an artist and hone his skills, and he'll keep at it: new single "Slurpee" drops later this month.
Listen to tracks from these and other emerging Canadian artists in our Spotify playlist.