For anyone who is familiar with HumanHuman, you’ll know that our community is built on users from all around the globe. Throughout October, we’ll be getting to the heart of the promising music scene in some of our user’s home countries to find out what the rest of the world should be listening out for in the near future.
First up we have Canada, which already has a reputation for dominating popular music, with international favourites Drake, Arcade Fire, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Carly Rae Jepsen representing the surface of current exports from this undeniably musical country. We’ve called on Canadian music bloggers Adam Alexander (aka FRINGE MUSIC FIX) and Phil Regalado (aka ohestee) for their top hints and tips from the nation’s underground sounds.
Sharing not just a promising musical career but a friendship for over a decade, Montreal’s Emma Beko and Gab Godon fuse soul, pop and hip-hop to produce a kinetic and refreshing style. Their unparalleled sound has garnered them touring spots with Radio, Radio, Bran Van 3000, as well as festival performances at Pop Montreal and M For Montreal. Their partnership, which marries Emma’s rap styled lyricism with the melodic R&B spiked vocals of Gabrielle Godon, has already won favour with a growing Canadian listenership. Their debut EP, You & I was released earlier this year and is a striking example of how their introspective lyricism and infectious melodies work in synchronicity. Heartstreets have stated the subject matter they explore can range from light and fun party tracks to tracks dealing with more complicated sentimental themes. - AA
The 25th Hr is a one of a kind Toronto based artist that's capable of making me feel a certain inexplicable way. Maybe it's the experimental ambiance and unique soundscapes that he creates by fusing elements of alternative R&B, jazz and dub. Whatever it is, his ability to design diverse and inspiring sounds using an array of influences and techniques sets him apart from a city brimming with musicians. With a new EP on the way, The 25th Hr is one to watch for. Until then, you can get a taste of what's to come through his latest single, “New”, released through his new label, Color Station. I cannot wait to hear what else he's been working on. - Phil Regalado
The Montreal based dream-pop trio Caveboy are a Canadian act who skillfully weave various influences and inherent talents to create their own distinctive sound. Through rhythmic walls of synthesizer, guitars and vocals, Caveboy’s music is marked by layered compositions that build to sensational climactic culminations. Their dauntless and fierce self-titled EP was released in October 2015 on Db Special and will be followed up by an LP which is currently in production. Despite their largely underground status outside of Canada, the homegrown three-piece have had songs featured on national and global television series ‘Killjoys’, ‘Awkward’, ‘Orange Is The New Black’. They have even toured with Dear Rouge and Rah Rah, bringing their lively synth-pop to fresh batches of fans. - Adam Alexander
I first discovered Calgary's Alex Bent + The Emptiness through the heartbreaking “Blonde American Girl” and I was instantly hooked. I possibly listened to that track about a thousand times in that first month. Fast forward to August 16 when he released his debut album Dead, In The Water, which is a devastating project that resonates with me on a deep level. The emptiness in his music is real and expansive, and one that grips you through intricate sound design and his honest and vulnerable words. A breakup can be difficult, but there's no need to feel alone when you have beautiful music like this at your side. Go listen to “Dead, In The Water” right now and check out the interview we had for some added insight into the album. - PR
Championed by blogs and HumanHuman as one of Canada’s most compelling breakthroughs, Jessie Reyez gained notoriety with the late Summer release of a minimal and poignant music video for her stripped acoustic single, “Figures”. The video is a striking preview of Reyez at her most vulnerable and it stands up as a remarkably confident debut. After causing a wave of online buzz, the single made its radio premiere on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio Show. Hailing from Toronto, Reyez’s inimitable vocal execution and genuine songwriting has an instantly appealing quality. “Figures” is immersed in honesty and a rawness that immediately sets her apart from other artists of the same field right now. Reyez also shows an ability for strong collaborations, working alongside Tim Suby on snappy single “K Goodnight”, as well as partnering with London Future and King Louie. This recent Promising Discovery has already stated that her forthcoming Kiddo EP will continue to explore emotion through events surrounding her own life story. - AA
Getting his start at only fifteen-years-old, Clairmont The Second is an inspiring Toronto rapper who has been writing and producing all his music since the start of his still-early-days career. Following his third album this past summer, he's gone on to play Red Bull Sound Select, headline his first show at The Drake Underground, and most recently went on tour with SonReal and an entourage of creative talent. From what we’re hearing, he’s on a mission to be the new prince of Toronto hip-hop and Clairmont is well on his way there with his introspective music and passionate stage presence. Now eighteen-years-old, big things are coming for this rising artist. Make sure you listen to his latest work “Quest for Milk and Honey” from which the soaring “Too Many” is taken. - PR
Formed in 2012, Kroy is the uncompromising project of one half of Montreal’s Milk and Bone, Camille Poliquin. Delving into somewhat darker themes and styles than her previous work, Kroy is Poliquin at her most personal and intimate. Drawing on inspiration from genres like trip-hop and modern pop, this multi-faceted musician has cited acts like Björk, Portishead and Youth Lagoon as influences over her hypnotic and brooding electro-pop as heard in “Learn”. Poliquin’s melodic and nuanced vocals provide the initial hook, while repeated listens reveals an equally impressive quality of electronic production. Despite being a relatively new project, Kroy’s first album Scavenger was released in September on fellow Montrealers Dare to Care Records and has received acclaim across the blogosphere. - AA
I was introduced to Toronto duo Babygirl through the mesmerizing video for their impossibly cool debut single “Overbored”. A month later, the pair would release their first EP titled As You Wish with its awesome, off-kilter cover art. It's their music though that will have you coming back for more as you connect with their honest lyrics and infectious instrumentation. Feelings of uncertainty, indifference, and heartbreak shines through the charming exchange between Kirsten Clark and Cameron Breithaupt resulting in their beautifully melancholic dream-pop. It's rare for a band to come out of nowhere and drop a true gem like this, so you're going to want to keep Babygirl on your radar. - PR
When jazz and classically trained musicians unite to make art rock the results might just sound like the brilliant Canadian outfit, Language Arts. Formed in Toronto, the band are fronted by brilliant vocalist and guitarist Kristen Cudmore and completed by drummer Neil Macintosh and keys-player Joel Vistentin. As the creative lead, Cudmore provides innovative songwriting and quick-witted lyricism that is sure to impress fans with indie-pop and prog-rock tendencies. While there is much to appreciate when listening to Language Arts, it is Cudmore’s vocal range of croons, sing-speaks and spoken word that has really defined their sound and something to keenly listen out for in their Able Island LP. - AA
Always Never is a new duo consisting of Toronto based artists DIGY (producer) and KIRSCH (vocalist). After the success of their "Tragedy" collaboration, they joined forces to create Always Never and have amassed some insane numbers in only three months. It was single "Avalanche" that I stumbled upon last week through related tracks and one that I've had on repeat since, along with required listening "Ultimatum" and "Buddha And Saints." Each is a gorgeous work featuring KIRSCH's silky falsetto gliding over DIGY's dark minimal production, reminiscent of early The Weeknd. With it being autumn, Always Never hits the perfect seasonal spot. These guys are gonna blow up. - PR