2015 has been a huge year for Canadian Beats. Back when I started in March 2013, I never imagined the response that I’ve gotten. Canadian Beats has grown from a blog that I started on my own, to a successful online music publiciation with over fifteen writers across Canada We are completely dedicated to promoting Canadian music of all genres and have worked with many very talented bands/ artists. 2015 has been the most successful year by far. Attending many festivals, events and shows throughout Canada, bringing in some talented photographers and doing our best to support the Canadian music scene in any way possible!
We decided to share some of the highlights of our year with you, so you can relive the magic with us, so here is many of the Canadian Beats writers “Year In Review” posts! Enjoy, and be sure to keep an eye out Canadian Beats, because we intend to make 2016 even better!
Best show you went to this year? Again that’s a hard one. I went to quite a few shows this year, both American and Canadian acts, but I would have to go with the CD release of Tim Chaisson back in May. Liam Corcoran, also a musician from the Island, opened the show and both acts were incredible.
Favourite album released this year? There were so many good albums released this year and it’s so hard to choose just one, but I’m going to have to go with ‘Astoria’ by Marianas Trench. I have been a fan of the band for around seven years now and after they released “Here’s To The Zeros” and “Pop 101”, I was worried that I wouldn’t like the new direction they were going in, but the new album blew me away.
Act you saw the most times this year? I didn’t really go see many bands/artists more than once this year but I guess it would technically be Tim Chaisson. I saw his CD release show in Charlottetown earlier this year and saw him again as a part of The East Pointers in November for their CD release show.
Best musical discovery you made this year? I wasn’t familiar with Chad Brownlee’s music prior to seeing him live in Summerside for his When The Lights Go Down Tour with Jess Moskaluke and Bobby Wills, but after seeing them live I fell in love with the music of all three of them.
Best event you attended this year. (i.e. festival, music week, awards show etc.)? I volunteered with the May Run Music Festival this year in Charlottetown and it gave me the opportunity to listen to new bands that I hadn’t had a chance to before, as well as having the chance to listen to some of my favourites as well. Seeing and working with the Island’s talent for a few days was an amazing experience and I was able to meet many people.
What are you most excited for in 2016? I’m looking forward to trying to get to more concerts. With all the music that was released in 2015 I’m hoping that more bands will come out east. I’m also looking forward to any possible new music in the year and finding new bands and artists that I enjoy.
Best show you went to this year? July Talk at Tide & Boar Ballroom. I love shows in small, intimate venues as it is but when you’re front and center at the edge of the stage for a band with this much energy and chemistry…. It’s an intense, unforgettable experience. I’d hazard to say this was actually one of the best shows I’ve ever been to in my life.
Favourite album released this year? Andy Brown’s Seasons. I’ve been absolutely in love with Andy’s music since the first time I heard him 6 years ago and this was by far his best work to date. Having him perform his single from the album, Paris Sky, in my livingroom was definitely a highlight for me.
Act you saw the most times this year? The Road Heavy. They stayed at the “Band and Breakfast” (aka my house) for most of the maritime leg of their Eastern Canadian tour so I went to all of their shows during that time to shoot them.
Best musical discovery you made this year? A francophone electro-rock band from Ottawa called Règlement 17. I met their violinist at a Sea Perry show I was covering and got chatting with him and now I’m completely hooked on them. Really hope I get a chance to cover one of their shows at some point.
Best event you attended this year. (i.e. festival, music week, awards show etc.)? WayHome Music & Arts Festival in Oro-Medonte, Ontario. Brought to us by the same team as Bonaroo it was hands down the best camping festival I’ve ever attended. The line up was brilliant and I managed to catch about 22 sets all together, the vibe was very laid back and chill much like Roo always is and the food was FANTASTIC – hello… butter chicken nachos with naan bread chips – need I say more?
What are you most excited for in 2016? Wayhome round 2. The lineup hasn’t even been released yet and I’ve already got money put aside for my bracelet because as good and as well organized as last year’s festival was I know 2016 is going to be even better. It’s definitely a festival I plan to attend every year.
Best show you went to this year? This is a difficult question. I’ve had the great opportunity to see so many awesome acts this year. All the acts mentioned above are definitely worth mentioning and worth seeing live over and over again. I’d have to say that the best show would be Whitehorse and Sun K. I’ve been really obsessed with folk/bluesy music lately and both of these bands put on impressive live shows. Whitehorse continuously surprised the audience with guest performances by other artists (including July Talk!!) which made it really memorable.
Favourite album released this year? I’ve encountered so much amazing music this year, it’s really hard to narrow it down. I really love The Gates by Young Empires, and Leave No Bridge Unburned by Whitehorse. But I’d have to say my favourite of the year is The Drab by Pretty Odd. I am honestly blown away by the amount of talent and creativity they have, and the album is absolutely perfect from start to finish. I’m still obsessed with it to be completely honest.
Act you saw the most times this year? I think this year I’ve seen The Honest Heart Collective more than any other artists. I try to make it to their shows whenever they’re in town and have seen pretty much all their Toronto shows this year. These guys play with so much passion and energy that it really extends into the crowd. Their shows are always an amazing time.
Best musical discovery you made this year? Although I already knew about July Talk (Guns and Ammunition, of course), I had never seen them live before going to Wayhome in July. I have honestly never encountered a band who is as crazy and weird as them on stage, and after seeing their set I immediately looked up all their music. Thanks to Canadian Beats, I’ve had the opportunity to capture their on-stage antics in photos. I would say that Sun K is also worth mentioning. I went to see these guys on a whim at Supercrawl and have seen them again a few times after. Sometimes you just need a good rock n’ roll band in your life, and that’s Sun K.
Best event you attended this year. (i.e. festival, music week, awards show etc.)? This is definitely a tie between Wayhome and the CASBY awards. I went to Wayhome by myself because I got a pass at the last minute and still had an absolute blast! The line-up was amazing, the people were friendly and outgoing, and overall the festival was well-organized and very accommodating. Also, July Talk killed it. The CASBY awards also had an awesome line-up featuring Ivory Hours, Yukon Blonde, USS and more! Yukon Blonde had back-up dancers which was really cool, and USS is always amazing live. Any event with USS is pretty much my favourite.
What are you most excited for in 2016? 2015 has been an amazing year, I got the chance to meet and work with so many amazing musicians. I can’t wait to see what some of my favourite bands will come up with in 2016 and am eager to discover new artists. And of course, I’m super excited for festival season to kick off in the summer!
Best show you went to this year? With over 70 concerts and musical events attended it gets harder and harder to surprise me. I absolutely love each and every event I attend but to rank them is probably one of the hardest things you can ask someone to do. Canada holds so many talented individuals. To say that I do have a favorite, this year it would have to belong to Brett Kissel. During his Airwaves Tour 2015 I was able to catch this Canadian country favorite at a sold out show at the Centennial Theatre in Sherbrooke, QC. With a packed house, a full band, and the complete charisma that is Brett Kissel, he was nothing short of a top-notch entertainer. Running through the crowds, giving away a signed guitar, and gracefully sharing the stage with his opening talents he impressed me beyond that of a normal concert. Kissel is truly an artist for the fans. Encouraging everything from dancing to snapchatting, attending his shows is an all-out blast.
Favourite album released this year? 2015 saw the release of a ton of notable albums from each genre of music; The self-titled debut album from Yoan, Pick Me Up by Brett Kissel, Faded Gloryville by Lindi Ortega, and my personal favorite from 2015, Black and White Heart by Andee. Released in May 2015, the album is packed with great songs. “Never Gone,” “Sorries,” “Black and White Heart,” and “Bit-O-Love” are some of my personal selections from the album. It is upbeat and Andee packs a vocal power punch with her strong and polished vocals. Produced by Sébastien Lefebvre of the pop-punk Canadian band Simple Plan, you can definitely hear some great musical elements throughout the entire album. Black and White Heart is worth adding to your list of albums to listen to.
Act you saw the most times this year? With his debut album released in March 2015, the musical talents of Yoan were quickly brought to my attention. His rich and deep vocals, and a collaboration on “Good Hearted Woman” with Brett Kissel put him on my artists to watch list as number one. Watching Yoan perform at the finale of La Voix season three, then on his debut tour I was fortunate enough to catch this natural performer twice. Making a surprise guest appearance on Brett Kissel’s Airwaves Tour 2015there was Yoan again. It seemed everywhere I went in 2015 I could not get away from seeing Yoan perform. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of it. Yoan is scheduled to perform to massive audiences at the Centre Bell in Montreal, QC (2 April 2016) and Centre Videotron in Quebec City, QC (8 April 2016). I look forward to catching this poised artist perform for years to come.
Best musical discovery you made this year? 2015 was jam packed with musical discoveries. As a prairie kid, sometimes exposure to music was limited to your local favorites and mega musical stars. Gravitating towards Toronto and Montreal for concerts and events has allowed my musical adventures to expand. One of the best musical discoveries I have made this year was when I ventured to Lavaltrie, QC to catch Brigitte Boisjoli perform her showcase of Patsy Cline songs. Despite the venue being on the smaller side, the intimate performance instantly made me a fan of Boisjoli’s. Her humor, musical talents, and completely natural ability to perform left me wanting more of her musical talents.
What are you most excited for in 2016? For me the discovery of Danielle Marie’s music was a fun one. She is adorable and her music stands up all on its own. In January 2016 she plans to go to Nashville to continue working with Byron Hill and some terrific songwriters. Upon her return she plans to record the new music and possibly release an EP. I am super excited to hear what this Canadian beauty can create.
Best show you went to this year? Best show would probably be the two Daniel Wesley shows I saw this year. The man knows how to bring the house down. Even when he has an air cast on his leg! Not to mention, Son of Ray opened on both occasions.
Favourite album released this year? Favourite album..hmm that’s a tough one! There were so many great ones this year. Top 3 would probably be “Hello”-Hedley, “I Am Your Man”- Daniel Wesley and “Do What You Do”- Sea Perry. Those albums have been playing quite a bit on my playlists this year.
Act you saw the most times this year? Act I saw most this year was probably Daniel Wesley twice. I saw so many different acts this year, there wasn’t many repeats. But Daniel Wesley is always one I catch any chance I get.
Best musical discovery you made this year? Best musical discovery is a tough one because given this is my first year with Canadian Beats, I’ve discovered so much great music! The two acts that Canadian Beats led me to that stick out though are probably Sea Perry and Son of Ray. Great music and some of the coolest people.
Best event you attended this year. (i.e. festival, music week, awards show etc.)? Best event would have to be Sylvan Lake’s Summer Sensation music festival hands down. With headliners like OLP and Hedley and a list of equally talented bands spread across two days, the weekend was completely incredible! Our Lady Peace was easily the best live I have ever seen. I made a few new friends and nothing beats swimming, soccer and beers with some of Canada’s most well known musicians. Especially when they are amazingly down to earth people.
What are you most excited for in 2016? I am looking forward to everything in 2016. Canadian Beats is an amazing opportunity that combines both my love of writing and music. I have so many new great people in my life because of it. I’m just excited to continue this journey.
Best show you went to this year? I have to say Sea Perry in Halifax. I had been a fan of them for a while now, and finally had the chance to see them live, and meet the band. They are super nice guys, and it was a small, intimate show, which was even better for me, although I would have loved more people to check them out, because I’m sure they would all be huge fans now.
Favourite album released this year? I have to say “Pick Me Up” by Brett Kissel. That album has been constantly playing in my car since the day after the CCMA awards when I bought it. It’s full of a great mixture of songs from upbeat to slow to in between.
Act you saw the most times this year? Ryan Cook. I have saw him twice this year, and I hope to beat that next year. Each show I see of him is better than the last, and I am sure that will continue to happen.
Best musical discovery you made this year? This is a hard call, I hear so many amazingly talented bands/ artists everyday through Canadian Beats. That being said, I’d have to say it’s a tie between Floodland and Pretty Archie. These two bands are both based in NS and I had not heard of them until NSMW, and I am sure glad I now have!
Best event you attended this year. (i.e. festival, music week, awards show etc.)? I think I’d have to go with NSMW, so many great Nova Scotia based artists and bands that I had not had the pleasure of hearing before then. Although, the CCMA Awards in Halifax were a close second, I’m sure if I had of been able to attend the whole Country Music Week, it would have been a harder call.
What are you most excited for in 2016? I’m looking forward to seeing Canadian Beats continue to grow, and support Canadian artists of all genres, and seeing some great shows throughout the year.
Best show you went to this year? Toss up between Marianas and the East Pointers.
Favourite album released this year? Astoria by Marianas Trench. After being such a big fan for so long I was itching for new music. The promises sent out by the guys made me want it more. And it lived up and exceeded all expectations.
Act you saw the most times this year? Well I didn’t see anyone more than once but I saw Marianas Trench, Andy Brown and the East Pointers this year.
Best musical discovery you made this year? The East Pointers. They were fantastic. I’m not usually a fan of they’re style of music but they blew me out of the water.
Best event you attended this year. (i.e. festival, music week, awards show etc.)? I didn’t get a whole lot of time to go out to festivals this year but I wish I had. So the few concerts I made it to I guess were the best events.
What are you most excited for in 2016? I’m looking forward to the new opportunities to discover more artists and music as well as go to more concerts.
Best show you went to this year? I got to go to quite a few free shows thanks to Pananmania this summer, and the best one definitely had to be my favourite band Death From Above 1979. I’ve seen them several times now, but this was the first time since the release of their sophomore album The Physical World in 2014. They’re amazing and never let me down. My favourite show I was sent to for CB was Ria Mae at the Drake Underground. It was my first ever review for the blog: what a great introduction!
Favourite album released this year? My favourite Canadian album released in 2015 was Mac DeMarco’s Another One. DeMarco can pretty much do no wrong in my eyes. The mini LP provides such easy listening, and giving out his address inviting fans to stop by at his place at the end of the album proves he is a true class act.
Act you saw the most times this year? I have been very fortunate with the opportunity to work with alt-rock newcomers Boat Culture. The group is new to the Toronto music scene this year, releasing their first EP “Half Old” in June, 2015. The dreamy rockers play sporadically throughout Toronto at venues including The Central, Smiling Buddha, Silver Dollar Room, etc. I’m sure 2016 will bring great things for these nautical freaks!
Best musical discovery you made this year? This is a tough one, but I might have to say After Funk. They remind me of one of my favourite bands from Halifax – the Mellowtones – who played every Thursday night at one of my favourite bars: The Seahorse. Listening to their new album just makes me want to dance, and I am not a dancer!
Best event you attended this year. (i.e. festival, music week, awards show etc.)? The best event I attended this year was definitely WAY HOME. I got to see some of my favourites including the Sheepdogs and Neil Young and Promise of the Real. Three days of great music and good vibes just an hour away from me seemed too good to be true. I am hoping I will be able to attend the festival again in 2016!
What are you most excited for in 2016? Nothing in particular, but I am excited for more opportunities to check out new bands and spread the word about ones I love!
Best show you went to this year? Can I pick more than one, please!?! I have to give this one to Paul Brandt and Dean Brody for the Road Trip Tour. I attended three Ontario stops (Sudbury, Oshawa and Kingston). Paul is the reason I became a Canadian Country Music fan back in 2003. I have seen him numerous times over the years. Every tour has its own personality. This one was incredible!
Favourite album released this year? Pick Me Up by Brett Kissel. After a very successful run with his first album, including five songs to radio and numerous awards, Brett’s follow up CD was an anticipated release. It’s first cut to radio made it to #1 in Canada and the title track, “Pick Me Up” is doing well.
Act you saw the most times this year? Hmmm, It is close between Brett Kissel and Tim Hicks but, I think Brett won this one by a show or two. I first met Brett last year when he opened for Gord Bamford at Sudbury Summerfest 2014. This young man has great energy and personal magnetism, you can’t help but love him! It’s not just about Brett, his whole band and team are a pleasure to be around.
Best musical discovery you made this year? River Town Saints! They were a pleasant surprise at the Spencerville Stampede in July. Since that show, I have had the chance to see them several times. I believe they are a band to watch in 2016 and I wish them every success!
Best event you attended this year. (i.e. festival, music week, awards show etc.)? I will have to say the Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMA), in Halifax, this past September. It is the one time of the year that I get to hang with all my favourite people and meet new ones. It is five days of non-stop music, seminars and events leading up to the big show on Sunday night.
What are you most excited for in 2016? My wish for 2016 is to have positive new challenges and experiences on the road. Maintaining and growing existing relationships within the Canadian Music Industry and forming new ones.
Best show you went to this year? Marianas Trench @ Norfolk County Fair. This show was fantastic one of the first shows back from Marianas Trench in a long while and it showed. The show was so energetic and the audience was enjoying themselves and it showed. Fans were singing and dancing from when the band started til after they finished the set. If you weren’t at the show you really missed out it was one that shouldn’t have been missed.
Favourite album released this year? Astoria by Marianas Trench. I chose this album because it was a long time coming for the album to be released and it truly shows the bands talent. I think the album has a mixture of Masterpiece Theater and Ever After and that’s what makes it that more special of an album.
Act you saw the most times this year? Marianas Trench. To those who know me probably are aware I have seen Marianas Trench many times and to no surprise that didn’t change this year. Their shows are always one of my favourites to go to they are always entertaining and I leave with a huge smile on my face. Every show is special and unique and the people I have met through the bands make it ten times better.
Best musical discovery you made this year? Towers and Trees. The great thing about doing this job is I get to find many different musical acts that have so much talent. In October, I reviewed the band Towers and Trees and they had something that I just loved then I found out the week after they were my schools Band Of The Month. The deserve this title and if you haven’t heard their songs before I recommend doing so, something big is coming for them I can see it.
Best event you attended this year. (i.e. festival, music week, awards show etc.)? Barrie Waterfront Festival. This event was family and friends oriented and that’s what I loved about it. There was something there for everyone and the music there was fantastic too. Halfway To Hollywood and Rocket Rocket Ship were playing. When I left then came back music was still playing and more and more people were there enjoying what the bands had to offer.
What are you most excited for in 2016? I am looking forward to all the tours from the bands that recently released albums in 2015. I’m excited to see all those albums and the hard work they put into it come to life and how the fans will react seeing these songs live for the first time.
Best show you went to this year? Eleven Past One. The world is ours tour in Kingston, Ontario. This show was the best for me because I shared the experience with 2 close friends and made some pretty awesome friends during the show as well. We met both Rebel Coast and Eleven Past One, we survived the venues heat wave and totally had a blast watching the boys do what they love to do.
Favourite album released this year? Hello by Hedley. Hedley’s newest album Hello is an album that I have been waiting for since the first post that the band was making it. It is an album I listen to non stop, once I play it I listen to all the songs from start to finish. My favorite track being Back To The Basics.
Act you saw the most times this year? I didn’t attend the same artist this past year. Every act I did see was a one time show and I enjoyed every one.
Best musical discovery you made this year? Scott Helman. I heard Scott Helman was playing Rockfest this past June and didn’t know who he was. I looked him up and instantly loved his music. Can’t wait to see if I get to see him again live in 2016.
Best event you attended this year. (i.e. festival, music week, awards show etc.)? I picked Belleville Empire Rockfest because it was a show of many firsts for me. I waiting outside a venue for more then 5 hours, got front row for Hedley, and had Tommy Mac throw a bunch of picks at me. Overall it was the best festival experience I have attended so far.
What are you most excited for in 2016? What I’m most excited for in 2016 is Hedley’s HelloWorld tour and Marianas Trench’s Never Say Die tour. I’m going to 2 show for both tours and I’m super excited to see both bands play live again!
Best show you went to this year? This question is almost impossible to answer as I have been to so many great shows. If I had to choose one though, it would be the One Bad Son show at the Roxy Theatre in Barrie. I love rock music and this concert didn’t disappoint. Plus, the opening acts were also amazing (The Wild! and The Lazy’s). There were some seriously talented rockers at this show.
Favourite album released this year? Til the Wheels Come Off by Cold Creek County! I was so excited when their first single came out, Our Town, that I was hopeful that the rest of the album would follow suit. When the album came out in October, I was there to interview the band and celebrate with them. It is everything that I could have hoped for and was also excited to cover their last show of their fall tour with Tim Hicks.
Act you saw the most times this year? The Tea Party! Excluding the numerous times I saw Jeff Martin perform at solo shows, I saw The Tea Party 5 times between June-September, including seeing the 20th Anniversary of The Edges of Twilight twice! Also checking them out on New Year’s Eve, squeaking in one final performance this year!
Best musical discovery you made this year? There have been so many, that I find this question almost impossible to answer, so I had to limit myself to two. First is The Faceplants – this band has the most infectious music. But what really won me over was who they are as people. They put on a stellar show but are genuinely the nicest musicians I’ve ever met. I am thankful that they let me tag along with them during Indie Music Week in Toronto and I’m hopeful that our paths will cross again soon. Secondly is River Town Saints, for much the same reason as The Faceplants. Their talent blows me away but they are just such nice guys with a great sense of humour. I had a great time interviewing them and look forward to the music they have set to release in 2016.
Best event you attended this year. (i.e. festival, music week, awards show etc.)? I had a blast at Ottawa Blues Fest. We chose the hottest day of the year to attend, but the lineup was pay out enough!
What are you most excited for in 2016? I am so excited for summer festival season. I only started working for Canadian Beats at the tail end of this year’s summer season. With so many great festivals concentrated in central and southern Ontario, like WayHome and Boots and Hearts, I will be excited to catch some amazing acts while basking in the summer sun.
Best show you went to this year? The best show that I attended is a toss-up between two artists. I had the opportunity to see Faber Drive play an acoustic set at High Street Mall in Abbotsford. It was my sixth time seeing the band play and over two years since I saw them last. I was most excited to hear G-get Up and Dance being played! The final time I saw the Chris Buck Band at the Phoenix in Abbotsford was also memorable. The addition of their single Leave Your Light On to their regular set was fantastic. It was definitely a fun atmosphere to be in.
Favourite album released this year? My favourite album of this year has definitely been Hello by Hedley. Aside from being my favourite artist, I enjoy the fact that the band manages to change up their sound for each album. The current songs on repeat (for the time being) are Lost in Translation, Can’t Slow Down, and Hello.
Act you saw the most times this year? The act that I have seen the most this year is the Chris Buck Band. It is always a fun time and good mix of songs.
Best musical discovery you made this year? The best Canadian music discovery that I have made is not entirely new, but it was reintroduced to me. When I was younger, I enjoyed listening to The Payola$. After taking a Popular Music class at UFV, I was reintroduced to the band and started listening to them again.
Best event you attended this year. (i.e. festival, music week, awards show etc.)? The best festival I attended was Jam in Jubilee in Abbotsford. It offered an array of local music on a weekly basis during the month of July.
What are you most excited for in 2016? I am most excited to graduate from the University of the Fraser Valley, travel, and discover new music! I am probably just as excited for Hedley to be on tour though.
Best show you went to this year? My favorite show this year was actually not Canadian (All Time Low & Set It Off) and it’s really hard for me to pick my favorite show of the year since I went to so many good ones this year. But I think overall, my 3rd night of ECMW was a really good time. I got to see a bunch of acts I hadn’t heard before (Tomato/Tomato, Morgan MacDonald, Gillian Head) and my some of my favorite local groups (Another North, Everglow, Waterfront Fire).
Favourite album released this year? Without a doubt, First Light by Waterfront Fire. I might be super biased as these guys are friends of mine but they were hyping this album up for a long time and I can say that it didn’t disappoint me in the slightest.
Act you saw the most times this year? As of writing this, I’ve seen Waterfront Fire 14 times and assuming all goes as planned that number will be up to 16 by the end of the year.
Best musical discovery you made this year? During ECMW I saw Tomato/Tomato at the RBC Breakout Stage and since I had only heard a part of one of their songs I didn’t really know what to expect but they got out on stage with a washboard and it was nothing I could of imagined. We still talk about their set 8 months later!
Best event you attended this year. (i.e. festival, music week, awards show etc.)? I was lucky enough to cover the entire East Coast Music Week this year in St. John’s. I specifically remember having this really cool moment during one of the conference meetings where they were talking about how important local music is to people and how it becomes the soundtrack of their lives. I was sitting between band members who had become such important parts of my life that without becoming part of the local music scene, I probably wouldn’t of met. Plus it was just generally cool to see so many bands that I didn’t know and be surrounded by people who love local music!
What are you most excited for in 2016? I’m really excited to hear some new music from London Above! And of course, for all the shows I’m bound to go to and all the new music that I’ll come across.