2016 is one for the record books but not before we reflect on the amazing accomplishments of some of our Canadian artists who happened to be nominated this year and our Canadian Beats awards. First off, let’s concentrate on our “Favourite Album of 2016” nominees, and boy what a year they’ve had.
Aaron Pritchett – The Score
Aaron Pritchett entertained his fans earlier this year with the two new singles, “Dirt Road In ’Em” and “Out Of The Blue.” Both singles lead up to the release of Pritchett’s eighth studio album, The Score. With multiple albums, tours, and awards under Pritchett’s belt buckle, The Score was another articulate addition to his musical catalogue. Pritchett also scored the opportunity of opening for country music giant, Garth Brooks during his 6 stops in Saskatchewan this past summer. I am banking that 2016 is a year Pritchett will not forget.
Coleman Hell – Summerland
Thunder Bay’s own Coleman Hell has made his presence in the Canadian music industry hard to ignore this year. Coleman’s single 2 Heads threw him into the scene, front and centre, in 2015, and has since gone triple platinum. All before his debut full length was even released Hell was touring with Twenty One Pilots and earning a nomination for Breakthrough Artist of the Year at this years Juno Awards. October 14th marked the release of his full length, Summerland featuring his smash hit 2 Heads, and recently Gold certified single Fireproof. Coleman toured the country with Ria Mae and even participated in WeDay 2016. His singles 2 heads and Fireproof earned two spots on 2016’s year end billboard Canadian hot 100, and the video for Fireproof is currently number 1 on Much Music’s countdown. We can’t wait to see what 2017 holds for Coleman Hell.
Dean Brody – Beautiful Freakshow
Dean Brody released his sixth studio album Beautiful Freakshow, won four Canadian Country Music Association Awards for his single, “Bring Down the House“, and his most recent single “Time” debuted at number 5 on the charts in its first week of release. Brody is set to launch the Beautiful Freakshow Tour in 2017 with special guests High Valley, to bring his new music directly to his fans. 2016 is wrapping up to be one great year for this Canadian country music artist.
Arkells – Morning Report
In many ways, 2016 saw the Arkells beginning to feel the weight of their own success as they were forced to turn away fans from their sold out shows on a few occasions. The band began 2016 by promoting their previously released album, High Noon to packed houses. While they toured early in the year, they began to tease their fans with songs from their new album. On May 6th, the band released their first single, “Private School” from their new album. Then in August, they released the full album, Morning Report. The band worked with four producers on this album and it shows – the band is continuing to develop their sound as much more than simply accessible pop-rock. While keeping much of their original garage rock sound, the band’s music has evolved into a much more sophisticated listening experience.
Chad Brownlee – Hearts on Fire
Chad Brownlee being one of the country favourites to Canadians is no surprise. The BC artist has become more and more popular over the last year or so after his release When The Lights Go Down (2014) and his latest release Hearts On Fire, released in April of this year. After tours that spanned the country, multiple awards (including Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year in the 2016 BCCMA Awards), he isn’t taking much down time as he winds up for his Hearts on Fire tour that starts early January 2017, and even teams up with fellow country favourite, Tim Hicks for some of the dates. Brownlee gave 2016 a run for its money and will surely continue in 2017.