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, we touched on what our Favourite Album of 2016 nominees had been up to this year, then our Favourite EP of 2016 nominees, and now it’s all about our Favourite Single of 2016 nominees!
River Town Saints – Cherry Bomb
Fresh on the heels of an amazing 2015, Ottawa-based country band, River Town Saints, carried that momentum all the way through 2016, which included being honoured with a nomination for the CCMA 2016 Rising Star Award. They toured a lot this year! Performances included the CMAO Awards Show, The Capitol Centre in North Bay with The Abrams, The One Horse Town Tour with Dean Brody and Chad Brownlee, Rock the Park in London, Cavendish Beach Music Festival, iHeart Radio Tailgate Party, Festival Country de Lotbinière, Sound of Music Festival in Burlington, Ottawa4FortMac, Canadian Music Week, The Queen’s Plate on Canada Day Weekend, on the main stage at The World Cup of Hockey and many others. And, how could we forget their amazing performance at Boots and Hearts to a crowd of thousands?! Many thousand miles were put on their new tour van, which was bought to replace their beloved Ron Burgundy, a van with its own web series. The newest addition to their tour family is Trailer Swift, a trailer bigger than their giant van! River Town Saints also demonstrated their giving side by posing in the 2017 Top Country Sounds and Rescue Hounds Calendar. 2016 also saw the release of the video for their first single, “A Little Bit Goes A Long Way” (February), and the release of their latest single “Cherry Bomb”, which also has a great official video now! A special mention to front man, Chris Labelle, who celebrated his own ups and downs this year. We want to congratulate him on the engagement to his lovely girlfriend. We hope that it takes the sting away from being denied a high five at the CCMA awards! All joking aside, River Town Saints is a super talented group who handle themselves with class, but have a ton of fun in the process. This fun permeates everything that they do. Recently the band announced that they have reached 1 000 000 streams on Spotify! Congratulations on this huge accomplishment! We can’t wait to see you soon on the “Shake These Walls” tour with Tim Hicks and Jason Blaine!
Hedley – Lose Control
2016 for Hedley consisted of a cross Canada Tour starting in St. Johns and ending in Vancouver. The tour was called Hello World Tour after their sixth album release entitled Hello, and had 28 stops in total. Hello World Tour was a full arena show and had Carly Rae Jepson and Francesco Yates as openers . Ever since the release of Hello in November 2015, Hedley has been climbing the charts with radio plays and iTunes downloads for their singles “Lose Control” and “Can’t Slow Down” in 2016. Hedley was nominated for a Juno for Group of the Year this year, and they also got the chance to be headliners of the post-Queen’s Plate concert held at Woodbine Racetrack. Hedley has had a very exciting year and we can’t wait to see what 2017 brings them!
Brett Kissel – I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair
Brett Kissel has over the last few years gone from being just a young man from Northern Alberta to being a household name across Canada. In 2016 alone he is celebrated so many accomplishments. Scoring this year’s Male Artist of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Association awards. A documentary showcasing Brett’s journey to the Grand Ole Opry stage was showcased at the Toronto independent film festival, Calgary and Edmonton Film Festival. Brett was also inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame this year. Probably his biggest accomplishment of the year was becoming a father. Brett and his wife Cecilia celebrated the birth of their first child “Mila Elizabeth Kissel” at the beginning of 2016. Brett has had the chance to play across Canada twice over and was also able to play a couple of shows in the United States. Overall I believe it’s been a great year for Mr. Brett Kissel.
Dean Brody – Bush Party
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 – Private School
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.