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Five Canadian Bands You Should Be Listening To

Our friends over at The Reviews Are In sent us some artists that are making waves in the Canadian music scene. We're blown away by the variety and quality of the music coming out the Great White North, as well as the diversity of those making it happen. Here are the artists we just have to share about!

Hotel Mira

Hailing from: Vancouver, BC

Genres: Alternative Rock, Alt. Pop

Hotel Mira, born from mastermind Charlie Kerr, have taken the sound out of the garage and into a considerably lusher landscape. In recent months, Hotel Mira has been working with Grammy-award winning producer Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Arkells), where Kerr directed his creative energy at writing sharper hooks and more memorable melodies. Their latest album Perfectionism is an honest, raw expression of a modern day love story. They say, "The muse this album was written about, Daisy Coleman, took her own life. Heartbreaking stuff often makes for amazing music."


Hailing from: Toronto, Ontario

Genres: Indie pop, Indie rock

Based in Toronto, the band exploded onto the scene with a DIY ethos and killer live shows. MONOWHALES first made waves with their breakout single “Home” in 2016. The POV-shot video of Shaar’s Toronto-based adventures went on to be viewed over 1M times and set the stage for the incredibly creative and clever videos the band has become known for. 2018’s EP Control Freak, produced by AL-P (Death From Above 1979, Young Empires) spawned multiple singles that received commercial radio play across Canada maintaining traction on the National Alternative Rock Radio charts for over nine months in 2018.

Their first single "Take It Back" was described by 102.1 the Edge as "the track that put them on the indie rock-map in Canada" after it rose to #25 on the Canadian Alternative Rock Radio charts. Follow-up singles from the band are currently featured on the popular Netflix show Spinning Out (Season 1, Episode 5) which features a cameo performance by the band. “Take It Back” is also featured in Canadian drama television series Northern Rescue. In 2019, MONOWHALES received the Jim Beam INDIE Award for Best Alternative Artist/Group of the Year and the Forest City London Music Award for Ontario Independent Recording Artist.

Haviah Mighty

Hailing from: Toronto, Ontario

Genres: Hip-Hop/R&B/Soul

Haviah has been releasing music independently since 2009, but it was her project, Flower City (2017), that propelled her career into further success. To date, Mighty recently released Polaris Prize-winning album, 13th Floor, her most fully-realized project to date, making history as the first hip hop artist and first black woman to ever receive the award. Garnering overwhelming praise from the likes of Pitchfork, Billboard, Hot New Hip Hop, and Lyrical Lemonade to name a few, Haviah continues to carve out spaces that boldly defy gendered expectations for women in hip-hop.

Snotty Nose Rez Kids

Hailing from: Kitamaat Village, BC

Genres: Hip-Hop

Snotty Nose Rez Kids is a Canadian Hip-Hop duo of Haisla (Indigenous) descent from Kitimat, BC, composed of rappers Yung Trybez and Young D. Formed in 2016, SNRK released their first self-titled album in January 2017, and followed up that same year with their second full-length, The Average Savage in September 2017. The latter went on to secure them Best Hip Hop Artist at the Western Canadian Music Awards, cemented them on 2018’s Top 10 list of the coveted Polaris Music Prize, and landed them a 2019 Juno Nomination for best Indigenous Music Album. The group toured heavily in Canada with appearances in New York City, Seattle and Darwin, Australia. They quickly gained notoriety for their energetic, inspiring and thought provoking performances.

SNRK led 2019 with the debut of their third album, TRAPLINE, which received stellar reviews from Exclaim!, Beatroute, Bandcamp, Hip Hop Canada, Now Magazine, Georgia Straight, and CBC Music, and picked up press support from Complex, The Hype Magazine, Okayplayer, Noisey, and the FADER. The duo embarked on a 60+ show tour of Canada, US, Mexico, UK and Australia receiving a groundswell of support for the album and for the tour show, scoring 9/9 on multiple Exclaim! show reviews. That same year, SNRK won Breakout Artist at the Western Canadian Music Awards and the album was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize, marking SNRK as one of only three artists to ever be shortlisted in back-to-back years. They rounded out the Year with TRAPLINE listed on numbers Best Album of the Year lists. TRAPLINE was named one of the 50 Best Albums of the 2010’s, Top 10 Hip Hop Album of the Year, and Top 50 Songs of the 2010’s for Boujee Natives by Exclaim!. SNRK begin 2020 with the release of their first EP, BORN DEADLY. 

JJ Shiplett

Hailing from: Calgary, Alberta

Genres: Roots Rock, Country

Rugged, raspy and reserved, JJ Shiplett is a true artist in every sense of the word.

Unapologetically himself, the Alberta born singer-songwriter and performer is both bold in

range and musical creativity and has a passion and reverence for the art of music and

performance that has captured the attention of music fans across the country.

CCMA nominated roots artist JJ Shiplett is thrilled to unveil Fingers Crossed, his new EP

available today. With Fingers Crossed, Shiplett has consciously and passionately forged his

own path, spending a year pouring over every detail of recording, writing and arranging,

playing many of the instruments and cutting his teeth on both engineering and producing,

resulting in an album that is both quintessentially him and sonically diverse.


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