Today, on its namesake, untradition returns with a new track entitled, “July 20 Freestyle,” taking an introspective look focusing on his own dreams and aspirations. The song plays out like a stream of consciousness which acts as a self-affirmation while acknowledging the relationship between himself and the listener (“If he believe, then I believe / Not in me, but in you all”). Overall, it’s a statement piece, untradition is looking to grow and progress as an artist; eventually becoming his best self for you, not him — he promises. Stream it here:
Back in May, I had the opportunity to see Shanuka perform during CMW at the Drake Underground. It was at a sound clash between Trifecta (Sask.) and Serious Betty’s (Ont.) teams. Unfamiliar with a lot of the acts, her set stood out to me the most amongst other artists I was being introduced to. And when she performed “Like That Bout You,” she had me hooked. Her singing, production, and old-school / new-school style of R&B complemented one another nicely, and her vocal arrangements really hit home. At least, that’s my take-away from her live show: it was fun. Recently, she released a new single called “Be Gone” and it continues to show Shanuka’s consistency and capabilities just fine. You can listen to both tracks below:
About a year ago, Toronto-based artist Julien Bowry quietly began producing music under his untradition moniker with the release of the demo-esque “black boy” and the more polished-off single, “new drugs.” Both of which provided an introductory look into the potential of his blues, rock, and soul fusion to great effect. And while his musical output went silent thereafter, Bowry has obviously been working on his craft since then. During the interim, he’s joined the roster over at People’s Champ Management; then last week, he officially debuted a two-track EP — Crack/Desire — as part of his more formal introduction as a musician; while today he released his first music video for the song “Crack.” Like his previous releases, these new songs seamlessly blur several genres together with “Crack” adding more hip-hop elements into the fold with snapping instrumentation and a faster flow. “Desire,” on the other hand, leans heavily into soul territory, almost gospel with the organ in the background and Bowry’s accompanying vocal display. Stream it below:
Subversively enigmatic as ever, ✘O ✘V ✘T is back at it again with the Halloween release of his latest EP, 001. I still don’t know much about the Montreal-based artist but lately he’s been releasing things with a bit more structure and consistency than usual. Hopefully, he keeps things up and his presence only increases from here on out.
In commemoration of his own IXXI Initiative, Sean Leon returns today with his latest offering intriguingly entitled Sean Leon (The Death Of). It is 32 minutes of continuous music displaying new vocal and production experimentations throughout the runtime; possibly acting as a precursor and introduction showing listeners what to expect from his forthcoming album, King & Sufferin. The Death Of finds Leon singing on more of an equal footing as his rapping. The overall feel of this project is warmer — thanks to the electronic and dance elements — than his previous releases, and it’s easy to tell Leon is trying something new to great effect.
Each frame of LA Timpa's "2;ep1" is captivating and carefully curated as the beat pulsates with gliss from location to location; occasionally rumbling alongside the lyrics aimed at the monotony of existence.
Near the end of January, Toronto-based artist Kafayé reintroduced himself through the release of three new songs entitled: "Balmain," "Consuela" and "Paradise." In all of which, the 21-year-old vocalist blends his Carribean roots and influences with contemporary sounds of soul and R&B. The resulting mixture is reminiscent of the islands whilst being grounded in city life. Friend and collaborator, Abdullah, produced the triplet of singles and together they're still working forward to progress. I had the opportunity to see the pair perform live at Outtaline's "Volume 4" showcase a few weeks ago. The songs translated well; and Kafayé's upcoming project, The Sweet Summer Experience, is definitely something to look out for.
What a time, what a time: Today, Daniel Caesar received two Grammy nominations for Best R&B Performance ("Get You") and Best R&B Album (Freudian). And as if to cap things off, he also released the music video for "Freudian" with added vocals. Above, watch the duality unfold.
Honestly, I was never really put onto Sade as a youth nor do I know much of her catalogue of music. I have listened to her a bit here and there but to self-describe myself as a true fan would be false. Although, from what I've heard, I know Sade is truly one of those best-of-all-time types and her level of credence is above most. So when Brooklyn-based DJ/producer VACATIONS (John McSwain) decided to mash-up a few of Drake's More Life tracks with the UK songstress, it doesn't take any stretch of the imagination to know it works. Stream it below and download it here (alongside the absent "Never Thought I'd See the Passionfruit").
The Emptiness, as Alex puts it, is "the music itself" and "Alex Bent is the Emptiness." In other words, it's the creative void that he feels as a singer-songwriter based out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Last week, his newest single, "Vanilla Blue," was released alongside its very own music video directed by Riley Deacon. The song itself was inspired by different interpretations of the words "Vanilla Blue," one of which struggles with "a sweet kind of sadness." The video begins with a brief intro before it is properly interrupted with guitar-driven, occasionally barking production where Alex's voice cuts through. Enticingly, everything holds up and complements each other rather nicely (seriously, like my text to Riley said: “this ... is really fucking good”). From the song itself to the video, "Vanilla Blue" is a bona fide hit — the type of thing I show to others to try and put them on to an artist. That being said, I've definitely become a fan. Keep watch as Alex Bent + The Emptiness have an upcoming album releasing later this year. You can download and stream "Vanilla Blue" here.
The soundscape in Canada has unquestionably changed over the last decade and the music in Saskatchewan is no different. Based in Regina, groups like the Queen City Stoop Kids and affiliated collective, Out My Mind Music (OMM), have appeared and are affecting and changing what it means to be a rapper in the Canadian prairies. Although, being from the proverbial fringes of what's good in Canadian culture is usually considered a negative by insiders and outsiders alike—that's not the case here.
For instance, OKM (Okmoz) is one of the members of Queen City Stoop Kids and is also a part of OMM.
Mozzy has made it really easy for the listener; it only takes about 30 seconds to decide whether or not you like his song. Conceptually, "Oldfriends" pushes one of the truest of truisms—an aphorism: "when old friends surface / you know you doing work." It's a timeless saying, yes, but there's more to it than that. How do you deal with all the fakeness in the world? The thirst? The wackness? All of the people who switched up on you? "Fuck 'em / fuck 'em / fuck 'em"—that's how. Moz' immediate response sums it up perfectly. It's preemptive and an example of how to retaliate first. After all, you'll always need to cut certain people off.
Properly entitled, "Sade," Louis Val just put this out on Bevstmode a few moments ago. You might recognize the instrumental from the namesake's "Jezebel" record, or maybe you're like me, and SAFE's "Feel" came to mind first. Either way, Val does a fantastic job with the emotions in his voice and channeling his inner Sade. He moves gingerly—at a lover's pace—throughout the 5-minute runtime leaving the listener wanting more, as is his method operandi.
The eternally pleasing Daniel Caesar released two new singles today after a well deserved break following the release of Pilgrim's Paradise last November. The first entitled, "Get You," features Kali Uchis and boasts a smooth groove highlighting Caesar's falsetto and Kali's ravishing vocals. The second, "Japanese Denim," is a rework of a previously-released song and provides a great indication of what Caesar is capable of when cooking up with a group of talented musicians and producers.
River Tiber, or Tommy Paxton-Beesley, is a Toronto musician you've unwittingly heard of before and has been making music for quite sometime. To date, he's released two EPs entitled, The Stars Fall (2014), When The Time Is Right (2015), and more recently was featured on Jazz Cartier's "Tell Me." This, however, is one of his own songs entitled, "West," featuring fellow Torontonian, Daniel Caesar, and by the quality of the song (and his buzz in general), it might indicate a new EP or album on the horizon.
The pseudonym messiah, bsdjzs/xxx clvr, returns with another spaced out and drearily contemplative tune revolving around going too hard; ultimately, resulting in the need of more water(s). Perfect for how everyone is going to feel tonight and definitely tomorrow.
Stay up. Stay hydrated. Happy New Year.
Oh, and here's "One More:"
I'll be boycotting puns in 2016...
The young wünderkid, TEFRONDON, aka Ronye West, aka OG Ron B, finally did what no one else has done yet. He put two-and-two together and blended Drake's "Hotline Bling" with Justin Bieber's version. Although, it might be too late to push Drake's single to number one. Dropped on the heels of Bieber's Purpose release, TEFRONDON could help Canada's new man of the hour get his 18th, and last, song off the album ("All In It") onto the Hot 100. Here's to the duet of the year, enjoy!
Daniel Caesar just announced his new EP, Pilgrim's Paradise, will be released next month on November 12th. In doing so, he also gave the green-light to Fader to premiere "Paradise" featuring BADBADNOTGOOD with Sean Leon, and a solo effort, "Death & Taxes," was also debuted. More notably, however, "Paradise" also premiered on Ebro's Beats 1 Radio show a few hours ago.
Fool's Gold artist, Black Atlass, released the video to his newest song, "Haunted Paradise," yesterday and it fits perfectly. It's simple and cool: providing the corresponding mysterious and romantic atmosphere his voice conveys. Still though, I feel like few know about this guy and his sound which is disappointing. However, he has obtained some pretty big co-signs recently, so maybe I'm wrong and I just don't know people who listen to him like I do. His last project, Jade, still gets played 'round my way, too — check it out here.