Billy Talent: Forgiveness I + II

Canada's biggest hard rock band returns with an epic new cut that moves from pummelling sonic assault into space-rock territory.

Billy Talent: Forgiveness I + II

By Kerry Doole

Billy Talent: Forgiveness I + II (Warner Music Canada): This week, the platinum-selling rock band released a new song, Forgiveness I + II, produced by Juno Award nominee (Producer of the Year) and Billy Talent guitarist Ian D’Sa in the group’s Toronto studio.  The track is the first new original Billy Talent recording since 2016's highly successful Afraid of Heights album which featured the chart-topping title track.  

The surprise release marks the beginning of what is expected to be a very active period for the band, and its label teases that there'll be "another exciting announcement" next week.


As the title hints, this actually feels like two tracks merged into one.

The first half is 3.45 of a typical BT sonic assault, with paint-stripping riffs and a thunderous groove, and singer Benjamin Kowalewicz's signature full-blooded howl. The second half is radically different in mood, with a psych/space rock vibe more Spiritualized than Slayer. There's even a sax solo in there, refreshing proof of the band's willingness to experiment. There's a philosophical slant to the lyrics: "Searching for the end, but the journey's the reason for existence."

This is the sound of a band at the height of its powers.

Billy Talent have sold nearly one million albums in Canada alone and nearly 3 million albums internationally. They have won seven Juno Awards (fron 23 nominations), including three nods for Afraid of Heights (Group of the Year, Rock Album of the Year, and Ian D'Sa for Producer of the Year). 

In 2018 the group was honoured with a Legends of Live Special Achievement Award, presented by Canadian Music Week.  Most recently, BT launched the Billy Talent Charity Trust to give to the organizations that the band believes in. 




Publicity: Dave Stelling, Warner Music Canada

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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