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FYI

Fortunate Ones: Northern Star

A winner in the inaugural Allan Slaight Juno Master Class, this Newfoundland folk duo further confirms its real potential with this surging track that features crisp and pure harmonies and polished production. A second album is coming May 25.

Fortunate Ones: Northern Star

By Kerry Doole

Fortunate Ones - “Northern Star” (Old Farm Pony Records):  The Newfoundland folk duo of Catherine Allan and Andrew James O'Brien served notice that they're real contenders with their 2015 debut album The Bliss. Nominated for a Juno, it spawned two CBC Radio 2 hits, and helped them win ECMA, Canadian Folk Music and Music Newfoundland and Labrador Awards. Another career boost came from their selection as one of the three winners of the inaugural Allan Slaight Juno Master Class.


"Northern Star" is the first single from the second album, Hold Fast, skedded for a May 25 release. It is a surging track featuring the clean harmonies of Allan and O'Brien buttressed by a chorus of backing vocals. The production and mixing work of Daniel Ledwell (Jenn Grant) gives it a smooth and contemporary sheen, lifting it out of the traditional purist folk vein. This is more Strumbellas or Wilderness of Manitoba than Figgy Duff. Northern star is a term for the star Polaris, and just maybe this appealing cut will navigate Fortunate Ones towards that Prize.

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A galaxy of East Coast stars contribute to Hold Fast, with Alan Doyle (Great Big Sea), Tim Baker (Hey Rosetta!), and Meg Warren(Repartee) co-writing some of the material. Musical guests include Jim Bryson, Good Lovelies, Alexa Dirks (Begonia),  and Kinley Dowling (Hey Rosetta!).

Look for the new material to be previewed when Fortunate Ones join Alan Doyle as the support act for his extensive North American tour, starting in Peterborough on Feb. 20 and concluding in Halifax on May 5. A full itinerary here

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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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