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Fresh Sounds Canada: Boslen, Elisapie & More Canadian Music of the Week

Listen to the must-hear songs and releases of the week, which also includes Elio, Boy Golden and Flore Laurentienne.

Boslen

Boslen

Courtesy Photo

Before new release calendars start to fill entirely with holiday music, this week brings a fresh batch of new Canadian music from artists that could have big years in 2024. From a rising Vancouver rapper to an LA-based protégé of Charli XCX, the songs from these artists are a great addition to any playlist this week.

Boslen, “Tell Me Why”


B.C. rapper Boslen is a name you’ll likely hear more in the new year. The Juno-nominated artist has a new single leading up to his 2024 album Conversations Over Dinner while his GONZO EP is nominated for Rap Album of the Year at the Junos. As he sings about balancing looming money and fame with personal sacrifices, the video matches his hooky, melodic style with down-to-earth documentary-style footage that captures the whirlwind life of an artist on the rise. You can feel the stages getting bigger as he goes.

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Elisapie, "Love Is A Stranger" & "Arnaq"

Elisapie continues to captivate us with her version of Eurythmics' "Love Is a Stranger." In contrast to her latest album released in September, where she offered (Leonard Cohen, Blondie, Metallica, etc.) translated into Inuktitut, the singer-songwriter from Nunavik now covers a 1991 Eurythmics pop hit in English with delightful folk vibes. This song, recorded as part of Spotify Singles, is also accompanied by a grand and more experimental rendition of her own song, "Arnaq."

Boy Golden, “Aeroplane Song”

As the dreary days of November take a toll, a new track from Boy Golden, a purveyor of musical sunshine, is to be welcomed with open ears. It’s the track of the week at the Billboard Canada FYI newsletter (which you can subscribe to here). There’s a Western swing meets Hawaiian vibe to the Americana-accented Winnipeg artist’s sound, with the twin baritone guitars of Austy P and Ooly leading the way. Boy Golden’s easygoing and warm delivery perfectly suits the sentiment of the song about a loving reunion at the airport.

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ELIO, “A2B”

“A2B,” the new single from LA-via-Toronto pop singer ELIO, demonstrates a confidence and catchiness reminiscent of her mentor Charli XCX (it also employs one of Charli’s favourite songwriting strategies — a car metaphor). The song is a quick and danceable taste of a promised upcoming album, the follow-up to 2022’s ELIO’S INFERNO. Since her 2020 debut, ELIO — who takes her name from Timothée Chalamet’s Oscar-nominated role in Call Me By Your Name — has built a strong streaming presence, and this year she was named an Amazon Artist to Watch. Her star is already on the rise, and 2024 could be ELIO’s breakthrough year.

EDITOR’s PICK: Flore Laurentienne, “Au Couchant”

To announce his signing with indie label Secret City, electronic composer Flore Laurentienne released the eminently soothing song, “Au Couchant.” Flore Laurentienne — real name Mathieu David Gagnon — has garnered acclaim with his previous releases, Volume 1 and Volume 2, earning a GAMIQ Award, JUNO nominations and a Polaris Prize long list spot, while his “Fleuve No. 1” provided a theatrical opening to the Chanel show at the 2022 Paris Fashion Week. This week, Gagnon brings his emotive works to a residency at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, where they will be paired with the paintings of landmark Quebec artist Jean-Paul Riopelle, whose fresco “L'hommage à Rosa Luxemburg” helped inspire “Au Couchant.” The song and the art piece share a calm yet imposing quality — a style that invites extended contemplation.

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The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024

Awards

The Beaches, Charlotte Cardin, Allison Russell Make the 2024 Polaris Music Prize Long List

The 40-album long list for the Polaris Prize, which awards $50,000 to the best Canadian record of the year features up-and-comers like punk group NOBRO and producer Bambii, plus rapper TOBi, and legends like Quebec group Karkwa and previous Heritage Prize winner Beverly Glenn-Copeland.

Some of the country's biggest breakthrough artists are in contention for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

The 40-album long list was revealed today (June 11) at Sonic Boom record store in downtown Toronto. It features some of the buzziest names in Canadian music, from The Beaches — who were recently awarded Billboard Canada Women in Music's inaugural Group of the Year award — to Grammy-winner Allison Russell, to Canadian Hot 100 charting acts like Charlotte Cardin and Talk, to underground mainstays like Cindy Lee, who had an organic breakthrough this year with Diamond Jubilee.

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