Fresh Sounds Canada: Chikoruss, Owen Riegling & More
The up-and-coming artists lead our must-hear songs of the week. Also in this week's edition: Vivek Shraya, Classified and Hot Garbage.
For this week's Fresh Sounds Canada, we're giving you picks from all over the spectrum of genre: throwback 2000s R&B, wistful country music, psych-rock, hip-hop and an intergenerational collaboration between two beloved Canadian singer/songwriters. Listen to our picks below.
Chikoruss, “In 2 Deep”
The dream of 2000s R&B is alive in Montreal. Chikoruss went viral on TikTok with his 2023 song "Body Language" (which currently has more than 6 million streams across platforms), and that propelled the 20-year-old singer to a deal with the storied 300 Entertainment, which is home to artists like Young Thug, PinkPantheress and Gunna. Chikoruss is the only Canadian, and the only French Canadian, on the 300 roster. With its catchy repeating riff and smooth ladies' man vocals, his new single "In 2 Deep" could easily fit between Mario and B2K on a BET playlist. Though it's brief, the song is very replayable. - Richard Trapunski
Owen Riegling, “Home Less”
Vivek Shraya w/ Jann Arden, “I Miss My Friends”
Multi-hyphenate artist Vivek Shraya teams up with iconic Canadian performer Jann Arden for a new version of Shraya’s song “I Miss My Friends,” originally from Shraya’s 2023 Mint Records debut, Baby, You’re Projecting. “Friends” is one of the quieter tracks on the otherwise upbeat Baby, a reflection on how growing older can also mean growing apart from people. On this collaboration, though, Arden’s powerful voice brings a new energy to the melancholy song. When Arden echoes Shraya on lyrics like, “how are you friend / what are you feeling now,” she turns a meditation into a conversation — a reminder that we are not always as alone as we think. — Rosie Long Decter
Classified, “All Wrong”
Well-established as one of Canada’s most successful rappers ever, with a global streaming tally exceeding 280 million, Classified (aka Luke Boyd) will deliver new the new album Luke’s View on April 19. He has just released a tasty new single and video, “All Wrong,” one he terms “a testament to navigating in the present, and appreciating every moment.” The track kicks off with a soulful female vocal feature, then introduces Boyd’s typically fluent and lyrically candid rapping as he takes a trip down memory lane with the sentiment “loved it when we were all lost together" The production is sparse, but keeps your attention. "All Wrong" gets it right.— Kerry Doole
EDITOR’s PICK: Hot Garbage, “Erase My Mind”
"Erase My Mind" is so hypnotic that it feels like it's playing on repeat in our head like a dark thought. This song, both raw and gently melancholic, is also the one accompanying the release of Precious Dream by the Toronto-based psychedelic rock band Hot Garbage, signed with the Montreal label Mothland. The music draws us into a swirling vortex of solitude and existential anxiety with powerful guitar riffs and post-punk soundscapes. — Amélie Revert