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Reviews

Fresh Sounds Canada: Marie Davidson, Tenille Townes & More

Here are our recommendations for must-hear Canadian songs of the week, from a new BADBADNOTGOOD collaboration with Baby Rose to singer-songwriter Haley Blais and ASKO, the new project of Marek Tyler of nêhiyawak.

Marie Davidson

Marie Davidson

Aytekin Yalçın via Facebook

In Fresh Sounds Canada, Billboard Canada puts you on to the must-hear songs of the week by artists on the rise and those about to break. Here's what's out this week.


Marie Davidson, “Y.A.A.M.”


Marie Davidson has two exciting pieces of news for us. The first is that she has just joined the prestigious European record label DEEWEE, founded nearly a decade ago by the brothers David and Stephen Dewaele of Soulwax fame. The second, and no less significant: the Montreal artist, who has been nominated for the Polaris Prize multiple times and received a Grammy nomination in 2020 (incidentally for the Soulwax remix of "Work It"), is back with a new song and the upcoming release of an album. "Y.A.A.M." (which stands for "Your Asses Are Mine," please note) is thus an elegant electronic ode with sharp lyrics that only she has the secret to, in both English and French. She spells it out: "F for the fakers, U for utterly, C for calculated, K for not so keen, Y for your bullshit, O for it’s over, U were using me, yes you were using me." Marie Davidson does exactly as she pleases, always in her own way, and we love her for that. - Amélie Revert

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Baby Rose feat. BadBadNotGood, “One Last Dance”

Toronto's BadBadNotGood seem to have an endless trove of perfect-fitting collaborations. Like so many of the songs with their fingerprints on them by artists like Charlotte Day Wilson and Daniel Caesar, this song with Washington, D.C. R&B singer Baby Rose feels like something you might uncover on a dusty old LP and think it's existed for generations. Baby Rose says she asked the band for "one more, a country song," and "One Last Dance" flowed from her heart right away. A bittersweet expression of longing and reflection, it bodes well for their upcoming EP together, Slow Burn, which is due out April 12 on Secretly Canadian. - Richard Trapunski

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Tenille Townes, “Thing That Brought Me Here”

Juno and multiple Canadian Country Music Award-winning singer-songwriter Tenille Townes has just released this new single via Sony Music Nashville.The deeply autobiographical song finds Townes looking back on her career and life with gratitude, one that's taken her right to the heart of the country music enterprise. "It is about my truck that’s become a symbol of the dream for me and a piece of home," she says. "It drove me 47 hours to move to Nashville from Alberta ten years ago.” Her clear and expressive voice is well-supported by a full and dynamic production. On Friday, tickets went on sale here for Townes’ extensive (19 dates) Thing That Brought Me Here Tour of Canada this fall. The road ahead for her looks bright indeed. - Kerry Doole

Haley Blais, “Somebody’s Son”

The new single from Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Haley Blais was written and recorded during sessions for her recently released and critically-lauded second full-length album, Wisecrack. It certainly deserves to now see the light of day as it is a beguiling gem featuring Blais’ delicate but gently appealing vocals placed atop a sparse and atmospheric musical setting that fits the intimate nature of her lyrics. “I swear I can still feel the bruise from where you kissed me," she sings. Producer and engineer (respectively) David Vertesi and Jonathan Anderson and Blais all add multiple instruments to the song. Blais is in the middle of a major headlining North American tour, with five Canadian dates remaining (itinerary and tickets here). Clearly an artist to watch closely. - Kerry Doole

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EDITOR’S PICK: ASKO, “nisis”

ASKO is a new project from Marek Tyler of nêhiyawak, but Tyler stresses that it’s not exactly a solo effort. ASKO draws on the knowledge shared with Tyler by his relatives and community members, guidance that informs Tyler’s electronic soundscapes. “nisis,” ASKO’s first release on Dine Alone Records, is a woozy track inspired by Seth Cardinal Dodginghorse’s Chicken Dance rhythms. Tyler, after seeing a video of the dance, borrowed the footwork for a bass drum pattern, adding in warbling synths and distorted textures. Altogether, it makes for a hypnotic instrumental that feels both relaxed and energizing, pulsing with life. - Rosie Long Decter

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AP Dhillon smashing his guitar at Coachella
Instagram/Coachella

AP Dhillon smashing his guitar at Coachella

Music

AP Dhillon Drops Off Coachella's Second Weekend

The Punjabi-Canadian star has faced backlash in Indian media and on social media for his guitar smash on weekend one, but the festival says he's cancelling due to scheduling conflicts.

AP Dhillon is leaving the California desert behind. Coachella announced that the Punjabi-Canadian star will not appear at the festival's second weekend as planned, citing scheduling conflicts. The festival announced it in a follow up tweet to one announcing that rapper Kid Cudi has been added.

While Dhillon's first-weekend performance was well-received by the Coachella crowd and many of his supporters, he's also had some backlash due to how he closed his set, which has been widely covered by media in India.

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