Positives From The Pandemic – Spring 2021

Positives from the Pandemic - May 2021

It was around last summer, when it became pretty clear that the global pandemic was not going away anytime soon, that we posted what was expected to be a one-time article – our debut “Positives from the Pandemic” feature.  When I compiled that article for GDW, my focus was tuned into the increased radio airplay that I was enjoying during this momentary work from home status, and how it afforded me the opportunity to discover some great new Canadian artists whom I may have otherwise not stumbled across.

We are now well and truly into the spring season of 2021, and I am still working my regular full-time job remotely from here at home – and probably will be for another couple more seasons, until we can get back to some sense of normalcy.  But what this means is that the radio airplay is still taking place during the workday, and more new artists are crossing my radar and causing me to pause and scribble down some of the fantastic tracks I am hearing for further research.  And while such actions may seem fairly small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, when you consider that one of my four discoveries from last year (Jess Knights) went on to not only release a superb debut album, but cracked my Top 4 year-end list of albums, I shudder to think that I could have missed out on that completely.

So here we are again, finding new music to share.  But with this second spin of this feature comes a caveat: the first being that one of the artists listed here today actually appeared in the original post last summer – keen eyed observers may pick up on that, but I’ve added the answer in the artist bio for the rest of you.  And secondly, one of these artists has also seen previous GDW coverage when performing under a previous band-name, but the inclusion here marks the first time we’ve given them a mention since their change of name and identity.  One thing for certain though, is that we have what I feel to be four very worthy new discoveries here today who are all highly recommended for your listening pleasures.  Go ahead and give them a whirl, and enjoy some of the amazing new music these artists have shared recently.

Artist:  Boston Levi (Perth, ON)

Notable Tracks: “Run Baby Run” – “Feel It All” – “Exile”

Bio:  Mike McNamee is Boston Levi. His passion for hockey led him to a professional career that keeps him busy through the summer and winter season.  At least until the pandemic struck, when his career was put on hold forcing him to look inward and begin focusing on honing his craft as a musician and ultimately establishing his new persona. Mike has been working with Jay Emmons (The Glorious Sons) to shape his sound and produce his first body of work in hopes to soon make Boston Levi a household name. (Source: Artist Website).

Artist:  Rosier (Montreal, QC)

Notable Tracks: “Mad River” – “Pontoise” – “Insensible”

Bio: Folk at its core and endowed with a great affection for detail, the Montreal-based band evolves gracefully without following the prescribed recipe of its era. Halfway between tradition and modernity, Rosier* takes over an audacious approach where traditional songs become the intimate accomplice of well-crafted indie pop. (Source: Artist Website). * Rosier have been featured here previously at GDW, when performing under their former name, Les Poules à Colin.

Artist:  Dorothea Paas (Toronto, ON)

Notable Tracks: “Container” – “Anything Can’t Happen” – “One For The Road”

Bio: Dorothea is a singer and guitarist from Toronto who creates songs with contemplative lyrics and undone instrumentation that never stands still.  Her intricate, thoughtful and heavy songs explore intimacy, the body and beyond.  For fans of Joni Mitchell, The Cocteau Twins, Julie Dorion, meditative guitar and keyboard music, and soothing vocal harmonies. (Source: Artist Website).

Artist:  Still Creek Crows (Burnaby, BC)

Notable Tracks: “White Lines” – “Place Like This”

Bio: This duo of Matt Rose (The Matinee*) and Britt McKillip (One More Girl) are no strangers to the music industry, and are forging new musical ground as this Americana/Pop duo.  Together Matt and Britt draw on influences ranging from The Band to Patsy Cline to Hozier, infusing elements of roots and alt-country music with a modern pop-rock production and a sound entirely their own. (Source: Artist Website). * Bonus points if you recall seeing The Matinee as a featured artist in our original ‘Positives from the Pandemic” article.

The British guy that crossed the ocean and crash landed in central Pennsylvania (to quote Greg Keelor, “And I wonder what am I doing here?”). As the youngest of four siblings, exposure to music from a very early age nurtured my passion and appreciation for many musical genres. Continuing to discover some amazingly diverse and talented musicians based in Canada, I gravitate to live music experiences and remain devoted to spreading the word about such a vibrant music scene.