We kick off our sixth year of Canadian music coverage with our popular Snappy Singles feature, and are excited to share four hand-picked fall releases today from across Canada – starting out on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, and winding up in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. And after our ‘all-male’ Snappy Singles last month, the ladies have once again risen to the challenge, filling our inbox with amazing new tunes and convincing us to make this installment an ‘all-female’ affair (apologies to Drew McTaggart, but it’s Danielle’s vocals that count here today). So, good ahead and indulge in some apple-crisp or pumpkin-spiced treats, and enjoy these fabulous fall tunes.
Dear Rouge, “Fake Fame”
When we find news of new music from popular Vancouver, BC rock band Dear Rouge in our email, it is pretty much a given that we’ll pay attention. The JUNO-Award winners return to the spotlight following a two-year hiatus where Drew and Danielle McTaggart spent times asking themselves big existential questions about life’s meaning and faith. “Fake Fame was born out of asking ourselves, what do I value? As I challenged myself, from the outside looking in, I recognized I was searching for something that wasn’t solid – a dream or an idea of happiness,” Danielle shares. “When everything is falling apart around you, you search for real value – not in a judgmental way, but as more of a truth quest.” For Dear Rouge, stardom is alluring and fascinating, while simultaneously toxic, destructive and entrapping: “Running around the block / All the lights are off / Left with nothing to show / Can all the illusion talk? / Make you feel in love? / Burned out begging for more.” “Fake Fame examines our addiction to technology, social media culture, fast fashion, and the tension between desiring and despising fame,” Danielle adds. “Fame within itself is not evil, but there is a flip side and a cost to it all. Over time, we’ve realized that the best you can give the world is authenticity…[to] just be you.”
Megan Nash, “Chew Quietly / Clean Slate”
Mortlach, SK singer-songwriter Megan Nash recently shared “Chew Quietly / Clean Slate,” the latest single from their forthcoming “Soft Focus Futures” album. “Tuck my shirt / Check my teeth / Watch the screen / For some relief / Wonder what you’ll think of me / I still don’t know how it works / I still don’t know how.” The sonic scope of this single looms vast over anxieties about meeting someone new, deploying epic, frenzied breakdowns to communicate inner turmoil. “[This song is about] anxiety and hope and dating after a divorce and just wanting things to work out this time,” shares Megan. “It’s about longing for intimacy and stability. It’s about that twist in the gut when you see your crush. It’s about feeling unbelievably awkward. It’s about trying again.” As the curtain closes – the nature of concepts are fickle at best – Megan instead chooses to let their heart beat out the poisonous rhythm of the truth. The video (directed by Amy Mantyka, and released as part of a fundraiser for Moose Jaw Pride) was also a bucket list project for Megan. “I have always wanted to do a one take video and hey, why not for a five minute long song that has a noise section?” they add. “The team involved was supportive but we had our challenges.”
Emma Cook, “Tired”
Huntsville, ON indie-folk singer-songwriter Emma Cook follows up on the success of her previous single, “Messed It Up,” with her latest offering, “Tired.” Recorded at ArtHaus Studio in Toronto, and produced by band-mate Andrew Rasmussen, “Tired” boasts a slow, melodic pace wrapped up in some dominant piano notes, while Emma’s soft, rich vocals leave me drawing comparisons to contemporaries such as Dido and Natalie Imbruglia. “Where some songs take a lot of thought and work, Tired sprung out of my subconscious on a silver platter,” shares Emma. “It tells the story of a woman who has been completely unseen and unappreciated by her partner for many years. In my imagination, she believes in her own worth and finds the strength to leave, but in reality, I’m not sure she ever will.” “In the still of the night / When I close my eyes / Awake at last, awake at last / You broke all the parts of me / That make the whole / You set a trap, you set a trap.” Most recently, Emma and her family left the big smoke of Toronto to return to cottage country, where they are working on creating an off-grid and net-zero eco resort with tiny cabins in the forest where city folk can unplug in nature. Sounds absolutely perfect to me.
Nikkie Gallant, “Is She Holding You”
Our journey winds up today in the picturesque province of PEI, as we catch up with this beautiful and tender song from Summerside singer-songwriter Nikkie Gallant. On “Is She Holding You,” Nikkie reckons with the fear of losing a connection, and is accompanied by producer Nathan Wiley on drums and piano, and Kinley Dowling on violin and viola. “My songs often aren’t autobiographical – many times they start off as a collection of captured fragments,” Nikkie shares. “The fragments mingle with lived experiences and feelings I’ll let myself sink into, and then the whole mixture becomes a song.” “Is she holding you? / My eyes on the door / Is she holding you? / Your pillow feels so cold / Is she holding you? / Is the clock still ticking? / Is she holding you? / Such a long, long night.” “I found myself exploring the acute pain that comes with realizing that you’re aching for something you thought you already had,” she shares. “It could be any identity we’re clinging to that might not ring true at the time. These periods of realization can still be jarring and set you off-balance, until you can get your bearings back and move forward with new perspectives.”