We’re bringing you our November edition of Snappy Singles a little sooner than planned, because we refuse to keep these four amazing tracks on the backburner any longer. This recurring feature always aims to provide a mix of music, based on gender, genre, and province; but on this occasion (how can I put this in the least offensive way?) – guys, your female contemporaries have you completely beat this month!!! We are always excited to find the next generation of artists embracing ‘our kind’ of great Canadian music, and these four young ladies represent just a handful of the great submissions we’ve received lately.
Lauryn MacFarlane, “Friendly”
We start our installment of Snappy Singles this month with a “Friendly” number, courtesy of this stunning debut single from Peterborough, ON artist Lauryn MacFarlane. The single was born out of a writing exercise that Lauryn embarked upon believing that the only good songs she could write were sad ones, and wanted to write something fun and sassy. Having found the chords on her guitar and happy with the melody, she drafted the first version of this song in just over twenty minutes, but knew deep down of the potential for much more. Moving from her rural Ontario home to the bright lights of Montreal, QC Lauryn sought the services of producer Sam Woywitka (Half Moon Run), who helped unlock that potential by pushing Lauryn beyond her own boundaries, and carving out her own sound. Opening with a deliberate, bass-heavy beat, the anticipation builds very quickly, and Lauryn’s indie-laced vocals do not disappoint, a slight grit and edginess in her voice that fans of Jade Bird and Phoebe Bridgers shall appreciate. “Friendly is a reminder that the best way to get what you want is to just be clear, confident and to the point,” Lauryn shares. “This song sets a strong foundation for understanding what I’ve been trying to achieve in my career all these years.”
Madisyn Gifford, “Without You”
We have a pair of outstanding new piano ballads for you this month, the first coming courtesy of rising Vancouver, BC singer-songwriter Madisyn Gifford, whose debut single, “Missing You,” simply cannot be ignored. Boasting a slow, simmering pace and equally heartfelt vocals, Gifford has the sound and poise of an artist way beyond her teen years, effortless balancing the raw emotion and curiosity of her youth with a mastery of her craft that belies her age. “Without You was one of the first songs I had ever written when I was 17 years old and going through a few different kinds of heartbreaks all at once,” she recalls. “It’s about those last few difficult steps before moving on, accepting that someone is never going to be in your life the way that they once were.” As alluring as her vivacious indie-folk sound may be, Madisyn is equally as adept as a lyricist, cleverly and creatively delving into the formative experiences of transitioning into her early 20s: “Do you remember when we were 13 / With our rose coloured lenses, smile so keen? / I want what’s evergreen.” “I think that [heartbreak] comes through in the lyrics because the song isn’t necessarily romantic and can be applied to really any type of loss,” she adds. “Do you remember when we were 13 / Time stood still for you and me / When love was evergreen.”
Michaela Bekenn, “The Earth Has Music”
A practitioner of yoga and sound therapy, an actress, and a dancer, Toronto, ON singer-songwriter Michaela Bekenn is a lady of many talents. Having been exposed to the performing arts from a very young age, Michaela’s training in vocal technique and musical storytelling pay dividends with her latest single. Detecting hints of Dana Sipos in her style, with plenty of Margo Timmins in her sound, Michaela’s single is not only perfectly timed to coincide with the fall season, but was also inspired by an almost tragic event in her family life. “My father fell from a roof, nearly injuring his spine,” she shares. “This was a flash in time that viscerally woke me up to the impermanence and preciousness of life, and its essence of uncertainty. When life felt heavy, I turned to the music of the Earth to soothe the noise inside my head.” Firmly rooted in the indie-folk genre, Michaela experiments with plenty of changes in tempo and volume, soft and contemplative one moment, fun and frivolous the next. “There is an energetic shift that takes place as the cusp of summer and the beginning of autumn, as the light wanes and the natural worlds prepares for rest,” she adds. “The Earth Has Music has been alive for many years now and is ready to be released from its roots, just as the autumn leaves let go when the time is right.”
VISSIA, “Walk Me Home”
It is never easy selecting just four artists for this feature, and this month was no exception based on the overflowing email inbox. But once I heard this phenomenal and soulful piano ballad from Edmonton, AB artist, VISSIA, I knew that this just had to be the grand-finale piece. A success within the folk music community, this latest single allows VISSIA to elevate her identity to a wider audience, embracing alt-pop, while drawing from dance, R&B, rock and soul influences. “Walk Me Home is a reflection on what vulnerability means to me,” she explains. “It’s not a weakness to find someone to lean on. It’s okay to be kind to the messiest parts of myself. It’s taken me a long time to forgive my past selves. Choosing my emotions over chaotic escapism really is a practice, and it does get easier the more I do it.” The single also provides the perfect vessel for VISSA to showcase her soaring vocals; the song itself a powerful message of empowerment: “I was following my shadow / Instead of running at the sun / Never thought I’d find a way to / Love every person I’ve become.” A stunning new track from an artist making waves – be sure to look out for VISSIA’s upcoming album, “With Pleasure,” available in early 2021 through Hurry Hard Records.