Songs of the Week 82: October 9 – October 15

the-boxer-rebellion#5. The Boxer Rebellion – Keep Me Close

Had the chance to see The Boxer Rebellion 4-5 years ago in Toronto. There’s something about their sound that I find captivating. Their guitar-driven brand of rock, combined with the distinctive voice of Nathan Nicholson, always get me excited every time a new album is released. While I didn’t find Ocean By Ocean as strong as their previous releases, Keep Me Close is definitely good for a bunch of repeat listens.

nick-jonas#4. Nick Jonas Feat. Ty Dolla $ign – Bacon

I KNOW. I know. But bear with me here… Hoodboi just released a remix of Bacon that has been making the rounds across the blogosphere. Anytime I hear a remix I do my due diligence and give the original a listen as well. I wasn’t expecting much (Nick Jonas just isn’t my kind of stuff)… but you know what? This one worked. Yes it’s made for radio, but c’mon now. It’s catchy, easy to listen to “trappy-hip hop pop”. Whatever. I like it.

angus-dawson#3. Angus Dawson – Ocean in the Sky

Haven’t heard from Mr. Dawson in AGES (10 months, according to his soundcloud). Not since his brilliant release of Battles. Well, he’s back with another song to make you cry your eyes out and ponder life as we know it (to be honest I have no idea what the song is about but it just feels sad).

two-door-cinema-club#2. Two Door Cinema Club – Bad Decisions

Every TDCC album is good for at least one killer track (and that’s not to say there wont’ be more, but with every release there is always one track that I just can’t stop grooving to). On Gameshow, that track is Bad Decisions. TDCC are pure fun and another band I had the pleasure of seeing when I lived in Toronto. At that time, Sun was my favorite track and it had the same pop as this one does. I know I saw this about almost every band, but TDCC are really one of my top 5. I tend to be a singles guy (in that I really only like 1 or 2 songs from every artist), but there’s a whole catalog of tracks that I adore from these boys.

aquilo#1. Aquilo – You Won’t Know Where You Stand

Another Aquilo track, and another momebt of depressing brilliance. I can’t find a soundcloud or youtube link to the full, non-live version of this track (unless of course you have Soundcloud premium), so instead the above rendition will have to do. I’m seeing these lads in a few mere weeks in Vancouver, and I look forward to being blown away.

Artist Watch – 2016 (Part 1)

As the year winds down and people around the world are forced to drink with their families over the holidays, the release of new music takes a bit of a hiatus. As such, everyone takes this opportunity to send out their “best of the year” lists for artists, songs, albums, toothpaste types, cat videos and basically anything else that they can rank… so I guess I might as well do the same. However, I thought I’d switch it up a bit. Since I already have a running list of my top 10 songs of the moment, I am going to take the BBC “Sound of” idea and share the 10 artists or bands that I think will (or should) blow up in 2016. Some of these artists debatably already have blown up, but whatever it’s my blog and I do what I want.

Onto…the list! (in alphabetic order)

1. ACES —


Disclaimer – I may or may not be madly in love with the Alexandra Stewart (lead vocals). Even despite this, ACES may be the band I most hope “break out” (I hate the term, but it conveys the general idea well enough that I guess it works). I think they have a beautiful, charming sound. In the best way possible, ACES are the perfect “background” music. Something that can be played that doesn’t interrupt or take over the party, but still does enough to capture the attention of the few people at the party who recognize brilliance when they hear it.

2. Allan Rayman —

allan rayman

If Aces are the band that made me start blogging again, Allan Rayman is the artist that made me realize how much I love the discovery part of new music. Hearing Graceland for the first time blew my mind, and since then it’s been nothing but amazing releases from Allan Rayman. Expecting big things in 2016!

3. Aquilo —


Aquilo may be the most debatable entry on this list because I’d argue they may already have “made it”. That said, I’m adding them anyway. I’m a very picky music listener. Often I like maybe 2 or 3 songs (at most) by a single artist. Aquilo must be batting at 0.900+ right now, as almost every single track they’ve ever released is on my playlist. Not only that, but I rated the songs exceptionally high (we be talking 4 stars+). I am constantly amazed by everything they put out and hope for huge things for them next year.

#4. Gallant —


There’s definitely an appetite for more hazy RnB, a la The Weeknd. It seems to be a bit of the “in thing”. Gallant hits those notes, and hits them well. If there was an award for the most remixed song of the year, I imagine his Weight In Gold track would be somewhere near the top. When you have a voice like his (and the confidence to nail those falsettos), there’s no where to go but up!

#5. Leo Kalyan —

leo kalyan

This is my second best bet to make it big (next to Aquilo). No real reasoning though… I just feel like Leo’s sound is safe. It’s radio-friendly, but not TOO experimental (like Allan Rayman). It’s got some groove to it, and it feels like stuff I’d see a music video for on TV. Also similar to Aquilo, I’ve loved almost everything Leo Kalyan has put out.


Part 2 coming tomorrow!