8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in June 2021
Meet Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, including vibrant R&B voices and Vancouver's science fiction-loving experimentalist
Published Jun 01, 2021The weather is perfect for long walks and picnics, and you're gonna need some fresh tunes to soundtrack your adventures. Look no further than Exclaim!'s latest New Faves, including vibrant R&B voices and Vancouver's science fiction-loving experimentalist.
For fans of: Alexisonfire, Jeromes Dream, Cancer Bats
A lot has been happening in the Botfly camp this year. The Halifax four-piece have just partnered up with No Funeral Records and have a bunch of new material on the way, including a split album with Anthesis, Cell Press and Greber due June 18 and a sophomore full-length on the way. With many releases on the horizon, this may prove to be the band's breakout year to a larger audience.
For fans of: Lil Peep, Elliott Smith
There is very little information about ekkstacy available online, beyond the fact that he's an 18-year-old from Vancouver. Despite the secrecy, the word is already out about his haunting music, which is doing big streaming numbers by mixing whispered acoustic ballads with SoundCloud emo rap. His standout singles combine his ghostly voice with catchy instrumentation, as on the new wave bounce of "i walk this earth all by myself" or the "1979"-esque alt-rock of "i want to be by your side."
For fans of: Flatbush Zombies, Vince Staples
Caid Jones is on the rise. As he says on "Higher," "I move like a monsoon" — and damn, is he right. The versatile rapper flips from R&B croon to fiery verses over groovy funk and booming beats. Passionate about social and environmental justice, Jones bolsters his agile flow with sharp, purposeful lyrics, and has already proven that his debut EP, No Distractions Please, is one to watch when it drops on June 25.
For fans of: Solange, Jorja Smith, Alessia Cara
Attempting to find catharsis through the complexities of everyday life is something that most artists want to achieve. On debut album What We Lost, out June 25 via Hot Tramp, Janette King does just that. Her recent singles showcase an exciting new voice in the R&B scene, one that takes personal pain and makes it universal and danceable at the same time.
For fans of: Planetary Assault Systems, Surgeon, Northern Structures
Measure Divide is one of those unseen cogs that keeps Toronto's techno scene turning. For the last while he's been releasing industrial bangers with fellow Canadian Dolgener as MDD, but a recent signing to Clergy Records culminated in May's Green Parallel EP. It's a four-track release that quivers and creaks with superbly produced, pitch-black techno. Get on it.
For fans of: 100 Gecs, SOPHIE, Death Grips
Cyberpunk fans, meet Bhaveek Makan, a.k.a. Skinny Local. Last year, the Vancouver artist released the dystopian Radio Bombay and guested on Snotty Nose Rez Kids' "Screaming Indian." More industrial trap beats and hyperpop drops followed in March with Project Kalyug, an android-filled EP with a title that refers to an end-of-times concept in Indian mythology. Makan promises another release is on the way — pure bangers to balance out our dark times.
Leslie Ken Chu
For fans of: Carole King, Kate Bush, Weyes Blood
On her new orchestral pop single, "Tangled," Kelly Sloan extols the virtues of patience. "Hold on, no one gets the feel on the first try," she gently intones, offering hope that we will make it through pandemic purgatory by practicing compassion. With help from Matthew "Doc" Dunn, violinist Brielle Goheen and producer Jeff McMurrich (Jennifer Castle, U.S. Girls), Sloan has surrounded herself with some of Ontario's finest.
FFO: Lush, Smashing Pumpkins, Paramore, Hatchie
Softcult are a new band from familiar faces. Sisters Mercedes and Phoenix Arn-Horn started the "mall goth" project in response to the persistent misogyny they encountered performing as Courage My Love, and they put the patriarchy on notice with debut EP Year of the Rat. "Take It Off" is a standout, calling out shitty boyfriends who prefer partners that are seen but not heard.
Listen to tracks from these and other emerging Canadian artists in our Spotify playlist.