Every now and then I’m able to catch CBC’s radio show The Signal at 10 p.m. when I’m driving listlessly around town. Host Laurie Brown (who arguably has her own cult following here in the True North) always has the BEST music to showcase, including a number of well-known and lesser-known Canadian artists. Braids are a band from the Prairies and I couldn’t help but be swept away by their single “Taste” off their third studio album. It’s such a haunting song, only enhanced by the fact that I was hearing it for the first time driving down the darkened 417. (FYI – you can stream Laurie’s curated music picks on CBC Music.)


I knew it was Shane as soon as I heard the voice. The Canadian spoken word poet lends his verse to Sport Chek’s Rio 2016 Olympic Manisfesto commercials. I’ve always been a big fan of Shane and definitely got pretty emotional watching these commercials. The cadence and lyricism of his voice is incredible. Lots of pride for Canada!


I don’t know how I got here and the whole thing is slightly upsetting. You see…I’m a bit of a closeted country fan. I’ve been able to deny it for a while now, but I think it’s time to finally come clean. Every now and then my hand twitches and I involuntarily switch the dial on the radio to the local country station. (We’re talking Ouija board shit.) It’s mostly a summer flirtation. Anyway, I was listening to the radio the other night with my windows rolled down and “Workin’ On Whiskey” came on. I’ll tell you right now that from the moment I heard it, I knew this song was something special. It’s been roughly a year since I started getting my twang on and I’ve only found about a handful of artists I could actually see myself listening to long-term (so much of country is the same four chords after all, but then again, the same is true of a lot of popular genres). Jessica Mitchell sounds like the female Chris Stapleton, which is pretty much the biggest compliment I can give at this point in time what with my limited knowledge of country in general. And get this…she’s Canadian! Within hours, I’d snapped up tickets to her upcoming show in town and pretty much told everyone I knew about her. I feel like she gets what country is all about: grit.


THIS IS NOT A DRILLREPEATTHIS IS NOT A DRILL. Portishead has actually covered a sickly sweet ABBA tune and turned it into trip hop gold. (But it’s worth noting that the track has added solemnity in the form of its tribute to recently slain MP Jo Cox. Well done, Beth and co.)