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article imageOp-Ed: 5 Canadian musicians to look out for in 2015

By Michael Thomas     Nov 21, 2014 in Music
We're getting to the end of the year, which means the "best of" lists are just around the corner. Here, we look forward to 2015 and five Canadian music acts who are poised to make a splash.
In alphabetical order:
Buffalo Knocks/Shear Blouse
If something has happened to Calgary weirdos Ghostkeeper, the band hasn't really told anyone. What has happened is that in May of 2014, Ghostkeeper's Facebook page announced the creation of two solo acts. Male vocalist Shane Ghostkeeper becomes Buffalo Knocks, and female vocalist Sarah Houle becomes Shear Blouse.
The two are placed together as one entry because the effort seems co-ordinated; on the same day, both acts released two songs each. Then a few months later, again on the same day, both acts added a photo their respective Facebook photos. Besides the brief blurbs, there's no indication on whether these projects will release EPs, albums or perhaps nothing more.
Buffalo Knocks seems like a slightly unhinged Ghostkeeper; Shane Ghostkeeper's vocals are as distinct as always, and "November" comes across almost like a Ghostkeeper mixtape. It retains its eerie ambiance while also driving home the bluesy rock that Ghostkeeper is known form. "Medicine" is a little more straight-ahead blues rock.
Shear Blouse, on the other hand, is something totally different. "Ocean" shows that this band might be embracing a more electronic direction, with heavy synthesizers backing it, along with Houle's vocals featuring some minor modification. But halfway through, dark guitar comes in to completely change the atmosphere. "Trans Am Sister" builds up to something big a lot quicker. Minimalist electronics and drums add a sense of unease, which is really textbook Ghostkeeper.
To be honest, Ghostkeeper could be trolling everyone and releasing two new albums in disguise. But either way, the music so far is compelling, as Ghostkeeper always has been.
Carnival Moon
It's been a while since the world has gotten a new recording from Toronto-based Carnival Moon — the EP Our Little Hourglass came out in 2011 — but with the band playing a few shows in the Toronto area recently, they've announced that their debut full-length could finally come out, and early in 2015.
In a landscape littered with "baroque pop" acts, this band takes that several steps further. Elaine Kelly-Canning's place at the harp already brings a sense of magic to the music, but the band also embraces electronics to propel Carnival Moon into territory all its own. It's about time the band finally gets the spotlight it so richly deserves.
Layten Kramer
At just 19 years old, Vancouver's Layten Kramer seems to be courting success not in the well-worn pop realm, but more in the vein of indie-pop. For a young adult, his writing is remarkably mature, as showcased on his debut EP Through the Days, released last month."Passing of Time" is a song about growing up, backed by glorious swells of horns. "Grown Ups" embraces tropical chords over lyrics about being a kid. "Pendulums" takes things slower,
The reason his success seems more sure is the fact that he was able to fund this EP with an Indiegogo campaign — if an unsigned independent artist can surpass a funding goal, then he could theoretically get an album done this way too. And if his music so far is any indication, we can expect a lot more great things to come.
Emilee Sorrey
One song seems not to be much to go on, but that's not the case for PEI's Emilee Sorrey. The tiny island hasn't produced a good pop act in a bit, and with the release of her first single "You Love Me," chances are it could be Sorrey. The "jangly" guitars of the song bring to mind the Smiths and even the early music of PEI's Molly Rankin, now known more popular as the lead singer of Alvvays.
But it's brushes of other things that make Sorrey unique. The gentle clattering of percussion and a little bit of synthesizer, in addition to her breezy vocals, make "You Love Me" a mouth-watering taste of what's to come. Apparently her debut EP will be out in the "near future," so let's hope this translates to a big 2015.
Tasha the Amazon
It's really high time for more female emcees to rise through the ranks. And if anyone can rise to the top, it just might be Toronto's Tasha the Amazon. While contemporaries like Nicki Minaj can have their messages obscured through controversial hypersexuality, Tasha the Amazon embraces a slightly less bombastic stance.
Two elements make Tasha the Amazon's music so compelling; first, the backing beats, while dark and industrial. aren't intrusive and help to emphasize Tasha's voice. Second, she raps clearly and enunciates, allowing every word to have an impact. She released a mixtape in 2013, so it's about time she releases another chunk of music to the world.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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