2013 Juno Nominees

Yesterday I attended the 2013 Juno Nominations in Toronto. Like every year, I’m really happy with some of the nominations and unhappy with others.  This past year was without a doubt a stellar year for Canadian music at home and abroad.  Here are some of my favorite categories this year:

BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY FACTOR AND RADIO STARMAKER FUND)

Cold Specks Arts & Crafts*Universal
Elisapie Pheromone*Fontana North
Grimes Arbutus*F>A>B
Kira Isabella Sony
The Weeknd Republic*Universal
I’m really happy to see such variety in this list. I had voted Grimes’ album Visions as my top pick for the Polaris Prize this past year. I absolutely love Elisapie’s latest record Travelling Love, an album that really put her on the map in the rest of Canada and rightfully so. She’s such a talented singer and songwriter. I’m also a big fan of Cold Specks’ voice and can admit that I listen to The Weeknd probably on a daily basis.

BREAKTHROUGH GROUP OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY FACTOR AND RADIO STARMAKER FUND)

Hey Ocean! Universal
Monster Truck Dine Alone*Universal
The Pack a.d. Mint*Outside
Walk Off the Earth Columbia*Sony
Yukon Blonde Dine Alone*Universal
The band that I’m beyond stoked to see in this category is Hey Ocean! I’ve had the pleasure of working with them in the past, they’re some of the most hardworking individuals and most positive people I know. They’re so refreshing to be around.  They’ve worked really hard to be where they are today and I’m glad they’re finally getting the recognition they deserve. Go get’em guys!

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY SIRIUSXM CANADA)

Afie Jurvanen Brushfire*Universal
“Be My Witness”, “Caught Me Thinkin”, “Lost in the Light” BARCHORDS – Bahamas
 Arkells Universal
“Michigan Left”, “On Paper”, “Whistleblower” MICHIGAN LEFT – Arkells
 Hannah Georgas Dine Alone*Universal | Publisher: Hannah Georgas
“Enemies”, “Robotic” – co-songwriter Ryan Guldemond, “Somebody” – HANNAH GEORGAS – Hannah Georgas
 Kathleen Edwards MapleMusic*Universal | Publisher: Potty Mouth Production/Peer International Ltd (Canada)
“A Soft Place to Land”– co-songwriter John Roderick, “Chameleon/Comedian”, “Change the Sheets” VOYAGEUR – Kathleen Edwards
 Leonard Cohen Columbia*Sony | Publisher: Old Ideas LLC
“Amen”, “Going Home”– co-songwriter Patrick Leonard, “Show Me the Place” – co-songwriter Patrick Leonard OLD IDEAS – Leonard Cohen
I was really happy to see Bahamas, Kathleen Edwards and Hannah Georgas alongside Leonard Cohen in this category. Barchords, Voyageur and Hannah’s self-titled record are three of my favorites in the past couple of months. All three of these songwriters are some of Canada’s finest. If I had to pick one favorite, I’d pick Hannah, just because I think her new record positions her as a force to reckon with and shows a lot of maturity (plus she’s a ginger… well sorta and so is Kathleen sorta ;))

ALTERNATIVE ALBUM OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY LONG & MCQUADE)

Hannah Georgas Dine Alone*Universal
Hannah Georgas
Japandroids Polyvinyl*Outside
Celebration Rock
Metric Metric Music International*Universal
Synthetica
Said The Whale Hidden Pony*Universal
Little Mountain
Stars Soft Revolution*Universal
The North
Also happy to see a lot of these names here. I don’t think Metric’s last record is their strongest, neither is Japandroids’ in my opinion. Said The Whale are a great up and coming band from B.C. but I really think that the strongest album in this category is Hannah Georgas once again! Do yourself a favor and listen to her track: “Robotic”

FRANCOPHONE ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Amylie Audiogram*Sélect
Le Royaume
Avec pas d’casque Grosse Boîte*Sélect
Astronomie
Lisa Leblanc Bonsound*Sélect
Lisa Leblanc
Louis-Jean Cormier Simone*Sélect
Le treizième étage
Marie-Pierre Arthur Bonsound*Sélect
Aux alentours
It’s only normal that I talk about this particular category.  Though I think most of these records belong in the list, where is Peter Peter? Fanny Bloom? There are a handful of other stellar records that could have very well been in that list.  That said, I believe Louis-Jean Cormier might win because he might be the most known in the rest of Canada, because of his work with Karkwa but I’d personally like Avec pas d’casque or Marie-Pierre Arthur to win.  They released two excellent records and are all-around great artists.

ELECTRONIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR (SPONSORED BY ROLAND)

Crystal Castles Last Gang*Universal
(III)
Daphni Merge*F>A>B
Jiaolong
Grimes Arbutus* F>A>B
Visions
Purity Ring Last Gang*Universal
Shrines
Trust Arts & Crafts*Universal
TRST
Thank god I’m not in charge of picking the winner of this category because I’d have such a hard time. I honestly believe that the electronic category is probably the strongest it’s been in years. There were so many strong electronic albums that came out of Canada this year, I definitely think the scene is thriving more and more. I’m a fan of all of these records!
To see the complete list of nominees, visit the Juno Awards’ website: http://junoawards.ca/nominees-winners/
Stoked for this year’s gala! See you on April 15th live from Regina 🙂

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