Top 10 Canadian Artists to Get You Through Your Seasonal Affective Disorder

  1. Rose Cousins (Halifax, Nova Scotia): Rose Cousins sells a merch T-shirt that says “Rose Cousins Made Me Cry”. That’s it; that’s the pitch. Kidding. A native of Prince Edward Island, Rose Cousins loves haunting ballads as much as she loves chicken fingers (and as much as I love her).
  2. Donovan Woods (Toronto, Ontario): Some guy once wrote Donovan Woods an email to ask Donovan if he would write a song to convince said guy’s ex-girlfriend to break off her engagement, and Donovan wrote the song “I Saw on Facebook That Mike Proposed”. For this and his sweet, sweet voice, I’m an eternal fan. You can find some of his music here.
  3. William Prince (Winnipeg, Manitoba): William Prince, born in Selkirk, Manitoba and raised on the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba, is a folk singer-songwriter with a silky, golden voice. If “Bloom” doesn’t make you cry, I’ll give you your money back.
  4. Port Cities (Halifax, Nova Scotia): “I met you at a house party in Montreal” is the opening line to this Halifax-based trio’s latest single, “Montreal”. Even though I didn’t fall in love at any of the house parties I attended during my 2 years in Montreal, this song makes me feel like I did.  You can find some of their music here.
  5. Coeur de Pirate (Montreal, Quebec): I first heard of Coeur de Pirate (Beatrice Martin) through the queer Canadian Twitter grapevine (i.e. literally just my friend Becca). She’s an indie Francophone pop artist, and whether or not you speak French, it’s a vibe. Plus, her Twitter game is fire.
  6. Joel Plaskett (Halifax, Nova Scotia): If you want to step foot in Nova Scotia for any length of time and not embarrass yourself, Joel Plaskett is on the syllabus. He’s prolific, a local legend, and is king of the one-liner: “Picture one hand clapping, then picture half of that sound”. You can find some of his music here.
  7. Arkells (Hamilton, Ontario): This 5-man alternative rock band has the unique privilege of being the most interesting thing to ever come out of McMaster University (Marauders, don’t @ me) and is a favourite of Canada’s sweetheart ice dancers, Scott and Tessa (and therefore, of the rest of us). 
  8. Daniel Caesar (Toronto, Ontario): After 3 Grammy nominations and collaborations with Chance the Rapper and H.E.R., Daniel Caesar (Ashton Simmonds) is a star in the ascendant. He also famously recorded a live studio version of his song “Best Part” without dropping his dainty coffee mug, which makes him the best kind of human. You can find some of his music here.
  9. Scott Helman (Toronto, Ontario): Scott Helman is a pop singer-songwriter and also my urban millennial soulmate. His music feels like an ode to all my peers making a go of it in various Canadian cities, particularly their love for late night takeout and dating misadventures.
  10. Carly Rae Jepsen (Vancouver, British Columbia): Okay, hear me out. “Call Me Maybe” might give you painful 2012 flashbacks, but her 2015 album E●MO●TION features some of my favourite pop songwriting in recent years. God save our gracious queen. You can find some of her music here.

As it turns out, narrowing this list down to a Top 10 was a Herculean task. As I was doing my ‘research’, I sent a tweet out to ask my friends who they considered to be essential Canadian talent. I couldn’t include all of their suggestions, but I did compile a Spotify playlist of their recommendations here.

Davita DesRoches
Davita DesRoches is a first-year student at Wake Div. Her passions include drinking (hot) tea, smashing the patriarchy, and giving brief sermons on Canadian history and culture to her American peers.

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