Over the decades Canada has produced some of the greatest exports in music history, sending artists around the globe to top national charts and pack concert venues in a pre-pandemic world. There’s something in the water that can’t be easily found in the US or UK, and without a doubt there are even some artists that many of us would never guess are from Canada. While we count down the months until a hopeful reopening of concert venues, we look back on the first half of 2020 and dig into a handful of female artists who continue to make Canada proud. Not only do these artists have the talent and style, but they have a brand that is undeniable and have been busy in 2020 making incredible music to dance the night away to while being safe at home.
Now before you think “wait there’s only five”, believe us it was a hard decision and we’re only discussing active artists with fresh content in 2020. We all love Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion and Shania Twain, but these are our favorites that are putting the right stuff into the world during one of the most unique times in human history. From pop, indie to electronic genres of music, Canada will forever be known as the hotbed for emerging artists while respecting those legacy acts who made it possible for these newer artists to rise and make their mark. Without any further delay, here are our top five favorites for 2020.
Carly Rae Jepsen
With a fresh quarantine-friendly single “Me and the Boys in the Band”, Carly Rae Jepsen is making life just a bit easier for music fans around the globe. Listeners old and new can appreciate her longevity in an industry that quickly forgets artists with one hit wonders. Many could have written her off after her blast off single “Call Me Maybe”, but she has since moved on to create intelligent, witty pop music that will stand the test of time and quick to move on listeners. As an artist who’s always making moves, listeners are eager to hear what’s next from this young British Columbia based songwriter. For 2020 Jepsen released ‘Dedicated Side B’ which is a collection of B-sides from her hit 19’ album ‘Dedicated’ along with a collection of additional music as a 5 year celebration of the 2015 album ‘Emotion’.
Toronto born artist Betty Moon has seen many sides of the music spectrum and industry in her spanning career that includes both major label and independent success. Canadians may have caught her on stage performing with Pink Floyd in front of thousands, or rocking the stage around the country on her countless club tours supporting multiple albums over the past two decades. Her brand of pop, electronic and hard rock is paired perfectly with her unique look, which as a whole has been often imitated but never duplicated. In 2020, the now Los Angeles based songwriter and producer dropped her EP ‘Translucent’ and LP ‘Little Miss Hollywood’, which spawned multiple singles that have been covered in publications around North America and beyond. Moon was also on the GRAMMY ballot in early 20’ for multiple singles in categories such as Best Pop Solo Performance, Song of the Year, Best Music Video, and Record of the Year.
The Juno award winning artist out of Timmins has surfed just under the radar in Canada and beyond for well over a decade. With early hit singles like “Drive My Soul”, “Giants” and an unforgettable brand, her creativity has won the hearts and attention of millions of followers all over. Her unique style of electro pop and synth undertones has carried her from the peak years of Myspace music into a generation that consumes music in so many new and enjoyable ways. In 2020 Lights and MYTH collaborated on the single “Dead End”, which stays true to Lights original brand that her fans love but keeps evolving for fans of EDM, Pop and even emo driven stylings which are part of her roots.
The lead singer of Canada group Metric is one of the most respected in the industry, and has kept her native country on the map as a producer of not only pop sensations, but credible indie musicians that can please the most discerning of music editors at magazines. We are confident that there’s a song by Emily for every music nerd, from those who love Radiohead to music fans who only lean on top 40 music stations for the hit song fix. Also a notable member of the group Broken Social Scene, Haines shines of diversity in music talent, while also standing tall as an artist that is impossible to imitate or duplicate on her level of success.
Outside of her main projects, Emily is back with new content from her solo project Soft Skeleton and the latest album ‘Choir of the Mind’. Fans are obviously glad to hear more of her creative efforts that are topped with her smooth soprano/baritone ranged croon.
The rising songstress found seemingly instant success years ago on Vine, but has quickly gained notoriety and a solid reputation with multiple releases and new music that dropped in 2020. With over 500 million streams on Spotify, Ruth B could easily be one of Canada’s top performing artists in the world of streaming music. With roots in Edmonton and a Juno nomination, she ultimately won Breakthrough Artist of the Year. In a pandemic dominated music industry where live shows are on hold, Ruth B can be confident that both Canada and her unique brand of pop will be heard around the globe via our favorite Spotify and Apple Music channels.
The Ruth B train won’t be stopped, and for 2020 she has dropped powerful new music including the single “If I Had A Son” as a follow-up to her 2019 single “Slow Fade”. All proceeds from her latest single are being donated to charity, which makes us love her even more. She also has a new single “Dirty Nikes” planned for release on 8.28, and our ears can’t wait for even more Ruth B in our lives.