Updated: Jan 3, 2021
JJ Wilde Ruthless
On Ruthless, Kitchener, Ontario's JJ Wilde unleashed her powerful, multi-faceted vocal prowess and was able to take the Canadian charts by storm in the process. In spite of the chaos of 2020, it was a pretty good year for Wilde who become the only female artist in history to concurrently top all three Canadian rock charts formats in Canada with her debut single, "The Rush." Ruthless is a tour de force debut for the singer-songwriter with a sound and vibe sonically residing somewhere between the anguished soulfulness of Adele and the garage rock libations of The Beaches or the now defunct Pack A.D.
Standout track: Funeral For a Lover
JJ Voss Come Along With Me
Regina-based roots rocker JJ Voss's third release is chock-full of soulful anthems delivered in in his signature husky tone on Come Along With Me. With an instrumental vibe similar to Steve Earle or Jason Isbell, Voss gets up on his soapbox to relay a message of hope and positivity that resonated strongly with many in 2020. Whilst at times preachy, Voss carried this unwavering, uncompromising message to a number 2 selection for Saskmusic's "The Best Saskatchewan Albums of 2020". Voss is a hard worker and is well deserving of every accolade of praise he has received for this fantastic record.
Standout track: "Some People"
Colter Wall Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs
At just 25 years of age Swift Current's Colter Wall continues to prove, with his meticulous, preservationist approach that he is indeed an old soul on Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs. Wall's signature, stripped down arrangements are evident throughout this record, as well as a newly enhanced vocal approach (thanks to the addition of a thicker vibrato) and acoustic undertones that literally sound like every track was recorded in a bunkhouse somewhere out on the open plains. It's an old school sound very reminiscent of a dusty old thrift shop vinyl. But, Wall's latest is more than just a curiosity, it's a crackling fire of a record that will no doubt hearken the listener back to "the good ol' days".
Standout track: "I Ride An old Paint/Leavin' Cheyenne