8 Tracks

To say that the latest iteration of our 8 Tracks feature is full of heavy hitters would be an understatement. What we have here is the best of the best in Canadian music right now, and some (if not all) of these will be your new favourite songs of the summer. So check out the mini reviews and info from the artist, then get these tunes in your earholes!

Arih SK – “Reluctant Heart”

Let’s kick this off with the latest from Arih SK – the St. Catharines artist has just released “Reluctant Heart”, a mellow pop-tinged gem about the fear of trying again when it comes to matters of the heart. Keep your ears open for lovely backup vocals from Amanda Lyn Parker! From The Artist: “Hearts get broken. Cat Stevens said the first cut is the deepest. After that first cut, the heart changes. Maybe it gets tougher or maybe it gets stronger. I think it gets more reluctant. But after enough time that wears off, or maybe someone will come along who can coax that reluctant heart out of hibernation. Time to ‘try to love again’. That’s the scary part, but it’s better than going nowhere. I used to think the first cut was the deepest, but I was young. Cat Stevens was 17 when he recorded the demo for that song. The first cut is only the first part of the story and there’s no limit to the depth.


Matthew Ryan Jacobs – “Skip The Gin”

Another new track from Matthew Ryan Jacobs, ahead of his upcoming EP. This single is a soft rock slowburn with a focus on vocals and stellar guitar riffs that amp up the edginess. From The Artist: Skip the Gin was written about getting on the right track, and seeing what is important. It’s not about regret, but coming out on the other side with a better perspective. This is the closest thing to a love song I’ve ever written. I wrote it for my partner as a thank you for helping me figure these things out.


Fake Shark – “Bummer Summer” @fakeshark

Most summer tracks are upbeat and happy, but the latest from Fake Shark is truly a moody summer track, (or anti-summer track, as it were) – and it works perfectly. Love the catchy chorus and solemn feel. They’ve got another hit on their hands with this one! From The Band: “Bummer Summer is a song about people who burn lots of bridges thinking there will be no repercussions for their actions and then feel sorry for themselves. I wrote it from the perspective of someone who hurts everyone around them and then is surprised to find themselves alone while everyone else is enjoying themselves and it was their own fault. It was fun to think so sarcastically and put myself in their shoes.


Odds – “Walk Among The Stars”

More new music from Odds! From the recent Crash The Time Machine album, this is another melody-focused indie rocker that deserves your undivided attention. From The Band: ““Walk Among The Stars” the latest single from their LP was loosely inspired by reminding themselves of their friends The Tragically Hip in the studio: “The song is a painting about friendship and how love connects us all, broadly speaking. It’s really about your own network of friends and what people give you by sharing their energy, not just during their lifetime, but even after they’re gone.” 


JEEN – “Just Shadows”

Another stellar indie rock track from Canadian artist, JEEN – tons of fuzz, a catchy singalong style chorus, and her compelling gritty vocals make this a surefire summer banger. From The ArtistHazy, heady, hedonistic and hopeful. JEEN introduces her forthcoming album, Gold Control, with lead single “Just Shadows,” putting a firm foot forward for this luminous ten tracker. Its quick frantic pace bounces along and transports the listener to those communal sweaty nights in dodgy, body-packed underground clubs with the band five feet away making all feel as one. “Just Shadows” considers how the dark parts of life can snuff out the light. It’s about getting through it so we don’t become casualties of our worst days. 


Family Man – “CONVICTION”

The guitar riffs on this track are just outstanding, and the energy is infectious. Perfect for fans of bands like IDLES and Fontaines D.C., Family Man is a Canadian punk/alt rock band that should get on your radar immediately. From The Band: Lead singer/guitarist Conner Root says, “the true nature of ‘CONVICTION’ speaks to how so many of us on all sides of the spectrum use arbitrary identifiers to not only judge and belittle others, but to excuse ourselves from finding who we actually are. There have always been members of Family Man who openly identify as being LGBTQ+, but the band adopts an ‘I am who I am, and if you don’t like that, I couldn’t care less’ mentality. ‘CONVICTION’’ is the first time we touch on that publicly.”


Royal Castles – “Bad Business Barbie”

Absolutely digging the latest from Guelph’s Royal Castles – intense, moody, sexy, and just very cool overall. Some aspects of it remind me of The Kills (one of my all-time favourite bands, so that’s saying something). Turn this one up. From The Band: Royal Castles are entering their third album cycle to continue this momentum with their upcoming EP, Singles Night, showcasing their sonic evolution and featuring the brand new single, “Bad Business Barbie.” Spotlighting drummer Katrin Sawatzky’s vocals and songwriting in a fresh new moment for Royal Castles, “Bad Business Barbie” is a bold love letter to the women who are tamed by patriarchy, a rally cry, a confession about vulnerability, power, freedom and the secrets we keep.


Mike Leon – “Hey Boy”

Last, but absolutely not least, we’ve got a brand new track from FTS pal, Mike Leon. If you’re looking for a toe-tappin’, foot stompin’ track, this is it – catchy and upbeat, with Paul Simon vibes, you’ll have “Hey Boy” stuck in your head as soon as you hear it. From The Artist: ‘Hey Boy’ by Canadian Singer/Songwriter Mike Leon is a propulsive Indie Folk song about staying true to your dreams while confronting negativity from people around you.