The Dew Line (aka My Canadian Radar)

So, I’ve been wanting start this feature for a while, problem is, I knew it would take time, and that was a little daunting to me. But, here we are, (or at least here I am), so let’s get going shall we? The focus of “The Dew Line” is Canadian artists, typically emerging artists, but sometimes I’ll throw in established artists with new releases or upcoming tour dates. That’s about it for now, so sit back and enjoy the ride, eh.

Photo: Scott Munn

Wintersleep is a power pop band from Halifax, NS that gets a lot of love from CBC Radio 3. Wintersleep released a record in late 2007 called Welcome to the Night Sky which was produced by the legendary Tony Doogan (of Mogwai and Belle and Sebastian fame). Since then, they’ve been touring a ton (including some gigs in Japan) and tonight they’ll be at the venerable Union Hall along with Brian Sendrowitz of Beat Radio. If you can’t make it to out to the Brooklyn show, you can also catch Wintersleep on Saturday night at the Bowery opening for fellow canucks The Stills.

Wendy McNeil
Wendy McNeill is an accordionist from Edmonton, Alberta with a poignant voice, a talent for writing interesting songs and a bewitching sense of style. In fact, ever since hearing her most recent record, The Wonder Show, I’ve been completely under her spell. In particular, I can’t stop listening to the track, “Such A Common Bird”, it’s quirky, yet irresistible. That song, and a few others are streaming over on her MySpace page, so give them a listen, ok?

Dan Mangan
Dan Mangan is a Vancouver musician with a penchant for writing thoughtful folk songs with intelligent lyrics. When I first heard Dan’s “Unnatural Progression” on the CBC Radio 3 Podcast, it really knocked my socks off. Dan Mangan’s self released 2005 record, Postcards and Daydreaming, was rereleased in Canada and the USA in November 2007 with new artwork and an additional track (it’s also available on iTunes). Dan will be at SXSW this year, so do yourself a favor and check him out when you’re down there.
Download: Dan Mangan – Unnatural Progression (mp3)

While not an emerging Canadian artist by any means, Hayden’s Everything I Long For and Moving Careful were two records that made quite an impression on me when I was younger, so I thought I’d give him a shout out here. He’s got a new record out now (in Canada) called In Field and Town and the one track I have heard so far, “Where and When” is excellent. Check out the controversial video for “Where and When” on episode 41 of CBC’s R3TV Podcast. Hayden is on the road right now with Feist, he’ll be opening for her at Hammerstein Ballroom on April 29 and 30. Fat Possum is releasing In Field & Town in the US on April 29, 2008.

Miracle Fortress
Had I put together a top ten list for 2007, Miracle FortressFive Roses would have held down the number one spot. From the moment I heard his cover of John Cale‘s “Hanky Panky Nohow” on Andrew Rose‘s Pop Montreal Popcast I had to find out more about this guy. Once I got ahold of Five Roses, his dreamy pop/electronic sounds spun on my ipod daily. Miracle Fortress has only a played a few US dates thus far, and Graham and the band are currently in the midst of a tour that will see them play SXSW next week and the Mercury Lounge on March 21 along with fellow canucks, The Most Serene Republic. I’ll be there for sure.

Some more Canadian artists who I’ve posted about in the past, but who also deserve a mention on The Dew Line are:
Basia Bulat
Plants and Animals
The Acorn

Hey, I didn’t get to mention everybody I wanted, but I managed to go past my self imposed time limit anyway. Next time on “The Dew Line” look for the goods on: Parlour Steps, Hawksley Workman and Sandro Perri (just to name a few).