Friday June 30, 2017
Listen up, Canada! Three top musicians share their quintessential albums for Canada 150
more stories from this episode
- Remnants of Upper Canada's first Parliament site buried under a Toronto car wash
- Sculptor Ruth Abernethy casts Canadian icons in bronze
- Listen up, Canada! Three top musicians share their quintessential albums for Canada 150
- No one is stopping Tomson Highway from having a happy Canada Day
- Riffed from the Headlines 01/07/2017
- Full Episode
Which iconic Canadian album do you think the whole nation should be listening to this Canada Day?
It's not an easy question to answer. But music is top of mind for many this weekend as thousands descend on Ottawa to celebrate 150 years of official nationhood.
Still, when it comes to Canadian musical talent, the Canada 150 festivities will barely scratch the surface.
Here's what each of them had to say about their favourite record by a fellow Canadian artist.
Tanika Charles' pick: Big Black Lincoln, Heaven's Caught on Fire
"I believe this album was a pivotal point in the urban scene. First of all, you couldn't find a rapper — let alone a popular one — that sings. Saukrates was singing, he was rhyming. And it paved the way for artists now to be able to create music like that."
"Saukrates being a producer; a vocalist, a multi-instrumentalist — he did it all and it was like, 'You know what? It is possible.'"
"It could work — you could be an emcee, you could be a singer, and it would work. You've got Drake now; you've got k-os; you've got K'naan. It's a huge album!"
Jenn Grant's pick: Sarah Harmer, You Were Here
"I think Sarah Harmer is an icon," says Grant. "She's one of my heroes, and she's an incredible songwriter. She knows how to write a beautiful sentimental ballad, or she knows how to rock out with her band; she's really diverse in that way. And she's an environmentalist."
"So I think that's an important part about being Canadian — if you can use your voice as an artist to celebrate your country, and the people that live there and who came before us, and try to bring some peace and health to the land, that is so desperately needed. And I think she's an important voice for that."
"The words she's using, like 'the oar dips into oil-like water,' and 'the great night' — it just brings me to that kind of summer night out on the water, where everything is kind of wistful."
"When I think about great Canadian summers I've had, that's what I like to remember."
Zaki Ibrahim's pick: Feist, The Reminder
"Whenever I go home to B.C., I'm going home to be calm, and she transports me there every time."
"I think if we were to look at Canada [as if we had] a general personality of sorts, we're not boastful; we're not overstated. Even in our hip-hop scene, we've got an interesting whip-smart, simple appeal."
"I come from … the hip-hop, the the R&B, the electronic beats; heavy-hitting production — that kind of influence … I wasn't listening to quote-unquote 'folk music' or the singer-songwriter stuff a lot growing up."
"But The Reminder was the first that I sank into, and I could not stop listening. And I feel like it really seeped into my music, and my brain and imagination."
To hear the rest of our panel discussion with Tanika Charles, Zaki Ibrahim and Jenn Grant, download our podcast or click the 'Listen' button at the top of this page.