By: Staff –
To celebrate the release of Tania Joy’s upcoming new album, I Will Stand (due out on Sept. 16th), the acclaimed roots singer-songwriter curated a brand new Spotify playlist that you can stream below.
“I’m delighted to curate this playlist for Aesthetic Magazine of Canadian BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists who I have found kinships with and who I have turned to for mentorship, comfort and inspiration,” said Joy. “I have found my community, who are a part of my journey and I’d love for you to discover them too.”
- Allison Russell’s “Nightflyer” is a dreamy song too beautiful to imagine as the vessel to unearth deep childhood wounds, from her self debut solo album Outside Child. But that’s not all – it is triumphant and confirming in its strength and defiance – and we can all draw from that resilience. I first discovered Allison Russell as the French Canadian half of Birds of Chicago many years ago and have cherished their complimentary soundscape ever since.
- I was deeply moved by this new release “Meet You At The Light” from Canadian songwriter Desiree Dawson. There is peace and calm and a sense of shared experience, as I navigate some of these feelings with the deterioration of my own fathers health. Desiree recently released a video to support the song and it is a heart stopper. If you are searching for healing, Desiree has created a space for us to rest.
- I met AHI, the stage name for Ahkinoah Habah Izarh, virtually this past summer at a songwriting retreat. AHI makes you feel like you are a part of his journey, and I am inspired by his deep sense of self and the clarity of his vision. With soulful lyrically driven songs, I find myself returning to his body of work like comfort food. His latest release “Danger” off the forthcoming album deserves a special mention as it calls attention to the impact of gun violence in communities through a story that came to him in a dream, but that in fact mirrored a real life tragedy.
- “It’ll Rain Today” by Canadian songstress Michelle Willis is a song so deeply comforting, like a warm blanket or a long awaited embrace, as it gently reminds me that on the other side of grief there is light and though they both often coexist there is a way through. With the promise of a new album on the way, I thought it best to put Michelle back on the radar!
- How do you choose just one song of this deeply satisfying journey that is The Ridge? As far as I am concerned Julian Taylor is one of Canada’s greatly underrated artists – until now. With two 2020 Juno nominations this album speaks for itself in its simplicity, in it’s intimate relationships and in the honest and pure telling of life on the Ridge. Julian himself and his music have a certain quality that reaches out and instantly draws you into his circle and connects you to him, and that is a very admirable trait in an oft cold world. I encourage you to add this album to your permanent collection.
- Another standout in this collection is Leela Gilday’s two time award winning album North Star Calling produced by Hill Kourkoutis (Hill also masterfully produced my new album I Will Stand). I can’t listen to the song “K’eintah Natse Ju” without the hairs standing up on my skin, and a deep sense of connection. “K’eintah Natse Ju” (pronounced Kay-tah Naht-say Joo) feels like a hard fought journey to freedom and healing – one I’d like to stand alongside as an ally.
- With the release of “Love” in 2020 – a time of slow down and introspection – I forged a new connection to Alysha Brilla and her music. Alysha has a decades long career that has garnered accolades far and wide, for which I have been a fan for a long time, but her new works turn more inward and herald her reclamation of autonomy in the production of her own works. She is operating on a new frequency now, one we should all await with bated breath.
- There’s something about the song “Low Light” from Lydia Persaud’s debut album Let Me Show You that is so nostalgic and familiar. I just love the mellow throw back vibes and the warm timbre of Lydia’s voice. I was first introduced to Lydia as the grounding force of the folk trio The O’Pears at an intimate house concert.
- I’m so delighted to call the powerhouse Aphrose as a mentor and friend, and have her sing background vocals on the title track “I Will Stand” off the new EP. Her debut album Element was a stunner, and with the song “Fire” Aphrose commands your attention with her vocal mastery and lays down her demands. The vintage vibes will draw you in until you find yourself in full rapture fanning the flames.
- The only Non-Canadian artist in this curated list is Black Pumas who I was introduced to by a friend last year and haven’t taken them out of the rotation since. Their single “Colors” finds me transported emotionally and physically to a place of pure joy, peace and harmony, and it’s no wonder I find myself returning again and again. This track is one of many on the new album to illuminate a very dark period, and the Grammy nominated album should cement them in many vinyl catalogues for years to come.