Soundcheck: New sounds from Mo Kenney, Ryan Hemsworth, Tagaq wins the Polaris and more

Happy Wednesday. It’s officially okay to start thinking ahead to the weekend, you’re half-way there. This week in Soundcheck, we have new songs from Ryan Hemsworth, The Rural Alberta Advantage and Mo Kenney. Shad has a new video too. And finally we tell you who won the Polaris Prize. If you follow Canadian music at all, you’ll know who won. But just incase, we included it.


Mo Kenney – In My Dreams (Available Sept. 30 via New Scotland Records) East Coaster Mo Kenney is back with her sophomore album In My Dreams. She’s been making waves in the music scene ever since Joel Plaskett discovered her in her teens. She’s also from Waverly, N.S., but that has nothing to do with her making waves. Once again she works with Plaskett as he produced the record. Give it a spin in advance on Exclaim.


Ryan Hemsworth – “Snow In Newark (ft. Dawn Golden)” Producer Ryan Hemsworth announced yesterday he’s got an album on the way via Last Gang Records. The globe-trotter seemingly never sleeps and he’s constantly pumping out new music of his own or working on his Secret Songs project. His latest release is a 7″ single, “Snow In Newark” featuring Dawn Golden. It hints at a different direction than his previous album Guilt Trips as it brings in the sounds of different genres that have influenced him over they years.


Shad – “Part 1 American Pie, Part 2: The Future Is Here” – Hip hop artist Shad has a new video out  for “Part 1 American Pie, Part 2: The Future Is Here” from his album Flying Colours. The video, directed by Justin Broadbent, features a steady stream of images, GIFs and video clips scrolling over top of a marble background. Broadbent posted this quote about the video:

 “The death of music is similar to the death of visual art. The online, numb, browsing experience has (naturally) started to effect the current state of art. We’ve become a Tumblr’d culture, over Googled, educated and bored in 4 seconds or shorter.

“I made a non-music video for Shad’s “Progress”. It’s a website. It’s a comment on the state of art and also maybe the only video that could attach to such an intensely accurate and poignant song for our generation. It is like the movie credits to now. Tumblr on.”

He makes a good point. I personally find it almost impossible to sit down and watch a music video without opening a million different tabs while the video plays in the background.


Tanya Tagaq won the 2014 Polaris Music Prize for her album Animism. The Inuk singer has an incredible collection of voices and sounds that show how deep and important a tool of communication music can be. She also receives $30,000 for her win.

Photo of Rural Alberta Advantage: Supplied