These are Canada’s best songs from the past year, according to SOCAN

June 13, 2016

With the JUNOs behind us and the Polaris Music Prize long list on its way this week, there’s another award set to be handed out very soon: the SOCAN Songwriting Prize. SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada) will deliver the award for the eleventh straight year. Last year, Vancouver’s Dear Rouge took it home for “I Heard I Had.” Other previous winners include The Weakerthans, Mo Kenney, and Propagandhi. A pretty esteemed list, to say the least. But this year’s nominees are full of tunes that give those victories a run for their money.

For example, you’ve got Tobias Jesso Jr., who Adele recently called “her new secret weapon.” Jazz Cartier is primed to become Toronto’s new king of hip-hop. Dilly Dally’s vicious, sugary grunge took the whole world by storm when they released their debut last year. Terra Lightfoot emerged with one of the year’s most rollicking rock ‘n’ roll albums. Andy Shauf has quietly taken the breath away from audiences all over the country. Safia Nolin’s gorgeous, delicate folk tunes haunt even the most stoic listener. And Charlotte Cardin’s enchanting soul is impossible to ignore. Check out the links to all the tunes they—and the rest of the list—are being recognized for below.

The prize recognizes the very best in English and French songwriting in Canada. The winner, who will be announced the week of July 4, will receive $10,000, a Godin guitar, Yamaha keyboard, and a $500 gift certificate to Long & McQuade. You can vote once a day for your favourites at both the SOCAN website, or on Twitter using the hashtag #mySSPvote and the artist’s name.


Links to the songs:

Spek Won – “Black Body”
Jazz Cartier – “Dead or Alive”
Dilly Dally – “Desire”
Tobias Jesso Jr. – “How Could You Babe”
Fast Romantics – “Julia”
Terra Lightfoot – “No Hurry”
Daniel Caesar – “Paradise” (ft. BADBADNOTGOOD)
Modern Space – “Pen to Paper”
The Strumbellas – “Spirits”
Andy Shauf – “Wendell Walker”
Feélix Dyotte – “Avalanches”
Claude Bégin – “Avant de disparaître”
Phillippe Brach – “Crystel”
Safia Nolin – “Igloo”
Les soeurs Boulay – “Les coûteaux à beurre”
Charlotte Cardin – “Les échardes”
Rosie Valland – “Olympe”
Alexe Gaudreault – “Placebo”
Laurence Nerbonne – “Rêves d’été”
Saratoga – “Saratoga”


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About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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