Ryn Weaver, Kids in Despair, Dear Rouge, W. Darling at Universal Music Showcase, Tattoo

Photographs by Kevin Leung.

With every New Year comes an artist that are about to ignite a firestorm across the nation. And every year we look forward to seeing those artists showcase their unique talents at the annual Canadian Music Week. Thanks to Universal Music Canada, we got an exclusive sneak peek at the musicians who have sparked a gush-fest with music critics, and should be on your playlist for 2015.

First up is Hayley Gene better known by her stage name W. Darling. If you’re fan of the electronic scene, you might have heard this beauty’s voice on Bassnectar’s track “You & Me”. 

Her set gave us a taste of what to expect from her upcoming debut, “The Lost Girls” and it sounds promising. Gene’s delicate and ethereal vocals are absolutely exquisite. Her latest single “Night Like This” will have you longing for those starry summer nights. She’s definitely someone you would want to keep on your radar.

Up next was everyone’s favourite after school special, K.I.D. (Kids in Despair). The brother and sister duo have been riding the high since the release of their single, “I Wish I Was Your Cigarette”. Bobby and Kara’s live performance was delightfully strange as they sing and vogue about love, bongs, and being so stoned that you can’t even go to the bathroom.  My personal favourite was “New Emotion” as Kara’s voice sounds pretty enthralling over the tangible tune. Overall, their garage pop sound will definitely ignite your ear buds.  And trust me when I say, you don’t have to be stoned to enjoy this band. 

The special guest and final opener of the UMC showcase was Dear Rouge. The synth-rock group consist of husband and wife  Drew and Danielle McTaggart.   On March 30, the duo released their first full-length called “Black to Gold”, and after the first listen it’s no wonder they were named CBC Radio’s 3 one of the most anticipated artists of 2015. Danielle’s vocals were on point as she swiftly performs tracks from their debut (“I Heard I Had”, “Wanna Wanna” “Tongues”). Her powerhouse voice matched perfectly with the group’s blend of dynamic guitar hooks and elevating synths.  I’m anxious to see what Dear Rouge does next – hopefully a headline tour is soon on the horizon. 

Closing out the UMC showcase at Tattoo on Queen St. was rising electro pop sensation Ryn Weaver. If you haven’t heard of her by now, then you’ve obviously been living under a rock for the past year.  With stars ranging from Charli XCX to Jessie Ware, artists have been singing the praises of the 22 year-old.  After her performance on Saturday, questions about her creditability are answered.  She opens up with “Promises” which showcased her palpable energy that the crowd immediately gravitated to.  Songs like “The Fool” and “Stay Low” were compelling, sultry with her exceptional sound. The spell bounding lyrics and fierce pipes sets her apart from any artist in the similar category.  She ends with hit single song “OctaHate”, but it’s clear we haven’t seen the last of her.  Her debut, This Fool is out June 16 and make sure to catch her live at The Garrison on August 04.

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