by Roman Mitz for Open Spaces
There was a bit of a lull in terms of new releases during the last month but we’re off and running when it comes to new singles dropping in the New Year. Danielle Marie spent the month of January in Nashville writing for her next project with some of the finest tunesmiths, and Patricia Conroy and Phil Barton shared songwriting duties with her on the brand new single ‘I Wanna Go There’. It’s a soaring song of affection that sounds like it was made for radio and Danielle enthuses that “It’s a love song that takes you on a journey with a couple who are not worried about their destination but just being together”. The track was produced by Scotty Chops, a heavyweight producer known for his work with Florida Georgia Line, Dallas Smith, Cold Creek County, and Chase Rice to name a few.
A new act that’s bound to make some waves is Calgary-based Leaving Thomas which is made up of singer/songwriters Annika Odegard and Bryton Udy. The couple created a stir last year with a striking acoustic EP called ‘The Ground Floor’ in which they recorded six songs that they co-wrote with Calgary’s Troy Kokol. The unplugged vibe of the record showcased the vocal chops and songwriting ability of this powerhouse duo. Now they’re plugged in for their new single, ‘Waiting Kind Of Girl’, which is making its way up the country charts.
With his debut performance at Boots and Hearts last summer (2016), a new EP ‘Songs About A Girl’, and two 2016 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA ) Award nominations in the Rising Star and Recording Package of the Year categories, Winnipeg native David James carved out quite a name for himself. Now he’s set to release a new single, ‘What If I Don’t’ that signals a step in a new direction. Infused with a more pop-inspired sound, the song takes off behind some catchy guitar interplay. James will reunite with Chad Brownlee on the ‘Hearts On Fire’ tour for dates in Thunder Bay, Brandon and Regina starting in mid-January.
Vancouver husband and wife country-pop duo Bucko & Toad (Kenn and Kelly Coutu) have a brand new single called ‘Country Strong’. The song was inspired by an accident in which Bucko severely cut his hand, throwing his future guitar-strumming capability in jeopardy. “Yeah, Country Strong is a song about picking yourself back up and carrying on even if you don’t know what the future holds” he says. “Sometimes you just have to dig deep within yourself and turn up the determination factor.”
Lastly, we’ll leave you with the first Number One Canadian country record of the year, ‘I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair, by Brett Kissel featuring Carolyn Dawn Johnson. The video for the song about love surviving even the most ravaging of illnesses, won’t leave a dry eye in the house.