If you’ve never heard of “swoon-pop” then you aren’t alone, but Kelowna-based Windmills is coining the term to describe his dreamy pop sound. You can call it what you like, but one thing you’d never call him is boring. Windmills is one-man loop artist Cody Myraas, and he specializes in creating soundscapes that fascinate. His newest single, Face to a Name, is minimalistic yet captivating and, like all his songs, completely memorable.
Listening to Van Damsel’s current single, Best of Everything, is like an education in catchy indie pop. It’s got it all: infectious vocals, shimmery synth backing, and a heavy dash of dramatic flourishes. They’ve perfected the art of power-pop so well that it can be hard to believe their origin as a dismantled death metal band, but Van Damsel is full of surprises. The Kamloops band is set to release their debut self-titled LP this summer, but until then, fans will have to settle for catching them at one of their many summertime shows.
Smash Boom Pow
Smash Boom Pow is a dynamic duo that has been making a genre-bending splash in the city. Zane and Ulysses Coppard are the brothers responsible for Smash Boom Pow’s grooving rock/pop/electronic sound. Their recordings are strong, but it’s their live shows where they promise to impress. After years of honing their skills on stage and playing every show that they could, the boys have built a fan base both in Vancouver and in their hometown of Victoria.
Mindil Beach is one-of-a-kind, and that applies to more than just their music. This quartet has all the good-time rock 'n’ roll swagger that you could ever want, and they showcase their sound flawlessly in their anthemic new single, Love Like Mine. But music is just one of Mindil Beach’s passions, and it goes hand-in-hand with their commitment to the environment. In 2011, Mindil Beach began The Jelly Fish Project, a charity that uses music to present about environmental concerns to schools.
Mike Edel is a staple on the B.C. music scene, and this won’t be his first shot at the Peak Performance Project. Since his fifth place finish in 2012, Edel has only been working harder, and his most recent achievement is the album he released in April 2015. The album, titled India, Seattle, is an indie-folk dream with touches of country twang in all the right places.
There are big things on the horizon for Little India. The four-piece alt-pop band weaves threads of funk, electronic and rock into their music resulting in dynamic songs that are packed with energy. Their EP, Up All Night, is full of colourful melodies and strong hooks that are perfect for sunny days or late-night drives. If you like what you see at Khatsalano, then be sure to catch their set this summer at Squamish Valley Music Festival.
Victoria’s JP Maurice is many things: a pop aficionado, a producer, a music biz veteran, a songwriter, a world traveller, and, above all, an artist. His smooth vocals and songwriting prowess have taken him on tours across the country and beyond, but even with his success, Maurice has never lost his West Coast roots. A self-described pop-music lover, Maurice has a talent for writing memorable melodies and relatable lyrics that will leave you wanting to sing along.
Joy District, formerly known as MCM, is all about drive. From their songs to their shows, this dynamic foursome from Vancouver Island always promises to entertain. Joy District’s latest are two singles recorded with the help of Mother Mother’s Ryan Guldemond. The songs, I’ve Been Watching and Burned, showcase different sides of the band, but their driving rhythms and powerful guitar tie them together and highlight the band's signature energy.
Jesse Roper’s talent for balancing laid-back blues-y grooves and upbeat energy has earned him a spot as one of the Island’s most sought-after performers. Roper has a busy summer coming up with spots in festivals like SunFest, Rock The Shores, Burnaby Roots and Blues Festival and more. His most recent album, Red Bird, channels a '70s vibe that’s drawn comparisons to artists like The Black Keys and Jack White.
Find the Others
Andrew Sheppard’s newest project, Find the Others, is much more than your typical singer-songwriter fare; it’s an experience that has been enchanting and enthralling listeners. The latest release, Empire of Time, is a progressive alt-pop album that contains more than its share of swirling ethereal songs. Beyond the music, Find the Others has been gaining attention for their live shows featuring mesmerizing video projections overlaying the stage, adding a whole new dimension to the art.
Chersea may be one of the most exciting emerging artists in the province right now. This one-woman band expertly crafts “walls of sound” with the use of a keyboard, some synths, a loop station, and talent that’s only made more obvious by her tools. There’s nothing gimmicky about her and she doesn’t rely just on her unique methods to set her apart. Her music is as expressive as it is catchy, and as sincere as it is polished. Chersea isn’t just one to watch, she’s one to listen to again and again.
Bed of Stars
If you’re looking for some pop that’s easy to sink your teeth into, then give a listen to Evan Konrad, the brain, voice and talent behind Bed of Stars. At only 25-years-old, he can already boast accomplishments like opening for indie-pop sensations Walk Off The Earth, and recording his debut album with Juno nominee Daniel Victor. The resulting album, I Fell In Love In the City, balances bubbly alt-pop with some sweet slower songs. His latest single, Out Of Touch, has huge radio potential and has everyone wondering what could be next for this rising star.
Meet the Peak Performance Project's top 12 local artists
The Peak Performance Project is easily B.C.’s most important music competition. It boasts impressive alumni like We Are The City, Said The Whale, The Boom Booms plus many more local stars. This year’s top 12 includes some familiar faces, and a few artists who have flown under the radar for far too long.
Click through for a who’s who of Vancouver’s hottest emerging artists.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Kirsty is currently studying Creative Writing at the University of Victoria. When she’s not studying (which is more often than it should be), she can be found discovering new music or planning her next trip.