Up and Coming Musician Madisyn Gifford

If you’re not up to speed, let me catch you up. Madisyn Gifford is a 19 year old musician who grew up in Vancouver, BC. This year alone she has released her first album, “I Hate Ur Guts” and singles, “Dancing On This Line,” “21,” and “Hospital Beds.”

Madisyn’s recent single “Dancing On This Line” is about Borderline personality disorder (BPD) and was released during BPD awareness month. She released the song in hopes to open up the conversation around the disorder. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8WjEWxs2OA

Madisyn’s new album was written over an eight month period and it highlights all the emotions and feelings around a break up. As you can probably tell by the title “I Hate Ur Guts” sounds like it would have a ‘hateful’ approach in moving on, but in reality it’s 14 tracks of just trying to find acceptance and closure as a romantic relationship is ending. In track number one, Madisyn sings,

“When you hear me sing these songs about how much I hate your guts, Please don’t go forgetting that I love you just as much.”


That’s the reason why break-ups are always so hard though, isn’t it? Madisyn goes through the five stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. For example, in track nine Madisyn recalls knowing the relationship ended for a reason but still wondering if it was the right choice. In her song “We Missed Our Anniversary” Madisyn sings,

“I know I made the right choice, but I can’t remember why”


You and I both know that there are plenty of songs and albums out there about the tragedy of lost love, and even though Madisyn’s album is an emotional roller-coaster, I highly recommend giving it a listen. Whether you’re going through a break-up or not, it’s therapeutic music.



Alternative Rock Duo, “Dear Rouge”- What They’re Up To

Danielle and Drew McTaggar are the two musicians behind Vancouver based alternative rock band “Dear Rouge.” After a four year wait they have finally released their third studio album. “Spirit” was released on April 8th, 2022 and the duo is currently on a Canadian based tour. They come back to Vancouver on December 10th to close their tour at the Vogue Theatre.  https://tickets-center.com/search/Vogue-Theatre-BC

There are 12 tracks on the duo’s new album.” “Gimme Spirit” and the albums single, “Fake Fame,” are the most popular songs from their new album thus far. I would have to disagree and say “Small Talk” is my personal favorite. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSsZR989D1s

Dear Rouge says that the meaning of small talk,

“Asserts how the reality of the world right now has changed our needs, as we are all aching for authentic connection, we don’t have the time or space for ‘cheap love.”

Before Dear Rouge closes their tour in Vancouver, they perform in Cumberland, BC on December 7th, Nanaimo, BC on December 8th, and Victoria, BC on the 9th. You can buy tickets on their website: https://www.dearrouge.com/

Dear rouge won a JUNO Award in April of 2016 for “Breakthrough Group Of The Year.” Danielle revealed that when they got nominated, her and Drew discussed that there was only a ten percent chance of them winning and they were just happy to be nominated. They also performed on the live broadcast the next day.

I know how difficult it can be to put yourself out there and be vulnerable, and I’m guessing you do too. However, at some point, you learn to embrace it. It seems as though Dear Rouge understands that as they explain their album.

“Our new album is full of vulnerable moments, which we really pushed ourselves to communicate. On past records, I found it harder to put myself out there. I wasn’t necessarily ready to be that upfront with my thoughts and feelings.”

Now you’re up to speed with all the big things Dear Rouge has been doing, be sure to listen to some of their stuff!





New Music From This Duo

Let me tell you a little bit about identical twin sisters, Tegan and Sara Quin. They’re from Calgary, and they’ve just released their 10th studio album, “Crybaby.” Crybaby contains 12 tracks, they dropped their album on October 21st, 2022 and followed the release with a tour. They performed at The Commodore in Vancouver on November 20th. https://www.straight.com/music/hometown-heroes-tegan-and-sara-deliver-two-decades-of-hits-at-commodore

You may have heard of the duo a couple years back when Tegan and Sara released a song called “Closer.” It was one of the biggest songs in 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e9NSMY8QiQ

I remember my first time hearing about Tegan and Sara, I was in the car with my Dad in 2011. I heard about them on the radio one summer, and how they were twins from Canada doing big things. My favorite song by Tegan and Sara would probably be Closer because of the nostalgia it holds for me. However, their new album had some really great songs as well. While I loved both, Yellow and Faded Like A Feeling, my favorite was their single “I Can’t Grow Up” which is a very upbeat song about not knowing when to let go of somebody’s love and really just not being able to grow up and let go. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeF6Woh8xF8

Crybaby has some remastered songs on it that the duo wrote in high school. When asked why, Tegan’s response was,

“When I’m working on music, of course I’m writing about how I feel right now, but I am reprocessing old relationships or old experiences, and I’m reflecting on how I feel now.”

When Sara was asked about why her and her sister released an album about teenage angst now that the twins are in their 40’s, she responded,

“When girls would be emotionally intent, it was like, “Oh, they’re so immature” or “They’re freaking out.” Tegan and I learned that in order to be taken seriously in a really sexist industry, we had to have our emotions under control. You don’t wanna be the woman that everybody’s like, “Oh God, she’s having a meltdown.” I think as adult women we’re in a place now where we can just get on stage and not worry about whether we’re being taken seriously or not.”

You know how many of us would like to keep high school in the past? Tegan and Sara decided to go in a different direction. The duo had their TV adaptation of their 2019 high school memoir released on October 14th. The TV show is starring Railey and Seazynn Gilliland and is about Tegan and Sara’s rise to fame and what that was like in the midst of their adolescence.




Marianas Trench And Why I Love Them

I really hope you’ve heard about Marianas Trench and if not, I am going to put you on. Marianas Trench is a Vancouver band, the members are Josh Ramsay, Matt Webb, Mike Ayley and Ian Casselman. They have been releasing music since 2006, with their first album being “Fix Me.” They’ve also released albums “Masterpiece Theatre,” “Ever After,’ “Astoria,’ and “Phantoms.”

I’ve told you about the five albums they have released, but I haven’t told you about the one they are working on, mainly because I don’t have much to say. I’m very excited for the album, I just don’t know enough to tell you about it, other than the release is expected soon.

Time for my personal opinion. I can not pick a favorite song. So, I’m going to give you my favorite song from every album and a little background on why.

Fix Me: Low – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6t-rM2350s

The instruments in this song, the layering of voices and the lyrics. I love the slow pacing in the bridge and the pick-up in the chorus. I like the way I interpret the song, which I won’t share because I want you to interpret it how you would without outside bias. What I also really enjoy about the bands music, is the emotion you can hear in Josh Ramsay’s voice.

Masterpiece Theatre: Masterpiece Theatre II – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuNBtpv7laM

The vocals in the back, the specific line “Making mostly to themselves,” just hits SO different.

P.S. The further I go into my favourites, the harder it gets.

Ever After: By Now – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLAClLUDaaQ

Again, the emotion in this song, and just the song itself. Ever After is a perfectly crafted album, because the end of every song goes into the beginning of the next one beautifully.

Astoria: While We’re Young – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCcZJ7-5n5Y

This song, I don’t know what it is about it but it reminds me to live for every moment.

Phantom: The Killing Kind – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOXgKgZTs3I

The talent showcased in this song, absolutely insane.

As I’m sure you can tell by now, the passion and love I have for this band is very apparent. I would 100% recommend you listen to Marianas Trench.





Let me introduce you to Josh Bogert

If you haven’t heard of Josh Bogert, let me tell you a little bit about him. Josh is a 22 year singer-songrwriter and producer from Vancouver, BC. Josh is very musically inclined starting with the violin at four years of age and by the time he was 12 years old he was singing, playing guitar, saxophone and the drums. He was 13 when he knew music was something he really wanted to pursue, and 16 when he started releasing his music.

Josh has released a new song called “Christmas Village,” on all streaming platforms. It’s like many Christmas songs, wanting to spend it with the person you love, but that doesn’t make it any less of a great song.

From the music of Josh’s I’ve listened to, he has his own sound, which is really important for any artist. However, I see a little of Shawn Mendes and Justin Bieber in his music- which I love to see. I’ve told you a little bit about him and what I think about him, but this is what Josh says about who he is,

“It’s hard for me to explain exactly who I am. The best way I know how is to play you some music. I’ve really come to realize how much this art form has defined who I am my whole life.”

Considering Josh has got a handle on a fair amount of instruments, he produces, plays and writes all of his own music. Josh has done close to 300 live performances, not including his performances across Canada last summer.

When I listen to Josh’s music, I hear the same thing I heard when Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes were starting out. I don’t know if ‘potential’ is the right word, but it’s the capability to be something really big and really awesome. I would definitely recommend Josh’s music.





A Michael Bublé Christmas- Every Christmas

Michael Bublé’s Christmas album reaches top of the charts every year around this time. “Christmas” is Bublé’s seventh studio album and it’s by far his best selling albums, selling over 15,000,000 copies. Michael Bublé is referred to the “King Of Christmas” by some ever since the release of “Christmas” in 2011.

In 2011, the week of December 10th, Bublé’s Christmas album rose to Number 1 on the Billboard top 200, and stayed at Number 1 for five weeks. It”s no doubt that the album is Michale Bublé’s most successful album, however, it’s also one of the “best-selling albums of the 21st century.” “Christmas” is also the only Christmas album to receive a JUNO Award.

Buble’s “Christmas” album consists of 16 songs. With “Cold December Night” and the 5 second ‘hidden’ track called “Michael’s Christmas Greeting” being the only original tracks.

There has been many artists that have written some Christmas bangers. George Michael with “Last Christmas,” Eartha Kitt with “Santa Baby.” Mariah Carey with “All I Want For Christmas,” and one of my personal favourite, Justin Bieber with “Mistletoe.” That’s to name a few. However, Michael Bublé’s Christmas album has always been the “official” Christmas album.

What is Christmas without Bublé? When I think of Christmas and Vancouver, Michael Bublé is the first person that comes to mind. The “Christmas” album has only been around for 11 years, but it feels like so much more. His album is the pinnacle of Christmas.

So, how does the “King Of Christmas” himself celebrate, Bublé shares a family tradition quoting,

“We sing the song ‘Feliz Navidad’ for 7,000 times…over and over, I’m not kidding you.”

Believe it or not, Michael Bublé does sing other music, and only has one Christmas album. Bublé is actually on tour right now for his “Higher” album. To buy tickets or learn about new things coming from him, cehck out his website: https://www.michaelbuble.com/higher?ref=Typed/Bookmarked

Lauren Spencer Smith’s single about being single…

Lauren Spencer Smith has released four singles this year alone; including her new one, “Single On The 25th.” Smith released her three other singles, “Narcissist,” “Flowers,” and “Fingers crossed” earlier this year. Smith is 19 years old and is from Nanaimo, BC.

Smith was a contestant on American Idol in 2020, in which she placed in the top 20 in the competition. She was also a JUNO award nominee in 2019, but lost to Bryan Adams’: “Shine A Light.” Smith’s single “Fingers Crossed” gained a lot of attention and popularity internationally. Smith may not have found her start on TikTok, but she went viral and, has since made herself a platform on TikTok.

I am a big fan of Lauren Spencer Smith. I’ve been following her for about two years now on TikTok. Her music is very relatable, granted we are the same age. “Single on the 25th” was a song  where I was counting down the days until its release, as I’ve done for many of her songs. I think it’s super cool to see someone my age, making music and seeing real success come from it.

For many, being single during Christmas isn’t great. Although Christmas has not explicitly been named the “season of love,” I think being in a relationship during the Christmas season is something a lot of people look forward to. Seeing the lights, going skating, making gingerbread houses, and decorating cookies with your significant other is just a few things you can do if you’re in a relationship during Christmas.

Unfortunately for Smith, that’s not the case. Her song is a message of hoping next year will be different. Her song has already been on repeat this month for me, following its release on the 18th of November. I can’t wait to see what else Lauren has in store this upcoming year. For more information on the incredibly talented Lauren Spencer Smith, check out her website: https://www.laurenspencersmith.com/


Elton John Says Farewell To Touring

Elton John, also known by his nickname “Rocket Man,” played two shows in Vancouver at BC Place on Friday, October 21st, and Saturday, October 22nd as his last shows in Canada. Elton John is currently doing his farewell tour. Elton John performed his final North American show at Dodger Stadium in LA, which was available live to audiences everywhere, on Disney plus.

Elton John is a legendary musician, we have enjoyed his music since the 1970’s and he’s delivered 31 albums within 53 years. John has had a very successful career, from when he released his number 1 hit “Your Song” in 1970 to his latest release with singer, Dua Lipa, that also hit number 1, “Cold Heart.” There’s no doubt that Elton John is loved by many and he has left a huge impact on the music industry, especially with the amount of success he’s had.

As for the why of the farewell tour, Elton John quotes,

“I will not be devoid of music, but as far as schlepping around the world doing shows, I don’t want to do it anymore. I’ve done it since I was 17.”

It’s not surprising John wants to slow down considering he’s been touring for more than 50 years, and as of now he’s done over 4,000 performances in more than 80 countries since 1970. Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” has been going on for three years now. It started September of 2018 and is set to end in mid 2023.
I don’t listen to Elton John enough to have a favorite that wasn’t very mainstream. However, “Your Song” was my favorite song when I was 10-11. Elton John and Bernie Taupin wrote it together, and while John claims it’s not about anyone Taupin quotes,
“I was 17 years old and it was coming from someone whose outlook on love or experience with love was totally new and naïve.”
It’s amazing to look back on John’s five decades of success. For more, check out Elton John’s website: https://www.eltonjohn.com/

See Tyler Shaw In Vancouver At The Fox Cabaret

Tyler Shaw is performing: at The Fox Cabaret in Vancouver, BC, on November 29th, 2022, for his “NorthStar Tour.” Richmond Native has released two singles this year called, “This Christmas” and “Love You Still.” He has also dropped two self-titled albums labeled, “Tyler Shaw” and “A Tyler Shaw Christmas.”


It’s a really beautiful thing when artists put bits and pieces of themselves in their art, rather than just words that don’t hold any significance to them. Shaw talks about his first album release this year, and how honest he was in this self-titled album quoting,

“I think the album, sonically, lyrically and creatively reflects all of the different facets of me and where I am in my life right now. I felt completely liberated in the studio mixing pop, dance, and rock elements and feel that these are the best songs I have ever written. They are the ones that took the most self-reflection and are the absolute best representation of me and my growth as a songwriter.”

His self-titled album consists of 17 songs, including his new single “Love You Still.” Shaw says he is treating this album like his first for multiple reasons. He feels as though he is introducing himself to the world on a more global scale. Unlike his prior success, which he feels was limited, to Canada.

Tyler Shaw’s other new album is a Christmas album and the only one he’ll ever write. He has some covers and some originals on the album. The first song on the album is called, “Christmas Through Your Eyes.” It’s an original that he wrote from the inspiration of his daughter who was born early last year. Shaw has been greatly influenced by his daughter while finishing up both of these albums. This song is specifically about the child-like excitement surrounding Christmas.

I would love to start listening to Tyler Shaw. Seeing as he’s Canadian- he mentions what it’s like growing up in BC and the music he was influenced by:

“I feel like Canadians really take pride in the successes of Canadian artists; I know I do. I always thought it was so cool to know artists like Michael Bublé or Nelly Furtado were from BC, where I was from. It made things feel a little more achievable.”

Check out Tyler Shaw’s website for more information and concert tickets: https://www.tylershawmusic.com/


Don’t miss The Sheepdogs shows in BC!

Canadian rock band that made the cover of Rolling Stone in 2011 and has won four JUNO awards, The Sheepdogs, are coming to Vancouver, BC, following the release of their new album. They are performing at the Commodore Ballroom on December first and second.

The Sheepdogs dropped their new album, “Outta Sight,” on June 3rd, earlier this year. ‘Outta sight’ consists of 11 songs. The lead singer of the band, Ewan Currie, says that some musicians that have inspired them are The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, etc. He has also said the group hopes to acquire a similar sound to Led Zeppelin and Crosby, Stills, & Nash.

As for what the new album is about, Lead singer Ewan Currie quotes,

“It’s a weird world. Everybody stuck in place, overthinking absolutely everything. We wanted to avoid all that — just get in the room, plug in your guitar and go. So that’s what we did. Themes like optimism in the face of adversity, standing tall and staying strong, knowing that better times are around the corner kept coming through when making the record and it felt really damned good to play.”

I have never actually listened to The Sheepdogs, but I am a big fan of the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, and as much as I wish I didn’t, I do, overthink “absolutely everything.” So, I may have to check them out.

The Sheepdogs are said to be great performers, considering they have played at festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza (2012), and more.

If you miss The Sheepdogs performance in Vancouver, they will also be performing on Friday, January 13th, 2023 at The Port Theatre in Nanaimo, BC, and The Royal Theatre in Victoria, BC on Sunday, January 15th, 2023.

To learn more about The Sheepdogs, keep up to date with what the band is up to, and to buy concert tickets, be sure to check out their website: https://thesheepdogs.com/