If you’re in Seattle this Friday, Nov 3, come see New Felts perform live @ Skylark (facebook event page for more info). We try to feature up-and-coming indie artists when we can and their new track Ritual Man in particular has got that professional sound that deserves radio airtime in our opinion. I previously saw them perform at The Rendezvous back in August. Click that Like button on New Felts on Facebook to hear about upcoming shows and follow New Felts on SoundCloud for future tracks.

Matt Mays ran a hand through his long brown hair and leaned in closer to the microphone.

He looked around at the 60 or so people gathered in a studio on the sixth floor of the CBC building. The crowd, gathered around him in a circle, was silent as they eagerly waited for the 38-year-old to address them.

Mays was sombre in his address — I forget the exact words he said — but it was the same day that the music world lost legend Tom Petty on Oct. 2 and a day after a deadly massacre at a country concert in Las Vegas.

I had noticed on his Facebook page a few days earlier that he was having a free show at the CBC to play a few songs from his new album Once Upon a Hell of a Time, which was released on Friday.

Once Upon a Hell of a Time is a 13-track, 53 minute long produced by Sonic Entertainment Group that coincides with a tour in late November.

Before I get into the songs from the new album, a little bit of background. I had heard about Mays’ music for quite a while as my big brother Patrick was a fan. I had only seen him live once in 2011 when he played for the Canada Games’ opening ceremony in his hometown of Halifax. My memory from the show is a little hazy due to one too many shots of Fireball, but it was still great.

Fast forward 6 1/2 years later and here we are at the CBC as Mays played for about an hour with a mix of new and old material. It was a great opportunity to see the rocker live and hear some of his new tunes.

I was immediately drawn to the song “Drive On” when I heard it live. It — like most of the new album — is very classic Mays and what drew fans to the artist in the first place. What I liked most about “Drive On” is that it struck me as a song that I could see myself cruising down the highways of P.E.I. listening to. It’s easy listening with a catchy beat, advanced by the solid contributions of the drummer.

The song’s bridge is also very well done, with a nice steady crescendo into an outro sung by Mays.

Another few songs that caught my ear were “Faint of Heart” and “NYC Girls.”

“Faint of Heart” had incredible guitar rifts throughout and, like “Drive On,” was extremely catchy. I would imagine that both will get significant air time on radio stations across Canada.
“NYC Girls” has great lyrics throughout and are performed well by Mays’ raspy, classic rock-n-roll style voice. Unfortunately for Mays, he told the audience in Toronto that the lyrics were based off of true events. Don’t worry, Matt. I had no luck on Tinder when I was in New York City last year, either.

Once Upon a Hell of Time is an impressive album from top to bottom from these East Coast rockers. I would expect it to get some Juno Award consideration. You can listen to the whole Album on Spotify, download links below.

Download: iTunes, Google Play, Amazon
Listen: Apple Music, BandCamp

Guest post by Ryan McKenna, please email beforethecharts@gmail.com if you’re interested in writing a post for BTC.


Back in April Ludacris dropped Vitamin D, but his new single “Vices” is on another level. It had been 2 years since Luda dropped a couple tracks on par with this; Beast Mode and Call Ya Bluff. The video follow Luda as he gives into several of his own vices, from in a hotel room in Vegas, to one of his concerts, on the road, and to an after party. Hopefully this is a indication that his anticipated 9th album is in the works.

Listen: SoundCloud, Spotify
Download: iTunes, Google Play

Ester Dean made waves in the hip-hop scene in ’09 with her hit Drop it Low ft. Chris Brown and then being featured on MGK – Invincible in 2012. In 2015 she ventured into pop with a hit for the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack; Crazy Youngsters. Now she’s jumping into another genre, EDM, with Afrojack and David Guetta. The last big collaboration between Afrojack and Guetta was Hey Mama ft. Nicki Minaj. The video is animated by Sanghon Kim, features a robot woman, almost giving vibes of Ghost in the Shell, with the movie coming out recently.

Download: iTunesGoogle Play, Amazon,
Listen: Apple Music, Spotify, Soundcloud Go

Tragic. Today we lost one of the most influential lead vocalists, of one of the biggest rock bands, of our generation; Chester Bennington. Just last month Patrick, myself and several of my friends attended what would turn out to be our first and last Linkin Park concert. As noted through various posts on this site, Linkin Park was Pat and I’s favorite band growing up, and there’s a mix of gratefulness that we finally got to see our favorite band perform live, and sadness that we won’t get to do it again. I also discovered today that my fiancé had also bought tickets to give to me on my birthday to see them in Seattle in October. Linkin Park’s Youtube account had released a brand new music video the same morning before the news of Chester’s passing broke, made up of tour footage, it’s now serving as a tribute to Chester, trending at #1 on Youtube.

Off his new EP album 7 Series, Kid Ink teams up with Starrah for his latest single No Strings. Starrah’s on the come up, often not getting the credit she’s due. She’s had an interesting split of serving as songwriter half the time and being a vocalist the other half the time on a slew of hits over the last 2 years. You may recognize her name from being featured on G-Easy – Order More last year. She’s worked with everyone from Drake to Rihana, The Weeknd and Calvin Harris. Keep an eye on her.

Download: iTunes, Google Play, Amazon
Listen: Spotify, SoundCloud Go

Few people will remember this, but this is not the First Time that Kygo and Ellie Goulding have actually worked together (see what we did there?). Well, kind of; in 2014 Kygo was just breaking onto the scene when he released a High For This (Remix) of Ellie Goulding’s 2012 cover of The Weeknd. Kygo’s come a long way since then and now he gets to work with Goulding on an original track. First Time is a follow up hit to another recent collaboration Kygo did with Selenia Gomez titled It Aint Me. The last time we posted on Kygo was his hit Carry Me (2016) and Goulding was On My Mind (2015) .

Listen: Spotify, Apple Music,
Download: iTunes, Google Play, Amazon

Linkin Park has now released an official music video for Good Goodbye; their latest single that dropped early last month. The video adds intro music very similar to that of the Stranger Things title sequence, as well as being shot in an similar 1980s sci-fi movie look with neon red/pink bleeding edges. The video combines Mortal Kombat with NBA Jam in a supernatural life-or-death basketball competition where NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar serves as judge and executioner. Pusha T and Stormzy from the single also make appearances in the video. The rest of the album One More Light is out May 19.

Download: iTunes, Google Play, Amazon
Listen: Spotify, Apple Music

In a surprise release, Foster the People have returned with three brand new tracks. All three come from the group’s forthcoming third record, which is due out this summer .This is the first new music from the group since their 2014 album Supermodel. Feels good to hear some new Foster the People! While none of the songs are as catchy or going to blow the radio up like Pumped Up Kicks, they are still pretty good. I would have to rank them as: SHC > Pay The Man > Doing It for the Money.

Check out the new songs below and let us know what you think!



The duo of last year’s beer pong anthem Pong Dance is back! This time Vigiland is taking over the repeat button on your Friday nights. With a very similar target audience to that of Pong Dance, their 2014 hit Shots and Squats has been their most successful hit to date.


Update May 11: Vigiland has now released the music video for Friday Night:

Download: iTunes, Google PlayAmazon