The best new music of 2016: Here are nine more Sask. artists you should listen to right now

Saskatchewan’s musicians continue to be beautiful and delicate little unicorns who release really good music.

These elusive one-horned cuties also fart glitter and use rainbows as toilet paper. They are the absolute best.

Here are nine new-ish tracks from some of these pretty prairie ponies that you should probably listen to right now:


The Garrys – “In This Dream”

Enchanting bass lines and sun-soaked melodies abound! Surf-dirge doom-wop group The Garrys craft songs that are a fluid reminder that what lies just below the sparkling surface may be something sinister. The lead single from the band’s upcoming nine-song cassette album entwines three-way vocal harmonies which give way to the wistful mourning cry of “I’m going to live in this dream” – a bittersweet warning of a summer that could go so right, or so sideways. /CM


Andy Shauf – The Party

Anyone who has been paying attention to Shauf could sniff out that big things were coming his way in short order. And sure enough, American record label ANTI- scooped him up and is throwing muscle behind his new album The Party. Continuing on his streak of writing melancholic pop, Shauf gifts listeners with luscious varieties of string and wind instruments whistling wistful hooks. /AS


The Steves – “Faceoff”

Some asshole stole god’s beloved building hammer and built the perfect garage for The Steves to play inside (exposed 2 X 4s and all). Fast, quippy and as disorientating and confusing as the movie itself, The Steves’ new single “FACEOFF” makes you feel like being high is okay. Using beautifully wrapped guitar licks to pull together those unnerving feelings of being in a state of incomprehension, they rattle them rafters with loud heavy distortion until them cops get called FOR SURE! Just keep darting your eyeballs around and you’ll be fine come morning. /JG


Shockflesh – Night Music

Traversing the line between horror grit-goth and street punk kicks, Saskatoon group Shockflesh deliver a 13-song LP that rips into up-tempo beats, likely inherited from hardcore garage worship, with the fangs of a were-beast torn straight from the pages of pulp shlock gore novels. The three-and-a-half minute highlight “Eyes in the Back of My Head” is a savage anthem that manages to pack in snark vocal hooks along with layers of gnarled guitar work and a keyboard line that’s compelling for those who like to dance at punk shows but would rather leave the circle pitting at home. /CM

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Nick Faye & The Deputies – Lambswool

I’m old enough to remember Nick Faye being a no-namer guitar player whose songs were the musical equivalent of burnt hair. I also remember Faye impressing some ears with an album about five years ago that hinted at some real growth. In 2016, Faye has been maturing as truly great country/folk singer and songwriter, and The Lambswool EP reflects this with earnest vocals, challenging chord progressions, honky tonk piano, and a few playful winks to the listener throughout. /AS



Armed with sly hints of dreamy-psych flourishes and a fanny pack full of lush, intricate melodies, ACRONYMS have unleashed a swirling three-song EP filled with an oddball cavalcade of guitar noises that are quite comfortable-sounding once you get settled in. This four-piece group approaches the “pop” in their world with a certain amount of coyness, giving the songs plenty of time and space and air to breath, bubble, ferment and burst. Also, an irrelevant aside, at some point we would like to know why this band insists on spelling out their releases and their name in ALL CAPS. I DON’T KNOW BUT THIS MAKES ME THINK THEY ARE YELLING BUT THERE IS NO YELLING. /CM

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Sad Buckets – Demo

Your new soundtrack for cheap beer shotgunning and sloppy kickflipping. Melodic, introspective punkers Sad Buckets give us all those precious golden feels of yesteryear minus the puberty hiccups and the fur-where-there-was-no-fur before. Pummeling rhythms mash seamlessly into sweaty hair/don’t care moshpit smiles. Also, “whoa-oh” backup vocals are a go! Make sure to catch ’em this weekend along with Chunder Buffet, Porticoast and Cooking with Grandma. /AS+CM


The Puppets – Self-titled EP

Alterna-punk group The Puppets release three songs that frolic in angst and some teenage feelings that some of us revel in or wish to forget, depending on who you are. There’s no pretense with this group. They know exactly what they are going for, and do it well, though there’s nothing new here. If you miss a Saskatoon sound that was established fifteen years ago, you’ll appreciate The Puppets. /AS


911 Turbo – No Limits On Ze Autobahn

Doing something completely right is hard. Doing something completely right while trying to sweep away the fact that it is, at the very root of itself, a joke is pretty damn near freaking impossible. 911 Turbo does it so seamlessly with their new album No Limits On Ze Autobahn. And on songs like “CIGARETTE DISCOTHEQUE” it almost impossible to not picture the masterminds behind this craftwork as anything but their onstage monikers and antics. Ass shaking and dance floor alluring, we dare you to try not to shimmy yourself across the prairies with the perfect ratio of bass stops to bass drops. /JG

Want more Sask. super cool awesomeness? Click HERE for more of the best new music of 2016.