Nadia Elkharadly: The next big thing in 2013

Nadia LogoWhen Cam wrote last week about the beauty of the list, I may or may not have stood up at my desk at my day job and given him a cheer.  Actually, all I did was smile and say an internal “yay, LISTS!”  As you may or may not have noticed in some of my past columns, I like to dabble in a little list making myself.  I also like to read other people’s lists (thanks Cam for sharing Now’s list and your own – I’ve got some record shopping to do!), and in my recent list reading adventures, I’ve noticed many people taking a shot at a little fortune telling.  The topic at which some writers are gearing their psychic powers towards has to do with what’s NEXT:  the “next big thing”.

Whether it’s fashion trends, actors, movies, even foods and drinks, there are lists that crop up in January about which of these things will be hot in the coming year.  I’ve been known to stretch my psychic muscles from time to time (ask me to read your love fortune next time you see me – but make sure you bring a deck of cards!), and over the past few weeks I’ve had a few little flashes about some Canadian artists that generally reside on my radar.

The Sheepdogs

IMG_1357 (Custom)People have been talking about the furry foursome from the prairies since they made history with their Rolling Stone cover competition win.  The Sheepdogs were skyrocketed to fame in North America, gaining a major label record deal, an album produced by Patrick Carney of the Black Keys and numerous show, festival and concert appearances.  Though I may be heard to say that I don’t appreciate the “Black Keys style” makeover that Carney gave the Sheepdogs’ self-titled release, there is no question that with that album coming out, and all of the other accomplishments the band has built up over the past year, they are steadfastly continuing upon their journey into global fame.  Some may say the Sheepdogs were the big thing of 2011 and 2012, but I consider the past two years simply the creation of a foundation for 2013, where the Sheepdogs will truly be IT.  And I was convinced of that when I saw this:

Renowned Toronto based photographer Matt Barnes and Mike Rybinski (a huge Sheepdogs fan in his own right) of Spot Cinema are the creative geniuses behind this video.  Barnes has been the primary photographer for Dine Alone Records indie-star-studded roster, starting years ago when Dine Alone founder Joel Carriere gave Barnes the chance to shoot MoneenBarnes’ talent speaks for itself, so it’s no wonder he was tapped to produce and direct the video that I believe represents the tipping point of the Sheepdogs’ fame.

This type of vide was made to go viral.  Whether they like the Sheepdogs’ music or not, anyone of any age will be able to find some entertainment value in that video.  The Ken-doll representations of Ewan, Leot, Ryan and Sam are hilariously spot on – that doll designer deserves an award.  The Kung Fu mercenary cowboy story is so entertaining.  I caught myself laughing out loud several times, and never once did the smile leave my face.  To me, that makes this video a tipping point for the Sheepdogs, and I’ll be keeping my eye out for their shooting star in 2013.

Serena Ryder

serena ryderSerena Ryder has been a mainstay of the Indie Music Scene in Toronto. A fixture at the Dakota Tavern, Ryder can dazzle a crowd live, and can also produce some amazing recorded music.  If a slower build is the way to create a long lasting type of fame, then Ryder has that perfect.  Over the past couple of years I’ve taken notice her amazing work; my favourites including this fantastic cover of Kylie Minogue’s “Slow” (with The Beauties backing her) to her duet with Tim Chaisson (which I’ll talk about a bit later).

But now, the world is sitting up and taking notice of Serena Ryder, thanks to her explosive new single “Stompa”.

Ryder’s biggest strength is her musical malleability; she creates music that bends and blends genres.  She’s a veritable musical chameleon, and “Stompa” is the perfect example; blues, country, rock and hip hop all comes together in a song that truly has universal appeal.  This single is already blowing up, it’s even been featured on Grey’s Anatomy, meaning millions of people all over North American and the world have now had this song implanted into their consciousness – talk about a mind takeover.  The Buzz over Serena Ryder is getting louder and louder, and I think 2013 will be the year that she blows those speakers and attains that level of fame that she deserves.

Tim Chaisson

YuliScheidt_TimChaisson_6The addition of Tim Chaisson to this list is probably less my psychic powers at work and more my sincere wish that people would start liking pop music with a soul again.  Maybe it’s just me, but when I look at the general Canadian young male pop singer offering, I’m not only underwhelmed but I’m a little sad.  Justin Bieber and Michael Buble are not only unoriginal, but just cold and empty.  Their music has no heart, no soul.  And yet, they’re wildly popular, which to me is a tragedy.   While Tim Chaisson may not qualify as pop in the same way that Bieber and Buble do, his boyish good looks, shy smile and kind eyes should be catnip to every pre and post pubescent girl with working eyes and ears.  Check out his single with the above mentioned Serena Ryder.  If you are female, I dare you to resist the adorable gorgeousness of Tim Chaisson.

Not only is Chaisson great looking, but he’s immensely talented.   He’s literally been born as raised to be a musician (the Chaisson family is renowned for their performances – they’ve even performed for the royalty!)  He’s played fiddle in his family’s band for years, can serenade with an acoustic guitar with the best of them, and has a positively angelic voice.  He’s been tapped as one of Gordie Johnson’s chosen ones, touring with the Canadian musical great and his extended musical family across Canada.  After a long Canadian tour, Chaisson went down under to conquer Australia Justin-Bieber-Girlfriend-Perfume1and New Zealand with his folk pop musical stylings.  It would make me so happy if 2013 became the year that Tim Chaisson earned the fame and praise that he deserved.  His music is completely addictive, he’s got the looks, he just needs the world (more importantly the girls of the world) to stop huffing their “Girlfriend” perfumes and sit up and finally take notice.

Monster Truck

IMG_1248 (Custom)I’ve seen Monster Truck tear apart stages all around Toronto, and have a great time at every show.  Those guys consistently rock.  When I heard they had sold out two nights in a row at Lee’s Palace this past December, I was intrigued.  I’d always thought this band was destined for greatness, but when I heard their new material at the 2nd of those two chose, I became certain of it.  Jon Harvey and company have a new album coming out this year, and if the few songs they played from it that Saturday night as Lee’s Palace are any indication, it’s going to be PHENOMENAL.  “Lion” was my favourite song from that night, and is sure to be my favourite form the record.  Check it out and see what I mean:

Man I love that song.  While Monster Truck’s music is still completely balls to the wall, testosterone fueled rock, there is a tangible maturity to these new songs.  Take a listen to “Space Nebula” for instance.  Great song, but “The Lion” and the other new music they’ve been playing live is light years past those earlier songs.  They’ve managed to cultivate a sound that is new and fresh, yet familiar.  Most of all, people just love it; they can’t get enough of it.  Monster Truck may have been teetering on the brink of musical greatness and fame before, but I really think this new album is what’s going to rocket them to that next level.  I can’t wait to hear it.

Indian Handcrafts

IMG_1841I’ve always had a love of the two man band, and Indian Handcrafts are one of the best duos out there.  I’ve seen them live a few times now and I’ve been blown away at every show.  Their music kicks ass, plain and simple.  It’s hard, it’s fast, it’s loud – it’s great rock music.  When I saw that they were on the lineup for Edgefest this summer, I had a feeling these guys were getting somewhere – while they may not have mainstream radio play, that hot summer day they got to play for an extremely diverse and extremely impressionable crowd.  As a result, Indian Handcrafts have gotten themselves not only on every indie music lover’s radar, but on those more commercially driven music lovers’ radars as well.  Their latest record Civil Disobedience for Losers made Now Magazine’s “Top 10 local albums”, Indian Handcrafts are now on tour with Canadian rockers Billy Talent, and will be playing the Air Canada Centre right here in Toronto.  A stadium gig, albeit as the opening act, is a pretty big deal, and will give this amazing band the chance to play to an even larger, more diverse, and even more impressionable crowd than they did at Edgefest.   It’s this latest tour with Billy Talent and company that triggered my spidey sense – I really think this tour is going to be a big deal for Indian Handcrafts, and that the rest of 2013 will show them headlining their own massive tours.

I’m no expert, I only play one on the internet.  I’m also not a real psychic, though my instincts have been right from time to time.  Will these artists that I’ve highlighted here really make it big in 2013?  Only time will tell.

Until next time,




Nadia’s column appears every Tuesday

Contact us at:

DBAWIS ButtonNadia Elkharadly is a Toronto based writer with a serious addiction to music. Corporate drone by day, renegade rocker by night, writing is her creative outlet.  Nadia writes for the Examiner (.com) on live music in Toronto and Indie Music in Canada.  She has never been in a band but plays an awesome air guitar and also the tambourine.  Check in every Tuesday for musings about music, love, life and whatever else that comes to mind.


The Sheepdogs, Serena Ryder, Tim Chaisson, The Beauties, Monster Truck, Indian Handcrafts, Music, Psychic, Lists, Albums, Concerts

One Response to “Nadia Elkharadly: The next big thing in 2013”

  1. Bob, Thank you for the many memories that have somewhat been forgotten. You are doing a great service for all of us who claim to be real Stocktonian’s. Please give my best to Eddie…..It’s been 35 years since we’ve seen each other. Most of the time spent was on the evenings of Pacific Avenue with my cousin Richard Del Aringa.

    My mother and I would always shop the store on Country Club.

    Don Della Nina

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