Last year, in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary since confederation, we launched a project called CanadaSound. It called upon Canadians to submit the sound that defined Canada. From the swish of your snow pants to the squeak of cheese curds against your teeth to the cry of the lonesome loon, we were buried in an avalanche of your favourite Canadian sounds.
We handed over your submissions to an exciting array of Canadian musicians who either sampled your sounds right into their original songs, or used your suggestions to inspire them to create a new original song — everything from wolves howling to Canada geese honking to freight trains squealing to axes chopping.
Check out the completed songs in our exclusive First Play of the album to the left. Below, read about the artists who contributed to the project, and the sounds that inspired them. A special thanks to our CanadaSound partners at the Junos, SOCAN, MusiCounts and CleanSheet Communications for making this unique project possible.
Blitz//Berlin, 'Farewell to Nova Scotia'
Juno nominee Blitz//Berlin is composed of three self-described punk kids from Toronto. For the CanadaSound Project, they collaborated with Bülow to cover a true Canadian folk song. Listen for the cry of seagulls, rain hitting the roof of a porch, boats rocking at a dock, frogs croaking and wolves howling.
Sofia Blu, 'Small Town Heart'
Thirteen-year-old Sofia Blu sings about a small town with a big voice. For "Small Town Heart," she was inspired by sounds of lapping water and an axe splitting wood, which reminded her of her home, family, and friends in Collingwood, Ont., and the special place it holds in her heart.
Shobha, 'A Song to Sing'
Shobha is an award-winning singer, songwriter and recording artist based in Canada. Her song for the CanadaSound Project truly honours Canada from coast to coast and the lyrics, written in collaboration with husband Rob Wells, explore the beauty Shobha has personally experienced across the country.
Dru is an R&B singer, songwriter and Juno Award winner. When listening to CanadaSound submissions, he was inspired by the sound of rain, which inspired feelings of melancholy and the memories of a woman.
Ammoye, 'The Light'
Ammoye is a Jamaican-Canadian reggae singer and three-time Juno Award nominee. Like many Canadians, Ammoye loves being in cottage country. For the CanadaSound Project, she wrote “The Light,” a song about how the outdoors makes her feel peaceful, free and centred. Listen for the sounds of lake water cascading over rocks, Canadian geese and ducks.
Erik West-Millette, 'Terminal City Trainz'
Erik West-Millette is a Montreal composer and producer. His CanadaSound contribution is dedicated to the railroad workers who, in 1895, built the rockiest, toughest railway on Earth: the Canadian Pacific Railway. Listen for freight train horns, metal spike hammers and even the howls of a wolf pack.
Karl Wolf, 'Unlimited'
Karl Wolf is a Canadian R&B singer and Juno Award nominee who is accustomed to being at the top of the charts. For CanadaSound, he was inspired by the sound of a raven, and sings a song about overcoming limitations that are set for us by society. His lyrics ask us to search deep inside for the superhero within each of us in order to achieve our dreams.
Florence K, 'Mira Mira'
Renowned French-language artist and Juno nominee Florence K wrote “Mira Mira,” which was inspired by the passage of time and the sounds of letters changing on the flight boards at Montreal's Mirabel airport (now inactive). Also listen for sounds of an airplane taking off, the chirp of a marmot and a Native American frame drum.
Melle Rose, 'Bad Woman'
Melle Rose is a Canadian pop singer, the 2013 Miss Canada and a fashion expert on the Shopping Channel. For the CanadaSound Project, she was inspired by the chimes on the TTC streetcar, singing a song about a woman living in Toronto who, despite the status quo, chooses her own path, relationships and future.
David Francey, 'Banks of the Seaway'
David Francey is a carpenter-turned-songwriter and a three-time Juno Award winner known as “one of Canada’s most revered folk poets and singers.” For the CanadaSound Project, he wrote a love song for his wife (and that also honours MusiCounts).
The 10-track CanadaSound album will be available starting on Feb. 14, with proceeds going to support MusiCounts.