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Check out the 1st round standouts from Searchlight 2018

Grant Lawrence


February 22, 2018


We asked for your original songs, and you answered: more than 2,000 artists entered Searchlight 2018, CBC Music's annual hunt for Canada's best undiscovered musical talent. Each original song is in the running for our incredible prizes from the Juno Awards and the National Music Centre.

During this first round, the votes have been coming in fast and furious. At the same time, our CBC Music producers have been listening to each and every song with discerning ears. Which artists should make the top 100 (announced March 1)? Which songs would be a great fit for airplay on CBC Music, Radio One or Radio 3? Which artists have the complete package? Which artists would be a great fit for the Allan Slaight Juno Master Class? Which artist could we picture onstage at our CBC Music Festival in May?

Of the thousands of songs, here are 10 great standout artists whose songs caught the ears of our producers. Only time will tell if they make it through to the next round.

Band: Fallbrigade
Location: Vancouver Island
Song: "Sweet Hope"

Beautiful and confident, this is radio-ready indie-pop. Listen and vote for Fallbrigade here.

Band: the Trade-Offs
Song: "Dancing with the Wind"

Unique "Arctic soul" that echoes the depths of the tundra that surrounds the Trade-Offs. Listen and vote for the Trade-Offs here.

Band: FM Berlin
New Brunswick
Song: "At Least You're Having Fun"

Searing and catchy alt-rock from Moncton with more hooks than a Timber River tackle box. Listen and vote for FM Berlin here.

Band: Global Party Starters
Song: "Bad Boy"

If you like A Tribe Called Red or Delhi 2 Dublin, you'll love the electro-hip hop-world beat of this band. Listen and vote for Global Party Starters here.

Artist: Ainsley Elisa
Song: "3am"

At just 16 years old, this artist is one of the youngest in Searchlight 2018, but her pitch-perfect pop sounds far more mature than her age. Listen and vote for Ainsley Elisa here.

Artist: Joey O'Neil
Song: "When I Forget"

An excellent singer-songwriter with a voice as haunting as a Klondike winter. Listen and vote for Joey O'Neil here.

Artist: Super Duty Tough Work
Song: "Hypnotic"

Smooth, old school-style hip-hop with fantastic flourishes of jazz. Listen and vote for Super Duty Tough Work here.

Artist: Killjoy
Song: "Ex Oh"

Very solid pop-punk that sounds ready for the arena. Fist in the air for this one! Listen and vote for Killjoy here.

Artist: Danny Drouin
Song: "Lost"

A dirt-road intersection between new and old-school country from this Islander. Vote for Danny Drouin here.

Artist: Sinzere
Song: "On Time"

Flow. Sinzere has it, effortlessly mixing hip-hop, funk, R&B and soul in a rapid-fire delivery. Vote for Sinzere here.

Vote here!
You can show your love for any song by voting for your favourite one every day. Voting for round 1 of Searchlight will continue until Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 3 p.m. ET.

Our next round begins on March 1. It will be a national top 100. Fifty artists will make it through by popular vote, and the other 50 will make it through by internal judging from a team of CBC Music producers.

From there, we'll proceed to the top 10 finalists on Thursday, March 8, and finally, the winner of Searchlight 2018 will be declared on Monday, March 19 at 11 a.m. ET to kick off Juno Week in Vancouver.

Good luck to all Searchlight 2018 participants!

More to explore:

Searchlight 2018: vote now

Searchlight 2018: the prizes

Searchlight alumni nominated for 2018 Juno Awards

Searchlight 2018: key dates

Searchlight 2018: FAQs

Searchlight 2018: rules and regulations