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12 Searchlight standouts from our 2018 Top 100 round

By
CBC Music

After hundreds of thousands of votes cast and many hard decisions made, we revealed the 2018 Searchlight top 100, artists who are all vying for first place in this year's hunt for Canda's best undiscovered musical talent.

Fifty of the top 100 were decided by your votes, while the other 50 were selected by CBC Music producers. The top 10 finalists of Searchlight 2018 will be announced on Thursday, March 8. The winner will be announced on q on CBC Radio 1 on Monday, March 19, to kick off Juno Week in Vancouver.

Below we've chosen 12 standout songs — some voted in, some chosen by our producers — that we think are great, but there are no guarantees that any of these artists make the top ten without your support.

Artist: Blood Maachine
Location: Vancouver
Song: "Goobye Old Friends"

A fine, confident, uplifting song; a cross between the National and Crooked Fingers.

Artist: Jessie Leith Munro
Location: Toronto
Song: "If Your Eyes Could Talk"

This 23-year-old classically trained singer has come a long way from landing in sixth place in CBC's search for Dorothy in its 2012 Over the Rainbow series. The Berklee College-educated singer has gone from doing musical theater to sleek, modern electro R&B and pop.

Artist: The Commotions
Location: Ottawa
Song: "Too Little too Late"

Super cool throwback soul with lots of energy. When we crank this one up, the office breaks into a dance-off.

Artist: CamilaHW
Location: Rivière-du-Loup, Que.
Song: "Are you Forever Gone"

Sometimes a voice just cuts through all the clutter and captivates you with its sheer quality. CamilaHW has been writing songs since the age of 14, and all you need to do is listen to her effortlessly impassioned vocals and piano melodies brought to life on "Are you Forever Gone" to hear the results of years of hard work.

Artist: Rob Butterfield
Location: Galiano Island, B.C.
Song: "She Shoots"

A gospel-fuelled, outlaw country-proud, roots-rock rave-up — and a true diamond in the rough.

Artist: Tyler Lorette
Location: Courtice, Ont.
Song: "Fly With Me"

This 14-year-old is both a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who can play drums, mandolin, piano and ukulele. He's been writing songs on his guitar since the age of four and hosts a weekly stream where he showcases his originals and covers globally.

Artist: DJ KZK
Location: Edmonton
Song: "Sokisimo"

KZK has been a DJ and hip-hop artist since the early '90s, mixing with vinyl, tapes, CDs and now electronically to create powwow step-infused music. DJ KZK stands for "krazykree," a nickname he says he earned in his youth for "taking risks, making bold moves and experimenting with music blending cultural influences of [his] mixed Indigenous and European heritage."

Artist: Amanda Jackson Band
Location: Prince Edward Island
Song: "Dance into the Light"

This band delivers a soaring country-pop tinged single that has many fans on P.E.I. both singing and voting along. It even has a rooster getting in on the Searchlight 2018 campaign.

Artist: Max Parker
Location: Toronto
Song: "Out of the Blue"

Max Parker may be only 16 years old, but he has been making music since age 10 as a way to work through his father's illness and the loneliness of life at school. The results are mature, polished pop music.

Artist: Dana Lee
Location: Winnipeg
Song: "Cry Tears Sad"

What a timeless voice! A beautiful, rootsy, intimate song that has captured the ears and hearts of our producers.

Artist: Dawson Rutledge
Location: Cranbrook, B.C.
Song: "Same Old News"

Already an award-winning songwriter, this young musician comes off as a complete natural on a song that builds and builds from the first note.

Artist: Amir Brandon
Location: Toronto
Song: "Real Bad"

Another favourite amongst our producers, this is a track that we've been playing over and over again. Amir Brandon's voice draws you in, then takes flight. Like the Weeknd meets Shawn Mendes.

Vote here to help us choose the top ten finalists! Once again we'll split the list down the middle. The five artists with the most votes will automatically get in, while our CBC Music producers will choose the other five. From there, our panel of celebrity judges will pick the winner of Searchlight 2018 on q. You can show your love for any song by voting for your favourites every day. Voting for round 2 of Searchlight will continue until Wednesday, March 7, at 3 p.m. ET.

Good luck to all Searchlight 2018 participants!

More to explore:

Searchlight 2018: vote now

Searchlight 2018: the national top 100 artists

Searchlight 2018: round one stand out artists

Watch the First Play of the Long War's Landscapes, the new album from last year's Searchlight champs

Searchlight alumni nominated for 2018 Juno Awards