Canada’s newest country-soul superstar sets up for success after success

The next Carrie Underwood is rising as her own star.

The next Carrie Underwood is rising as her own star.

Amy Cunningham is as talented as the country superstar and may even have more depth in her well of talent.

Cunningham was born in Brampton, Ont. and released her first album, To the Stars We’ll Return, in July 2011. Before that she co-fronted a popular campus band at Brock University in St. Catherine’s.

In Between , Cunningham’s latest album, mixes country-pop catchy melodies with throwback style acoustic sounds and soul.

Many people jokingly – and sometimes not – stereotype country music as shrines to love, lost love, lost dogs and alcohol. However, if Amy keeps on her current path she’ll be a frontrunner in changing that misconception, thanks to her powerful yet sometimes quirky songs.

Trees is easily the best song on an album where each song has the legs to stand on its own. The heady guitar creates a mesmerizing track to which Cunningham’s edgy country ability is able to grab a hold of your eardrums and not let go.

The beats are dark enough to add seriousness and depth to the metaphorical lyrics. Trees is also the first single off In Between.

However, not every song on the album takes itself too seriously. Festival Song, the albums bonus track, is upbeat and catchy; accompanied by her signature acoustic flavour.

In the name of a diverse album, Cunningham also includes several spectacularly crafted love songs.

With real attempts to explore and capture the elements of love, rather than only cover the romance elements, Cunningham has created something she can stand behind and be proud of.

Her voice has a smooth range and the ability to change notes without falling flat or being pitchy. The music comes from deep inside her, creating a beautiful clear natural voice. It’s easy to tell she tries hard and works hard at her music without overdoing anything.

Amy Cunningham is a Canadian name to watch out for, thanks to her incredible talent and success at blending genres.

Artist sets music to the imagination

In her newest album, Scorpion Moon, Canadian-born artist Sora takes her listeners on a journey across fields and mountains, to an impassioned world born of her imagination.

Her album is unlike anything out in mainstream music today, and still vastly different from alternative music; so different it’s practically genreless.

Sora’s voice is rich full of kings and queens, battles, stories and fervor. Although her songs don’t mention medieval qualities, they are deep and smoky with the substance and sound you would find in such a story.

Her vocals have great range and each song keeps a good rhythm without needing the lyrics to rhyme in convenient places, something that’s being taken for granted lately.

Over and over, in each song Sora displays an unparalleled talent for storytelling.

The tracks are mystical sounding, accompanied by perfectly matching arrangements match the moods of the songs. Harps add mysticality. And in other tracks, such as Hireath, drums are used to add a little edge and elements of tension and danger.

However, no song has just one atmosphere; Sora manages to weave different moods and atmospheres, just like in actual stories. The songs have plot.

Sora’s tracks also feature unique lyrics, and in this case unique is not a polite term for weird. With the popular musical world perforated with love songs filled with babies, shorties, girls and cowboys, yes, even the wonderful country genre is not immune to the patterned formula.

Sora has managed to slip back to a time of epic stories and ballads without losing a sharpened, modern edge.

Sora’s music is hard to grasp with the written word, but for those looking for something different it’s definitely worth a listen.