As we ease into a new season (and the first anniversary of the pandemic), artists are already plotting their return to IRL stages. But as far as we’re concerned, that won’t be happening anytime soon. Just this month, The Weeknd announced dates for the After Hours World Tour in 2022. And although that sounds like eons away, it’s very hard to believe that 12 months will be enough time for us to safely return to packed, sweaty stadiums and mosh pits. But in the meantime, the virtual performance landscape needs a bit of work. For instance, to audition for Canadian Music Week’s virtual showcase, first-time applicants must pay $99. Granted, the application comes with a two-year membership to the CAAMA and virtual admission to CMW’s conference, but charging this much to merely be considered to play on a virtual stage is troubling—especially in a pandemic. 

This is just one glaring example but since we’ll likely be in some variation of quarantine for the remainder of the year, virtual shows will have to catch up. And even without any platforms to perform, Candian artists have kept up the momentum with a steady stream of exceptional tracks across all genres. These are ones that were on our radar this month.