I get most of my music news from the website Alternative Addiction, because it caters to the music genres and artists I like the most. Every year, the site does a wrap-up of the best songs of the past year, followed by predictions of the following year’s biggest artists and songs. AA’s list for 2013 featured some artists, such as Twenty One Pilots and Jake Bugg, that have already started to creep onto music listeners’ playlists. However, one artist on this year’s preview stood out to me, a Canadian by the name of Tim Chaisson. I think he has by far the most potential of anyone on that list, and I think he could be one of 2013’s breakout artists, based on the strength of his single, “Beat This Heart,” featuring Serena Ryder. Take a listen here:
This song has many qualities of a hit: a catchy and infectious guitar riff, relatable lyrics, and vocals that make the emotions in those lyrics come to life. It even has a title that can be interpreted multiple ways. When I first heard the song, I thought by “beat this heart,” he was referring to physical violence, like the woman the main character in the song sings about would always leave him feeling depressed and beat up. But it can also be interpreted to refer to a live-giving heartbeat, meaning the despite the end of his relationship with this woman, the love that lingers will always sustain him. I also like Serena Ryder’s vocals here. She harmonizes well with Chaisson without stepping on his toes or getting in the way, which enhances the song.
There are a few things working against this song striking gold in the US, though. Chaisson has been a known quantity in Canada and Australia for some time, winning several East Coast Music Awards (given out in recognition of the top music acts on the east coast of Canada) for his 2009 album Broken Hearted Beat, recorded with the band Morning Fold. Chaisson has also won several Prince Edward Island music awards for his other previous albums. However, his style of music may not immediately grab US listeners as it did in Canada in Australia. US listeners tend to gravitate toward strong, electronic, rap-influenced beats in their popular music. Just look at the Billboard 200… it’s littered with rap-influenced pop artists such as Justin Timberlake, Nicki Minaj, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis… the list goes on. But Mumford & Sons proved that guitar-driven roots rock still has a place on the charts, so Chaisson has a definite shot at stardom. I’ll be watching his career trajectory closely, and if you like the song, I strongly suggest you call your radio station and request it. It just so happens that Chaisson’s latest album, The Other Side, from which this song is taken, dropped TODAY, so don’t hesitate to pick it up and support an up-and-coming artist.