Listen to the Canadian Screen Award Nominees for Original Song

Noah Reid and Ashley Leggat in People Hold On
Here are the songs nominated at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards. The award for Achievement in Music – Original Song, sponsored by Slaight Music, boast five respectable nominees this year from a quintet of under the radar films. Three are nice and mellow acoustic-y songs while the other two are among the most unusual contenders the Screenies have seen/heard. 88, directed by April Mullen (no relation), offers a lyrical and slightly emo ditty with “Where the Light Used to Be” while Songs She Wrote About People She Knows, which screened at festivals last year and in limited theatrical release this year, has the funny and jazzy tune “Asshole Dave.” Scratch: a hip-opera, the other notably unique song, might have the first Screenie nominee for a French rap song in “C’est aujourd’hui que je sors,” which I’ll admit that I can barely understand.

The real contenders, though, are from Best Picture dark horse Les êtres chers and the Degrassi alum maplecore pic People Hold On. Les êtres chers offers the haunting ballad "Red and Yellow" that underscores the dark currents of love and agony that run through the film. The slam dunk of the nominees, however, is the title track from People Hold On. This song by Noah Reid (Score! A Hockey Musical) offers the centrepiece of the film as the friends gather one summer night at the cottage and Reid’s character Matt plucks away on the song and his friends join in. It’s one of those perfectly candid moments from the film that could happen at any cottage getaway, but the words and melancholy tenor of the song draw out the group’s collective disappointment as they grow up and realize that life isn’t what they hoped it would be. “People Hold On” brings chills as a standalone track, but it’s especially effective in the context of the film. How often does Canadian film have a musical moment that calls to mind The Big Chill? Albeit a sad, indie Big Chill.

Here are the five nominees:

88 – “Where the Light Used to Be” by Peter Katz and Karen Kosowski

Les êtres chers – “Red and Yellow” by Martin Léon

People Hold On – “People Hold On” – by Noah Reid

(This version with Reid and co-star Paula Brancati is closer to what one hears in the film.)

Scratch: a hip-opera – “C’est aujourd’hui que je sors” by Jenny Salgado

Songs She Wrote About People She Knows – “Asshole Dave” by Kris Elgstrand

-Skip to track 2 (or enjoy track 1 beforehand as a tasty snack)

Which #cdnscreen16 nominee is your favourite?

(Stay tuned for more coverage of the nominees!)