5 Canadian women who should induct Alanis Morissette into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame instead
Contains strong language.
Alanis Morissette has finally been nominated to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. The 2022 gala will induct five new artists as Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance, David Foster and Daniel Lavoie join the legendary collection of notable Canadian songwriters alongside Morissette.
It’s wonderful to see Morissette finally recognized for her contributions to music and songwriting, cementing her historic status as an influential artist whose roots have spanned all generations since the release of Little shredded pill in 1995. Morissette will be inducted by Olivia Rodrigo, whose 2021 album Acid was hailed as a pop masterpiece influenced not only by the pop art of the present, but also steeped in the lore of women who wrung oceans of emotional fury from their craft. At Rodrigo we can hear screams and whispers of influence from artists like Liz Phair, Elastica, Veruca Salt and our very own Alanis Morissette. Acid is a stunning and exciting start, which leaves you wanting more and wondering what’s next in equal measure.
But a small sticking point with this choice of who should induct Morissette into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame: Rodrigo is American.
It is not unheard of; Morissette is certainly not the first Canadian artist to be inducted by an American contemporary. (The legendary Joni Mitchell was inducted by Herbie Hancock in 2007.) But it signals an unfortunate desire for Canada not to value the platform of Canadian art as much as the visibility of an American with an appeal on the established market.
Rodrigo is far from the first woman to be so influenced by the liberating catharsis of Morissette’s songs, and she won’t be the last so moved to express her frustrations that she agrees to shout them on stage. So why not give the platform to a Canadian woman in whom we can see the lines that Morissette has drawn through pop culture?
A thought exercise on five Canadian artists who would work in Rodrigo’s place:
The Canadian pop-punk princess needs no introduction. Herself a pending Hall of Fame inductee, she has reigned supreme ever since. let’s go dropped out in 2002 and changed the face of Canadian pop music in the blink of an eye. She writes a lot about love at the edge of a cliff, often in danger of falling and being lost forever. Strength, heart and passion in one vision, Lavigne has loved and lost herself time and time again, and channeled her emotional fury through her music. In 2007, she called Little shredded pill his favorite record of all time, saying, “Alanis was the first rock girl I walked into.” The two even shared the stage together for a performance of “Ironic” by Morissette and Lavigne’s “Lost Grip” at the House of Blues in Los Angeles.
Carly Rae Jepsen
Carly Rae Jepsen is a true Canadian icon, following a path paved by iconic Morissette since 1995. The Mission, BC-born singer first captured the hearts, minds and feet of a sea in the other with “Call Me Maybe” in 2011. and proved she was more than just a wonder with subsequent hits like “I Really Love You”, becoming the rare pop star to be beloved by critics of every kind. Jepsen is able to skillfully create pop masterpieces from the many corners of an emotional realm that she controls like no other. Love, loss, lust and desire are at the heart of Jepsen’s critically acclaimed career work, from a point Morissette first placed on a map.
The Metric singer, member of Broken Social Scene and former solo performer is an artist emerging from the turbulent seas that Morissette set in motion. Haines sits at the crossroads of danceable indie rock and biting pop, walking in the footsteps of the tradition of women like Morissette. Haines writes with a quick wit and biting teeth, able to rock our dancing feet to furious beats in one beat and stop us dead in our tracks with a soulful ballad the next. Songs like Metric’s “Combat Baby” are a direct line from hits like “You Oughta Know,” taking Morissette’s influence and upping the tempo and adding synthesizers to find new ways to express the same desires Morissette did. .
The Alvvays singer is from the Rankin Family, Canada’s legendary east coast musical family. The East Coast is generally considered to be home to more traditional music, rooted in Celtic and folk traditions, so no one expected there to be an amazing jangle pop band among us – but Alvvays proved that the East Coast is capable of so much more with their unmissable hit “Archie, Marry Me”. Without Morissette, there might never have been the sea change that created a landscape for an artist like Rankin to find success – a door so completely shattered that anyone can walk through it and make a name for themselves in it. as a woman in a country that far too often only spotlights the men within it.
In a 2015 article in The Guardian, Rankin talks enthusiastically about his love for Morissette. “Learning Celtic music and only hearing a select selection of male singer-songwriters, Alanis was an alien,” she says. “Every word, yodel and yarble was memorized and imitated.” Rankin fondly remembers staying up late to watch Morissette on the Junos and doing her hair after the Canadian icon: “Soon after, I started parting my hair down the middle and unbuttoning the cuffs of all the Oxford shirts I owned. When the Spice Girls became a sensation in Canada, I wanted nothing to do with them.”
Scarborough-born Dobson has had to fight to be heard in an industry that likes to find easy categories to lock artists into. As she sought to make a name for herself, she had to battle a racist industry that only saw her – a mixed-race artist – as an R&B singer or pop star. For very different reasons, Morissette faced similar problems trying to break away from her pop star background to make a name for herself as a rock musician. But Dobson has long listed rock musicians as influential throughout her career and hails from the same “to hell with men and this industry” place that Morissette also called home. “Bye Bye Boyfriend”, Dobson’s single that screams loudly kiss my ass to a bad ex, is largely of the line that Morissette established with Little shredded pill and “You should know.”
If we are to support and keep Canadian art as high as it deserves, we must first prioritize Canadian artists themselves – creating the platform from which they can stand and be seen. , celebrated among their peers and praised by fans around the world. Alanis Morissette is proof that Canada is home to leading artists, women who have the talent and the strength to become timeless icons. We just have to give them the stage.