Canadian singer-songwriter Blair Lee has the potential to be one of the all-time greats – right up there with Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon.

Lee’s debut EP The Puppy Game showcases five indelible songs. “Hurdles” is a touching tribute to her grandparents’ influence in her life – and the melody has the classic feel of Carly and James Taylor when they sat atop the pop world.

Toronto has always had a vibrant music scene, but it’s really cooking now thanks to Blair Lee, indie singer Danie and the solo career of Bria (whose high-energy cover of Paula Cole’s “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?” is arguably the best cover of the 2020s).

Check out Blair Lee’s The Puppy Game. You’ll discover why her EP is sneaking onto some “10 Best” lists this year.

How did you come up with the concept of using family videos for your song “Hurdles”?

I thought nothing would be better suited for the song. “Hurdles” is about the bond of family – specifically the bond I had with my grandpa, who passed away shortly after the song came out in September.

Whose idea was it to have the boyfriend’s face veiled in the video for “Peachy World”?

Oh boy…mine. Sorry, Max! [Blair’s producer Modmaxx]. I felt that if the character was masked, there’d be more room for interpretation. Could be a friend, a partner, an imaginary friend, or someone completely different. I also like the idea that the character is unreachable, unreadable.

The acoustic guitar in “Hurdles” is so lovely! Who were your favorite artists growing up…especially those who excelled on acoustic guitar?

Thank you! Max (Modmaxx) is always the one behind the guitar riffs. Favourite artists, for this song specifically, I think of Michelle Branch and her song “Everywhere”, plus “All You Wanted” as well. Both start with a picked guitar riff, then expand. I love her voice and her songs.

How often do you solo write vs. co-write?

It’s a bit of both 🙂 I do most of my lyric writing solo, but I like to collaborate when making a song.

Are there songs on your new EP that showcase your keyboard skills?

I used a MIDI keyboard to add soft horns to “Peachy World” and lush synths to “Flower Mind” (during the pre + chorus). I play piano at the very end of “Flower Mind” as well 🙂