With new artists breaking ground and familiar names giving us proof of why they are heavyweights in the music business, here is just a taste of what has been an outstanding year in Canadian music. In no particular order:
Aidan Knight – Versicolour
Victoria’s Aidan Knight has had an unforgettable year thanks to his stunning debut album, Versicolour. Even though it is only an eight track mini-album, Knight gives us two of the strongest songs of the year, “The Sun” and “Jasper,” and a taste of what will be a promising future.
Fred Squire – March 12
Despite the lack of promotion for Fred Squire’s, March 12, the album is one of the best of the year. Fred Squire’s intricate and emotional song-writing paired with his gruff vocals becomes the perfect combination. See my Grayowl Point review for more information.
Basia Bulat – Heart Of My Own
As a relatively new fan of Basia Bulat, I was blown away by the talent she showcases in her second full-length album, Heart Of My Own. With the major success of her first album, Oh, My Darling, Basia Bulat shows her strength and staying power with this confident and beautifully arranged album.
Pat Lepoidevin – Moonwolves
Up and coming orchestral folk musician Pat Lepoidevin delivered a stellar second album entitled Moonwolves. Pat’s vocals have been drawing comparisons to the likes of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon while his use of various instruments and playful lyrics combine for a hopeful future.
Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a HUGE Broken Social Scene fan but their Polaris Prize short listed album, Forgiveness Rock Record, explains why they are so popular. A multi-layered album full of great instrumental interludes and age old rock sounds, Forgiveness Rock Record will have songs like “World Sick” and “Texico Bitches” in your head all day.
Hannah Georgas – This Is Good
Along with some others mentioned in this list, Hannah Georgas has had an exceptional 2010. Full of catchy lyrics and poppy sounds, Hannah is holding her own against the competition of Canadian women singers with her debut full length album, This Is Good.
Karkwa – Les Chemins de Verre
With a Polaris Prize win under their belts and new found fame in English speaking Canada, Montreal’s Karkwa has certainly had an incredible year. Karkwa breaks down any French language barrier with their incredibly emotional lyrics and rock sound, understandable in any language.
Forest City Lovers – Carriage
Toronto’s Forest City Lovers released a confident “baroque-pop” third album this year. Carriage showcases catchy yet simple songs paired with the beautiful vocals of group founder, Kat Burns. Two songs off the album, “If I Were A Tree” and “Tell Me, Cancer,” would go on my list of top songs from this year.
Daniel Romano – Working For The Music Man
Daniel Romano might just be one of the busiest people in the Canadian music business but still had the time to create the fantastic Working For The Music Man. Daniel Romano has nicely fused the sounds of country and folk, covering old folk songs while writing his own songs good enough to become classics.
Donovan Woods – The Widowmaker
Whether it’s writing about Lawren Harris or the girl that got away, Donovan Woods’ The Widowmaker is an exceptional yet unfortunately under-recognized album. Basic sounding songs with merely a piano or a guitar are pumped up with the passion in the voice and lyrics of Donovan Woods.