Blake Enemark and Kalle Mattson’s Top 10 Canadian Albums of 2012

Blake Enemark – Photo by Jay Delaney

Here at Grayowl Point, us writers don’t like to be the only ones who contribute year end lists. We like to hear what Canadian musicians themselves have to say about the year in Canadian music because after all, they are a big part of it! In our first round of guest posts from Canadian musician see what Blake Enemark of Snoqualmie, Kalle Mattson of…Kalle Mattson, have been loving from this past year:

Blake Enemark of Snoqualmie: 

Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur

Really cool production.  Great hooks.  It was my pick for Polaris!  Also, if you look at the liner notes, something like 10 really famous people played on it but kept a low profile… that speaks to me as a quiet respect to the capability of Edwards’ songwriting.

Aidan Knight – Small Reveal

We listened to the first mixes in our van as we drove through the Rockies this summer and nobody said a word the entire time.  Small Reveal is an incredible artistic statement and an inspiration to me as a musician.

The Wooden Sky – Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun

Touring with these dudes when I was playing with Matt in Northcote last year was one of the best times of my life.  Hearing all these songs live before the album was released was such a special experience (and so was getting to play shaker on “Malibu Rum” during the tour).  These guys just have a way with sounds!!  My heroes.

Kingdom Cloud – Electric Domain / Love Goblin 7″

Brilliant loud pop / krautrock.  Nothing beats seeing Evan jump all over the stage, Laura smile from behind the kit, and Jaeden grooving out… ULTIMATE stage presence.

Andy Shauf – The Bearer of Bad News

Andy is the most amazing storyteller.  Not only that, he taught himself to play bass clarinet for this album… as well as playing every other instrument, too.  This is the kind of record that makes musicians re-evaluate what they’ve been doing with their entire career.

Francis Cheer – Seabather EP

John Gerrard (Francis Cheer) and I started a record label this year to release each other’s material.  He recorded this EP to prepare the world for his LP Mapmaker, which actually would have been my #1 album of the year if it had come out already.  John’s been through a lot and it shows in his music.  Lots of fingerpicked guitar and striking layered harmonies.  Keep your ear to the ground for 2013.

Ben Arsenault – Ben Arsenault

I met Ben through Matt from Northcote… he was in law school with Matt’s wife Britt.  After seeing him play at a coffee shop I asked if he would want me to do an album for him on my 4-track (mostly because I thought his songs were so good that I wanted to have a copy to listen to all the time).  We teamed up with local pedal steel guru Marc Jenkins and tracked the whole thing in a few days.  It’s a beautifully analog and nostalgic country record.

Woolworm – Believe in Ourselves

Ultimate shoegazey blanket rock from Vancouver’s faux metal masters.  It’s the album we’ve all been waiting for.  The best band you haven’t heard of yet.

Pocket Orchestra – Tall Tale EP

You may have seen the tall, handsome, Colin Nealis playing bass, rhodes, and viola, (or all three) on stage with Aidan Knight, Andy Shauf, or myself, but I bet you haven’t heard Pocket Orchestra yet.  It took colin over two years to get this album done.  Beautiful production and masterful instrumentation.  This one hit me the hardest this year.

Freak Heat Waves – Freak Heat Waves

The kings of Victoria, BC.  finest post-punk / no-wave revival.  Three of the most talented dudes I’ve ever seen live.  Steve now plays the telecaster that Pat from Women smashed on stage at their last-ever show (which happened to be in town).  It’s a fitting symbol for carrying the torch somehow… these guys are going to be huge.  Proud to call them my friends.

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Kalle Mattson

Kalle Mattson:

Aidan Knight – Small Reveal
Easily my most listened to record of 2012, we had it in the van on repeat for almost all of our west coast tour this year. Amazing and inventive arrangements and just all around beautiful tunes. A real gem.

The Wooden Sky – Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun

My favourite Wooden Sky record and their best I think. Insanely good songs, great sounds and incredible playing throughout, and Gav has one of my favourite voices in music. (PS. Gavin is producing my next record, coming out in 2013!)

Japandroids – Celebration Rock
I feel like everyone knows and loves this record. It’s a banger.

Evening Hymns – Spectral Dusk
A very personal and inspirational record for me and some of the choices I’ve made for the lyrics and themes in my next record. I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t heard this one to pick it up ASAP.

Bahamas – Barchords
Great songs, sounds and production, what more could you ask for?

Patrick Watson – Adventures In Your Own Backyard
One of my favourite shows this year was seeing Patrick Watson, just incredible.

Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
One of his best in a long time, a true icon. “Show Me The Place” is ridiculously good.

Yukon Blonde – Tiger Talk
A real van listening highlight for us this year. Just a stupid good pop record with hooks galore.

Neil Young – Psychedelic Pill
I feel like I always get something really special out of every Neil record, this one was no different. Maybe my favourite guitar player ever?

John K. Samson – Provincial

John K. has been a huge influence on me since I first heard Left & Leaving when I was 14. That record really changed a lot of my outlook on music. This record is another collection of great songs and incredible lyrics. The Edna Krabappel song (“The Last And”) kills me.

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