This year there’s been a lot of Canadian music out there that spans the quality and popularity scales. From Arcade Fire winning the Grammy (to some odd initial backlash even though they’re incredible), to Nickeback getting hated on for performing on a giant American holiday, to The Sheepdogs getting the cover of Rolling Stone (Kudos to them, they deserve it!), to Deadmau5 selling out Rogers Center being the 1st Candian artist to do so.
Then there’s the Canucks you hear about everywhere. Justin Beiber is not having a kid with some random chick but has squealing girls following him everywhere, Drake is really talented and is on every TV everytime I turn it on but comeon every Canadian knows he started on Degrassi, and Michael Buble can charm his way out of prison if he had to.
But this blog post isn’t about them, you’ve heard of them, they’re really popular and I’m psyched for them… Well not Nickelback, I urge you to download Nickleblock now. There is a lot of quality incredible music created within this fine country called Canada – here’s some of my favorites aside from the ones that get a lot of the press.
*Note these are all artists that are currently creating music in some sense. The list would be totally different if we’re including defunct musicians.
I remember buying his first album, then hearing he was quitting music. But thankfully that was not the end of Kos, he came back and he is still making incredible music today. He wrote one of my favorite lyrics of all time too – “Walking down Yonge St on a Friday, can’t follow them gotta do it my way”.
Recommendation - Crabbuckit - http://youtu.be/MtSzpKiARrI
Additional viewing – Bedouin Soundclash + Kos - http://youtu.be/UUTD6wrEbgU
- Kid Koala
I’m sad that physical CD’s are fading away because I may never hold a new Kid Koala CD in my hand again. His music is also art – Carpol Tunnel Syndrome is one of the best packaged albums I own. He’s opened for Radiohead and Bjork, has played at the last 2 years of Comic Con in San Diego and I remember him winning a ton of turntable competitions when I was in high school 10 years ago.
Recommendation – Fender Bender - http://youtu.be/jUhnOrXyz6Q
- Sam Roberts
An amazing rock outfit filled with traditional rock. There’s something in Sam Robert’s music that is calming and makes me smile. Everywhere I’ve been in Canada Sam Roberts is a consistent level in quality music. he hasn’t seemed to break past the Canadian border though, and that’s a shame.
Recommendation – Brother Down - http://youtu.be/yz8fACptREI - Live great crowd.
- Holy Fuck
Not to be confused with Fucked Up who are also from Toronto and are also awesome. Holy Fuck are an electronic/experimental band from Toronto who have been praised by Pitchfork. They have played Coachella and run the festival gamut and have received much critical acclaim.
Recommendation – Latin America - http://youtu.be/fd5gVwbRlvk
5 boys from Hamilton making evolving music. Their first full album I still have in my car and should be played as a complete album and I believe that every workplace should play Deadlines, it’s important to keep your work on track Also, the cover photo of Jackson Square was taken at a show I was at, Vfest!
See them live, it’s an experience much like the rest of this list, albums are great but everyone on this list is worth the ticket price.
Recommendation – Ballad of Hugo Chavez - http://youtu.be/mffhLwsJ0tU - Live!
If it were up to me I would make everyone aspiring to gain Canadian citizenship take a test and also know the following musical artists in addition to the list above –>
Tokyo Police Club, Matthew Good, Tegan & Sara, Trews, Constantines, Crystal Castles, Death from Above 1979 & MSTRKRFT, Hot Hot Heat, Metric, The New Pornographers, The Reason, Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, The Weakerthans, Hey Rosetta!, The Dears, Bedouin Soundclash, Billy Talent and lastly The Stills – I miss you Stills come back to us.
Also on my Canadian Citizenship test would be knowing who Nardwuar the Human Serviette is. Look it up… but I’m off topic. So that’s my list, if you’re interested in more I’m working of another post of Canadian Bands that aren’t still together. That’d be a doozy of a list.
Let me know your musicians below that everyone should know about. Music is great because there’s always new pieces to listen to. Everyone listens to something different too so let me know, I would love to hear them.