Friday, November 2, 2007

Hottest Canadian Bands 2007: 'Baby I've got some words for you...'

Its getting close enough to the end of the year that I feel justified in starting my year end lists. Including my upcoming list of lists that I intend on posting. My best Canadian bands of the year:

1. The Besnard Lakes - album The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse one of Pitchforks most overlooked albums of 2007.

2. Ohbijou - I had never heard them until they opened for Great Lake Swimmers earlier this year, and I was absolutely wowed by them. Their album Swift Feet for Troubling Times is also outstanding. They play 'big band' pop music without the 'big band' seeming unnecessary.

3. Great Lake Swimmers - After two quality albums s/t (2003) and Bodies and Minds (2005), this year's Oniagara was more upbeat and a lot more interesting. Similar to the transition Sam Beam's Iron and Wine made this year with The Shepard's Dog. Also, kudos for their song 'Your Rocky Spine' making the cut on Weeds.

4. The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible was disappointing by Arcade Fire standards, but was still an excellent release. One of probably two artists (the other being Sufjan Stevens) that I would literally kill to see. I'll be here if you need me.

5. Feist - The Reminder was excellent. Her playing on a moving city bus on Jimmy Kimmel live was even better. She is bound to make just about every top-10 list this year.

6. Miracle Fortress - Five Roses was probably the album that was the nicest surprises of the year.

7. Chad VanGaalen - I'm convinced that he received his polaris prize nomination only after critics realized how good 2oo4's Infiniheart was, since Skelliconnection was relatively mediocre. Seems like a genuinely good guy, and I had a hilarious run-in with his bassist the night they played at Call the Office which made him a lock for my list.

8. Basia Bulat - great voice, Oh, My Darling is very good album, something about her rubs me the wrong way.

9. Patrick Watson - I've got a post on Watson in the works, suffice to say that winning the polaris prize probably makes him a lock, and after spending more time with Close to Paradise [2006] I'm really finding it rewarding.

10. The Sunparlour Players - accidentally ran into them opening for Cuff the Duke earlier this year, or possibly late last year, and they (Andrew Penner) consistently put on the best live show of anyone I've seen. Their album Hymns for the Happy is good, but comes no where near doing justice to their show.

Bands I'm interested in hearing more from:
Great Bloomers (Toronto) - to date they've only put out a single EP, Reel Cod, their myspace page is highly, highly recommended their single 'Catching Up' might be my favourite song of the year.

Jenn Grant - similar style to Julie Dorian, Feist, haven't had a chance to check out her full album Orchestra for the Moon, but am looking forward to seeing her open for the Weakerthans next weekend.

Thunderheist (Montreal)- no album released to date, but their myspace is worth perusing if you like dance music, or anything that sounds similar to The Go! Team.

Amos the Transparent (Ottawa) - I've yet to hear Everything I've Forgotten to Forget, so I'll reserve judgment until after their show on Tuesday.


Kyle Wasko said...

Very cool list. There's definitely some stuff there that I'll need to check out. Two things:

1. It's unfathomable that you don't have The New Pornographers on your list. Challengers might very well be my album of the year. My guess is this was an accident.

2. No love for Metric or Emily Haines? Question: is the band doomed because nothing will ever stack up against "Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?" While I don't lover her solo stuff, it's certainly listenable (if, perhaps, sleep-inducing).

Kyle Wasko said...

...or Stars.

Reply, dammit!