PUP (formerly known as Topanga - changed after a tantrum because <i>Girl Meets World</i> is maybe a thing) is kind of Toronto’s answer to The Cribs or The Vines (and a million other bands that blend dirty guitars, group yells and mayhem with clean production) and the four piece is really immediate and intense while still being lots of fun.
Drop the needle. A ghostly guitar lick and the bluesy voice of Saskatchewan’s Little Miss Higgins enter the room.
Celestial, astral, extraterrestrial.
The words “produced and mixed by Ian Blurton” are always a comfort, from local favourites the Weakerthans to scads of heavy and mellow artists across our country, he’s the perfect fit for Calgary’s Miesha and the Spanks.
Vancouver’s Jordan Klassen sounds like a combination of a young Sufjan Stevens and Justin Vernon – but the 28 year-old is crafting folk-rock ballads all his own.
Spending the six years since his solo masterpiece Hospital Music in self-reflective throwback mode (a live album and two discs of sub-par 90s re-hashes), the hero of my teenage years returns with something at least fun.
Remember when the Dears were moody and symphonic and falsetto-y?
Vancouver’s Said the Whale might sound like many other indie rock bands, but with its fourth studio album hawaiii, the five-piece outfit has perfected a sing-along pop groove that even surpasses 2009’s excellent Islands Disappear.
Opening with the brooding popper “Tipping Time” (fleshed out by the harmonies of the Sweet Alibi), the latest from local group None the Wiser contains 13 tracks of 90s nostalgic goodness (think the best of I Mother Earth & Our Lady Peace) in a way that the indie kids aren’t cumming all over (though maybe they will - there’s a lot of alto sax on here).
This Winnipeg five piece evolved from radio rockers AM Glory (which evolved from Accepting Silence) and does power pop country served just right.
To stop any Black Keys/White Stripes comparisons before they start - the Young Pixels are more in line with the Pixies’ Black Francis/Kim Deal, if they didn’t hate each other, had kids and lived on an organic farm near Brandon, Manitoba.
Originally formed in 2011, Yes We Mystic is a five-piece folk rock band from Winnipeg.
This Halifax project went away for a while, but it’s back and it’s beautiful and you missed it even if you didn’t know it.
Royal Canoe’s first proper LP finally gives listeners an opportunity to answer the question, What can these guys do with a full-length record?
Federal Lights’ debut LP follows up last year’s Carbon EP and its sounds are bigger, with a more fleshed-out sound and a higher profile (it’s the band’s first for Toronto indie label Aporia).
Odario Williams has been writing rhymes for as long as most of us have been listening and due to this, nearly every lyric on his band’s third disc sounds as natural as freestyle, yet as prepared as poetry.
The debut record from local group, The Bros Landreth, holds nine tracks of competent roots rock with sexy lead and slide guitars accompanied by Eagles-inspired harmonies.
Multi-instrumentalist Rory Verbrugge’s eponymous five song EP is a well performed and warmly recorded slice of folk and bluegrass.
Vampires debut LP is made up of a rifftastic collection of catchy yet substantial songs.
The second full-length effort from Winnipeg post-punk trio This Hisses is sparse and simple but equally haunting and uncomfortable.