Earlier this year I bought a copy of Uncut magazine in the airport before a flight. It felt very antiquated to be reading a music magazine in 2015 in the age of YouTube. It came with a CD that I still haven’t listened to because of a general lack of CD players in my life. Reading cliched passages about swelling choruses, walls of noise or melodic whatevers, made want to keep the writing about the songs on this list to a minimum and I was reminded of the famous quote, ‘writing about music is like dancing about architecture.’ And while there were a lot of other great songs that I could’ve listed (some other standouts from this year), I limited my list to indie Canadian acts. Here’s a playlist of my favourites of the year. At the bottom, I’ve included a list of my wife’s top picks of the year, because she has pretty great taste.
10. Destroyer – Dream Lover – There’s something about Dan Bejar’s music that I always find interesting and ambitious, familiar yet always new.
9. Midday Swim – Summer Eyes – I love the sound of this – laid back and bright, it sounds like summer.
8. Yardlets – Baby Deer – I’m a sucker for that fuzzy, shoe gazer sound.
7. Dirty Ghosts – Cataract – I like how much this reminds me, aesthetically, of Romeo Void’s Never Say Never
6. Royal Foundry – Running Away – There is something about this slightly anthemic, hippie, upbeat song that the younger me would’ve hated, but I’m okay with that. (Also, Waiting is pretty fantastic too).
5. Paradise Animals – Monday Morning – This song reminded me a bit of Woodhands, but there was no connection between the two groups that I could find. Nonetheless, I like the synth work on this song.
4. Seoul – Real June – I don’t know why this band is called Seoul. None of the members are from, or have been to, South Korea (although they say here they wanted to evoke the “solitariness of living in a big city.”. But I do love this song.
3. You Say Party – Ignorance – Laura Palmer’s Prom turned me into a fan for life and I loved how the band dropped the ‘You Say Die,’ from their name after one of their band members that died onstage of a brain haemorrhage out of “respect for [Clifford] and the evolution of life.”
2. Teen Daze – Morning World – “Should I drift back into a dream?” The transition from the synth heavy intro into alt-pop does it for me.
1. Shy Kids – Rockets – This was my favourite song of the year. It didn’t seem to make much of a mark, but I love the pop hooks and this video is just brilliant. I think these boys are going places, if only everyone else would pay attention. You can listen to their album on Soundcloud here.
And if you’re looking for more music, here’s a playlist of @Chalkie_Chalk’s top picks of the year: