The latest round up...

The Polaris short list was just announced!

For those of you who haven't heard of it, the Polaris Music Prize honours, celebrates and rewards creativity and diversity in Canadian music. Polaris recognizes and promotes albums of the highest artistic integrity, without regard to musical genre, professional affiliation, or sales history. It is adjudicated by 200+ specially selected music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers. Past winners include Arcade Fire (2011), Karkwa (2010), Fucked Up (2009) get the gist.

Everyone has been quick to weigh in on this year's short list with their various complaints and criticisms but I must say... it's pretty perfect. The short list shows a great cross-section of everything awesome in Canada. You've got the garage rock of Japandroids up against trailblazers like Grimes and Fucked Up. There's Drake and Cadence Weapon repping Canadian hip hop. Cold Specks, Feist, and Kathleen Edwards are there filling the pretty-lady-pretty-voice quota. Holding down the electronic side are Handsome Furs, and the very confusing but surely awesome Yamantaka // Sonic Titan as well. My personal vote would go to Japandroids but that's just my taste. All these records are a great taste of the quality music produced in Canada. I highly recommend you check out each of the short listed artists!

Edgefest went down on Saturday in Toronto! Death From Above 1979 headlined alongside Billy Talent, and the scorching sun didn't stop 20,000 people from enjoying the outdoor festivities. The side stage boasted some of Canada's most exciting acts including female-led rock and roll three-piece, The Balconies, noise-duo Indian Handcrafts, Toronto melody masters The Darcys, and British Columbia's straight-up rockin' Acres of Lions and Yukon Blonde. A rock and roll feast if you will! Legendary talent buyer Elliot Lefko is surely a tastemaker in the Canadian music community and it's line ups like this that prove it again and again!

Now getting in to some of the new releases you should all be raving about!

Toronto's Bravestation self-released their much-anticipated new album, Giants & Dreamers. Their ambient soundscapes are the perfect soundtrack to any late night summer shenanigans. Their live sets have been turning heads all over the UK and Canada, and this record will further cement them as a band to watch! Check out a time lapse video they've put together of their CD release party. After all, who doesn't love a good time lapse?!

Meanwhile on the West Coast, everyone's favourite prog-poppers Bend Sinister unleashed their latest album, Small Fame, on July 10th. If you like messy rock and sludgy choruses that are easy to sing along to while under the influence, this is the band for you! The full EP is streaming at CBC right now!

If you like superbly well-written songs and easily listenable ballads, it's about time you dig in to Royal Wood's discography. This Canadian mainstay has made his mark and is highly respected among Canadian musicians. His new album brings his honest and charming writing to the forefront yet again. Check out a live video performance of 'Not Giving Up' below:

And that's all from me! Enjoy your summer and these tunes! Don't forget to tweet me at @SARIDELMAR


Photo - Bend Sinister.
Credit: Candice Webster

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