In spirit of Canadian Music Week I have decided to comprise a top ten list of great Canadian bands for you foreign listeners to get to know a bit more about our country from overseas.
Now assuming you know about the greats (Broken Social Scene, the New Pornographers), I picked some smaller emerging bands that you’ll wish you heard a lot sooner! This was no easy task as each city is overflowing with bands worthy of attention but this is what I got for ya!
10.) The Tom Fun Orchestra – myspace.com/tomfunorchestra
Who? A ten piece Celtic folk country rock explosion with throaty Tom Waits-esque vocals courtesy of enigmatic front man, Johnny Turbo.
What? Their phenomenal debut, You Will Land With a Thud and their stuffy sweaty live performances have got critics talking country-wide.
From? Out east, Nova Scotia.
9.) Bass Lions – myspace.com/basslions
Who? The remains of a band called Riley formed to create succulent hand-clap heavy rock. Topped off with infectious hooks and choruses, their sound is accessible yet extremely unique.
What? Their debut EP, More Than Island, is beautiful from start to finish.
From? The smokiest city in Ontario; Hamilton.
8.) Jason Collett – myspace.com/jasoncollettofficial
Who? Part of the Arts & Crafts family, Jason Collett plays acoustic folksy rock with an incredible knack for writing timeless lyrics and choruses.
What? His second LP, Here’s to Being Here, is in stores now, but it’s his debut album Idols in Exile that really shows his true singer/songwriter colours.
From? The busy streets of Toronto!
Who? Vocal-less piano driven post-rock with a heart the size of Canada. These Do Make Say Think openers know a thing or two about writing epic movements.
What? Their self-released eponymous EP has been stirring up quite the buzz. It was voted 2nd best Avant Garde album of the Year in Exclaim!’s reader’s poll!
From? The humble city that is Ottawa, Ontario.
6.) Plants and Animals
Who? Three regular dudes who create huge classic rock with flourishing piano parts, strings, and monster group sing-a-longs. Their live sets are a display of unadulterated honesty and great music.
What? Their first full length, Parc Avenue, which is already a contender for album of the year, hit stores just last month and is timeless the instant it hits your ears.
From? Montreal; although they don’t sound like any of their neighbours.
5.) The Darcys – myspace.com/itsthedarcys
Who? Indie pop melody masters with a penchant for throwing in some post-rock ambiance and horns. Comparisons to Radiohead can be comfortably made yet it’s still clear their classy songs and face melting live performances are entirely their own.
What? Their debut album, Endless Water, which was recorded in a Children’s Museum and is packed with all the juicy hooks and harmonies took keep it glued in your CD player for months.
From? Half dwell in Toronto, the other half are finishing off university in Halifax.
4.) Fox Jaws – myspace.com/foxjaws
Who? Small town indie rockers who leave critiques tripping over their lips when trying to describe their sound. It’s beautiful, noisy, and undeniably catchy and heart warming rock with some folkish mannerisms sprinkled on top. The vocal combination between Carleigh Aikins and Daniel Allen is eye water inducing at its height. Carleigh has one of the most distinctive voices Ontario has to offer.
What? Goodbye Doris, their debut album, which sat at the top of my ‘albums of 2007’ list. Every song is incredible.
From? A small city North of Toronto with a dying music scene; Barrie, Ontario.
3.) Holy Fuck – myspace.com/holyfuck
Who? Four guys messing around with electronics and instruments, stumbling upon multi-layered post-rock soundscapes, so lush and delicate you’ll forget every thing that could possibly be wrong with your life. They’ve already been around the world and making quite the ruckus, so hopefully this isn’t the first time you’ve heard of them!
What? Their latest offering, LP, stunned the faces off Canada last year.
From? Toronto, Ontario
2.) The Most Serene Republic – myspace.com/themostserenerepublic
Who? The Most Serene Republic are a band of many hats. Their jazz influenced off-beat indie rock is possibly the weirdest Arts & Crafts will sign. Messy hand-claps, nice happy vocals, angry horns, smashing pots and pans, yelling group chants; they create music with virtually no limits. Starting from the ground up and reinventing the wheel has never sounded so organic and gorgeous.
What? Their moody, agitated, yet content, 2nd full length, Population is available in stores but it’s their crazy live sets where their songs come to life.
From? The extremely small secluded city/village that is Milton, Ontario.
1.) The Meligrove Band – myspace.com/meligroveband
Who? Incredible classic rock inspired melody vivacious indie rock. Complete with giant horn and string sections and bouncing keys. The Meligrove Band have a way at decomposing every fake, hipster trend about liking indie rock music and going straight for everyone’s heart. Their, sometimes painfully, honest songs demand attention.
What? Their third full length, Planets Conspire, is what put them on the map. Currently fans are patiently waiting for their much overdue fourth LP, while they play the odd sold out show.
From? None other than Toronto
There you have it! Load up your Ipod’s folks!