Well, it's 2013 and we survived yet another holiday season, and the predictions of the Mayans. Us Canucks have been left with a year of memories from hearing 'Call Me Maybe?' an obscenely abnormal amount of times on the radio to watching Metz make Toronto the coolest city in indie rock again... This year has been anything but short of a success for Canadian music, now more than ever we have made a name for ourselves beyond these cold borders.
Our poster child, and newly established rebel, Justin Bieber brought home the artist of the year award at the American Music Awards, took to the halftime show at the White Cup, created a perfume and released a new album. The kid is unstoppable.
The warmth felt during this cold Canadian winter comes from beloved folk indie songstress Julie Doiron with her fall release of 'So Many Days'. In celebration, the soothing (at times heartbreaking) lyricist is currently trekking the cold Canadian highways on tour with Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard.
Instrumental, Jazz, Hip Hop trio BadBadNotGood also returned with their second mix tape; BBNG2 featuring covers of songs by Canadian gem Feist as well as Kanye West and James Blake. It was a busy year for the young music school dropouts as they were the band-in-residence at Coachella as well as the backing band for Frank Ocean. Heading back into their basement studio the trio has plans of releasing more covers as well as original material in early 2013.
Speaking of Feist, her guitarist of two-years Bahamas has been a common feature on best-of 2012 charts with his latest release 'Barchords', no surprise he's sharing stages with Arizona-based band Calexico currently. Just another Canadian act to take their sound beyond Canadian borders, making us all very proud back at home. Barchords is a timeless must-hear for music fans of all ages.
In other news, garage rock duo Army Girls is coming to the forefront of popularity with their immense amount of street cred and their impressive reviews from some of the nations toughest critics. When not on stage impressing crowds with their courageous stage personas Carmen Elle (D I A N A) and Andy Smith (Doldrums) have kept busy in the studio with producer Ben Cook (who worked with Canadian hardcore group Fucked Up) working on their first full-length.
Indie pop fans had a brief moment of panic back in October when Born Ruffian’s lead singer Luke Lalonde announced he was going solo with the release of Rhythymnals. The album, which had been recorded from 2010 to 2012 in various apartments in Montreal and Toronto is the first solo effort for the young songwriter, and was done (give or take a few instruments) entirely on his own. However rest assured fans of Born Ruffians the group is allegedly returning in 2013 with a new album, sleep is for the weak ‘eh’ Lalonde? Power-house vocalist Serena Ryder has come back with (a more happier) vengeance with her new album Harmony. Recording the twelve track album in her Toronto home, Ryder has done her part in not falling into the doom and gloom of pigeonholing herself as an artist, that of a sad, folk artist to that of a dancing songstress. The debut single titled Stompa is already quickly rising on Canadian charts.
Canadian venues are quickly filling up their bookings with acts coming to town in preparation of Canadian Music Week. Though, it isn’t until March the cold Toronto air doesn’t seem so rough when there is something this good to look forward to.
Thank you for reading as always and Happy New Year! Tweet me your high fives or beefs at @SARIDELMAR, I want to hear it all! - Sari & Team AB
Sari Delmar is president of a Canadian artist and brand development agency called Audio Blood. Audio Blood has helped kickstart careers for some of Canada's favourite exports and includes many major and indie Canadian labels on their impressive client list. http://audioblood.com