Seemingly tucked away from the rest of the world, some of the best up-and-coming or already firmly established Canadian artists are putting out some superb releases. From the upbeat and pop-driven, to more mellow folk blends, this list will give you a well-rounded immersion into some of the best Canadian artists out there.
Ranging from groovy piano ballads in their earlier years, to the punchy pop anthems that have been released as of late, The Zolas are sure to catch your eye. The indie rock sweethearts of Vancouver have released 3 full length albums since their 2009 premier. Coming off of their last LP, Swooner, in 2016, the title track delivers an upbeat, infectious, experience full of juicy synths and energetic guitar; it is sure to get you off your feet. Having just released their first single since 2016, “Bombs Away,” hopefully it’s a sign of another project on the way!
The rising alt-rock band, daysormay, from Vernon, BC have made their mark on the festival scene, having played BUMBERSHOOT, SoFar Sounds, as well as Vancouver’s own SKOOKUM Festival. Having released their debut EP Talk Peace to a Wolf in 2016, daysormay mix punchy vocals with catchy rhythms. “Conquer” contains ambient synths, sparkly guitar hooks, and introspective verse. Easily one of my most anticipated bands for the future after a superb debut EP, daysormay is set to have more releases on the way.
Taking a turn to the more mellow, from Regina, SK multi-instrumentalist Andy Shauf’s music has a pleasant soft tone to it reminiscent of Gordon Lightfoot, Wilco, and Elliot Smith. Shauf has released four full-length albums, the last two receiving critical acclaim. His third album, The Bearer of Bad News, is my personal favourite. Tracks on the album include “You’re Out Wasting” is an acoustically driven, upbeat track, that showcases Andy Shauf’s silky voice. He is touring America from the beginning of November, with shows in LA on December 3rd.
If you’re craving dreamy pop, Alvvays has got you covered. The quintet from Toronto, ON has released two records since their formation in 2011. The band delivers a full-bodied atmospheric sound, with intoxicating, glittery melodies, creating the perfect sounds to chill and relax to. Off their latest 2017 release Antisocialites, “Not My Baby” features the mesmerizing voice of Molly Rankin over sugary guitar arpeggios and smooth synth progressions.
The New Pornographers
Legends of the Canadian indie rock scene, the Vancouver group have been around since the late 90s dropping seven records to date. Presenting fast-paced power-pop, The New Pornographers are able to meld anthemic choruses with choppy melodies. A song that I practically grew up listening to, “Mass Romantic,” from their first EP, gives a great sense of the band’s energy and the driven nature of their music. The New Pornographer’s have just put out a new record last year following Brill Bruisers.
Featured Photo: The Zolas