Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Top 10 Hottest Canadian Bands/Artists of 2006

I(Heart)Music's second annual poll of hottest bands/artists in Canada is now up. While 2006's poll featured some carry-overs from 2005's poll, this year's poll was a relatively different list. The picks were somewhat predictable - not meant as a complaint, by any means - but aren't we all a bunch of indie-music-lovin' kids anyway? My picks were based on a combination of my musical tastes(ie. what I liked) and my perception of the band's overall exposure. So while I thought newcomer Angela Desveaux's record("Wandering Eyes") was one of the best Canadian releases of the year, I thought she was too under-the-radar to be included in my top 10. Alternately, while I like(but don't love) Toronto's pop-music-loving The Bicycles, I thought they had a considerable amount of exposure(what with the release of their debut CD("The Good, The Bad, and The Cuddly", and their constant touring in Toronto and across the country) that they deserved to be recognized; I'm surprised they didn't make it into the top 33. My only other pick not to make it into the top 33 was The Hylozoists; whatevs, I like them. Thanks again to I(Heart)Music for including me in the poll.

ps. Had I known that I(Heart)Music was going to quote my commentary for my picks, I'd have made spiced up my commentary - so what follows is the commentary I provided for my picks, unedited(well apart from fixing grammatical errors).

My Top 10 Hottest Bands in Canada of 2006:

1. The Dears - It's the year of The Dears. I caught them live on Canada Day at Harbourfront, at the Toronto Virgin Festival at Olympic Island, and at an intimate gig at The Mod Club as part of Edge 102.1 FM's Next Big Thing Concert Series. And they released a confident rock record with their new album "Gang Of Losers".

2. Junior Boys - They released their new album "So This Is Goodbye" a scintillating followup to their 2004 debut "Last Exit". The new album's the most 'human' electronic record I've heard all year and it's one of my favourites of the year as well.

3. Final Fantasy - I admire, if not genuinely like, some of Mr. Pallett's music, but he wouldn't have been this high on my list had it not been for him winning this year's Polaris Music Prize.

4. The Hidden Cameras - Like The Dears above, The 'Cameras stayed in the spotlight(at least in the Toronto area) with appearances at both Harbourfront and the Toronto Virgin Festival. Their new album "Awoo" is a grower.

5. Destroyer - Other than his work with The New Pornographers, I was a newbie to Mr. Bejar's solo work until I heard Destroyer's most recent album "Destroyers Rubies". But yes, it was a fantastic pop record.

6. Ladyhawk - They released one of the best rock records of the year with their self-titled debut.

7. The Hylozoists - They've managed to breathe fresh air into instrumental music with their vibraphone-heavy orch-pop sound.

8. The Bicycles - T-dot represent. They're sometimes a little too fey for my pop music tastes but I can't deny their enthusiasm as a live act.

9. Broken Social Scene - The touring machine that they are, I think the general consensus is that we're all sick of 'em now but at the core, still love 'em to death. Go away, but come back and our love for you will be ten times stronger. And thanks for stepping up to the plate to close the Toronto Virgin Festival(in the wake of Massive Attack being forced to cancel).

10. Amy Millan - Her debut solo effort "Honey From The Tombs" was great showcase for her country-tinged pop songs. Her delicate vocals will make your heart ache.

Honourable Mentions:

Angela Desveaux, The Coast, Barzin, The Diableros, The Meligrove Band, Jon Rae And The River, The New P0rnographers, The Deadly Snakes

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