Sunday, November 04, 2007

My Top 10 Hottest Canadian Bands/Artists of 2007

Thanks to Matthew at I Heart Music for doing his "33 Hottest Canadian Bands/Artists" poll once again and also for again including me. I went more with my gut this time around in terms of who I'd listened to the most, who I enjoyed and who had things going on in 2007. The Arcade Fire would have likely made my list, but the fact is I didn't listen to their newest album "Neon Bible" that much even though what I recall of it is actually pretty good. Below is my submission ranked from 10 to 1 with each artist/band's final ranking in the poll in brackets. I've also included the commentary I submitted for the poll. A few of my picks didn't make the top 33 so I'll be looking forward on Monday when I Heart Music posts the list of the rest of the vote-getters. Did anyone else vote for Toronto's The Airfields or Barrie's Fox Jaws?

10. (7) The Acorn (MySpace) - I saw them at the Brampton Indie Arts Festival this year and was blown away by their set. They play delicate, intricate indie rock with great swooning melodies. Lovely stuff.

9. (3) Miracle Fortress (MySpace) - An unmanageable amount of CD's is the only reason I haven't gone back to this band's album "Five Roses" very much. It's a good album and track 4("Maybe Lately") is one of the best Brian Wilson-esque songs I've heard in a long time.

8. (32) Land of Talk (MySpace) - Okay, so all the 'cool' kids were into 'em in 2006. But better late than never. Their EP "Applause Cheer Boo Hiss" is one of the few current Canadian releases I'd bothered to put on my mp3 player. Muscular and melodic at the same time, rock music should always sound this good.

7. (5) Basia Bulat (MySpace) - If she isn't playing her own show, she's performing with others(Ohbijou, The Veils, Great Lake Swimmers). She's everywhere. Which is all the better for everyone. I saw her live a few times this year, and she's one of the more charming artists I've seen. And her smile is adorable.

6. (20) Great Lake Swimmers (MySpace) - Tony Dekker and company toured like crazy this year, released a great album "Ongiara" and performed an intimate show at a church in Toronto this year. And in the near future they'll be the opening act for some upcoming Feist dates. So they only made #6 on my list but I wouldn't be surprised if they're #1 on yours.

5. (17) Ohbijou (MySpace) - Having seen them live three times this year, they've only got better with each show. They're one of the few bands where the 'big band' concept actually makes sense because all the members play a vital role in creating the band's delicate, chamber-pop sound.

4. The Airfields (MySpace) - Like a blast from the C86 Brit pop days, The Airfields perform sparkling indiepop. An enigma in the Canadian music landscape perhaps, but I'm right there with them. They just released a new single("Yr So Wonderful") and a full-length is hopefully just around the corner.

3. Fox Jaws (MySpace) - I've been a fan of them since they were known as Doris Day but I'm glad they changed their name. Their fanbase hasn't exploded this year as I'd hoped but they made some progress. Check out their debut album "Goodbye Doris" , released this year - it's really good and lead vocalist Carleigh Aikins infuses soul into indie rock at a time when indie rock really needs it.

2. (1) Feist (MySpace) - iPod commercials, Starbucks affiliations, magazine covers and television appearances aside, her album "The Reminder" was a consistently wonderful set of pop music. Naysayers, get lost.

1. (16) Jenn Grant (MySpace) - I've mentioned her so many times in the past that I've run out of good things to say. She just released her debut album "Orchestra For The Moon" and it's terrific. A lot of people say she could be the next Feist which talent-wise isn't too far off the mark.

Update: The rest of the vote-getters.

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