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Rewinding 2019 | The CanCon Anthems

The best and the rest of the year's homegrown offerings.

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As always, our home and native land produced no shortage of great music over the year. And as always, even though I literally got through scores of Canadian albums, scads of singles and a couple of hundred videos by assorted artists, I barely had time to scratch the surface of what’s out there. Here are the top releases I heard in 2019:


TINNITIST’S PICKS

Pup
Morbid Stuff

Everybody gets older — but nobody grows up. Not really. Just ask any senior citizen how old they feel inside; I guarantee they’ll give you a number between 15 and 20. And here’s something else to look forward to: Life doesn’t get any easier as the years go by. All the shit stays the same. You just get better at dealing with it — if you’re lucky. Right now, PUP singer-guitarist Stefan Babcock doesn’t sound like he’s having much luck. Granted, he’s still a fairly young, um, pup. Even so, you don’t have to look past the title of the Toronto punks’ third full-length Morbid Stuff to grok that Babcock has more issues than a magazine warehouse. There’s death and dying, of course. But also depression, drinking, drugs, desperation and destitution. And let’s not forget self-harm, sibling rivalry, breakups and breakdowns. All of those awful topics (and a few more) take turns on his musical and mental couch over the course of this 11-song therapy session.

READ THE FULL REVIEW AND HEAR THE ALBUM HERE


Reay
Reay

Making great music takes time. Granted, it doesn’t usually take as long as the 15 years it took Reay leader Sean Murray to put together Butterfly Tongue Revisited. But hey, that’s the way life works. And trust me, this sucker is well worth the wait — assuming you like classic alt-rock fashioned from low-slung grooves, rich earworm melodies, instantly catchy choruses, sweetly dusty vocals and gently swirling sonics. Free from trendy posturing and self-indulgent crud-blort, BTR is an album that would have sounded great 20 years ago and will still sound great 20 years from now. But more importantly, it sounds great right now. So what are you waiting for? After all, there’s no time like the present.

READ THE FULL REVIEW AND HEAR THE ALBUM HERE


HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Anyway Gang | Anyway Gang
Bedouin Soundclash | Mass
Begonia | Fear
Black Mountain | Destroyer
Broken Social Scene | Let’s Try the After Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
Bywater Call | Bywater Call
Tanika Charles | The Gumption
City and Colour | A Pill For Loneliness
Leonard Cohen | Thanks For the Dance
Jim Cuddy | Countrywide Soul
Dead Soft | Big Blue
Evangeline Gentle | Evangeline Gentle
Girlfriend Material | Cool Car
Gong Gong Gong | Phantom Rhythm 幽靈節奏
Iron Kingdom | On The Hunt
Danko Jones | A Rock Supreme
Kacy & Clayton | Carrying On
Dany Laj & The Looks | Everything New is New Again
Ada Lea | What We Say in Private
Lee Harvey Osmond | Mohawk
Lightning Dust | Spectre
Corb Lund | Cover Your Tracks
Eamon McGrath | Guts
Mounties | Heavy Meta
The New Pornographers | In The Morse Code of Brake Lights
Niggght | Violent Delicacy
Northern Pikes | Forest of Love
Orville Peck | Pony
Jessica Rhaye | Just Like A Woman: The Songs of Bob Dylan
Rheostatics | Here Come the Wolves
Robbie Robertson | Sinematic
Scattered Clouds | Take Away Your Summer
Shotgun Jimmie | Transistor Sister 2
Leeroy Stagger | Strange Path
Sum 41 | Order in Decline
Tegan & Sara | Hey, I’m Just Like You
Drew Thomson Foundation | Drew Thomson Foundation
Whitehorse | The Northern South Vol. 2
Hawksley Workman | Median Age Wasteland

TO FIND REVIEWS OF THESE ALBUMS, PLEASE USE THE SEARCH WINDOW AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE