Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our favourite 15 Canadian records of 2011

It's that time of year again. Time for everyone to post their lists of "best (number) albums of the year". I do things a little differently around here. This is only my second year doing this, but I always make two lists. One comprised entirely of Canadian albums, and the other of "non-Canadian". And I'm careful to say that these are my favourite albums, instead of calling them the best. It's all subjective, and this is simply my view.

The criteria are pretty simple. The band must be at least "mostly" Canadian. In the case of a solo artist, it's pretty obvious. I'm dealing only with full length albums. No singles. No EPs. It must have been released in the year 2011. Simple.

I'm trying to meet a deadline here, and I won't be able to go into depth about each record the way I've done in the past. At some point in the very near future, I may or may not edit this post to include detail.
For now, with a video and minimal commentary for each, my favourite 15 Canadian records of 2011:

  • 15. Dinosaur Bones -- My Divider

    14. Destroyer -- Kaputt

    13. Chad VanGaalen -- Diaper Island

    12. Feist -- Metals
    This video, from the "Later with Jools Holland" show, features the gals from Mountain Man on backing vocals.

    11. Kathryn Calder -- Bright and Vivid

    10. Colin Stetson -- New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges
    Listening to this album requires a lot of patience, and it's not the kind of thing I can listen to every day. That's what prevented this from appearing in the top third of this list. One man. One horn. Amazing.

    9. Austra -- Feel it Break
    A little more bloop bleep than I usually care for, and I really dislike this video, but..

    8. Dan Mangan -- Oh Fortune

    7. The Dears -- Degeneration Street

    6. Jenn Grant -- Honeymoon Punch

    5. Braids -- Native Speaker
    Kids. These are freakin' kids.

    4. Lindi Ortega -- Little Red Boots
    Yes. It's a country record. And it's great.

    3. The Luyas -- Too Beautiful to Work
    People say they sound exactly like Broadcast. I can't really argue.

    2. Drawn Ship -- Low Domestic
    A very late addition to the mix. Maybe just a "flavour of the month" for me, but I kinda doubt it. Some songs on this record sound like they should be on Helium's Pirate Prude EP, which I still listen to all the time, 17 years after it was released.
    Oh, and they're a two-piece.
    Sadly, no video. Not anywhere where I could find it, anyway, but here's a song:
    Glass Eye by DRAWN SHIP

    1. The Rural Alberta Advantage -- Departing
    They didn't disappoint me with their sophomore effort.
    They made a few really creative videos, thanks to Saddle Creek Records. This is pretty great:

    So there you have it. Without much commentary. The "non-Canadian" list is going to be much more difficult to parse, and it should be up soon. I'm supposed to have it done by Friday. We'll see.
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