It’s countdown time! Who will win the coveted number one spot? Where’s Whalehouse going to chart? Take a listen or read below!
15. Donny Benét, Konichiwa
One of the reasons I run this podcast is that it forces me to seek out new music, and if the only new artist I’d discovered over the past few years was Donny Benét, well, it would’ve been more than worth it. Konichiwa is classic Benét: slinky, smooth, funny, and just a tad creepy. And the video is an all-time classic that will haunt your every-so-sexy nightmares.
14. PONY, I Don’t Know
Rock and roll! Much more, please.
13. Mark Lanegan, Beehive
Another solid entry into the catalogue of grunge survivor Mark Lanegan.
12. The Shiverettes, Dead Men Can’t Cat Call
Between The Shiverettes and Leather Jacuzzi, Calgary’s producing some high-quality female-fronted punk bands (strike that, punk bands, period). Fierce and socially relevant. Yes.
11. Kaptur, Future Proof
In which local St. Catharines band play completely out of their fucking heads. What an epic tune. Alan Cross, I believe, on the Twitters said he heard something of Radiohead in this song. He’s not wrong. Angular and fierce.
10. Pale Lips, Hiding from the Moon
Much of the musical enjoyment I received this year came from Montreal’s Pale Lips. Anybody can be serious: it’s the default setting of rock music. Straight-up, uncomplicated rock and roll with a sense of humour is much harder to pull off, and Pale Lips do it with panache, and make it look it easy.
9. Whalehouse, Sexy Whale Beach Party
Abrasive, the lowest of lo fi that sounds like it was recorded on the first take, Sexy Whale Beach Party is everything that’s good about music and the world in general. It’s a song full of energy, joy and absurdity. Nobody’s having as much fun as Whalehouse, but the good news is, you’re invited to join them for their, well, you get the idea.
8. Cable Ties, Say What You Mean
A six-minute righteously angry anti-corporate manifesto, and a mezmerizing debut from this talented Melbourne band. Think Sleater Kinney taking on the capitalism. You know it’s good.
7. A.B. Original, 2 Black 2 Strong
I’ve been listeningto the Youtube version of this song, and January 26, all year, and now the album, Reclaim Australia, is finally (finally!) out in Canada. The music is 90s US West Coast hiphop. It fits perfectly with Briggs’ and Trials’ witty, proud, angry and confrontational take on living as Aboriginal men in a racist white Australia. The revolution is coming, and it can’t get here soon enough.
6. Heart Beach, Summer
Nobody does melancholy like Heart Beach. The most wistful song of the year.
5. Fog Lake, novocaine
Quiet, meditative beauty.
4. Gorillaz, She’s My Collar
I’m not quite sure what this song is about – a relationship that may or may not be on the level, and may or may not be working out for our two protagonists — but it’s definitely in the key of sultry. Kali Uchis has a siren-song voice. It’s a keeper.
3. Batpiss, Weatherboard Man
Working-class, slow-burn punk (produced by The Drones’ Gareth Liddiard) that has a keen feel for what it means to grow up on the wrong side of the tracks. A standout on an excellent album.
2. Run the Jewels, Talk to Me
This was the first song I played on All the Rage in 2017. It perfectly captures the sense of desperation we’ve all been facing down this past year, while rallying enough bravado to maybe – just maybe – get us through.
1. Alvvays, In Undertow
A three-minute, exquisitely rendered short story of love, regret and loss. Pure pop perfection.