Jay Arner – “Like A Dracula”
The members of Jay Arner were the blogging stars behind the “All Roads Lead To Sappy” blog in July. They entertain with a special brand of humour and translate that into fun and catchy music.
Beauts – “Ether”
This Halifax band is built for summer. The track “Ether” has a warm breezy feel with memorable guitar hooks and vocals I want to jump in and sing along with. Guaranteed in February I’ll play this song and hope it’ll melt away the snow and ice that’s sure to descend from above.
Adrian Teacher & The Subs – “Terminal City”
Summer and construction go hand-in-hand. Condos are popping up everywhere. Gentrification is real! The title track from the Adrian Teacher & The Subs album helps me come to terms with the changing landscape of a city you grew up in.
Majical Cloudz – “Childhood’s End”
While binge-watching Stranger Things, I couldn’t help comparing the soundtrack of the show to music by the now-defunct Majical Cloudz. I’m sad for two reasons. First of all, I’ll miss the eerie and haunting music of Majical Cloudz. Second of all, I’m sad the show was only eight episodes and is over (although Season 2 is coming).
Sorrey – “You Love Me”
This summer was a victory lap for Sorrey’s Thick as Thieves EP. I knew I liked it, but after a few closer listens this summer, I’m now completely hooked on this release. The band’s performance at SappyFest re-affirmed the obsession.
She-Devils – “Come”
Speaking of SappyFest, She-Devils completely blew my mind. While the sample-heavy pop project sounds good on record, it’s a total different beast live. I can confidently say I’d be fine if they played a three-hour set because it’s so mesmerizing, enchanting and captivating. Music that makes you forget the world exists is a special thing, and that’s what She-Devils does.
Kaytranada – “Bus Ride”
Producer Kaytranada is well on his way to becoming a household name in the Canadian music scene. At least in houses where the occupants appreciate good music. With a Polaris Music Prize shortlist nomination, we’re 99.9% certain Kaytranada deserves the award. (It’s a great list though and we could make a case for all the artists on it.)
Hooded Fang – “Plastic Love”
I always feel slightly paranoid after listening to Hooded Fang. The warped post-punk-surf sounds like my internalized feelings of self-doubt and anxiety just a tad too accurately.
Supermoon – “Witching Hour”
We also had some help from Supermoon’s Adrienne LaBelle on the SappyFest blog since she also plays in Jay Arner’s band. The chill Vancouver band caught a lot of Pokemon while travelling across Canada this summer.
Fake Palms – “Sparkles”
I was fortunate to get washed in the dreamy music of psych-rock of Toronto’s Fake Palms at both Gridlock and SappyFest this summer. Both slots were in the daytime or early evening, but I’m longing to see them tear up a dark bar in the wee hours of the morning at some point.
Nap Eyes – “Stargazer”
Most nights, I listen to podcasts as I wind down. Sometimes I don’t want to hear anybody talk, just music and Thought Rock Fish Scale is my go to album in these moments. There’s something remarkably soothing about the combination of band’s smart lyrics, slacker-guitars and pulsating rhythms. “Stargazer” brings the blood pressure down just a bit.
Charlotte Day Wilson – “Work”
The last time I heard Charlotte Day Wilson would have been around four years ago when we were both at the University of King’s College in Halifax. I was completely blown away by the EP she released this summer and”Work” is a standout track. I knew she was talented, but this is next level.
Drake – “Controlla”
While Views feels excessive, it contains some of the Toronto rapper’s best songs he’s ever released. The silky smooth “Controlla” is a standout from the album.
Majid Jordan – “Pacifico”
Another track from the OVO fam, I teeter between loving Majid Jordan and thinking the duo are flat. This mid-album track keeps pushing me towards the love side of this internal debate. The questions of looking for direction and the emotion behind it feel real. I’m slowly becoming a believer in this album.
Press Photo of Kaytranada by Liam McCrae