The Michigan Daily discovered in November 2004 that several articles written by arts editor Alex Wolsky did not meet the newspaper’s standard of ethical journalism. Parts of these stories had been plagiarized from other news sources. Although the article below has not been found to contain plagiarism, the Daily no longer stands by its content. For details, see the Daily’s editorial.
Leave your preconceptions at the door, because whatever you think Canadian music is like is most likely wrong. When the Rolling Stones walked off stage at Downsview Park in Toronto on July 31st, having just played to more than 450,000 people, Mick Jagger bellowed, “Toronto is back, and it’s booming.” And, he wasn’t kidding. Over the past couple of years, it hasn’t needed much of a boost musically since the entire country has been producing some of the best music around.
The emerging Canadian music scene is one of the most diverse and exciting waves of new music ever witnessed. As opposed to most American music, be it mainstream or underground, more Canadian artists appear to be crossing genres and breaking new ground in all areas from pop to rock, soul to country.
However, a consistent lack of publicity throughout major U.S. media outlets has caused a significant lack of state-side releases from many of the best artists in Canada. Others however, just can’t seem to penetrate the lackluster American popular music scene, which has plagued foreign artists for decades. The Daily profiles four of this years most promising artists from this burgeoning Canadian music scene.
Broken Social Scene / Metric / Stars: While last year’s You Forgot It in People went fairly unnoticed in the States, it received Album of Year at the Juno’s for this Toronto music collective. After their enrollment went to nearly double digits, their sound became more complex and allowed them to harness the capability of their pieces into a nearly perfect configuration. The more lush, grandiose side of BSS can be seen in the side-project Stars, whose new album Heart is a pop-masterpiece; and if you’re still looking for more BSS, Emily Haines and her project Metric released their second album Old World Underground, Where Are You Now this year to moderate success.
The Constantines: The second album from this Ontario post-rock band creates a boisterous and intricate grouping of songs set between indie-rock, soul, and punk. Their 2003 release, Shine a Light, proves once again that fiery intensity and raucous lyricism are what rock music was built upon.
The Dears: After the release of Orchestral Pop Noir Romantique in 2001, Montreal’s The Dears returned this year with No Cities Left a self-indulgent pop muse into the spirit of whatever was good about all those bad British pop bands we loved. The album delves into pop hooks reminiscent of the Smiths yet transcends the boundaries of experimental pop by striking a proper balance between art and madness.
Pilate: The genre-bending group Pilate has been the recipient of some much deserved hype as of late. Their album Caught by the Window has already been hailed as one of the years best and they’ve definitely lived up to the claim as one of Canada’s most engaging bands. An eclectic mix of striking vocals and diverse instrumentation, it has the right combination to be a classic stamp of the recent wave of Canadian innovation.