The Best Albums of 2019, #2

2. FKA twigs, Magdalene (Young Turks) Although it was completely understandable that it took Tahliah Barnett five years to put out a full-length follow-up to 2014’s LP1 – she experienced a crushing end to her long-term relationship and then underwent surgery to have six fibroid tumours removed from her uterus – the music world was […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #5

5. Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising (Sub Pop) Singer-songwriter Natalie Mering had been building toward something big over the course of her first three albums under the Weyes Blood moniker, but in spite of whatever expectations people might have had, nothing could have prepared them for the blindsiding grandeur of Titanic Rising. A combination of […]

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The Best Albums of 2019, #13

13. Chelsea Wolfe, Birth of Violence (Sargent House) Initially a strange, black metal-referencing curiosity at the beginning of the decade, Chelsea Wolfe has metamorphosed into a genre-bending artist who has been able to attract audiences from a wide spectrum of music. Being such a clingy crowd, the metal scene particularly took an obsessive shine to […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #16

16. BA Johnston, “We’re All Going To Jail (Except Pete, He’s Gonna Die)” BA Johnston is the Stompin’ Tom Connors for skids. He sings about post-millennial Canadiana: GST cheques, regional beer, No Frills, and discounted bacon, usually shirtless, and more often than not, rolling around on the floor of your neighbourhood pub. For all his […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #17

17. Strange Breed, “Closer” If I was to pick one Canadian band to break out in the next year or two, it’d be Vancouver’s Strange Breed. This all-female, all-queer band channel Veruca Salt, Hole, and Sleater-Kinney on their excellent debut album Permanence. They are confrontational, political, and raucous, but also capable of a wicked hook, […]

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The Best Tracks of 2018, #17

17. Mitski, “Geyser” It only takes 183 seconds for Mitzki Miyawaki to achieve more than most other pop songs in 2018 could in four minutes. I never cared for her music prior to this year, but “Geyser” floored me with its boldness, its complete abandonment of convention. There’s no structure, there are some shocking surprises […]

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The Best Albums of 2018, #18

18. Franz Ferdinand, Always Ascending (Domino) A big challenge for rock bands that crack the mainstream pop consciousness is to sustain that level of interest among listeners. After all, today’s pop music is more ephemeral and unpredictable than ever as younger audiences continue to drift towards hip-hop and more viral novelties. Instead of chasing that […]

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Honourable Mentions of 2018

The best of the rest, in alphabetical order: Amorphis, Queen of Time (Nuclear Blast) I’ve said it plenty of times before, but Finland’s Amorphis have become one of the most enduring metal bands of the last quarter century, and they continued their sterling post-2005 run with a 13th album that showcases their strengths masterfully: dynamic […]

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The Best Albums of 2017, #2

                    2. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Rest (Because Music) The story behind the creation of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s first studio album in seven years was total critic-bait: following the tragic death of her sister, photographer Kate Barry in 2013 Gainsbourg relocated from Paris to New York and started collaborating […]

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