Vancouver native Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, latest album Art Angels is full of fun over-the-top electro-pop, with a dark side. It’s like your favourite Sega game on acid.
2. Mac Demarco
The renaissance man of indie blue wave, Demarco slides through hazy sounding rock with dreamy guitar riffs like no one else in rock music right now. Rife with love songs disguised as angst Mac Demarco created another whimsical albeit tactful album with Another One.
With the lyrical prose worthy of Dylan, piano chops of Elton, and a sound familiar to Randy Newman, Jesso Jr. proves that in a world of cliche there is still much hope for raw talented songsters. Though originally from North Van, it’s easy to close your eyes and imagine Tobias playing Greenwich Village circa 1969.
4. Viet Cong
Modern post-punk rock piece of art is an accurate way to describe Alberta-band Viet Congs’ most recent self-titled album. Their anti-conformant debut is the epitome of what post-punk should be; loud, unapologetic and daring.
5. Yukon Blonde
Are they rock? Are they power-pop? Yukon Blonde melds their synth and electricity so well you can’t tell. They are the chameleons of Canada’s indie pop rock, capable of anything. Yukon Blonde’s diversity accompanied by wild bass lines and gorgeous harmonies is insatiable to say the least. They create the kind of upbeat tunes fit for the 80s, suited for today.
6. Jon and Roy
There is no other band able to emit that British Columbia vibe like Jon and Roy. They’ve nailed down the grassroots Canadiana sound so well, sometimes with a little reggae flair. Listening to Jon and Roy is more than just listening to music, throw on some headphones and make it a therapeutic experience.
7. Andy Shauf
Andy Shauf creates soulful poetry. His performance at the Drake Hotel is proof enough displaying his unique sound complete with vowel-stretching drawl. Though technically from Saskatchewan, Shauf has amassed an impressive following in the West Coast underground indie folk rock scene.
It would be offensive to talk about the Canadian West Coast and not mention Mangan, the dude who has been crushing the Canadian music scene since the early 2000s. Recently he’s been sounding a little different, a little grittier but as purposeful and powerful as ever. Mangan’s prevalent baritone is unparalleled to anyone else in the game.