Well, after yesterday’s post about the saddest songs I know, I felt that I should brighten things up today. I originally wanted to do some “serious” writing for today’s post, but I guess that I will do another music post. These aren’t the “happiest” songs I know, but they are quite lovely and should pick up the mood for this Monday. God knows I need it!
My last entry regarding the Canadian Indie revolution of the mid-2000s felt so incomplete to me that I knew I would have to write another one to cover the bases that I missed. I discovered the majority of those songs in 2007; and I still follow those bands today, and so I would like to share other artists from the Canadian Indie genre that most U.S. radio stations ignore. Most of today’s entries still come from the 2007-2008 period, but there are a few newer songs that I will include, as well. Really, I am trying to capture a moment in time when I first heard these bands and fell in love with them, but a few songs came later that I like better than their 2007 counterparts.
1) Plants and Animals – Lola, Who?
Really, I cannot believe I left this off of my original list. This is one of the first songs that I heard on XM Radio’s “The Verge” back in 2007. It is so different and weird, yet beautiful and haunting, and it even throws in a bit of a comedic ending. I was convinced that these Montreal natives were odd dudes after hearing this song and seeing them for the first time, but they seem to have “normalized” in the last few years.
2) Wintersleep – Archaeologists
This is another one that I cannot believe I did not include in the first list. Archaeologists ends too quickly for me. I want it to last at least 10 minutes. The rhythm is driving, and its hook is alluring. I love it. This was the song that hooked me, and I have since become quite a big fan of theirs since. I still haven’t gotten around to listening to their latest album, Hello Hum, but their 2010 release, New Inheritors is one of my favorites.
3) Arcade Fire – (Antichrist Television Blues)
Okay, so most everyone has heard of Arcade Fire. They are a pretty big deal these days, but back in 2007, they were still an Indie band. I came late to the Arcade Fire party, and only discovered them after their 2007 release, Neon Bible, which I still swear is their best album. (Antichrist Television Blues) got the most airplay back then, so I am pretty sure that this is the first song that I heard from them, even though I like Black Mirror better.
4) Elliott Brood – Fingers and Tongues
The first song that I heard from Elliott Brood was Oh, Alberta from their 2004 EP, Tin Type. I thought they were a quaint acoustic band consisting only of a guitarist, and banjo player, and a drummer. They had some fun and meaningful songs, and I liked it. Then 2008’s Mountain Meadows came out, and the very powerful song, Fingers and Tongues hit the airwaves. It blew me away. I had no idea that Elliott Brood had it in them to get so loud and emotional. Also, check out Without Again. It is a more traditional loping acoustic piece, and probably my favorite from the album.
5) Metric – Satellite Mind
I mentioned Metric in my last post, but I’m going Metric again. I love these guys enough that I could probably do an entire post on them alone. Their 2009 album, Fantasies, is their best work yet. I like last year’s Synthetica, but Fantasies is a perfect album, in my opinion. There are so many songs from Fantasies that I could pick, but my favorite song from the album is Satellite Mind. It rocks, and it has a pretty girl saying, “fuck”, and that always turns me on!
6) Stars – We Don’t Want Your Body
I am not a huge fan of Stars, but they have some great songs. I prefer the songs that Amy Millan sings over Torquil Campbell, and We Don’t Want Your Body is probably my favorite. It comes from their 2010 release, The Five Ghosts, which is a sort of concept album that I do not really want to explain right now. The important thing is the song is fantastic!
7) Broken Social Scene (featuring Kevin Drew) – Lucky Ones
I talked about Broken Social Scene in my last post. They were an odd collective of Toronto-area musicians that weaved in and out of the band. The band centered on two members; Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning, and the line-ups changed from album to album. Emily Haines and James Shaw of Metric were members of BSS, as was Amy Milan. You may recognize Feist from her own successful work, and she was a member of BSS. Many of my favorite Canadian Indie Bands had members who filtered in and out of BSS at one point in their careers.
In BSS, there are two different kinds of songs: Kevin Drew’s odd ramblings, and Brendan Canning’s bass guitar-driven rockers and grooves. Other members have offered their own flavors to the mix, but once you hear enough of their music, it is clear who wrote which songs.
In 2007, Kevin Drew released a “solo” album, using members of BSS, but focusing solely on his own material, which I find odd since most BSS material was his anyway. The result was Broken Social Scene presents Kevin Drew, Spirit If… The first single from the album is Lucky Ones, and it got a lot of radio play in 2007-08. The crazy thing about Kevin Drew is that he mumbles like a drunk man when he sings, and it is hard to understand his lyrics. I often wonder if he even wrote any lyrics, or just freeform mumbled into the microphone. Great song, though!
8) Broken Social Scene (featuring Brendan Canning) – Hit the Wall
The next in the series of Broken Social Scene presents is Brendan Canning’s Something for All of Us. Even though Canning sang less in BSS than Kevin Drew did, I think he may have been the prominent songwriter. This album sounds like a lot of older BSS stuff. Hit the Wall was the first single released from the album, and it is a great song. I could have gone with Possible Grenade or Take Care, Look Up, but Hit the Wall is a nice driving rocker.
Sadly, BSS is now defunct.
9) The Acorn – Crooked Legs
Ah, The Acorn–one of my all-time favorite of the Canadian Indie bands. It was tough for me to choose only one song from them, and if I had to pick only one favorite, this would be it. The Acorn are another laid-back acoustic band with beautiful melodies and lyrics. Some may compare them to the more commercially acceptable Avett Brothers or Mumford and Sons, but I think The Acorn came first, but have yet to be discovered by the mainstream. I recommend any of their albums, but this song comes from 2007’s Glory Hope Mountain, which I still consider my favorite. Their 2010 album, No Ghost, is a very close second!
10) Jason Collett – Too Much
Jason Collett is another Broken Social Scene alum, and he has had a modestly successful career in his own right in Canada. He is a fantastic songwriter who can craft simple pop melodies, and more complex songs. Too Much is a personal favorite, not only because it is the first song of his that I heard, but also because it reminds me of something that I would write. Too Much comes from his 2007 EP, Prodigals, and I also highly recommend that you check out 2005’s Idols of Exile, and 2008’s Here’s to Being Here. There is no video for Too Much, so here is a MySpace link to the song…
Aw, fuck it! Here are a couple more songs from The Acorn…
The Acorn – Cobbled from Dust
The Acorn – Restoration
The Acorn – Flood pt. 1
Okay, I’m done now. Have a wonderful Monday!