Reviews

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Mngwa

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Andrew Franey

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The Shangs

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Alex Cuba

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Tri Nguyen

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Defend The Rhino

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Talltale

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Kiwi Jr.

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Plaster

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Hyness

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Black Suit Devil

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Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

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The Pack A.D.

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Chad VanGaalen

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Potengowski Anna Friederike

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Todd Rundgren

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Old 97's

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Needles//Pins

Reviews for Self-Released artists

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...As The Poets Affirm

The Jaws That Bite, The Claws That Catch

A gust of instrumental wind flutters across your brow. You slowly, methodically and hesitantly descend deeper into the fiery circles, rings of hell. Â…As the Poets Affirm, are an independent Canadian instrumental seven-piece rock ensemble... read more...
By L Pounds
May 24, 2005

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1977

So Is The Sea

Glitter and sugary twang decorate the So Is The Sea EP, which demos some of the goodies to expect from 1977 on their sophomore record Seaforth (due out in 2012). Julie Kendall is the force...

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By Kat Dornian
Dec 6, 2011

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Afroskull

To Obscurity and Beyond

The second release for New Orleans’ Afroskull, To Obscurity and Beyond (Skullsound records), is a beguiling listen. At its best, the virtuosity of guitarist and primary songwriter, Joe Scatassa, and the intricacy of his arrangements...

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By Jamie Bliss
Feb 14, 2010

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Akai

The Coldest Hour

Truth be told, I’ve always loved the playoff between boy/girl singing in indie rock. Whether it’s Velocity Girl, Stars, The Dirty Projectors, or The New Pornographers – I’m usually a big fan. St. Paul MN band Akai...

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By Michael Gerbrandt
May 2, 2010

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Leslie Alexander

Nobody's Baby

Leslie Alexander is a veteran of the Vancouver club scene and was often heard in the Arts Club Theatre and similar venues back in the 1990s. She has put out a number of albums over the...

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By Jim Dupuis
Jun 13, 2011

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Arc

Feral

This Toronto trios 4th recording sounds like a doormat to one of my most delicate and intense dreams. existing in a wild untamed state having returned suggestive of a wild animal savage Aidan Baker (guitars,... read more...
By L Pounds
Nov 30, 2003

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Arlibido

Safe N Sexy

It's kind of a shame when the highest compliment you can pay an album is, "Well you can't blame 'em for trying." Arlibido are a Nova Scotia trio who obviously spent their time in the... read more...
By Russell Gragg
Jul 30, 1999

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astre

Wood Songs EP

Born out of cross-country train adventures and solitary nights in a cabin in Manitoba astre’s debut EP Wood Songs marries the spirit of wandering with nesting. Self-recorded at astre (aka Kathryn Kerr’s) family cabin in...

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By Megan Clark
Mar 9, 2015

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Aunts & Uncles

Aunts & Uncles

The Vancouver trio’s self-titled debut EP has made a sound. Since 2009 they have opened for the independent music scene, and shared stages with the best and most diverse, musical artists in Canada West. The...

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By Tristin Norenberg-Goodmanson
Oct 9, 2011

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Autobahn

Of The Tree

This album is comprised of a power trio by the names of James Hill (Piano), Jeff LaRochelle (Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet), and Ian Wright (Drums). Based out of Toronto, these guys release their second album...

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By Showering Thoughts
Sep 5, 2016

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Autocondo

Autocondo

Here's a rarity in today's music age: a concept album. And it's not progressive rock. And it's actually enjoyable! Autocondo are formed of three ex-members of the venerable Canadian 80s band Pukka Orchestra, here taking...

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By Steve Marlow
Jun 11, 2009

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Back Pocket

Overdue

 

Not knowing anything about Back Pocket, I was pleased to hear first track ‘Wild Red’. Although the lyrics were a little ham fisted, the harmonica laden alt.country sound was decent. I wasn’t expecting a...
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By Jason Wellwood
Nov 21, 2011

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The Baketones

Unite

 

Nothing brings a 60s garage party like a loud organ. Every track on Halifax's garage-rock band The Baketones debut album Unite brings the organ, the fuzzed-out guitar and the half-yelled vocals. The...
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By Steve Marlow
Jul 16, 2011

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The Balconies

The Balconies

The Balconies are an astounding indie-pop threesome now based out of Toronto, by way of Ottawa. Now almost two years together as a band, The Balconies have earned a reputation of having an energetic and...
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By Marshal Hignett
Dec 6, 2009

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The Bare Minimum

The Bare Minimum

 

I’m pretty sure this was sent my way because The Bare Minimum claim to have some ‘pop-punk’ elements, which is true, but those elements are pretty minimal. There are a few moments in each...
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By Jason Wellwood
Nov 21, 2011

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Alexis Baro

guilty pleasure

The Album “Guilty Pleasures” is a treasured mixture of composer Alexis Baro’s compositions performed on Trumpet and Flugelhorn. The music is a finely crafted combination of Afro-Jazz, ballad style, and Beguine. Alexis Baro is a...

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By Jack Kopstien
Dec 10, 2015

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The Battleship Ethel

61 Mixed Vegetables

Hamilton-based trio, The Battleship, Ethel are the type of band who live by the mantra of donÂ’t rehearse, donÂ’t practice, just play, play, play. Improvisational music is a tough pill to swallow for many people.... read more...
By L Pounds
Jan 17, 2005

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Joe Beck and Laura Theodore

Golden Earing

Golden Earrings serves as a memorial to two jazz artists, one legendary and one less well known. The songs on this album all come from the songbook of the legendary jazz vocalist Peggy Lee (and...

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By Steve Marlow
Nov 2, 2009

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Bent By Elephants

Bent By Elephants

Another bold entry from the always interesting Montreal scene, Bent By Elephants make some wonderfully skewed indy rock. Formed out of members of the McGill conservatory school, BBE do not have the typical sound of...
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By Steve Marlow
Aug 12, 2009

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The Besnard Lakes

Volume 1

The packaging is what made me first pick up this CD and put it in the player. It looked like something I would be into. It is dark and minimal, and the focus is a... read more...
By anne sulikowski
Oct 7, 2003

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Laila Biali and the Radiance Project

House Of Many Rooms

This is not an album I expected to hear from Laila Biali. After five good-to-great albums of vocal-based jazz, Biali has gone pop. Well, it's not exactly a pop album, but kind of a pop-jazz...

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By Steve Marlow
Jun 9, 2015

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Black Suit Devil

The Freedom Sessions

Black Suit Devil is the alter-ego of Toronto based songwriter Andy Du Rego. The band is mostly Du Rego, with a wide variety of guest stars. The Freedom Sessions is a classic-rock album in the...

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By Steve Marlow
Aug 23, 2018

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David Blake

Next Year People

 It is an interesting arc that a musician travels to develop his own musical identity.

Vancouver jazz guitarist David Blake has travelled that arc and has released his debut album Next Year People.

This is...

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By Shelley Gummeson
Jan 15, 2014

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Bleachers

Bleachers

Imagine five dudes in their mid-20s, with really good hair, wearing really cool shoes and all sitting down on a metal bench that kind of looked like a large...

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By Amil Delic
Dec 28, 2012

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Blist

Blism

From Calgary, this two-piece rap group known as Blist host guest collaborators (Danny Vacon, Ricca Razor Sharp, Dragon Fli Empire and others) on vocals, beat mixing and production on full-length release, Blism....

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By Tristin Norenberg-Goodmanson
Jan 23, 2012

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Bog River

Hands In The Ground

Hands in the Ground is the first full length record from the Winnipeg trio Bog River.

Styles range from the ho-down-foot-stomping goodness of the album's opener “This Side of the Sea”, to the dixieland drive...

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By Greg Mahood
Feb 23, 2012

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Boombox Saints

For The Moment

 With their first debut full-length album For The Moment, The Boombox Saints have set a course for the top. These guys are the freshest hip-hop crew to come out of the west coast recently. 

 
The songs on For The Moment have...
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By Shelley Gummeson
Nov 6, 2012

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Bill Bourne & The Free Radio Band

Bluesland

 

Bill Bourne & The Free Radio Band recorded Bluesland live on the floor during a 3 day stint. This is a slight deviation from the multi Juno award winner Bill Bourne who has certainly...
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By Dave Ferguson
Aug 9, 2011

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Brahja Waldman's Quartet!

Brahja Waldman's Quartet!

Brahja Waldman and his quartet are a common sight in jazz clubs in New England and their native Quebec. Waldman, a saxophonist and the song-writer for the group, fronts a talented young group of musicians....

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By Steve Marlow
Oct 16, 2011

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Andru Branch

The Only Constant

Andru Branch, who was nominated for the 1999 Juno for Best Reggae album with What If I...

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By Shelley Gummeson
Jul 1, 2008

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Brocade

Like You Were Here

Like You Were Here is the debut album from Calgary-based trio Brocade, who have been playing together for two years. A self identified kitsch rock band, the west coast musicians’ release draws upon a...

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By Amanda McCulley
Dec 10, 2011

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Bob Brough Quartet

Time Away

Time Away, the latest offering from The Bob Brough Quartet is essentially a mainstream, instrumental jazz CD which showcases the talents of the entire quartet.  Bob Brough is the... read more...
By Jim Dupuis
Oct 21, 2008

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Kym Brown

Cursery Rhymes

God her accent is so hot. This Vancouver born, London raised artist has influences from artists ranging from The Beatles to legendary Icelandic singer Björk. This poppy album starts with the track ‘Almost Happy’, which...

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By Showering Thoughts
Jun 6, 2016

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Bullship

Bullship

“If you could be shocked by lifes petty miracles, imagine the everlasting elation of success� - written on the Bullship CD. The liner notes of this recording are shure to note that this releases is... read more...
By L Pounds
Jan 10, 2005

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Candelora

Candelora

Calgary's Candelora are a tight band, both on CD and outside of music. Made up of two brothers, a cousin and a freind, they have a sound similar to Maroon 5 or Coldplay. It's obvious...

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By Steve Marlow
Jun 18, 2011

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catl

Soon This Will All Be Gone

"Kassie Jones" introduces us to Catl.'s Soon This Will All Be Gone. A very odd intro song that almost plays like the opening scene to a movie. Another thing the intro does is it sets up...

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By Amil Delic
Jun 9, 2012

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Caught Off Guard

Caught Off Guard

Calgary has a long history of great pop punk bands. You can add Caught Off Guard! to that list. The band play a brand of punk that isn't much heard today: melodic, heavy and comedic....

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By Steve Marlow
Jan 6, 2011

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Cecile Monique

Cecile Monique

What is it what makes promising, young independent artists want to ape already successful styles? For every Nirvana, there were a hundred Candleboxes desperately copping their style for some stab at commercial success. Ontario's Cecile...

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By Steve Marlow
Jun 9, 2011

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Ceti Alpha

Telemetry

With a couple of exceptions, the majority of Canadian artists gaining popularity and respect are those based in provinces east of Newfoundland. Rarely does one ever hear of a hot new band from the East...

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By Matija Kamikovski
Apr 2, 2009

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Monica Chapman

Small World

Toronto jazz vocalist Monica Chapman has released her third CD Small World, a recording that showcases her passion for Hollywood movies and musicals.  She has carefully curated a dozen songs that have left a lasting impression on her through...

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By Shelley Gummeson
Apr 7, 2017

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Betsy Charge

Betsy Charge

 

Vancouver duo Betsy Charge describe themselves as a metal band, but that description is true only in the mid-90s depressing hard rock sense. Think Smashing Pumpkins or a low-rent version of Tool and you...
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By Steve Marlow
Apr 20, 2011

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Glenn Chatten

Where You Need To Be

Glenn Chatten has been playing folk music and touring since the 80s. Originally from Ontario, he moved to Vancouver a few years ago and quickly settled himself into the music scene there. Where You Need...

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By Steve Marlow
Dec 7, 2011

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Children Of Celebrities

We're Not Bitter

We're Not Bitter, the second full-length from Victoria's Children of Celebrities, has its flaws, but something about the album makes you forget them.  The vocals are off in spots, and at...
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By James Hayashi-Tennant
Sep 21, 2007

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Children Of Celebrities

Stereo Bang Bang

Children of Celebrities are the type of band you'd see playing the backyard of some hip friend's party, languidly picking their guitar and making some melodic music. The band is a light, tongue-in-cheek mix of...

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By Steve Marlow
Jul 6, 2010

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China Syndrome

Nothing's Not Worth Knowing

If China Syndrome’s first album showed potential then their second outing with Nothing’s Not Worth Knowing exudes confidence in themselves and their musical ability.

This second album venture contains more background vocals and an improvement...

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By Dave Ferguson
Feb 18, 2011

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Christianne

Doomsday Lovers

The highly under rated and delightfully charismatic Christianne has a bounty of poetic tragedy to illustrate through lyrics and comfortable healing sounds. Considering the world is over run by so many folk singers not expressing...

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By Marc 'Oxide' LaCasse
Apr 30, 2010

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Annabelle Chvostek

Be the Media

If you’re looking for the harmonic songbird stylings of Annabelle Chvostek’searlier work with the Wailin’ Jenny’s this album is not the place to look. If you’re looking for the worldly and bold folk sounds of her early solo...

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By Megan Clark
Oct 27, 2015

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Citadel

Aquarian

Citadel is a post-rock band from Calgary with an almost religious feel. The band plays music on spacy, electronic organs, with vocals drifting in and out of the music like Gregorian chants. The 4-song album...

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By Steve Marlow
Apr 3, 2013

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Class Action

An Extra Bar of the Wrong Song

This is a four-track EP from Calgarian ska punk outfit, Class Action. This mini-album has the pep and spunk, flash and drive and the beat, trumpet, saxophone and trombone you expect from ska music. There...

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By Tristin Norenberg-Goodmanson
Apr 10, 2013

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Coal

Beautiful Afterburn

Vancouver's Coal has a sound dreamy-dark-western-goth-pop. They also have an identity in vocalist Nicole Steen, who seems to enjoy singing with a mountain of echo behind her like a rain-shadow pressing up against the Rockies.

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By Gord Golden McDonald
Apr 27, 2002

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Buckman Coe

Crow's Nest

Buckman Coe is a world traveler, muti-talented musician and singer-songwriter. He is a social activist based in Vancouver, B.C. and pursuesan ecological approach to music making as well as social activism. He is musically influenced by...

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By Tristin Norenberg-Goodmanson
Mar 10, 2013

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Jon Cohen Expiremental

Behold

Hearing this for the first time I imagined listening to an 80’s Joe Jackson avec some Canadian injection of poppy rock along  with some attitude and grace. Jon Cohen and his band of merry...

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By Marc 'Oxide' LaCasse
Jan 5, 2011

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Andrew Collins Trio

And It Was Good

Toronto mandolin-player Andrew Collins has put his mark on Canadian folk music over the years, as a member of the bluegrass band the Foggy Hogtown Boys, and in the more traditional folk stylings of the...

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By Steve Marlow
Dec 28, 2016

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Colouring Season

your departure left me the shelterless victim...

It's impressive when someone can bare their soul and write songs about their own traumatic events. It's even more impressive when you can break those events down to have just enough material to fit snugly... read more...
By Bryndis Ogmundson
Aug 11, 2003

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Construction & Destruction

Homebodies

This is clearly a CD made lovingly by Colleen Collins and Dave Trenaman (aka Construction and Destruction) for no one but each other. In this progressive age of DIY music publication,...

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By Anne-Marie Brugger
Jul 14, 2008

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Creek Road Crossing

Thick As Thieves

Creek Road Crossing are a straight ahead, “no surprises here� rock and roll band who wear their classic rock heritage badges stitched to the sleeves of their grease and booze soaked t-shirts with pride. CRC... read more...
By L Pounds
Jan 17, 2005

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Cri du Chat

Cri du Chat

This self-titled debut album from the Montreal, Quebec group is a field of musical genius, and dreams. Most of the band members played music prior to Cri Du Chat's 2006 beginnings. They invest beautiful harmonics...
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By Tristin Norenberg-Goodmanson
Apr 22, 2011

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DAGRS

s/t

Vancouver's DAGRS are a classic sounding hardcore punk band. Their Facebook page cites their influences as “short, stabby knives”, which is a pretty accurate description of what they sound like. The music is punchy, melodic...

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By Steve Marlow
Jan 1, 2015

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Dali's Llama

Full On Dunes

With the modern revival of heavy psychedelic movement, with it's heavily produced and textured layers, it's easy to forget that the original movement didn't go for all the studio tricks you see today....

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By Steve Marlow
Dec 2, 2008

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Dark For Dark

Warboats

From the first few seconds of the first track on Dark for Dark’s Warboats it is clear that this will be an album of beautiful harmonizing and gentle melodies. Fronted by multi-instrumentalist Rebecca Zolkower Dark...

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By Megan Clark
Oct 27, 2013

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David Ellul

The Unplugged Living Room Sessions

Independent singer-songwriter David Ellul has put a living room session to CD and the resulting tossed salad of tunes is an impressive no frills mod-folk recording that reeks of Bruce Cockburn, 3-chord Gord, Greg MacPherson... read more...
By L Pounds
Jan 10, 2005

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Daywalker

Daywalker

 
Daywalker is a four-piece from Calgary formed in 2012 after being inspired by the artists at Sled Island Music Festival. This self-titled, four-track EP boasts a high-energy, hardcore punk sound. It is independently released....
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By Tristin Norenberg-Goodmanson
Apr 10, 2013

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Jean-Paul De Roover

Windows and Doors

Since releasing Windows and Doors the mad scientist of the Thunder Bay music scene, Jean-Paul De Roover, has toured back and forth across the country…solo. Yes, that’s right, just a man, a wagon, and...

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By Jason Wellwood
Dec 17, 2009

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Derelict

Perpetuation

Few bands get away with releasing albums that sound almost nothing alike but still manage to stay within the broad scope of their genre. Derelict has recently released its third full length and it takes...

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By Jason Wellwood
Jun 8, 2012

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Neelamjit Dhillon Quartet

Komagata Maru

The Neelamjit Dhillon Quartet brings together four of Canada’s most dynamic musicians to tell the story of the ship Komagata Maru, using a fresh musical language that combines jazz and Indian classical forms.

In May...

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By Catherine Fisher
Sep 29, 2015

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Dirty Penny

Tada!

Sometimes it?s nice just to let an album entertain you. Too often we listen to music as an exegetical practice trying to find some 'deeper meaning' hiding beneath the surface of the music. While of... read more...
By Jeff Friesen
May 5, 2007

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The Donefors

How To Have Sex With Canadians

From the opening track, sounding deliciously zenful, it is impossible not to fall under the spell of Janine Stoll’s mellifluous voice. How to Have Sex with Canadians is all about falling under the influence of...

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By Anne-Marie Brugger
Apr 1, 2009

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Doomeastvan

Songs In The Key Of Death

True story: I’m driving in my car listening to Doomeastvan and I pull up to a stop light. It’s hot, so my windows are down, and a police car pulls up beside me. His window...

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By Jason Wellwood
Oct 5, 2011

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Double Fuzz

Double Fuzz

There should be a warning label on Double Fuzz’s debut self-titled album. It should caution listeners that upon hearing the contained noisy, gritty and glorious sounds, they may be inspired to take up the corresponding...

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By Nathan Marsh
Apr 19, 2012

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Driftglass

The Stranger

Driftglass have totally pegged the progressive rock vibe of the 70’s. It’s easy to draw a lot of comparisons with this band but none of them quite fit, though I will say that there are...

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By Jason Wellwood
May 18, 2011

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Drumhand

Moving Still

Drumhand amalgamates latin, African and jazz music to create an album that's sure to get anyone on to their feet. Moving Still is driven by the percussion work of David Chan and Larry Graves...

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By Kat Dornian
Feb 16, 2011

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Anita Eccleston Trio

Jazz

They must be doing something right in the music program at McGill University in Montreal. The Jensen sisters, Ingrid and Christine, finished their studies at McGill and now another young woman from B.C., Anita...

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By Jim Dupuis
Nov 19, 2011

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Anita Eccleston Trio

Anita Eccleston Trio

Anita Eccleston is a jazz-trained trumpet player and vocalist. She is also a dynamic artist, as the Anita Eccleston Trio EP can attest to. The three-song EP is essentially a sampler to the multi-talented Vancouver musician. Her...

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By Shelley Gummeson
Apr 4, 2013

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The Electrobe

The Electrobe

Oliver Sudden producer/engineer Paul Etch may be based in Montreal, but his gaze is set far beyond the world?s longest coastline. As the creative captain of Electrobe, Etch lists several mystical inspirations on the band?s... read more...
By Andrew Lee
Apr 9, 2007

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Kemal Evans Band

No Pressure Zone

Kemal Evans has an impressive resume, having been born into a musical family (his father one of Canada's best known hand-drummers), spending time as a child touring across Canada and learning...

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By Steve Marlow
Jan 30, 2009

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Feast of Mutton

Seven Fine Cuts

 

With a band playing Eastern European style folk, you expect a bit of a boozy, party like atmosphere. But Feast of Mutton are almost tacitly musical, and even downright.... sober in their...
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By Steve Marlow
Jul 16, 2011

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Cameron Scott Fraser

Promised Land

Promised Land by Cameron Scott Fraser is undoubtedly one of my top five Canadian indie albums I have listened to this year. His superb story telling skills accompanied by the ability to write memorable...

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By Dave Ferguson
Oct 21, 2010

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The Fugitives

Eccentrically We Love

Vancouver's The Fugitives have made a name for themselves by relentlessly touring the folk festival scene and have become much beloved in Canada and many other countries. Their playful mix of folk, jazz and indy...
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By Steve Marlow
May 21, 2010

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Galerie Stratique

Rêves de Béton

Galerie Stratique is the alter-ego of Quebec based electronic musician Charles-Emile Beullac. Reves de Beton is his fourth album to date, his first coming back in 2001. Beullac is well steeped in the ambient style...

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By Steve Marlow
Mar 17, 2016

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June Garber

This I Know

June Garber, a vibrant jazz vocalist from Toronto, has released her third album This I Know.  She's gathered energy from the experiences of her life so far, and infused 12 songs with it.

Garber has...

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By Shelley Gummeson
Jun 28, 2016

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Ghost Honey

Ghost Honey

Out last year, this is Ghost Honey’s debut 7-inch, and is very much what the name suggests: goblin pop. The two tracks, “Vrooom” and “Dressed Up,” are dark without being gimmicky. “Vrooom” is the stronger of...
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By Tara-Michelle Ziniuk
Nov 22, 2012

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The Glorious MoonRockets

The Glorious MoonRockets

Anyone who loves buying 7” singles from unknown punk bands will be very familiar with the sound of The Glorious MoonRockets. Hailing from Ottawa, the band is heavily influenced by classic garage rock and psychedelics. They...

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By Steve Marlow
Nov 19, 2012

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Golden B.C.

Just Take It

 

Golden B.C. is back with his third full length project, Just Take It. Also known as Brian Offredi, Golden B.C., is a solo artist from Calgary with a very interesting take on music. His influences...
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By Amil Delic
Dec 28, 2012

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Gorilla Voodoo

Under The Thumb Of The Man Smiling

Under The Thumb Of The Man Smiling is the debut album from angry-with-society musician and rookie producer Gorilla Voodoo. While the album has a good shot at getting a message across, it isn't very effective... read more...
By Kyle Cunjak
Jul 14, 2002

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The Grass

Report All Ghosts

With this, their third album in less than two years, Ottawa-via-Halifax’s The Grass offer forth their most focused collection yet.  With significantly improved production and a considerably...

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By Peter Bradley
Jun 11, 2008

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Jaclyn Guillou

To The City

To The City, the debut studio CD of Jaclyn Guillou is polished and playful. Jaclyn’s voice has rhythm, movement, and unique expression. When you layer this over a cast of players who can sculpt notes with...

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By Shelley Gummeson
Apr 1, 2011

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Jaclyn Guillou

The Lover's Walk

 The Lover's Walk, is jazz vocalist Jaclyn Guillou's second album.  It transports you to a low lit, late night jazz club, softly clinking ice cubes and a bartender who's heard his share of luckless stories....

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By Shelley Gummeson
Apr 7, 2014

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Geordie Haley

Sculptures