If you are looking to listen to contemporary Canadian artists (other than The Weeknd), here are five albums released in 2022 that showcase the talent of Canadian musicians!
5. How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars – The Weather Station, March 4, 2022
Favourite track: “Ignorance”
How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars is a sister album to Ignorance (2021), The Weather Station’s previous release. While Ignorance is a more rhythmic and energetic album, How Is It That I Should Look At The Stars features a collection of understated yet moving ballads.
The Weather Station is a Toronto folk band fronted by songwriter Tamara Lindeman. The band’s latest record epitomises Lindeman’s introspective emotive style. Each track opens with delicate piano, followed by Lindeman’s tender Joni Mitchell-esque vocals. Several songs feature various other instruments to create moments of dynamic contrast in the slow-paced album.
Lindeman’s poetic lyrics are the highlight of this album, supported by the atmospheric layers of instrumentation and piano accents that provide a steady rhythm throughout the record. It is the perfect accompaniment for a moody late-night drive or any time you really want to FEEL your feelings.
4. Crybaby – Tegan and Sara, October 21, 2022
Favourite track: “Yellow”
Crybaby is the 10th studio album of Calgary-born twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin. Since their musical debut in 1998, the pair have risen to chart topping success and have become advocates for the LGBTQ+ community.
In recent years, the duo have branched out of music to write the New York Times best-selling memoir High School (2019), which is now being aired on Amazon Prime as a TV show. As indicated by its title, Crybaby explores emotional vulnerability and, like High School, reflects on Tegan and Sara’s past.
Crybaby merges the pop style of Tegan and Sara’s biggest hits like “Closer” with the grit of their earlier records. The record features synth leads as well as dense driving rhythms. Their signature vocal stylings bring together the diverse genres of 80s electronic hits and grunge to create a cohesive and rebellious album.
3. From 2 to 3 – Peach Pit, March 4, 2022
Favourite track: “Vickie”
From 2 to 3 is the latest album from the popular indie rock band Peach Pit. Since their song “Peach Pit” went viral online in 2017, the band’s success has skyrocketed. In the spring of 2022, the Vancouver-based group toured the album across North America, the United Kingdom and Europe.
The four-piece band includes Neil Smith on lead vocals, Chris Vanderkooy on the guitar/keyboard, Peter Wilton on bass/vocals, and Mikey Pascuzzi on drums. Their alternative musical style suits Smith’s laid-back vocals and relatable lyrics.
Counter-melodic guitar riffs and echoey backing vocals create points of musical interest and tension throughout the album, as the drums maintain the momentum. This record is easy listening that reminds us to not take anything too seriously.
2. Pretty Monster – Blue Stones, November 4, 2022
Favourite track: “No Angels”
Pretty Monster is the third studio album from the Windsor, Ontario group The Blue Stones. The Blue Stones are the latest up-and-coming rock duo, following in the footsteps of American due The Black Keys and British rock duo Royal Blood.
The tracks on Pretty Monster feature complex, propelling rhythms on the drums that give each song intensity. Distorted guitar riffs and upbeat vocal melodies seamlessly blend rock and pop genres.
While Pretty Monster primarily features driving rock anthems, the penultimate song “Camera Roll” is a personal ballad. Its soft-spoken verses that lead into emotional and powerful choruses showcase the diverse musical abilities of the band.
1. Formentera – Metric, July 8, 2022
Favourite track: “All Comes Crashing”
Formentera is the eighth studio album of the alternative rock group Metric. Metric is fronted by lead vocalist and synth player Emily Haines, who is supported by James Shaw on guitar/backing vocals, Joshua Winstead on bass/backing vocals, and Joules Scott-Key on drums.
Metric has had huge success with their niche electric sound that features synthesizers layered with traditional rock instruments. Haines’ signature vocals pierce through the lower tones of the bass and guitar.
Formentera begins with “Doomscroller,” a cinematic track that is over ten minutes long. While this dynamic song is a great introduction to the musical theme of the record, the rest of the shorter tracks also encompass the pulsating and immersive spirit of the album.