2015 was a landmark year for Canadian music, what with Canuck artists topping the Billboard singles charts on a frighteningly regular basis. Maybe you’ve heard of a couple guys named Drake and Justin Bieber? Yep. Ours.
It was also a good year for Vancouver musicians. Tobias Jesso Jr., Grimes, Carly Rae Jepsen and Destroyer, all of whom have local roots, released albums that were met with almost universal critical claim. (Jesso’s Goon made #46 on pitchfork.com’s list of the 50 best albums of the year; Destroyer’s Poison Season came in at #43; Jepsen’s e•mo•tion, 34; Grimes’ Art Angels, #3).
Dan Mangan, a Vancouver singer/songwriter who has achieved national success and some international recognition, released his most adventurous album, Club Meds, with his backing band Blacksmith. 2015 was also the year that Dear Rouge, winner of the local talent competition the Peak Performance Project in 2012, released its debut full-length, Black to Gold (check out the video for the title track here). We Are the City (originally from Kelowna) and Teen Daze (from Abbotsford) also released well-received records, Above Club and Morning World respectively.
But there were a number of other releases that didn’t receive the attention that they deserved. Here are 10 of this writer’s favourites, along with a couple of honorary mentions and other notable selections.