Author Archives: J2

Best of 2018


A Year in My Ears



1. AFIThe Missing Man

Surprise, AFI is on the list! But as usual, it’s completely deserved. While only a 5 track EP, it includes everything that makes this band great; layers upon layers of dark emotions, superb musicianship, and just a hint  (okay more than a hint) of the dramatic.

Check Out: Get Dark, Back Into The Sun



2. Electric Light Orchestra – Greatest Hits

Over the last few years, I’ve been exploring older artists just as much as newer ones, putting names to the sounds I’ve known my whole life. Inspired by my sister’s use of ‘Strange Magic’ for the first dance at her wedding this summer, I dove into Electric Light Orchestra’s catalogue. Annnd found out that I know pretty much all of their big hits from my childhood. You probably do too.

Check Out: Strange Magic, Livin’ Thing, Telephone Line



3. Hot LipsAmerican Hardcore EP

I have a lot of talented friends, and this is one example. A dark, driving, and sexy trio, they have no time for noodling guitar players; existing only on vocals, synth, bass and drums. With a penchant for face paint, and strobe lighting, they put on one hell of a live show. If Trent Reznor and Karen O had a kid, they’d start a band just like this one.

Check Out: Buzzkill, Black Heart Blue



4. Ozzy OsbourneDiary of a Madman & No More Tears

Even though I grew up listening to my Dad’s Ozzy albums, this year I really started to go through his library in earnest. This was perhaps spurred on by watching many episodes of Jack and Ozzy’s World Tour and falling in love with the new sober, hilarious version of Ozzy. I couldn’t decide between these two albums because they’re both killer.

Check Out: Flying High Again, Over the Mountain, No More Tears, Mama, I’m Coming Home



5. Patsy Cline – Greatest Hits

Introducing the second artist I re-discovered this year. If you’re not already a fan, you probably know at least a few of her songs, which always seem to be in TV commercials. I’ve never really been into country, so to say, but there’s something about old school crooners that tug at my heartstrings. If anyone can convey heartbreak, it’s Patsy Cline.

Check Out: Walkin’ After Midnight, She’s Got You, Crazy



6. Halloween 2018 Soundtrack

If you know me, you know that Halloween is a huge part of my life (the season, the film franchise etc etc). So obviously, all of 2018 was a big lead up to the release of the new movie. Not only did it have John Carpenter’s blessing, but he also provided the soundtrack, which, naturally, is a masterpiece. Composed with his son Cody, and godson Daniel Davies (see below) it takes the original themes and jacks them up, making them more aggressive, scarier, and heavier – just like the new Michael Myers himself.

Check Out: Michael Kills Again, Halloween Triumphant



7. Daniel DaviesEvents Score & Hidden Faces

While seeing the aforementioned John Carpenter in concert towards the end of 2017, I could not stop watching his guitarist. Turns out his name is Daniel Davies (son of the Kinks’ Dave Davies) and John’s own godson. Like a schoolgirl with a crush, I’ve since ferreted out all of his prior works. He made it easy for me, having released a new instrumental album towards to end of the year. Comprised of gloomy soundscapes fraught with hair-raising synths, it definitely shows off his Carpenter-ship. Perhaps even more exciting is his rock album from 2011, featuring his voice that sounds something like his Dad mixed with Geddy Lee’s lower range.

Check Out: Fire’s Range, Shadows Alive, Body Obtained, Real One



8. NOBROStoke Level: High!

As you may have discovered from previous posts, I love me some chick punk. Walking halfway across town to catch these gals during CMW was the highlight of my festival week. Mixing sing-song vocals with no-fucks-given rock attitude, they’re the best thing going on in Montreal right now.

Check Out: Backslide, Paranoid



9. T. ThomasonSweet Baby

Another highlight of my CMW experience was seeing T. Thomason at the Dakota Tavern. While this album is short and couple years old, it’s indicative of their amazingly spirited sound, and what we can expect from the upcoming, career-elevating tracks that are still in the works.

Check Out: Sally (Sally, Be My Spirit Guide), The Wait



10. PoesyStrange Little Girl

While her new full length album is still pending, Poesy definitely needs to be on this list. Having gotten to work with her at Supercrawl this year, I was blown away by her performance chops. A contestant on The Launch, she’s one of the few truly great, unique artists to be churned out of a music machine show. Her crazy powerful voice, darkly honest songwriting, and let’s be honest-awesome hair-makes her one to watch this year.

Check Out: Strange Little Girl, Soldier of Love


CMW 2018

Canadian Music Week is upon us again! You’ve likely seen ads for all of the big shows that are happening, but there is a lot more out there than you might think. I listened to all 500+ artists on the schedule to find the ones that worth your time and money. Go and check some of these out so that my tireless efforts weren’t in vain!


Tuesday, May 8th

7:00pm – Benjamin Dakota Rogers @ Dakota Tavern

7:15pm – Amanda Rheaume @ Rivoli

8pm – Hotel Mira @ Supermarket

8pm – Mudie @ Mod Club

8pm – Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever @ Garrison

8:20pm – Van @ Drake Underground

9pm – Slamboni @ Mod Club

9pm – Matt Hoyles @ Dakota Tavern

9pm – Iduna @ Nightowl

10pm – The Alpacas @ Hideout

10pm: Fear the Mammoth @ Bovine

10pm – Mad Caddies @ Mod Club

10pm – The Used @ Phoenix

11:30pm – The Crooked @ Cherry Cola’s

12am – Peeling @ Baby G



Wednesday, May 9th

6:10pm – Soran @ Supermarket

7pm – The Brian Jonestown Massacre @ Danforth Music Hall

7pm – Lindi Ortega @ Mod Club

7:15pm – Angela Saini @ The Vault

7:30pm – Aliocha @ Supermarket

8pm – 1990Future @ Hard Luck

8pm – Acid Dad @ Adelaide Hall

8pm – Girlongirl @ Lee’s Palace

8pm – Tough Age @ Longboat Hall

8pm – Single Mothers @ Phoenix

8:50pm – Nikki Fierce @ Lee’s Palace

9pm – Trampa @ Bovine

9pm – Peeling @ Longboat Hall

9pm – The Mariachi Ghost @ Lula Lounge

9pm – Barry Paquin Roberge @ Monarch Tavern

9pm – Chkbns @ Hard Luck

9pm – Little Red @ Nightowl

9pm – The Dirty Nil @ Phoenix

9pm – JoJo Worthington @ Garrison

9pm – The Bae Beach Club @ Cavern Bar

9:45pm – Wine Lips @ Adelaide Hall

10pm – Twin Flames @ Painted Lady

10pm – Birds of Bellwoods @ Horseshoe

10pm – Excuses, Excuses @ Hard Luck

10pm – Laura Sauvage @ Monarch Tavern

10:30pm – Abakos @ Drake Underground

11pm – Los Poetas @ Lula Lounge

11pm – LOMA @ Garrison

11pm – Jiants @ Piston

11pm – Hungry Lake @ Cameron House

11pm – A World in Pictures @ Hard Luck

11pm – Modern Space @ Horseshoe

11pm – Nahga @ Cherry Cola’s

11:20pm – Sun K @ Lee’s Palace

12am – King Park @ Hard Luck

2am – Jonny Porter @ Hideout



Thursday, May 10th

5pm – Altered By Mom @ ldsjel Collective

5:30pm – Barry Paquin Roberge @ Supermarket

6:30pm – Suzi Wu @ Drake One Fifty

7pm – Andrea Nixon @ Rock N Horse Saloon

7pm – Bayla @ Drake Underground

8pm – Jade Eyes @ Painted Lady

8pm – The Bishops @ Rivoli

9pm – Chersea @ Hideout

9pm – Chippy Nonstop @ Mod Club

9pm – HMLT @ Drake Underground

9:30pm – Beautiful Nothing @ Supermarket

9:30pm – Possum @ Baby G

10pm- Brett Newski @ Cameron House

10pm – The Bare Minimum @ Bovine

10pm – ABOA (Aljenljeng) @ Painted Lady

10pm – Alexandria Maillot @ Hideout

10pm – Altameda @ Adelaide Hall

10pm – Terence Jack @ Dakota Tavern

11pm – Not For Function @ Bovine

11pm – Kandle @ Horseshoe

11pm – LowDown Brass Band @ 3030

11pm – Julian Taylor Band @ Lee’s Palace

11pm – All Hands on Jane @ Cherry Cola’s

11pm – Teddy Thomason @ Dakota Tavern

11:25pm – Paupiere @ Monarch Tavern

11:30pm – The Nursery @ Supermarket

11:30pm – Yonatan Gat @ Sneaky Dee’s

12am – Whoop-Szo @ Garrison

12am – Sputnik @ Piston

1am – Chersea @ Painted Lady

1am – Possum @ Garrison



Friday, May 11th

7pm – Alice Glass @ Mod Club

7pm – Jade Eyes @ Rivoli

7pm – Suzi Wu @ Super Wonder Gallery

8pm – Tallies @ Drake Underground

8pm – Holy Hum @ Small World Music Centre

8pm – Aliocha @ Lee’s Palace

8pm – Goodbye Honolulu @ Opera House

8pm – Claire Hunter @ Cameron House

8pm – ABOA (Aljenljeng) @ Rivoli

8pm – Idgy Dean @ Monarch Tavern

8pm – Victoria + Jean @ Painted Lady

8:15pm – Pony @ Horseshoe

9pm – Crown Lands @ Phoenix

9pm – Brandon Solomon @ Paddock

9pm – Hotel Mira @ Adelaide Hall

9pm – Foonyap @ Small World Music Centre

9pm – Taylor Knox @ Opera House

9pm – Cave Boy @ Lee’s Palace

9:15pm – Rawls Royce @ Sneaky Dee’s

9:30pm – ANML @ Longboat Hall

9:45pm – James Blonde @ Adelaide Hall

9:45pm – Wolf Saga @ Hideout

10pm – Bets @ Painted Lady

10pm – Anemone @ Baby G

10pm –  Pkew Pkew Pkew @ Horseshoe

10pm – Beaches @ Opera House

10:30pm – DATU @ Longboat Hall

11pm – Death Valley Girls @ Hard Luck

11pm – Miesha and the Spanks @ Bovine

11pm – Moon King @ Baby G

11:15pm – Traitrs @ Garrison

11:30pm – Iskwe @ Longboat Hall

11:30pm – Fake Shark @ Rivoli

12am – Fortune Killers @ Cherry Cola’s

12am – Whoop-Szo @ Hideout

12am – Starcrawler @ Bovine

12am – Yukon Blonde @ Lee’s Palace

12am – Tough Age @ Garrison

12:30am – Romes @ Rivoli

1am – Bike Thiefs @ Monarch Tavern

1am – Dick Rodan @ Hideout

1am – Dreamboats @ Horseshoe

1:30am – Petra Glynt @ Garrison

2am – Uni @ Bovine



Saturday, May 12th

4pm – Starcrawler @ YDS

5pm – Tallies @ YDS

5pm – Little Red @ Drake One Fifty

6pm – The Kents @ YDS

7pm – Death Valley Girls @ YDS

8pm – Holy Hum @ Small World Music Centre

8pm – Joyful Joyful @ Cameron House

8pm – The Rathburns @ Lee’s Palace

8:15pm – Olivia and the Creepy Crawlies @ Supermarket

9pm – Alexandria Maillot @ 120 Diner

9pm – The Standstills @ Horseshoe

9pm – The Ocean Cure @ Sneaky Dee’s

9pm – Good Kid @ Monarch Tavern

9pm – Foonyap @ Small World Music Centre

9pm – Sloan @ YDS

9:45pm – Altered By Mom @ Supermarket

10pm – Surf Dads @ Bovine

10pm – LOLAA @ Baby G

10pm – Ellevator @ Lee’s Palace

10pm – Victoria + Jean @ 120 Diner

10:30pm – Desi Sub Culture @ Adelaide Hall

11pm – Maybe May @ Hideout

11pm – NOBRO @ Bovine

11pm – Uni @ Lee’s Palace

11pm – Scope @ Painted Lady

11pm – Annie Hart @ Baby G

12am – Polarity  @ Hideout

12am – City Mouse @ Bovine

12am – New Swears @ Longboat Hall

12am – Jo Passed @ Garrison

1am – Hell County X @ Cherry Cola’s

2am – Ready the Prince @ Horseshoe



Sunday, May 13th

8pm – Pete International Airport @ Phoenix

8pm – Phantom Atlantic @ Rivoli

9pm – Goodbye Honolulu @ Horseshoe

10pm – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @ Phoenix

11pm – Hinds @ Horseshoe

Best of 2017


A Year in My Ears



1. AFIBlood

The year started off on a high note with a release from my all-time favourite band. While at first suffering from the usual anxiety that they wouldn’t live up to their legacy, it wasn’t long lasting. I should know by now that this band doesn’t write songs that are immediately catchy, but ultimately forgettable. Those who were fans of their earlier punk years will be happy to hear some of their former angst returning, in addition to their signature layered sound.

Check Out: Still a Stranger, The Wind That Carries Me Away, So Beneath You


2. Dreamcar – Dreamcar

It’s natural to be a little weirded out by the idea of an AFI-No Doubt mash up, after all—what is that supposed to sound like? As it turns out; a dark and flamboyant 80s dance pop album with high caliber of composition and production. Largely comprised of the flagrance Davey Havok has been trying to suppress for the last 12 years, it showcases his ever-expanding vocal range, and is bound to win over the purest of AFI fans.

Check Out: Kill for Candy, All of the Dead Girls, Born To Lie


3. Whitney RoseRule 62 & South Texas Suite

If you told me that I’d end up falling in love this year, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. Especially if the object of my affection were to be a female country singer, but here we have it. After stealing my heart at the Horseshoe in February, I was prompted to seek out her entire discography. Oddly enough, 2017 brought about her LP South Texas Suite, as well as the EP Rule 62 – both of which have been on heavy rotation, along with her previous release Heartbreaker of the Year. A little bit Nancy Sinatra, a little bit motown, and a whole lot of vintage country, she’s a master storyteller without relying too heavily on dead dogs, cheatin’ hearts, and trucks. But don’t mistake her for just a sweet-voiced angel either, she’s known to blow the roof off with her timely cover of You Don’t Own Me.

Check Out: Arizona, My Boots, Lasso


4. Mobina GaloreFeeling Disconnected Cities Away

One thing you really need to know about me is that I love girl punk bands. Particularly ones that have multiple singers and vocal styles. This Winnipeg two-piece caught my ear long ago, but it wasn’t until I came across their sticker on a hand dryer in a decrepit venue washroom early this year that I looked them up in earnest. A perfect combination of call-and-answer screaming and singing, they evoke visions of a young Brody Dalle, and angsty late 90s punk. In fact, they cram so much awesomeness into each track, it’s hard to believe that they’re just a guitar/drum duo.

Check Out: Start All Over, SufferYou’re Not 23 Anymore, Restless Nights


5. Matt MaysOnce Upon a Hell of a Time

This album came out in October, and I think I may have had it in my ears 75% of my waking life since then. While Matt has been releasing albums for well over a decade, it’s been his last couple of efforts that have really tickled my fancy. Relying heavily on a sense of romance and nostalgia, the passion he pours into each and every track is palpable. Put this one on, go for a long road trip and think about all the ones that got away.

Check Out: Howl at the Night, NYC Girls, Sentimental Sins


6. Like a Motorcycle – High Hopes

Oh hey, it’s another chick punk album! This one is literally an 11th hour—err—12th month addition to the list, thanks to a friend’s apt recommendation, and a perfectly timed tour with my friends Dearly Beloved. Boasting three female vocalists (one being the drummer, goddamn), this album is the musical version of a Sweet & Salty bar. With an unrelenting pedal-to-the-metal pace from start to finish, you might say they are…like a motorcycle. (Sorry).

Check Out: Hands, Dead Finger, Nobody Knows


7. Les Deuxluxes – Springtime Devil

You may have noticed that I’m a big fan of supporting small, Canadian bands. Luckily for me, I’m exposed to loads of them every year through my work with every music festival ever. My top discovery this year at CMW was this Quebecois two-piece. Mixing desert rock, 50s pop, and rockabilly, they have that spacious lo-fi sound particular to early-days White Stripes.

Check Out: Diable du Printemps, So Long, Farewell,  My Babe & Me


8. Foo FightersSonic Highways

Foos may have released Concrete and Gold in September (which is good, and takes the band in an interesting new direction), but I spent the greater part of the year getting to know Sonic Highways a little better. Once deemed as just a generic radio rock band, I’ve been really feeling the extra flare they’ve put into their productions since 2011’s Wasting Light. Someone must have told Dave Grohl that I’m a fan of the heartstring-plucking guitar lines, and piles of vocal harmonies, because this album is full of them.

Check Out: Congregation, What Did I Do?/God As My Witness


9. John CarpenterAnthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998

John Carpenter may be the father of horror, but the casual fan may not know that he is also one of the best soundtrack composers out there. Off the heels of his original albums, Lost Themes I and II from 2015-2016, he’s now released an anthology of his most notable movie hits. Not to mention, getting to see him performing these pieces live to film clips, with his cool-Dad stage persona only made this album more special.

Check Out: In the Mouth of Madness, Porkchop Express (Big Trouble in Little China), The Fog


10. Tears for Fears – Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits ’82-92)

Every year, I seem to file one band under “oh, they’re responsible for all those songs” category. In 2017, Tears for Fears was it. A soundtrack to my childhood, their signature melancholy pop sound perfectly encompasses the feeling of the 80s. Give this album a listen, you’ll know way more tracks than you thought you would.

Check Out: Head Over Heels, Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Shout

CMW 2017


It’s Canadian Music Week! Which means more than just being able to drink until 4am. Take my advice and go see these bands.


Thurs. April 20th

7pm: Outlet Drift @ Rivoli

7:45pm – Honey Beard @ Longboat

7:55pm: 88Balaz @ Rivoli

8pm: The Johans @ Dakota Tavern

8:30pm: Caracol @ Great Hall

8:30pm: NQ Arbuckle @ Phoenix

9pm: Nyssa @ Costume House

9:20pm: Ambre McLean @ The Vault

10pm: Seazoo @ Bovine

10pm: Charlotte Day Wilson @ Mod Club

10pm: Dresden Wolves @ Stop, Drop, and Roll

10pm: AHI @ The Vault

10pm: Wildlife @ Lee’s Palace

10pm: Charlotte Cornfield @ Baby G

10:30pm: Belle Game @ Costume House

10:40pm – Tanya Tagaq @ Phoenix

11pm: Matt Mays @ Lee’s Palace

11pm: Pierre Kwenders @ Supermarket

11pm: Dick Rodan @ Boots & Bourbon

11pm: Sebadoh @ Horseshoe

11pm: She-Devils @ Costume House

11:50pm – Whitehorse @ Phoenix

12am: Japanese Breakfast @ Silver Dollar

12am: Les Deuxluxes @ Supermarket

12am: Incredible Woman @ Stop, Drop, and Roll

12am: Frigs @ Costume House

12am: Murder Murder @ Dakota Tavern

12am: Zoobombs @ Horseshoe

1am: Crazy Bones @ Horseshoe

1am: Dentist @ Nightowl

1am: Outlet Drift @ Stop, Drop, and Roll

1:10am: The Dead Love @ Hideout


Fri. April 21st

8pm: Chicklet @ Silver Dollar

8pm: The Dead Love @ Horseshoe

8:30pm: Dune Rats @ Lee’s Palace

9pm: Magnolian @ Rivoli

9pm: SC Mira @ Horseshoe

9pm: NOBRO @ Garrison

9pm: Girlongirl @ Silver Dollar

9pm: Slow Leaves @ Cameron House

9pm: Jesse Roper @ Dakota Tavern

9:20pm: New Swears @ Lee’s Palace

9:45pm: Bedwarmer @ Sneaky Dee’s

9:45pm: Caveboy @ Adelaide Hall

10pm: Bitch Falcon @ Bovine

10pm: Menage @ Cherry Cola’s

10pm: Sam Coffey & the Iron Lungs @ Garrison

10pm: Shy Kids @ Horseshoe

10pm: Sportsfan @ Silver Dollar

10pm: Not Of @ Baby G

10pm: Alexandria Maillot @ Paddock

10pm: Chastity @ Great Hall

10pm: Ria Mae @ Adelaide

10:10pm – Dead Heavens @ Lee’s Palace

10:45pm: A-Fos & the Rude Youth @ Hard Rock Cafe

11pm: Incredible Woman @ Bovine

11pm: New Swears @ Garrison

11pm: Walrus @ Monarch Tavern

11pm: Forty-Seven Teeth @ Smiling Buddha

11pm: Common Deer @ Horseshoe

11pm: Bike Thiefs @ Baby G

11pm: Jo Jo O’ & The Woods @ Paddock

11pm: Bueller @ Silver Dollar

11pm: D and Chi @ Cameron House

11:15pm – Crown Lands @ Hard Luck

12am: The Beaches @ Horseshoe

12am: Japanese Breakfast @ Silver Dollar

12am: Solids @ Garrison

12am: Krief @ Rivoli

12am: Hoan @ Baby G

12am: NOYZ @ Revival

12:10am – Bloody Diamonds @ Hard Luck

1am: Duchess Says @ Baby G

1am: The Brains @ Horseshoe

1am: Greys @ Garrison

1am: Sumo Cyco @ Bovine

2am: A Primitive Evolution @ Bovine

2am: RendeR @ Cherry Cola’s


Sat. April 22nd

7:30pm – Hello Delaware @ Rivoli

8pm: Across The Board @ Grace O’Malley’s

8pm: The Foreign Resort @ Hideout

8pm: Pony @ Lee’s Palace

9pm: Crown Lands @ Bovine

9pm: Slamboni @ Stop, Drop, and Roll

9pm: Magnolian @ Cameron House

9pm: Kemba @ Velvet Underground

9pm: Tabah @ Grace O’Malley’s

9pm: Thrifty Kids @ Silver Dollar

9pm: Twist @ Lee’s Palace

10pm: Eastern Owl @ Cameron House

10pm: Moon Tan @ Bovine

10pm: Vallens @ Lee’s Palace

10pm: Daniel Romano @ Longboat

10:30pm: #FamilyGrind @ Painted Lady

10:45pm: Port Cities @ Rivoli

11pm: Partner @ Longboat

11pm: Adam Baldwin @ Horseshoe

11pm: Bossie @ Baby G

11:45pm: Faith Healer @ Handlebar

12am: Beliefs @ Garrison

12am: Casper Skulls @ Lee’s Palace

12am: Japanese Breakfast @ Silver Dollar

12am: Field Study @ Cameron House

12am: Julian Taylor Band @ Horseshoe

12am: Sun K @ Dakota Tavern

12am: Weaves @ Lee’s Palace

12am: Miesha & the Spanks @ Stop, Drop, and Roll

1am: Hammered Satin @ Bovine

1am: HSY @ Garrison

2am: The Cola Heads @ Bovine

2am: Towers @ Horseshoe


Sun. April 23rd

2:30pm: Fred Penner @ Lula Lounge


Best of 2016


A Musical Journey


Now that the year of death is officially over, it’s time to look back on the good things that happened in 2016. Since I tend to swim upstream, I’ve put together a list of 10 albums that made up the soundtrack to my year – not necessarily the ones that were released within those 12 months (though many were). And because my opinion matters, you should definitely check out all of these and thank me later.


tuns1. TunsTuns

Upon hearing the first few notes, this album delivered a swift drop-kick to my heart. I shouldn’t be surprised how hard I fell for it either, considering my love for 90s alternative, east coast sounds, and songs about heartbreak. A typical Canadian  supergroup (by which I mean downplayed), Tuns is comprised of Sloan’s Chris Murphy, the Inbreds’ Mike O’Neill and Matt Murphy from The Super Friendz. Soaked in nostalgia, don’t be alarmed if this album tears open a few old wounds. Keep the bandaids and tissues handy.

Check out: Throw It All Away, Mind Over Matter


honeyrunners-ii2. HoneyrunnersEP II

Did I mention that I really seem to like local bands? These guys are bound to blow up any minute with their energetic and soulful indie rock, so it’s best that you get on this soon in order to claim those elusive “I knew them when” bragging rights. After all, very few albums have harmonies so rich, and hooks so catchy that you can sing along to each and every one after only one listen. Check out EP I while you’re at it, because it’s kind of weird to start on a sequel (and it’s just as good).

Check out: Under Control, Bones


phantogram-three3. PhantogramThree

Perhaps one of the few “radio” albums that has made my lists (but one of the many number-titled ones), I was unabashedly hooked as soon as You Don’t Get Me High Anymore started playing on heavy rotation. A dark synth pop romp, this album contains enough instrumentation to keep them out of the MDMA-and-beat-drops category. While there are some sentimental moments, most of the tracks boast an unabashed sexuality that will likely prompt a lot of hair whips and sultry half-naked dancing around your apartment (uh, so I’ve been told). We all got a little bit of ho in us, after all.

                                                 Check out: Cruel World, You’re Mine


tommy-hawkins4. Tommy HawkinsAmy

This album came out of nowhere, even to those who (thought they) keep up with the goings-on of Hawksley Workman. Having paired up with Thomas D’Arcy, a fellow Canadian producer/songwriter (and not a Jane Austen character, incidentally) they’ve birthed a passionate six-song EP. Rich with fervent vocals and screaming guitars, it’s hard to tell where Tom ends and Hawk begins. One can only hope that this will be more than just a one-off side project.

Check out: Love Will Destroy Who It Wants, The Best of Me


tiger-army-v5. Tiger ArmyV

A longtime Tiger Army fan, I was very excited to get a hold of new material after nine long years of silence. At first, I was less than enthused with the dreamy pace of the album and seeming lack of their bass-slapping psychobilly roots, but it grew on me. Haunting and melodic, it draws more from their past alt-country explorations (think ‘In the Orchard‘), with a dash of mariachi. And while it may be an overall slower album than previous efforts, the intensity remains.

Check out: Knife’s Edge , In the Morning Light, Prisoner of the Night


dilly-dally-sore6. Dilly Dally Sore

There are flash-in-the-pan buzz bands, and then there are the few that live up to the hype. Dilly Dally is among the latter. Having heard their name from the mouths of every indie music snob for months, ye olde “why haven’t I been listening to them forever?” lamentation set in this April when I finally checked out a few tracks. Simultaneously pulling off girlish and grungy, lead singer Katie is such a perfect combination of Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain that she should probably just change her name to Frances Bean. Commence swooning.

Check out: Desire, Ballin Chain, Purple Rage


whitehorse-bridge7. WhitehorseLeave No Bridge Unburned

This band seems to follow me wherever I go lately. The sickeningly cute couple Melissa McLelland and Luke Doucet are prolific artists in their own rights, and twice as awesome as Whitehorse. Best described as country for city-dwellers, they’re a mix of exceptional guitar work, inventive instrumental loops, and a vocal harmony that could only be spawned by an intensely deep relationship.

Check out: Sweet Disaster, Tame as the Wild Ones


dearly-beloved-admission8. Dearly BelovedAdmission

At this point, you’ve probably caught on that this band makes my list almost every year. But it’s not my fault that they’re a non-stop music machine (the next album is apparently already written). Keeping up with their patented unisex call and answer vocals, riding a rollercoaster of bass notes, Admission explores new regions. One of them being Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 (seriously, that’s where it was recorded), which provides a richness of sound that is audible throughout.

Check out: I Tried to Leave, When You Had the Choice, These Data


alice-cooper-welcome-nightmare9. Alice CooperWelcome to My Nightmare

Obviously this album didn’t come out in 2016, but it’s one that spent a good portion of the year in my ears. Arguably one of his best (and he has a lot), it’s not as creepy as you might expect from a guy who lives in face paint and regularly executes himself onstage. While there are are some necrophiliac themes, and a guest appearance by Vincent Price, the overall sound is rooted enough in classic rock for your “normal” friends to appreciate it as well.

Check out: Black Widow, Only Women Bleed, Welcome To My Nightmare


misfits-walk-among-us10. MisfitsWalk Among Us

You probably know that this album didn’t come out recently, either. But when a band that influenced many of the things you love—and hasn’t really existed since before you were born—reunites, their stuff ends up on constant repeat for many, many months. A clever hybrid of punk, horror themes, 50s rock and roll, and a whole lot of whoahs, this one’s a must-own for anyone that refuses to ‘fit in’.

Check out: 20 Eyes, Astro Zombies, All Hell Breaks Loose