Exclaim!'s 20 Most Anticipated Canadian Albums of 2012

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Exclaim!'s 20 Most Anticipated Canadian Albums of 2012
5. Kathleen Edwards
Voyageur (January 17)
(MapleMusic Recordings)

Ms. Edwards has been a staple on the Canadian scene for years now, so what makes this album arguably more exciting than any of the ones that preceded it? Simple: her big-name boyfriend, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, lent his production talents to this collection. He also contributed a number of instrumental parts, meaning that anyone who loves Bon Iver will want to pick this one up.

4. Leonard Cohen
Old Ideas (January 31)
(Columbia Records)

This upcoming album from a true Canadian legend will be his first studio LP since 2004's Dear Heather. A press release tells us, "The album's ten songs poetically address some of the most profound quandaries of human existence -- the relationship to a transcendent being, love, sexuality, loss and death." If there's anyone capable of addressing these big issues, it's this guy.

3. Grimes
Visions (February 21)
(4AD/Arbutus Records)

This Montreal experimenter has rolled out a number of releases in the last couple of years, but this latest full-length just must be her mostly hostly anticipated yet. The record apparently "conjures a phantasmic state for the deep listener, sourcing the long forgotten spells that have coexisted with humans for centuries and forcing them through a hyper-futuristic filter." Sounds pretty gnarly.

2. Japandroids
TBA (release date TBA)
(Polyvinyl Records)

We know practically nothing about this one, but any prospect of new material from this fuzz rock duo is more than enough to get us excited about the follow-up to 2009's breakthrough Post-Nothing. Having released a handful of stop-gap singles in the interim, the band have been debuting new music during live shows, and the album is expected to arrive sometime in 2012. Yep, we're excited and you should be too.

1. John K. Samson
Provincial (January 24)
(Epitaph Records)

It's about damn time that the lauded frontman of the Weakerthans released a full-length of his very own. Following a number of solo songs inspired by the roads of Manitoba, Samson announced that the project had blossomed into this full-length, which includes "songs about dying villages, Icelandic longing, snowplows, broken glass, satellites, hockey skates, and staff room romances." For many fans, they've been eagerly waiting years for a new Samson-helmed album, and we're more than a little pumped to finally be getting one.

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