Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
While not directly responsible for turning 2011 into the "Year of Sax," Dan Bejar did help usher it in with Destroyer's Kaputt. Dropping the increasingly standard folk rock forays of previous releases, Bejar and his West coast bandmates reinvented the Destroyer songbook with this sprawling LP, lathering it with splashes of European sophisti-rock, coked-up soft rock, new romanticism, smooth jazz and, yes, saxophone. Sure, it was a change that likely threw some listeners off, but for those who spend way too much time obsessing over later-period Roxy Music and Godley & Creme records, it was a godsend, as well as validation that the discount bins hide just as much treasure as trash. More importantly, it showed Bejar isn't afraid of reinvention ― something that sadly can't be said of most artists past the decade-in-rock mark. But do yourself a favour: pick this one up on vinyl. The exclusive side-long instrumental holds up as one of the year's best kosmische-influenced head trips, hands down.
FeaturesMay 26, 2015
Samantha Savage SmithSteps Outside the Box
It took four years for the release of Calgary singer-songwriter Samantha Savage Smith's follow-up to her 2011 debut. In that time Smith has ...
FeaturesMay 26, 2015
High EndsClass Act
There's a line at the start of "Working Man's Blue," the last song on Yukon Blonde frontman Jeffrey Innes's debut LP as High Ends, that goes...
StreamsMay 25, 2015
Pick a Piper"Dinghy in a Quiet Cove" on Exclaim! TV
Although Pick a Piper started as a group that aim to bring "organic dance music," their switch to electronic instrumentation did not stop th...
NewsMay 25, 2015
Shamir Finds His Disco-Pop Voice on 'Ratchet'
One of last year's best new discoveries was a confident debut single called "If It Wasn't True" that sounded straight out of the DFA laborat...
FeaturesMay 22, 2015
How I PlayDine Alone Records' Joel Carriere
It all started in a mall. Joel Carriere was working at Sam the Record Man in St. Catharines, ON. Still in his early 20s, the local show prom...
NewsMay 21, 2015
Patrick Watson Melds Flesh and Machine on 'Love Songs for Robots'
Patrick Watson's new album may be called Love Songs for Robots, but it was inspired less by science fiction than science fact. The Montreal-...
NewsMay 20, 2015
Brandon Flowers Goes in Depth on the Killer Collaborations of 'The Desired Effect'
Brandon Flowers is best known as the frontman for the Killers, but for the second time in five years, he has gone out on his own. While the ...
StreamsMay 20, 2015
Danko Jones and Damian Abrahamon Exclaim! TV Chatroom (Part 2)
In part one of Danko Jones and Damian Abraham's recent Exclaim! TV Chatroom session, the two endlessly discussed their views on music, award...