Published Oct 07, 2011In case you forgot, this weekend marks arguably one of the most Canadian holidays around: Canadian Thanksgiving. While the occasion seems a bit more of a big deal in the U.S. -- what with Black Friday, college football games and the Macy's parade -- we've managed to trump our southerly neighbours in a major way: We get to carve our turkey and tofurkey dinners a full month before they do. With that in mind, it's time to shine a light on some other things our country has to offer.
Without further ado, here are a handful of great records our nation's produced since January. Hopefully by the time most of you read this, you're halfway through the last work day before the long weekend, or better yet, already on your way to your parents place to veg out for days of good food and good company.
Five Canadian Albums to Give Thanks for This Year:
1. Feist - Metals
Having just come out this Tuesday (October 4), Feist's latest, Metals is one of the most recent national treasures we've gone gaga for this year. The singer is also more than famous enough for you to comfortably talk to your parents about without them looking at you like you're speaking some foreign language. All will get wonderfully quiet, though, as you're all swishing around that last sip of wine to the calming strains of down-home nouveau pop classics like "Get It Wrong, Get It Right" or "How Come You Never Go There."
2. Destroyer - Kaputt
There's a lot to be thankful for when it comes to Destroyer main man Dan Bejar. Since the '90s, the Vancouver-based singer-songwriter has been delivering album after album of finely crafted tunes, generally reinventing himself every few years. Fittingly, Kaputt found Bejar casting himself as a soft rock devotee, combining smoothly delivered narratives with a musical score the Sexy Sax Man would get behind. Altogether awesome, the set has us excited about the step in the evolution of Destroyer.
3. Braids - Native Speaker
If you're too far from home to make it in for a bite, there's nothing quite like an orphan's Thanksgiving. On top of still getting your fill of sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, you're hanging out with a bunch of people in your own age bracket, instead of your boring uncle Stephen. Chances are there will be a couple cuties you don't know in the mix as well. And if Montreal experimental pop phenoms Braids' "Lemonade," off their debut full-length Native Speaker, has taught us anything -- besides the fact that the band know how to mix dove coos and tribal rhythms perfectly with effects-laden sonics -- it's that you can pretty much hook up with someone in any social setting. Why not set yourself up with an after-dinner treat? As singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston sings: "We're all just sleeping around."
4. Dirty Beaches - Badlands
Forget that Planes, Trains and Automobiles takes place in New York and Chicago, the film captures the fact that many of us have to travel to be with our loved ones during the holiday season. Likewise, Dirty Beaches' breakthrough disc, Badlands, is another work of art we've been spinning that's focused on getting from point A to point B. That said, this paranoid jumble of '50s rock crooner yelps, dour surf guitar and drum machine loops is a little less family friendly than your average John Hughes film, with the protagonist ultimately skipping out on his sweetheart. Nevertheless, one of the year's best, for sure.
5. Vacant State - Fill the Void
Let's face it, not everyone likes the holidays. In fact, some people would probably rather sit at home and brood in the dark than break bread at the dinner table with their lousy, good for nothing siblings. Enter Vacant State's Fill the Void. Nihilistic blasts like "Alone" and "Dying World" fill the brief but brutally effective early '80s-indebted hardcore record (think Negative FX mixed with a healthy dose of Negative Approach) with enough scorn to fuel your rage for years to come. Though angry in all the right places, it will still go down smoother than those cold leftovers your idiot brother dropped off on his way home from mom and pops', the bastard.