By: Manuela Vega
With albums like Arcade Fire’s eclectic Everything Now and Daniel Caesar’s gorgeous debut Freudian, there’s no doubt that Canadian musicians were standouts in 2017. While artists set the bar high last year, there’s plenty of reason to believe that 2018 will also introduce a multitude of memorable tracks. Be sure to look out for these six albums this year!
6) Ought: Room Inside the World
This Montreal band has released the singles ”These 3 Things” and “Disgraced in America” from their upcoming album, Room Inside the World. If their LP is anything like the singles, Feb. 16 is bound to bring a collection of reflective, existential anthems. Ought captures the essence of isolation and contemplation in their melancholy riffs, but they mix up their rhythms to the point that you can justify happily dancing to a sad song.
5) Born Ruffians: Uncle, Duke, & The Chief
Continuing their stream of passionate belting and upbeat rhythms, Born Ruffians introduces a sense of true candidness on what has been released from their fifth full-length album Uncle, Duke, & The Chief. Between touching on the inability to mask feelings of a longing heart in “Miss You,” accepting the inevitability of death in “Forget Me,” and regretting the vulnerability of an open heart in “Love Too Soon,” the Toronto band sets up an album of soft, jangly tunes to sing along to on Feb. 16.
4) Chromeo: TBA
Guitarist and lead-singer Dave 1 and multi-instrumentalist P-Thugg have been avidly sharing on Instagram and Twitter their dedication to perfecting the production of their electronic-funk album due in the spring. The first single “Juice” is an exuberant synthesized jam about a partner who gets shamelessly hit on in public because she’s “got the juice.” The light-energy, feel-good song continues to play on this double meaning. Dave 1 told Beats 1 that this will be their “most robust, conceptually tight album.”
3) Metric: TBA
Metric has a knack for creating lively hits that express liberation with every head-bob, sway, or strut. Combining synths, lush beats, and tight strums, paired with lead singer Emily Haines’ vibrant voice has worked especially well for the band on past highly regarded albums, such as Fantasies (2009) and Synthetica (2012). Although there’s still no new album title or release date, the quartet has been teasing fans on Instagram with pictures of studio visits since September. Since their last album Pagans in Vegas (2015), Haines has released a solo album in a style different from that of her band’s, with a distinct focus on vocals and reflection, raising the question of whether or not 2018 will be the year that Metric goes in a totally new direction.
2) Rhye: Blood
Former Canadian solo-artist Mike Milosh and Danish producer Robin Braun are the duo behind Rhye’s fusion sound. The 2018 pre-release of Blood showcases the steady electronic, folky jazz that backs delicate vocals on provocative works like “Taste” and soothing pieces like “Song for You.” Releasing the rest of their album on Feb. 2, Rhye will surely bring a diverse range of sounds to an increasingly contemporary form of R&B.
1) Charlotte Day Wilson: Stone Woman
The Toronto singer-songwriter and producer announced this month that her new EP Stone Woman will be released on Feb. 23. Since her melodious R&B EP CDW debuted in 2016, Wilson has been captivating listeners with her effortless elegance. Although tracks from CDW like “Work” and “Find You” are hypnotically mellow, the 2018 single “Nothing New” ripples with calculated power, rising and settling around the easy flow of Wilson’s formidable voice. It sets the stage for Stone Woman to be as enchanting as her previous release.
This piece was edited by Valerie Dittrich.