I can say with only a minimal amount of hyperbole that this may very well in fact be the worst year for music since the turn of the millennium. Worse than 2013, worse than 2007 even.
It’s hard to break from my regular talking points when contemporary artists refuse to move forward with their sound and abandon the reductive notion that analog/organic production sounds better, so here we are yet again with another few paragraphs about how bad modern music sounds.
Harry Styles is not the king of pop. It’s pretty obvious that Rolling Stone only did this to fan the flames of controversy and reignite some interest in their failing magazine, but it’s still a very silly #HotTake. Styles may have the biggest song of 2022 with “As it Was” but how many others does he have to back it up? The bland and flavourless “Watermelon Sugar”? He may very well have a successful career in the future but right now he’s just the moppet of the moment, enjoying the same sort of fervour that surrounds his fellow countrymen The 1975. The only advantage he has over them is that he’s got a few recognizable hits around the beginning of his solo career, while the 1975 are well over a decade in and haven’t had one big single to date.
Oh, did you hear? That genre you like is back in style.
[Barenaked Ladies voice] It’s been…
…six years since I wrote up this fairly thorough but not quite full list of Canadian alternative bands that have all but disappeared from the mainstream conversation, both domestically and internationally. I’ve returned to do a similar piece on bands that have rightfully earned their place in alternative rock history in this country.
Now, a disclaimer. I fully and entirely admit I’m not as well-versed in classic Canadian rock. You will not find Rush or Goddo or Honeymoon Suite here. Nor will you find new wavers like The Spoons or Gowan, despite them falling under the “alternative” umbrella. This post is reserved for the big names in alternative rock from the 90s, the 00s, and the 10s, though it may occasionally include a handful progenitors that originated in the 80s.
Now, a second disclaimer, I realize that I may sometimes come across as dismissive or harsh when I write. I apologize for this and assure you that I enjoy almost the entire catalogues of all these artists, and it will be very obvious when I specifically do not like one. Otherwise you can assume that I listen to them regularly, and when speaking about their popularity am doing it only from a commercial standpoint, not a personal one.
I listened to the new Lady Gaga song. The one written for the new Top Gun movie. Once, twice, three times. I then took pause, and decided to listen to it again completely divorced from my ultra-critical brain.