GETTING INTO: Canadian Music, As Chosen By Sightlines

Sightlines

Canadian bands have excelled in their own subgenres of alternative music over the last few years and whether it be Despised Icon, Billy Talent, or Alexisonfire, the North American territory has spawned some of the best critically acclaimed talent on the planet. The days of celebrating Nickelback and Bryan Adams leading the way as the country’s musical exports are long gone, as the reputable, hard-working force of the likes of Japandroids and White Lung have broken through and become household names.

Enter 2016, and the new wave of Canada’s finest is ready to be announced to the world. Vancouver based grunge pop-punks Sightlines are the modern day answer to Jawbreaker and dropped their debut record ‘North’ back in April. Singer Eric Axen took the time to get us up to speed with the underground scene in Canada and highlighted five bands that are well worth your time.



CROSSED WIRES

Halifax

If there’s a sweet spot between pop-punk and garage, this band hits it dead centre. Buzzsaw guitars with a hit of psychedelia combine with smart, deadpan vocals delivering hauntingly relatable lyrics. A simple but effective brew.

Best tracks:
Cornered
Jinx
Young Adults



HEXRAY

Calgary

Hexray doesn’t sound like Superchunk, but both bands craft songs where once I’ve heard them a few times, it’s hard to imagine I haven’t known them my whole life. Listen and you’ll find timeless pop comprised of effortless riffs and meandering vocal harmonies that won’t leave your brain.

Best tracks:
Helicopter
Saxophone
Dancing



MULLIGRUB

Winnipeg

For such a small city, the number of bands to come from Winnipeg featuring deftly lyrical songwriters (think: Weakerthans, Paperbacks, Sixty Stories) seems to defy odds. Add to that list Mulligrub, who just released one of my favourite albums of 2016. These songs speak for themselves.

Best tracks:
Canadian Classic
Mountains & Houses
Europe



SLOW LEARNERS

Vancouver

“Best kept secret” is sometimes code for “band that doesn’t tour much” and that’s possibly true of Slow Learners. Often in the shadow of related acts like Baptists and Ladyhawk, Slow Learners have quietly released some of the best sludgy guitar-pop to ever come out of Vancouver.

Best tracks:
Comb Over
Habit
Grocery Store



SPRUCE TRAP

Vancouver

While post-rock like bands like Do Make Say Think and Explosions in the Sky have surely made some of the most powerful music of the last 15 years, often their imitators sound like they’re trapped in some sort of derivative, recent-history time capsule. Spruce Trap manages to somehow keep the genre fresh, particularly with their explosive, transformative live shows.

Best tracks:
Logan
The Answer At The End Of Everything
Earth To Far Land


Sightlines’ record ‘North’ is out now, via Big Smoke Records, and is available to buy on vinyl at (Homebird Records) or digitally via the band’s (Bandcamp). Keep up to date with the band on (Facebook) and (Twitter).

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