Coast to Coast to Coast (Baffled Octopi) 25 Best Canadian Songs of 2022

by Mark Anthony Brennan

25. “Blue Juniper” by The Sylvia Platters

Abbotsford/Vancouver band The Sylvia Platters hit a career height with this ’60s sunshine rock-inspired gem.

24. “In Between the Bars” by Krill Williams

A breezy breath of shoegaze air from the brilliant Krill Williams from Calgary.

23. “Box of Glass (ft. Zara Marie)” by Nigel Young

The quirkiness of this track, featuring vocals by Zara Marie, will pull you in, so enjoy the slacker/psych ride.


The raw, angry sounds of London’s MVLL CRIMES are a fun blast.

21. “Late Night Streamer” by Bad Pop

The band formerly known as Hot Panda weave low-key, slightly warped magic.

20. “Motorbrains” by Ultra Mega

The Winnipeg band’s endearing and hilarious recollection of a childhood menace known as Motorbrains.

19. “SUNAUVVA” by Beatrice Deer

Beatrice Deer’s track bristles with originality and energy.

18. “Sarajevo” by Eamon McGrath

A gripping epic about the city of Sarajevo.

17. “Gentle on My Mind” by GODFREE

Country EDM? Check out Montreal producer GODFREE’s take on an old Glen Campbell song.

16. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by TRUTH

Nanaimo’s Monica McGregor (aka TRUTH) renders a sparse but highly imaginative take on a movie classic.

15. “Tourist Town” by JP Lancaster & Jared Jackel’s Bad Vibrations

This tune strikes a wonderful balance between Lancaster’s cool, jazzy vibes and Jackel’s warped psychedelic leanings.

14. “Pull Me Up” by dumb

An ingeniously crafted tune that captures the slacker soul of Vancouver.

13. “Never Been” by Darkometro

A gorgeous tune with eternal grace, from the new duo Darkometro.

12. “Hail Mary (ft. Rasheed Chappell)” by Sargeant X Comrade

A startlingly original work of contemporary R&B, from Calgary’s Yolanda Sargeant with producer Comrade.

11. “Tyrants Palace” by Dead Tired

A stupendous riff highlights this joyride of growling menace.

10. “Mirror” by Russell Louder

Russell again brings their magical touch to experimental dance music.

9. “I Don’t Think We Can Be Friends” by TOVI

Rebecca Emms (aka TOVI) with an electronic blast fuelled with trip-hop angst.

8. “Two Faced” by Megamall

Vancouver garage band Megamall hit a grungy/emo sweet spot.

7. “Chattels” by Brava Kilo & Annie Sumi

A charming tune which is deliberated jumbled to represent the chaos created when goods were confiscated from prisoners at Internment Camps for Japanese/Canadians during WW II.

6. “High Five” by Abby Sage

A lysergic folk groove with an enticing kick.

5. “Teeth Agape” by Tanya Tagaq

Tagaq visceral growled vocals combined with exciting electronics makes for a cinematic experience.

4. “The Weeping Man” by By Divine Right

This beautiful track by the Toronto art rockers is mournful and ethereal.

3. “Chemical Emotion” by JEEN.

Absolutely spellbinding work of pop-rock from singer-songwriter JEEN.

2. “Set yourself free” by AUS!Funkt

Killer rhythms power this post-punk call to the masses.

1. “Walking Feels Slow” by Eliza Niemi

A soft folk charmer with a delightfully eccentric delivery.


Best of the Year (so far)

by Mark Anthony Brennan

Just as summer comes to an end we present our top picks of the year-to-date (Mark’s choices).

TOP 3 ALBUMS 2022:

Tanya Tagaq “Tongues”

TOVI “I Keep Floating Away”

AUS!Funkt “Turn To Rust”

Top 3 EPs 2022:

Megamall “Escape From Lizard City”

Krill Williams “The Fool”

Yessica Woahneil & Danny Kidd “Hard Flirt”

Top 5 Tracks 2022:

“Mirror” by Russell Louder

“Walking Feels Slow” by Eliza Niemi

“Tyrants Palace” by Dead Tired

“Two Faced” by Megamall

“Teeth Agape” by Tanya Tagaq

Five Albums You Simply Must Hear: Megamall, Blume, Kamikaze Nurse, Living Hour, Man Made Hill

Reviewed by Mark Anthony Brennan

‘Escape From Lizard City’ by Megamall

Vancouver’s Megamall hits the scene running with the ‘Escape From Lizard City’, an EP that somehow has the heft of an album. Powered by Alie Lynch’s idiosyncratic vocals, the band has a lethargic anger that is fed up but far from done in.

The EP kicks off with the bouncy punk-pop number “With Abandon”, where we are introduced to Lynch’s tongue-in-cheek attitude. That attitude turns to a form of ambivalence in “Two Faced”, a classic Vancouver grunge/punk ode with contradictory lines like, “And it tears my whole life away/But if you glue my feet, I’ll stay”. “Playing the Part” continues in a similar vein, whereas “Want You to Stay” demonstrates a more experimental edge, and the fantastic “1st Floor Apartment” is highly melodic and energetic.

The band behind Lynch proves to be very clever in not only blasting out in force when necessary but also providing subtle input, such as the burbling guitars in “Two Faced”. Megamall are the full package and ‘Escape from Lizard City’ is a brilliant introduction.

‘Waves of Love’ by Blume

Blume is one of those artists that sounds like an entire band but it is actually the solo effort of Edmonton’s Arthur Bennell. Singular and enigmatic, Bennell eschews any musical trends but creates his own style of psych-pop.

On ‘Waves of Love’ Bennell introduces more solid beats to his mix of electronics and samples. The overall feel is lysergic but it is executed in various forms, such as the south-west gothic blues vibe of “I Just Don’t Know” and the americana undertones of “What Its Like”. On most tracks Bennell voice is feathery light, almost non-existent, which serves to focus attention on the trippy music. However, on the standout track “Earth Shaker” his voice is more prominent, although heavily processed.

‘Waves of Love’ is perhaps the best thing Bennell has produced, highlighting as it does his unique ability to craft intelligent, psych-tinged music.

‘Stimuloso’ by Kamikaze Nurse

There is no doubt that Kamikaze Nurse kicks ass, but their style is something quite original. This is essentially heavy, drum-based shoegaze but lead singer KC Wei and crew like to destroy every expectation you have. 

The opener “Boom Josie” is certainly heavy and gazy, but the charm lies in its melody and also in the way the beautiful vocals are set against discordant guitars. The title track “Stimuloso” is another rocker with near-metal guitar chords, where a male voice booms sonorously while Wei screams. Later a cataclysm of guitars is accompanied by whoops from Wei. “Never Better” has more pop sensibilities, but still operates from a heavy bass end, while “Work+Days” plays over a murky, gauzy base, but with guitars blaring.

Kamikaze Nurse sound like no other band, but once you get into their groove you won’t want to hear any other band.

‘Someday is Today’ by Living Hour

Delving into the latest album by Winnipeg’s Living Hour is like diving into a pool of swirling, dreamy gauze. The songs on ‘Someday is Today’ are products of subtle construction where the ethereal voice of lead singer Sam Sarty is used as yet another instrument, resulting in an atmospheric, airy froth.

On “Lemons and Gin” Sarty self-harmonizes a virtual flow of consciousness, while guitars swoon melodiously over a bath of warm bass. Elsewhere, Sarty harmonizes with guitarist Gilad Carroll and Adam Soloway on tracks like “Exploding Rain” and “Curve” to equally great effect. Arguably the standout track is “No Body”, where everything (drums, bass, guitar, vocals) comes together in shoegaze glory.

Mood may dominate on ‘Someday is Today’ but that is because the individual musical elements are dove-tailed into one another so tightly as to be an impenetrable whole.

‘Mirage Repair’ by Man Made Hill

Man Made Hill is another one-man-band in the form of Randy Gagne from Hamilton. He has developed a strange musical persona that explores experimental electronic pop, with ‘Mirage Repair’ representing his most intriguing release to date.

The album starts off with an instrumental, “One False Second”, a post-punk track with equal parts beauty and fearful apprehension. Then comes “Eating the Screen”, a slinky work of electronica with short funky spurts of vocals. Elsewhere, the album continues to surprise with unexpected genres sneaking in. “Body Thoughts” is an angular work of cosmic funk, while the hip-hoppy “Formaldehyde Eyes” features urban spoken word, and “SO HI MF” is simply a warped and weird piece of music.

The album ‘Mirage Repair’ has a lot to offer, so enjoy discovering its many delights. 

Irregular Dreams’ Best Songs of September

Here are our ten favourite tracks right now:

“God Is” by The Secret Beach

“Box of Glass (ft. Zara Marie)” by Nigel Young

“Webbed Feet” by Mother Sun

“Tyrants Palace” by Dead Tired

“Deux yeux au fond d’une pièce noire” by Jonathan Personne

“Earth Shaker” by Blume

“Westbound” by Naked By The Fire

“Meatgrindr” by Little Fire

“Body Thoughts” by Man Made Hill

“Natural” by 36?