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.


Coast to Coast to Coast (Baffled Octopi) 25 Best Canadian Short Albums/EPs of 2022

by Mark Anthony Brennan

25. ‘Dislocation’ by danes

The abrasive rumbling of Vancouver’s danes does not detract from the post-rock artistry at work, in fact it enhances it.

24. ‘Attention Span’ by hundredmillionthousand

A dazzling, eclectic mix from Edmonton experimental composer Noel Fanaeian.

23. ‘Stonedhenge’ by DRUG SAUNA

Calgary stoner duo DRUG SAUNA play doom metal at a funeral’s pace.

22. ‘Both Feet in the World, At Least I Can Stand‘ by Laura Hickli

Hickli’s artful chamber pop is delightful in unexpected ways.

21. ‘The Fool‘ by Krill Williams

Krill Williams’ innate quirkiness draws you into their dreamy, bedroom goodness.

20. ‘185 on the Corner’ by Paul Jacobs

More woozy, psych-pop from Montreal’s Paul Jacobs.

19. ‘nutty grotto’ by divorcer

Crazy unconventional song structures make this outing by divorcer a post-punk pop treat.

18. ‘Private Lives’ by Private Lives

Composed of members of Pale Lips, Lonely Parade and Priors, Private Lives hits the sweet spot between jangling post-punk and experimental noise rock.

17. ‘Sham Family’ by Sham Family

Things go from direct in-your-face rock to the downright strange on this debut from Sham Family.

16. ‘Visibly Choked’ by Visibly Choked

Refreshingly inventive art-punk, occasionally melodic and occasionally abrasive.

15. ‘Le voyage de M. Lonely dans la lune’ by Elephant Stone

Elephant Stone sing in French in this delightful psych-rock adventure.

14. ‘Joyful Joyful’ by Joyful Joyful

Cormac Culkeen and Dave Grenon (aka Joyful Joyful) gift us this combination of unique soaring vocals and electronic drone.

13. ‘Tired and Unwell at Pandora’s Box’ by SoyJoy

An intimate recording of SoyJoy’s idiosyncratic confessional strange-folk.

12. ‘I’ve Never Met a Stranger’ by Picastro

Veterans Picastro still entrance us with their off-beat charm.

11. ‘In Mind’ by TRUTH

Lo-fi and personal recording of Monica McGregor’s spacey, sparse creations.

10. ‘Honest Injun’ by TJ Felix

A wild collection of experimental basement numbers reflecting on growing up Indigenous.

9. ‘Hey’ by Diamondtown

Nova Scotia supergroup Diamondtown lay down an impeccable EP of shimmering psych-folk.

8. ‘Spellbook’ by Michael Slumber

Wandering through Michael Slumber’s spell-binding songs is a trippy experience.

7. ‘Hard Flirt’ by Yessica Woahneil & Danny Kidd

An irresistible collection of low-key folk-punk musings.

6. ‘Stars We Lost’ by Lammping

In a year of great psych-rock, ‘Stars We Lost’, delivered with unbridled exuberance, takes the cake.

5. Escape from Lizard City’ by Megamall

Playful punk-pop with aggressive undertones in a dazzling debut.

4. ‘Psych Pedal’ by Bad Pop

A dreamy wooziness pervades this frenetic headlong drive into the realm of post-everything.

3. ‘Hard to be a God’ by Whitney K.

It sounds awfully vain, but with this collection of quirky, off-beat ballads, the shoes fits.

2. ‘Mal Casual’ by Jared Jackel’s Bad Vibrations

Nothing but good vibrations in these psychedelic cowboy blues.


Hardcore punk with an artsy edge thanks to clever lyrical statements, sometimes spoken, sometimes sung, sometimes screamed.

Irregular Dreams’ Favourite Videos of 2022

These are our ten favourites of all the videos that have appeared on our pages in 2022:

“Tongues” by Tanya Tagaq

Tagaq’s song about the colonial attempt to extinguish native languages, with potent imagery by Caitlin Veitch.

“Walking Feels Slow” by Eliza Niemi

The strange simplicity of Ali Vanderkruyk’s video perfectly matches the oddly-delivered confessional prose of Eliza Niemi.

“Which Way” by Amai Kuda et Les Bois

In conjunction with Spoof Animation, Amai Kuda creates a somewhat fantastical Africa while depicting its history.

“Turn to Rust” by AUS!Funkt

Prince Amponsah is the star in this grim but stylish look at urban dystopia to the sounds of post-punk despair.

“The Weeping Man” by By Divine Right

The poignant strains of “The Weeping Man” are set against black and white images of the city at dusk, with some of the most imaginative uses of stop-motion we’ve ever seen.

“Carnival of The Ghosts” by Kobo Town

Mariano Franco’s video gets increasingly fanciful (and animated) as the calypso-rock of Kobo Town rolls on.

“God Complex” by Gentle Party

The experimental chamber pop of Gentle Party is treated to some truly inventive animation by Eva Dominelli.

“Tourist Town” by JP Lancaster and Jared Jackel’s Bad Vibrations

90’s CGI is a good choice of aesthetic for the warped tune by JP Lancaster and Jared Jackel.

“Chattels” by Brava Kilo and Annie Sumi

Chattels is in reference to the personal items confiscated from Japanese/Canadians entering internment camps. Part of the art project ‘Kintsugi’ by Brian Kobayakawa (Brava Kilo) and Annie Sumi.

“Natural” by 36?

Probably the weirdest video of the year, and that is really saying something.

Irregular Dreams’ Best Songs: November

Here are our ten faves right now:

“Fantasy (ft. Les Deuxluxes)” by ALIAS

“Enny One Wil Love You” by Pony Girl

“Ether” by Noise Unit

“Chattels” by Brava Kilo and Annie Sumi

“Subatomic Love” by Pillars of a Twisted City

“im so happy” by EKKSTACY

“Chicken Nuggets” by A Hundred Years

“Battle Cry” byAyria

“Tourist Town” by JP Lancaster and Jared Jackel’s Bad Vibrations

“Precious Life (Last Stand of the Dive Bar Hoodrats)” by TJ Felix & The Wino Delegates

Irregular Dreams’ Best Songs of April

These are our 10 favourite tunes right now:

“Your Scarf Smelled” by Yessica Woahneil

“Late Night Streamer” by Bad Pop

“The Woodwork” by Jared Jackel’s Bad Vibrations

“The Killer Whale” by No Museums

“Everlasting Moor” by Lammping

“Run” by the r.a.p.

“Sweet Rose” by Heaven for Real

“Monday Mexico” by Chiquita Magic

“Jesus Was a Trans Girl” by Kitty Prozac

“A Decision of the Flower” by Mahogany Frog

Music to Your Ears: 5 Albums You Simply Must Hear

Reviews by Mark Anthony Brennan

‘Subterranea’ by Sunglaciers

Calgary’s Sunglaciers release their second full-length album with a sense of self-assurance. There may be strains of ‘80s post-punk wave, but this is no nostalgia trip, as the band merely takes this as a strong influence as they move confidently forward with their own sound.

Although the band forges a strong sense of identity, giving ‘Subterranea’ a sonic cohesion, there is definitely no “sameness” here. Quite the contrary, as each track stands as its own island of creativity. “Out of My Skull” has cold, angular vocals set against a gurgling bed of synths, whereas “Draw Me In” is light and bouncy, with a hopeful innocence. “Avoidance” has a sense of urgency in its bass-propelled drive and strident electronics, but when you get to the closing track “Roundabout” the pace is more leisurely as the band takes their time exploring jazzy moods.

With ‘Subterranea’ Sunglaciers position themselves as a band to be reckoned with, achieving that delicate balance of being invitingly familiar and yet also challenging to your expectations.

‘Psych Pedal’ by Bad Pop

The Vancouver band Bad Pop focus on damn good writing and song structure and don’t seem to care about easy categorization. Take their latest offering ‘Pysch Pedal’ for example — what it lacks in quantity (just 6 tracks) it makes up for in highly original quality.

“Come Down Here” is a high-tempo blast of clever melody that takes on a moodier tone towards the end. The goofy psych-pop strains of “The Ostrich” are nicely balanced by abrasive, noisy guitar, whereas “Mid 2000s Tour Song” just sounds like a weird ballad from an alternative universe. The highlight is perhaps “Late Night Streamer”, which sounds like a lullaby to a lysergic fever-dream. 

‘Psych Pedal’ is certainly in reference to “psychedelic”, but this is nothing like your standard psych-rock album. It is, in fact, a small package with as much wonderful variety as ‘Sgt. Pepper’. 

‘Mexico Sexi Time’ by Chiquita Magic

Speaking of albums that are hard to categorize, get a hold of this beauty. Colombian-Canadian artist Chiquita Magic (Isis Giraldo) creates mystical concoctions of bedroom pop, electronica and exotic beats that will make you head spin with delight.

Giraldo’s music is mostly mesmerizing, such as “Let Me Hab-it” with its mischievous repetitive vocals and humming synths, and the soaring lyricism of “Dreams Come True”. However, she can change things up with startling entries like “Burgundy” with its discordant electronic flashes, and the drum’n’bass pounding in “Keep Me Fresh”.  “Monday Mexico” even has a threatening post-punk vibe, but it still bounces with fast-paced latinx chatter.

If you want to explore fun mash-ups of different styles then this is your album, but don’t come with any expectations because Chiquita Magic will dispel them all. 

‘Mal Casual’ by Jared Jackel’s Bad Vibrations

Penticton, in BC’s Okanagan Valley, used to be a cowboy town, being a hub of the surrounding ranch country. Today it is very hard to find its rawhide roots amidst the never-ending strip-malls, fast-food outlets and flashy tourist attractions. That’s perhaps why local musician Jared Jackel’s music makes sense — edgy, outsider psychedelia served over a bed of honk-tonk rhythms.

“Here We Come Galloping” could be taken as a Marty Robbins ode, but the hesitant, quirky vocals don’t quite match the gospel/country vibe. The moody “Mal Casual” has even less tumbleweed connection to it, with an acid rock intro and space/jazz rhythms. The stand-out track is arguably “The Woodwork”, a 3-minute epic of gothic, rootsy blues with a hazy lysergic veneer.

Being more psychedelic and less country, ‘Mal Casual’ isn’t exactly Lee Hazlewood reincarnate, but maybe it is what Hazlewood would be getting into if he was at his prime today.

‘Faust by Mahogany Frog’ by Mahogany Frog

Winnipeg’s Mahogany Frog are known to be highly dramatic in their progressive rock/jazz adventures, but they really outdo themselves in taking on ‘Faust’, an epic tale of existentialism, temptation, corruption, and ultimately redemption.

MF take on these elements with gusto. An early track, “Faust I (Including: Alchemy)”, has a brooding, electronic middle section that builds to a shrieking climax of electric guitars, symbolic of the evil, seductive power of Mephistopheles. The beauty of nature is reflected in the beautifully melodic “A Decision of the Flower”, whereas the heavy percussion of “Flying Carpet II: Sword Fight” gives a sense of struggle. To top it all off “Faust III: Ascension” starts with the strident guitar work of earlier tracks but then settles into a more triumphant ending as Faust achieves final redemption.

Listener more used to shorter bursts of instant sound gratification may find this stodgy and even bombastic. However, those who appreciate longer pieces with slowly evolving themes will find well over an hour of enjoyment here.