While the Polaris Music Prize isn’t accepting any new submissions for 2014 — they, after all, just named their shortlist, featuring ex-AUX Magazine cover stars Mac DeMarco and Owen Pallett — the ongoing march of Canadian music doesn’t stop. Still, it’s a happy coincidence that our August edition skews Canadian; we’re not even trying to be patriotic here, but it just happens to be a damn good month for locally harvested music.
The best of the crop, however, is maritime-bred, Toronto-dwelling Alvvays, who grace our cover this month (and will surely land on plenty of year-end lists come December). While their self-titled debut turned plenty of heads with its grin-inducing brand of jangle-pop, the band has deep roots in Canadian music history: Deadpan singer Molly Rankin cut her teeth with the Rankin Family, while P.E.I.-born guitarist Alec O’Hanley (Two Hours Traffic) led the east coast’s pop revival in the mid-‘00s. And as of this August, they’re our de facto soundtrack to the summer.
Dig even further into this issue, and you’ll find an deeper well of Canadian talent still: We got Vancouver twee-pop architect Rose Melberg, who surely influenced this month’s cover stars, to detail her long history with the genre; Hogtown’s Annabelle Lee explains her Mexican Slang project, who just cut Inside the Velvet Castle via Toronto noise imprint Buzz Records; Patti Cake, meanwhile, explains how to pair punk and Broadway singing.
But we’re not simply fixated on emerging Canadian acts. Steel Train / Fun.’s Jack Antonoff stops in to detail his Jersey-bred, ’80-indebted pop project, Bleachers.
We also spoke with metal legend Rob Halford on the eve of WorldPride to talk about Judas Priest’s much-anticipated new album, Redeemer of Souls. And elsewhere, we’ve compiled a list of Can-centric albums that turn legal drinking age across the nation this year—just in case you wanted to feel old.
It’s been a helluva month, August. Peace out.
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