The Half-Year Review

2013 new year sparkler2013 has been a terrific year for music thus far, and it is only the start of July. Both in regards to Canadian music, as well as American and International music, this year has been fantastic so far and shows no signs of slowing down. Below will highlight some of the magnificent releases and shows that have taken place.

 

CANADIAN:

Hollerado release White Paint

The follow up to their 2010 release, Record in a Bag, was just as amazing as their first album, while also bringing the band to new heights. The album was different and satisfying and still remains one of the best albums of the year despite the fact that it was released in February. The full review can be found here: http://razmatazmag.com/?p=1821

 

Born Ruffians – Birthmarks 

With the release of what some are calling their best album yet, the Born Ruffians once again prove just how talented they are. With the help of Roger Leavens, who helped Luke Lalonde (lead singer of the Ruffians) with his solo album, the Born Ruffians created an album that should be heard by all. Read more here: http://razmatazmag.com/?p=2072

 

k-os – BLack on BLonde 

k-os’ long awaited double-album release that appeals to everyone. Combining the classic hip-hop and rap k-os that we’re used to, while also mixing in experimental and instrument k-os that is different and fantastic. This album is filled with many Canadian music heavyweights and cannot be praised enough. Read the review here: http://razmatazmag.com/?p=2226

 

City & Colour – The Hurry and the Harm

Alexisonfire’s soft singer is back with his fourth studio album, where each track on the album is just as great as the last. Read here for more information: http://razmatazmag.com/?p=2643

 

Arts & Crafts: Field Trip Festival + the reuniting of Broken Social Scene

One of the most exciting things to happen this year was the reunion of Broken Social Scene that took place at Arts & Crafts Field Trip Festival at Fork York. The festival featured many Arts & Crafts artists such as Zeus, Feist, The Darcys, and of course, Broken Social Scene, among others. You can read the coverage of the event here: http://razmatazmag.com/?p=2616

 

Arts & Crafts: X

Speaking of Arts & Crafts, the label released a fantastic collaborative album featuring pairings of artists on their labels working together and creating a song together. The results were amazing. Listen to the entire album on YouTube now, and read the review here: http://razmatazmag.com/?p=2702

 

Topanga turns into Pup

Toronto’s Topanga recently decided to change their name to Pup because they were unsatisfied with Disney bringing back the show that gave them their name (Boy Meets World, for those of you too young to remember) as a weird spin-off sequel. Although the name isn’t nearly as cool, the rerecorded version of their song ‘Lionheart’ that they recorded is a lot more punk and energetic. It can be listened to here: http://puptheband.bandcamp.com/track/lionheart. The new, punkier direction they seem to be going is very much welcomed.

 

NXNE

Obviously, the best thing to happen to Toronto and Canadian music every year is the North By Northeast festival. Art, movies, and free music – what else could you ask for? The festival spans across a few days and features, as mentioned, more free shows than you could attend. For deeper coverage, check out http://razmatazmag.com/?tag=nxne-2013

 

NON-CANADIAN:

Arctic Monkeys’ new single

The Arctic Monkeys released a new single that sounds somewhere between last year’s release ‘R U Mine’ and their 2009 release ‘Humbug’. Either way, it’s excellent. Listen for yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpOSxM0rNPM

 

Kanye West – Yeezus

Kanye’s most unique album to date might turn away a lot of people, but true fans will love every aspect of it. Filled with simple beats produced by a wide array of extraordinary producers including Rick Rubin, Daft Punk, and, of course, West himself, the album gives listeners a unique experience but leaves them wanting more.

 

Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

No doubt the best release of 2013 thus far, is the Queens of the Stone Age’s first album in too long. The album rocks very hard and is the best rock album since the Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light. Packed with many talented musicians, such as Dave Grohl, Elton John, and Trent Reznor, …Like Clockwork needs to be listened to. Read the review here: http://razmatazmag.com/?p=2714

 

The Strokes – Comedown Machine

The newest album from the Strokes, in my opinion, is their best yet. . . which is tough to say considering how great Is This It was. Read the full review here: http://razmatazmag.com/?p=1857

 

Now, a lot of amazing things have happened so far this year, but that’s not to say the rest of the year won’t be just as amazing? Here are a few things to look forward to:

 

Arctic Monkeys album and tour

As mentioned above, the Arctic Monkey’s single ‘Do I Wanna Know’ is from their upcoming album, along with their last year’s release ‘R U Mine’. They have also announced a tour to support the album, stopping in Toronto on September 15 at the Kool Haus.

 

Jay-Z – Magna Carta Holy Grail

Even if you’re not into rap, you can respect how influential Jay-Z is. This superstar released his new album on July 4, coming right off the success of his partner in crime Kanye West’s Yeezus.

 

MGMT – new self-titled album

Psychedelic rockers, MGMT, have announced that they are releasing a self-titled album on September 17. A single from the album called ‘Alien Days’ can be heard here: https://soundcloud.com/whoismgmt/alien-days

 

Hollerado goes on tour

It has been a while since Hollerado has been on a tour where they were the headliner. They recently finished up a tour with Billy Talent and Sum 41, and have played a few shows here and there, but it’s exciting to know they’ll be touring themselves for a while. Their shows are always exciting and if they stop in your city, it’s highly recommended you check them out. Like them on Facebook to stay updated on shows: https://www.facebook.com/hollerado

 

That’s all for now, but again, these were just a few things mentioned. There are far more reasons why this year has been fantastic already, and why it’ll continuing being fantastic, but that would take too long to type out.

 

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments!

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