10. Elliott Vincent Jones – Arto Arto
Elliott Vincent Jones came out of the gate super strong with his first single “Acapulco” last year, and the subsequent EP doesn’t disappoint. Pure fun electro is on order here with a stellar six songs, each as danceable as the last.
Available via iTunes
9. Coarse Language – Worried Man
Coarse Language is the solo project of Telephone Explosion founder and Teenanger guitarist Jon Schouten, who here, as we said before, could be the spiritual successor of Silent Shout fave Kontravoid, who had a hand in mixing this record. Now with the release of Worried Man, Coarse Language joins him in the Hall of Fame of truly original mood manipulators.
8. Braids – Companion
Recorded at the same time as last year’s phenomenal Deep in the Iris, Braids’ Companion is its perfect, erm, companion piece. Here we have four songs that showcase the band’s perfect interplay between twitchy drums, deeply layered arrangements and Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s soaring whispy vocals.
7. E1sbar – Televisual
Piper Davis can do no wrong, as her long history of cool projects proves, and E1sbar sophomore EP is another notch in her belt of excellence. The duo’s sound hasn’t changed since their debut: their ice-cold future-soul electropop has only become more intricate and fully realized.
6. Special Costello – Strange Beauty
Special Costello reemphasizes his ineherent specialness with the Strange Beauty EP, his personal ode to Prince after his untimely death earlier this year. The tracks go everywhere we wouldn’t have it any other way since that’s what we’ve come to expect and love from the solo melancholy electronic popster.
5. Princess Century – Rendezvous
Princess Century’s Rendezvous is deliciously aggressive, with each song twisting and turning with equal parts anxiety and engrossing, danceable melody. Repetition and the slow build-up of tension, and catharsis, make this an engrossing listen, whether on the dancefloor or blasting through headphones as you try to work.
4. LA Timpa – Animal
Toronto’s LA Timpa’s minimalist debut is one of the most unique and fascinating releases of the year. Clearly there’s a beyond-his-years maturity from the 21 year-old producer and we’re clamouring to hear what he does in the future.
3. Majical Cloudz – Wait & See
Majical Cloudz never fail to astonish, and the superb strength of this EP–tragically their official swansong as a band–is the perfect honing of their brand of self-reflective meditative pop.
Available via iTunes.
2. Plazas – Empathy
Vancouver’s Savana Salloum-Hedgecock started a musical project as part of a school assignment, but the resulting material grew well past its humble beginnings and became Plazas. Her debut EP is built with lots of layers: spacey high-pitched notes, quickly articulated bass, percussive pops and shakes, and any sound a laptop could possibly make, all combined into a form of pixelated, pastel and grand bedroom pop. Now located in Toronto, she’s poised to take the city by surprise.
1. Scott Hardware – Mutate Repeat Infinity
Scott Hardware (formerly Ken Park) had our top album of 2014, so we’re thrilled that his follow-up lives up to our expectations. The album is a sonic leap forward for the Toronto producer, while still maintaining the inherent hazy chillness we fell in love with in the first place. Required listening for all fans of good music.