Photograph by May Truong

Photograph by May Truong

As the decade comes to a close and music magazines and blogs publish their “Best Albums of the Decade” lists, we here at Ca Va Cool decided to take a different direction. Sure, we could tell you that Kid A or Is This It is the greatest album of the last ten years, but you’ve already heard that. Instead, we’ve decided to make a list of something we hold very close to our hearts, Canadian music. By counting down the 20 best albums of the decade, we hope to pay respect to truly classic albums and shine a light on some underappreciated gems which can be enjoyed no matter where you come from. From regional hits to international sensations, our list showcases the best albums that music scenes all over Canada, from Vancouver to the Maritimes, have released this past decade. Here, in all its glory, is Ca Va Cool’s Best Canadian Albums of the 2000s.

Photograph by Chris Smith

Photograph by Chris Smith

20. Joel Plaskett EmergencyTruthfully Truthfully (MapleMusic, 2003)

When thinking of the greatest Canadian music genres/scenes of this past decade, it’s seemingly impossible to forget the influence of East Coast pop music. We begin our list with Nova Scotia’s best indie musical export, Joel Plaskett. Carrying the torch from ’90s legends Sloan, Joel Plaskett maintained the chugging electric guitar of 70’s power pop, incorporating the lyrical romanticism of his father’s folk idols, all from his hometown Halifax. On the Emergency’s second album, Truthfully Truthfully, Plaskett’s showcases the best of his charmingly witty lyrics and hook-ridden guitar work. As lovably awkward as Jonathan Richman, Plaskett nonetheless seemed as comfortable rocking out as Angus Young. Following the release, Joel Plaskett became a household name to Canadian music fans. He has been nominated twice for the Polaris Music Prize for his later work, produced countless albums for young East Coast bands, including the wonderful Little Jabs by Two Hours Traffic, and he still lives in Nova Scotia. — Daniel Hernandez

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— , December 7, 2009    7 Comments

Handsome Furs

A couple of weeks ago, the Polaris Music Prize announced its  long list of nominees for 2009. Each year the prize is awarded to the best Canadian album chosen by a jury of a hundred-odd music writers, editors and bloggers from all over the country. Any album produced in Canada within the last year by a Canadian band is eligible for nomination. How it goes is that jury members select their five favourite albums, and the top forty make the Polaris long list. A few weeks later, after the albums on the long list have been played repeatedly and agonized over, the Jury selects their top ten for the Polaris short list. This year the short list will be announced on July 7 and the grand prize, an amazing $20,000, will be awarded on September 21.

The Polaris Music Prize was started a mere three years ago in 2006. The very first winner of the prize was Final Fantasy for his album He Poos Clouds. Since then the contest has served to assist numerous Canadian artists by promoting their albums and giving a massive boost to its winners. In 2007, Patrick Watson won for his album Close to Paradise and in 2009 Caribou won for Andorra. Other giants have been included in the Polaris short list for their remarkable releases, including Broken Social Scene, Arcade Fire, Feist, Miracle Fortress, the New Pornographers, Sarah Harmer, the Weakerthans, and the list goes on and on.

This year’s long list features a ton of amazing Canadian talent. Many bands are fresh members of the music scene and many are well-established veterans. The Arkells, Beast, and Coeur de Pirate have all been nominated for debut albums, whereas Metric, The Stills, Martha Wainwright and Leonard Cohen are all recognized for their ongoing work. Patrick Watson is back with another album after his big win two years ago, as are Wolf Parade, Junior Boys, Joel Plaskett and Chad VanGaalen who also all made the short list in 2007. Finally, Ca Va Cool favourites Japandroids, Handsome Furs, and Pink Mountaintops made this year’s long list, much to Ca Va pride.

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— , July 1, 2009    27 Comments

Dan Deacon

Hey y’all. It’s been a while since my last mixtape but I promise this one is wicked awesome to make up for the past few months. I’ve been busy with final exams and…graduating. So, if you’ve graduated, this is in dedication to you! And if not, it’s in dedication to you anyways! To summer and adventures! Let’s celebrate! In the words of ‘Ye: “Yes, barely pass any and every class, looking at every ass, cheated on every test. I guess this is my dissertation. Homie this shit is basic, so welcome to graduation! Get on down!”

DownloadWelcome to Graduation Mixtape

Pet Shop Boys

01 | Pet Shop Boys – Did You See Me Coming?

Despite the fact that Yes is Pet Shop Boys 10th studio album, they show no signs of slowing down powering out hits like this one. The entire album is great to listen to and ranks right up with their previous release Fundamental that gave synth pop a new face of minimalism. This track destroys the dance floors and will be Pet Shop Boys’ next single from Yes!

Röyksopp

02 | Röyksopp – The Girl and the Robot

Aaaah how we all love Puffball Mushroom (way to represent in costume Torbjørn)! Junior is an album that slightly moves away from the more downtempo ambient tendencies of Melody A.M. and the Understanding with songs like ‘Happy Up Here’, ‘Tricky Tricky’, ‘Vision One’, and this one, ‘The Girl and the Robot’. Watch the video for the latter below. It totally kicks ass and gets me excited for a potential Röyksopp tour…if the stage set up is anything like the one in the video, I will be so stoked! I love Robyn too, she knows how to shake it.

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— , May 25, 2009    3 Comments