The top songs from Toronto artists in 2015 dominated the world and further entrenched the city's reputation as a musical hot spot. In the digital era where there's such a strong emphasis on releasing great singles instead of full lengths, these Toronto musicians pulled off an undeniably difficult task in creating songs that will stay with people for years to come.
Here are my picks for this year's top songs by Toronto bands and artists.
The Weeknd - "Can't Feel My Face"
Gaining global praise and comparisons to the legendary Michael Jackson, The Weeknd came out swinging with his smash hit "Can't Feel My Face." When this track was released this summer, you likely heard it everywhere and even if The Weeknd isn't typically your thing, you probably loved it.
Jazz Cartier - "Switch/The Downtown Cliche"
Jazz Cartier exploded onto Toronto's rap scene earlier this year with his debut mixtape Marauding in Paradise. Hit single "Switch/The Downtown Cliche" begins with a down low beat mixed with Cartier's intoxicating voice and rapid fire lyrics. Here Cartier shows his strength in having a vast vocal range and being able to meld songs together seamlessly.
Fucked Up - "California Cold"
Punk band Fucked Up have been releasing their highly experimental zodiac series of EPs for nearly a decade now but really hit the gold mine with Year Of The Hare. "California Cold" opens with a peaceful droning guitar line before the band comes in full swing. The eight minute track takes a minimalist approach in the second half with a flute section and ambient sounds that you could easily get lost in.
Drake - "Hotline Bling"
Drake took the world by storm when he released this viral hit, which this list just wouldn't be complete without. The easygoing beat and ultra catchy chorus made this a smash hit coupled with a music video that has become the punch line of a million jokes on social media. "Hotline Bling" was a career defining moment for Drake, even if it never hit number one on Billboard.
Dead Tired - "Dead Tired"
This hardcore punk jam from former Alexisonfire frontman George Pettit's new band is a no nonsense head banger. The opening feedback is a perfect setup for the song's old school hardcore guitar riffs. "Dead Tired" sounds like early Black Flag with a heavier, updated sound. The production on the song sounds crisp yet raw enough to still have that dive bar feel to it.
Metric - "Cascades"
Electronic rock group Metric put out the irresistibly upbeat sounding "Cascades" as their second single before releasing Pagans In Vegas. The song begins with a heavy synth pop intro that will slip itself into your head and never leave. Vocalist Emily Haines' echoes along with the song, complementing the heavier synth sounds with her soft voice.
Lily Frost - "Don't Explain"
Singer songwriter Lily Frost sends you into a state of euphoria with her track "Don't Explain". The song has a strong jazz sound to it coupled with the haunting and soulful voice of Frost. The reverb-heavy guitar line that runs throughout the track vibrates to the inner depths of your mind and really sets it up as one of the most beautifully peaceful songs to come out of Toronto this year.
BadBadNotGood & Ghostface Killah ft. DOOM - "Ray Gun"
The mellow vibes brought from jazz trio BadBadNotGood coupled with Wu Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah and UK rapper DOOM's smooth rhymes was a match made in heaven. "Ray Gun" starts off with a smooth, clean jazz beat with Ghostface belting out serious lines in rapid succession. The song closes with a bass heavy section filled with lots of horns and great drum lines to seal it off.
Ritual - "Pisces"
Former Dead And Divine frontman Matt Tobin has never sounded more aggressive than he does with his new band Ritual. Lead single "Pisces" hits like a ton of bricks with enough catchy riffs to keep your head banging all day long. The song begins with a grinding guitar line that leads into an infectious groove before slamming you in the face with some exceptionally chaotic breakdowns.
Whitehorse - "Baby What's Wrong?"
Hamilton folk duo Whitehorse created an undeniably groovy song with "Baby What's Wrong?" Opening with a clicky drum track coupled with a calm bass track and a very western sounding guitar line, this song embraces you like a bonfire on a cool summer night. The vocal pairing of husband and wife Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland offers a haunting harmony.
What did I miss? Add your favourite Toronto songs of 2015 in the comments.
by Joe Smith-Engelhardt via blogTO