by Team RTT


This is the list you’ve all been waiting for. Ride the Tempo’s Top Canadian Albums of 2014. This year, all the contributors were polled, so this list is based on the results of those who contributed as well as factors such as original review rating, blog popularity and actual listens from the editor.


20. Kandle- In Flames (Dare to Care Records)


This is one vocalist that we will see on bigger stages very soon.” – Tiana Feng



19. Doomsquad- Kalaboojie (Hand Drawn Dracula)


Kalaboogie takes us to new worlds, soundscapes and experiences.” – Tiana Feng


18. Rich Aucoin- Ephemeral (Bonsound)


“An inspirational pick me up.” – Laura Feeney

Ephemeral embodies what it feels like to be alive and live every moment to the fullest.” – Tiana Feng


17. Elephant Stone- The Three Poisons (Hidden Pony Records)


I honestly don’t know when this current wave of psychedelia will die down, but Elephant Stone would have us believe that you can just keep on riding that crest forever.” – Mark Anthony Brennan

16. Kalle Mattson- Someday The Moon Will Be Gold (Parliament of Trees)


“After you listen to this album, you’ll want to call up and hug your loved ones because someday, the moon really might be gold, but that’s useless if there aren’t people around to share it with.” -Tiana Feng


15. Alvvays- Alvvays (Royal Mountain Records/Polyvinyl Records)


“These 9 sun-kissed tunes are simple yet full of emotional depth.  The melodies are strong enough that all of them could be singles.” – Tiana Feng


14. Fucked Up- Glass Boys (Arts & Crafts/Matador Records)


There’s an inherent, “we’ll make the music we want” sort of ideal engrained into their ethos and its audible. It’s amazing that over 10+ years later they keep this alive in Glass Boys.” – Tiana Feng


13. Grey Lands- Songs for Other People (Paper Bag Records)


Once in while, however, a covers album comes along that is more than just a tribute – it makes an artistic statement of its own.”- Mark Anthony Brennan


12. Timber Timbre- Hot Dreams (Arts & Crafts)


Hot Dreams is incredibly creepy, leaving you to feel uneasy but at the same time draws you in like a black hole.” – Tiana Feng


11. Odonis Odonis- Hard Boiled Soft Boiled (Buzz Records)


For an album that was recorded 5 years ago, this was really fuckin’ good and relavant in 2014. There’s great confidence and intention that can be heard in this more aggressive sound. If this was written so long ago, I can’t wait for what they’ll release next.” – Tiana Feng


10. Bahamas- Bahamas is Afie (Universal/Brushfire Records)


“Bahamas is Afie is simply pleasant and inviting to the ears. It’s a record in a genre that usually fails to satisfy as a whole. Bahamas knows how to balance hooks with thoughtfulness and never leaves you too depressed or too cheery. If I had to choose an album to be stuck on an island with (from this year), I think Bahamas is Afie would be a strong contender.”- Tiana Feng


9. Badbadnotgood- III (Pirates Blend / Innovative Leisure)


“You’d not expect what you hear from this album to be of kids in the low 20s. Adding EDM elements to their jazz influenced tunes, the boys make improvisation and learning to play instruments super cool. III  will inspire young jamming friends to think beyond the confines of rock n’ roll into new territory.” – Tiana Feng


8. Tanya Tagaq- Animism (Six Shooter Records)


“Through it all Tagaq remains uncompromisingly true to her inner voices and yet, at the same time, manages to engage with the listener. This is an approachable but startlingly novel masterwork.”- Mark Anthony Brennan


7. Cousins- The Halls of Wickwire (Hand Drawn Dracula)


The fact is Cousins carve out their own niche, creating their unique way of communicating through the medium of modern music. They are painfully aware that this ugly world can drag you down, but their music makes you jump up and yell back in defiance.”- Mark Anthony Brennan


6. Monomyth- Saturnalia Regalia (Mint Records)


“Monomyth are no longer Halifax’s best kept secret — they are well on their way to becoming Canada’s latest indie pop darlings. Are they deserving of such acclaim? If their debut ‘Saturnalia Regalia!‘ is any indication then the answer is most definitely “yes”.” – Mark Anthony Brennan


5. White Lung- Deep Fantasy (Domino Records)


Warning: take a deep breath before pressing the start button on ‘Deep Fantasy’ because once you do it’s a headlong rush, with no time for anything as mundane as inhaling. White Lung lets loose an unrelenting torrent of scorching metal-tinged hardcore. They take no prisoners. It is punk perfection.” – Mark Anthony Brennan

4. Owen Pallett- In Conflict (Secret City Records)


In Conflict leads us into a variety of different personal conflicts, that are not so obvious at times. They are like confessions that do not necessarily want to be confessed.” – Tiana Feng

“The album brings the best of the many sides of Canadian music together, and rather than select an album that is representative of one genre.” – Mica McCurdy


3. Lydia Ainsworth- Right From Real (Arbutus Records)


“Ainsworth could be favourably compared to the British greats Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, but that would only be telling part of the story as her idiosyncratic approach to synthesizing the various musical styles she draws upon results in a sound that is uniquely hers. And therein lies her special talent — you may at first be drawn in by the apparent familiarity of the sounds but you’d be hard pressed at the end of the day to make a ready comparison to anything else you’ve ever heard.” – Mark Anthony Brennan


“In Right from Real, Ainsworth’s melodies are warm and familiar which allows her to explore territories, textures and rhythms. The resulting sounds are magical and enchanting.” – Tiana Feng


2. Ought- More Than Any Other Day (Constellation Records)


Ought kind of came out of nowhere, signed to Constellation and very deservingly. More Than Any Other Day is reckless and daring. It dares you to be whoever the hell you want. It’s cool, punk and makes you question authority, in a year where we kind of all are.” – Tiana Feng


1. Valery Gore- Idols in the Dark Heart


As good as Gore has been in the past, ‘Idols in the Dark Heart’ represents a momentous career changer as it vaults her into that rarefied field occupied by the likes of Tori Amos, Kate Bush, Laurie Anderson and Bjork. Who knows, at this rate Gore may one day surpass even them.” – Mark Anthony Brennan

Idols in the Dark Heart is beautiful, simply put it. It’s poised, and makes you feel emotions that you can’t explain.” – Tiana Feng