Now that we’ve finally ended 2015, here is what you’ve been waiting for: Ride the Tempo’s Top Canadian albums of 2015. There are many factors that go into this including: polling our writers, the original album rating (from writers and readers) on the blog, and actual counts from the editor. As the lines between pop and indie are more and more blurred, we chose not to exclude any genres from this list.

20. The Weather Station- Loyalty (Outside Music/Paradise of Bachelors)
“Tamara Lindeman sings delicately of life’s possibilities and ambiguities. In Loyalty, she make break traditional folk-chorus song structures but gives us something raw and beautiful.” – Tiana Feng

19. Tough Age- I Get The Feeling Central(Mint Records)
“The emotional impact is real. The sense of fun is real. The love of the music is real. Tough Age may be selling you a musical product but they are not selling their souls to anyone.”- Mark Anthony Brennan

18.Drake- If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late(Cash Money/OVO Sound/Republic)
“Is it weird to put this on our list? Maybe. Some may consider it a mixtape but it hit bigger than most people do on albums. It’s influence in 2015 is undeniable and there’s even a connection to some of our favourite indie artists. Whether you choose to ride the rain is your choice but there’s no ignoring the fact that the tracks are indeed a killer.” – Tiana Feng

17. We Are the City- Above Club(Boompa/Tooth & Nail/Sinnbus)
“Cayne McKenzie’s playful shenanigans don’t fool us one bit — this is an album of serious artistry. But it’s OK, you can go ahead and dance to it.” – Mark Anthony Brennan

16. Freak Heat Waves- Bonnie State of Mind (Hockey Dad Records)
freak heat waves
“The trio build on a base of punk and math rock to forge a musical path to the future, albeit perhaps a bleak and chilling future” – Mark Anthony Brennan

15. The Weekend- The Beauty Behind the Madness(XO/Republic)
Abel’s sophomore album Beauty Behind The Madness was a massive hit. He made sure that this project was absolutely perfect before handing it over to us. There is not one bad song on the album, try to find one I dare you!” – Andrew Uyeno

14. White Poppy- Natural Phenomena(Not Not Fun Records)
On her best record to date, Crystal Dorval brings all of her talents to bear (writing, performing, recording, producing) to create compositions of intricate complexity, which colourfully express regret, fear, grief, and ultimately optimism. – Mark Anthony Brennan

13. Coeur de Pirate- Roses (Dare to Care
With Roses, Coeur de Pirate effectively shows a person can evolve without leaving out the elements that made us fall in love with her in the first place.” – Tiana Feng

12. Faith Healer(a href=””>Mint Records)
“On her second album (although first in the guise of Faith Healer) Jessica Jalbert stoically confronts issues such as abuse and suicide but remains buoyant above it all. Meantime, the music goes for a wild ride”. – Mark Anthony Brennan

11. Ought- Sun Coming Down (Constellation Records)
Ought expand their scope on their strong follow-up to their 2014 debut.” – Mark Anthony Brennan

10. Jazz Cartier- Marauding in Paradise (Independent)
“With his killer comeback, this mixtape/album broke expectations in what is possible with hip-hop coming from Toronto. This kid rose up without any affiliations to the OVO crew. His e-mail digs deep down into the real Toronto without any pretention, drawing different sounds from his travels abroad.” – Tiana Feng

9. Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld- Never Were The Way She Was (Constellation Records)
“Neufeld’s violin and Stetson’s saxophone combine to create vivid soundscapes of horror and beauty.” – Mark Anthony Brennan

8. No Joy- More Faithful (Arts & Crafts/Mexican Summer)
“Sometimes it’s pretty, but not always. Still, the swirling psych wave that No Joy gets you caught up in is a fascinating ride.” – Mark Anthony Brennan

“More Faithful is frequently turbulent and uncomfortable but there is much beauty in cacophony” – Tiana Feng

7. Milk & Bone- Little Mourning (Bonsound)
“Camille Poliquin and Laurence Lafond-Beaulne balance each other perfectly in an album that sings about forbidden unobtainable love. There is a human quality to their brand of electronic pop music.” – Tiana Feng

6. Babysitter- Babysitter (Independent)

“The sound is defiantly punky and lo-fi even though the band show off their art rock leanings with some future rhythms, mathy indulgences and street poetry.” – Mark Anthony Brennan

5. Carly Rae Jepsen- E·MO·TION (604 Records/Interscope)
There are those that position pop music as ouroboros-like, proposing that modern Top 40 stuff has been in the process of eating itself alive for decades. There’s truth to that, sure. Yet Carly Rae Jepsen demonstrates the importance of revitalization via production values–an ’80s pop flair, specifically. “Emotion” is one part technical grace and another part an accomplishment of a dream. ” – Dustin Ragucos

“People assumed Jepsen set out to create another “Call Me Maybe” but that wasn’t her intention. Instead she subtly rebranded herself for your love as an indie darling through the art of nostalgia.” – Tiana Feng

4. For Esme- Sugar(Independent)
“I had to resist quoting the “Powerpuff Girls” narrator, mostly because sugary sweet is not truly what “Sugar” was going for. It’s something to applaud a band for—throwing a curve ball to surprise listeners. Empowering, feminist, and poppy enough to dance to, this record is a gem.” – Dustin Ragucos

3. Braids- Deep in the Iris (Arbutus Records/Flemish Eye)
Deep In the Iris serves as a lens through the eyes of someone suffering in a relationship full of sexual abuse. It’s a topic that is not easily discussed let along sung about but Braids has done this with painstaking beauty. Dark themes are met with angelic sounds to provide a glimmer of hope in times when destruction seems like the only option.” – Tiana Feng

2. Dilly Dally- Sore (Buzz Records)
“Freezer burn is the kind of feeling you can get from listening to Dilly Dally, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Their debut album is grimy and splotched with a toxic pink exuded through the gorgeous, yet dark strings and the vocals of the talented Katie Monks. They’re the grunge punks that I’ll give my lunch money to, even if they never asked for it.”  – Dustin Ragucos

“Dilly Dally tickles our desires with an album that is both full of racous energy and great pop sensibilities. It’s an album that can soundtrack the moments where you feel like you are up against the entire world, yet cheer you up at the same time.” – Tiana Feng

1. Grimes- Art Angels (4AD)
“Grimes doesn’t want to be put on a pedestal, nor does she want her album to be seen as solely pop. Art Angels is a testament to the power of artistic freedom. It’s a version of an idea that improved because Grimes felt that there was something against her other than herself. The world dragged her down, and in response a powerhouse of an album was created.” – Dustin Ragucos

Since her previous critically album Visions, Claire Boucher has been working on constant self-improvement musically. She learned Ableton, and allowed mostly female hands to touch her music. Art Angels is the perfect embodient of DIY while also being overtly critical on popular culture and its underlying misogynistic themes. The angels Grimes built live not only in her music but has influenced a whole new generation of fashion, lifestyle and critical thinking.  This is only the beginning of the future to come.” – Tiana Feng