Rich Aucoin, We're All Dying to Live (Sonic)
The master of ceremonies for Halifax's best confetti-filled dance parties finally reveals the soul behind his show---and it's every bit as magnificent as we could have hoped.
Austra, Feel it Break (Paper Bag)
Like fire and ice, Feel it Break's tightly wound electro shouldn't mix nearly so well with Katie Stelmanis' scale-climbing vocals, but somehow the gothic fusion works.
Kathryn Calder, Bright and Vivid (File Under: Music)
If there's any justice, Calder's clever, creative and ambitious second album will finally get listeners to see her as more than just "the other girl in The New Pornographers."
Fucked Up, David Comes to Life (Matador)
The band whose very name sends profanity-sensitive Haligonians into a tizzy delivers a punk rock opus so deliriously catchy that even your mom would like it. Maybe.
Colin Stetson, New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges (Constellation)
In a year when every pop starlet and indie rocker was wielding a killer sax solo, the virtuosic Colin Stetson used the same weapon to create unsettling apocalyptic soundscapes of dread.
Bon Iver, Bon Iver (Jagjaguwar)
destroyer, Kaputt (Merge)
EMA, Past Life Martyred Saints (Souterrain Transmissions)
Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues (Sub pop)
PJ Harvey, Let England Shake (Universal)
Kurt Vile, Smoke Ring for my Halo (Matador)
Ryan took the REM breakup way harder than was remotely reasonable. In a bewildered haze, asked Jeff Mangum for an autograph earlier this year. It was awkward for everyone involved. Still doesn't get the appeal of Braids...why would anyone want to listen to Broken Social Scene minus everything fun?