2015 Rokky Awards: Favorite Canadian Indie Albums

by Jeffrey Burns on December 27, 2015

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2015 Rokkies: A rundown of our Favorite Indie Albums from the Past Year (Top 15)

It is difficult and perhaps even irrelevent to pick winners when it comes to artistic endeavors, after all, unlike a sporting event music is a subjective and personal experience for the listener, that which can only be judged on a level of individual interpretation.

That being said, The ROKKY AWARDS is an annual selection of Favorite Indie Music Achievements from the past year (See 2014 Rokky Awards), with an emphasis on the independent/unsigned artist whose eager devotion to artistic expression often matches or exceeds that of more celebrated contemporaries. This year end review is essentially comprised of Artists we’ve featured throughout the year, and while it’s simply not possible to have listened to every album released in 2015, I like to think the following selections cover a fairly broad range of styles consistent with an ongoing pursuit of musical discovery, rather than simply a reflection of personal preferences.

For our purposes, the criteria used for this Top 15 of ’15 List is that they be Canadian releases of more than 4 songs, and it’s worth mentioning that some favorites were omitted because of the high profile media exposure already bestowed upon them, for things like the Polaris Prize (Braids, Viet Cong, Bad Bad Not Good & Ghostface Killah) and the Peak Performance Project (Leeroy Stagger, Transit). And suffice it to say, the Canadian indie music well is vast and deep, so why be unnecessarily redundant.

So on that note and without further ado, here is ROKLINE’s Favorite Canadian Albums of 2015 >>

Favorite Album of 2015: Burnt Black Cars by Slow Down Molasses

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Meghann Wright

by Jeffrey Burns on November 23, 2015

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You’ve got Nothin’ To Lose and everything to gain from listening to Meghann Wright’s debut LP … soul music with a rock n’ roll heart |


Brooklyn based blues-rocker Meghann Wright released her first full-length album Nothin’ Left To Lose last June on Canadian indie label Blacktop Records, and while I may be late to the party in lavishing praise on this illustrious debut, timelines are irrelevant when it comes to appreciating music as provocative and all-encompassing as this.

Wright’s soul inspired roots rock is a specialty blend that draws parallels to multiple genres and classic influences, as finely-tuned pop music that can shift seamlessly between kicking out the jams and hard-as-folk, soul-baring balladry. The not easily earned Janis Joplin comparison certainly applies in terms of vocal style and swagger, but with a vintage sounding tone all her own (Secrets, Sunshine Through The Rain), accompanied by an interesting and eclectic mix of stylistic forays, all deftly executed and commanded by a voice possessing the sonic boom of iconic predecessors Grace Slick, Ann Wilson, and Melissa Etheridge (Diamonds Blaze, Most Wanted), contrasted in varying degrees by a captivatingly edgy, alt-blues sensibility akin to contemporaries Joan Osbourne (The River) and Elle King (Black Kiss).


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Steve Albini

by Jeffrey Burns on November 6, 2015

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Steve Albini is an original, a rebel, someone who still lives and breathes the true spirit of rock n’ roll |


Steve Albini, renowned post-hardcore musician (Big Black, Shellac) and studio engineer/producer (Nirvana’s In Utero, Pixies’ Surfer Rosa) gave a fascinating interview recently on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast. The outspoken veteran of america’s alternative music scene has been accused of many things over his long and distinguished career, but shy and conventional have not been among the unsolicited attributes. Difficult? Strongly opinionated, sure.

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