The Canadian music scene is packed with tons of killer artists far and wide.
Although your playlists are probably packed with Canadian indie giants like Metric, Broken Social Scene, or Mac DeMarco, there are so many outstanding up-and-coming indie artists you’ve got to check out that are sure to offer up unique, dynamic sounds you’ve never heard before.
From Valley to Ellevator, check out some Canadian up-and-coming artists you need to take a listen to below.
Toronto indie band VALLEY are full of timeless, anthemic tunes packed with full instrumentals and catchy pop bangers. The up-and-coming foursome was created by two bands who accidentally got double-booked for studio time, when they decided to use it to collaborate, eventually becoming the refreshing and engaging new band that Toronto knows and loves. Each of their tracks portray the band’s distinct sound while maintaining their upbeat, dynamic energy.
Toronto-based pop-rock quartet Jane’s Party are a genre-blending band stacked with a repertoire of anthemic hits and shimmering, yet dark singles. With hooky lyrics, catchy melodies, and bouncy, driven instrumental lines, you won’t be able to take this band off repeat. Their recent album Casual Island explores themes of politics, relationships, technology, and the complexity of human nature, all atop elaborate, yet accessible melodies.
Hamilton-based indie outfit Ellevator aim to capture the immediacy and rush of listening to music through their meticulous and elaborate pop tunes. Frontwoman Nabi Sue Bersche creates raw, vulnerable lyrics that come layered atop catchy indie pop melodies, making for intimate, yet accessible electronic hits. Ellevator’s music frequently explores “finding the person underneath all the noise and learning to live with them, even if I don’t always like them,” Bersche explains in a statement.
Oshawa dream-pop band Dizzy creates lush, elaborate, and texturally complex tunes that pack in soulful vocals, intoxicating instrumentals, and mesmerizing melodies that are sure to stick with you. “Oshawa is dense. We all grew up in modern suburbia so there’s an arm’s length between my neighbour’s house and mine,” frontwoman Katie Munshaw explains. “Making music always stemmed from my being overly sensitive about everything, so when you’re that close to so many people you’re bound to meet the essential characters that screw you up enough to start writing about them. Oshawa introduced me to friendship and heartache and change while keeping me bored enough to sit at home and write about it.”
Ten Kills The Pack
Ten Kills the Pack is the moniker of Mississauga folk singer-songwriter Sean Sroka, who finds influences from outstanding artists like Stan Rogers, Bob Dylan, Laura Marling, and The National. With raspy, throaty vocals and soft, yet powerful instrumental lines, Ten Kills the Pack creates poetic, impactful tunes that will resonate with you time and time again. Sroka created his tunes “for every late night bar dweller, every person unsure about their ‘path’ and for every introspective human being overanalyzing their life choices.”
This British Columbia band needs to be on your radar, with their playful grunge punk anthems. Four years after the release of their debut album, Dead Soft have returned with a powerful grunge-pop EP called New Emotion. Lyrically, Dead Soft explores dark, unsettling themes of gloom alongside bright, renewing choruses. The record is all about new beginnings, with a tighter, more refined and distilled sound based on strategic harmonies and creative guitar riffs.
Canadian indie rock trio Basement Revolver packs intimate stories from songwriter Chrisy Hurn’s past through 90’s infused dream pop. Hurn’s vulnerability shines through on their poignant, resounding tracks as she sings blunt lyrics like, “My friends all tell me to hope for the best but I feel the worst/ I try to get sleep but my body won’t stop shaking/ I’m blue.” The Hamilton band released Heavy Eyes in 2018, which explores the feelings that come with growing up atop a shoegaze melody.
Rapidly ascending artist Loony creates her signature soulful swinging and swaying tracks through unique rhymes that are intricately woven together into strong vocal harmonies. Loony’s blunt, vulnerable honesty comes through her music, making for an authentic sense of connection. “I feel like it’s so easy to see how others are fucking up, but it’s so much more interesting to turn the lens inward and see the ways that you yourself can be lost, wrong, or even toxic,” Loony reveals of her single “Overnight” in a statement.
Toronto electronic post-punk duo Ice Cream through their unique blend of manipulated synthesizers, groovy bass guitars, and catchy drum machines. Their almost dystopian tunes look to the future, while staying linked to the past through soulful instrumentals and moody, strong melodies. Band members Carlyn Bezic and Amanda Crist have distinctive vocal lines that blend together perfectly for a bleak, yet intimate sound full of catchy hooks.
Hard-hitting Toronto alt-rock duo Cleopatrick consists of life-long best friends Luke Gruntz and Ian Fraser, who have translated their connection into unified voice of anthemic rock. The young pair have yet again shown the city that you don’t need an expansive backing band to create a sound to be reckoned with, as they perform cleverly constructed indie rock tunes with provocative riffs and compelling breakdowns.