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All our favourite local tunes from the past year arranged into one sprawling Spotify playlist. Plus, some of our favourite music that's not on Spotify, too
Toronto is a huge city with a diverse set of cultural influences and a variety of interlocking arts scenes. Even considering that, we’re hitting above our weight class when it comes to music. Whittling NOW’s list down to our 10 best local albums was hard enough (which is why we also published our critics’ personal lists), but even deciding our 101 best Toronto songs was tough this year.
Weekly throughout the year, we’ve been making 20-song playlists of the best local music of the week (it’s called #NOWplaying, and you can subscribe here). The best of the best ended up here, in the 101 best Toronto songs of 2018 playlist. There are major pop hits (Drake and the Weeknd, hello again) to future pop superstars (hey Jessie Reyez) and all corners of the hip-hop scene, from Regent Park to Parkdale. There’s some hardcore, some thrash and death metal, some techno and house, some folk and country, some operatic neo-classical ethnomusicology – there are all kinds of music in the city, and we tried to feature as much of it as we can.
The only real rule to this Spotify playlist is that each artist could only be represented once (with a few little exceptions here and there). It’s been arranged to flow for close to seven hours, so you can start at the top and let it play through. Or hit play anywhere and listen for a while. Hit shuffle if you want to, and see what gems you dig up.
And since not all our favourite music is on Spotify, and since there’s more than one cloud in the sky, we’ve also included some non-subscription-service highlights below the playlist.
Check out more 2018 year in review stories here.