Okay, technically Dan Snaith is based in the UK these days, but we'll always see him as a Toronto boy. This groundbreaking exploration of the uncharted middle ground between underground dance music and pop blew minds from both scenes the world over.
2. The Sadies
Darker Circles (Outside)
The Toronto psych-country rockers may not have won the Polaris Music Prize this year, but they did put out their most mature record yet. Considering how consistently solid their long string of previous releases were, we can't wait for the next instalment.
3. Broken Social Scene
Forgiveness Rock Record (Arts & Crafts)
As far as critically rated Toronto-born indie rock goes, there's still no real challenger to Broken Social Scene's long-running claim to the throne. They've been continually perched atop the local scene for years, and with an inspired, visceral album like Forgiveness, they still deserve to be there.
4. PS I Love You
Meet Me At The Muster Station (Paper Bag)
Alongside their mascara-rocking brother band, Diamond Rings, this 90s-worshipping Kingston duo rode a howling wave of feedback from well-kept local secret to full-out critical darlings. Even when indulging in retro-style guitar heroics, this stunning debut album doesn't waste a note.
Thank Me Later (Universal)
Toronto's very own nudged American hip-hop radio in an angsty, introspective direction with this misty-eyed debut. It's highly assured and full of swagger but also establishes Drizzy as a rapper unafraid to dwell on love's grey areas.
6. Crystal Castles
Crystal Castles (Fiction)
The scorn and derision that greeted Crystal Castles' debut was significantly muted after the release of this equally abrasive, hard-driving sophomore release, which has landed on many top-10s around the world. Could this rarely seen local duo be the real deal? Recent collaborator Robert Smith seems to think so.
7. Holy Fuck
Latin (Young Turks)
The lo-fi electronica outfit stripped back their rhythm section and solidified their vision on their mostly instrumental third album. The result? Tighter, funkier grooves, abysses of soul-rattling noise and deeply satisfying ambience.
Broughtupsy (Mysteries of Trade)
We've known for some time that the electro dancehall duo can rock a party with the best of them, but it wasn't until this release that we realized how deliciously deep they could go when you take them away from the dance floor and stick them in the studio.
9. The Wilderness of Manitoba
When You Left The Fire (Vérité)
If we didn't know any better, we'd think this evocative folk rock gem had its roots somewhere in rural Canada (like, say, Manitoba), but somehow it arose straight out of Toronto's beating concrete heart.
Society (Upper Class)
It would be tempting to dismiss DVAS, whose sound blends smooth 80s soft rock with the bounce of house music, as kitsch, but these guys aren't joking around. Society is ridiculously addictive and was the perfect summer soundtrack.