With great difficulty I limited this list to only 20 Canadian entries, all of which have corresponding posts from sometime this year. It was another brilliant year for Canadian music. Thanks for reading, friends of our radio show, The Ongoing Argument, and friends of Argue Job the Blog.

The other contributors may put together their own lists too, which we will of course host here, so keep your eye out for that!

*Ordering by numbered rank is as obscene as it is arbitrary, in this writer’s opinion. These top 20 picks for 2012 are simply alphabetized. Click to be taken to the review and the full streaming album.

Balacade – Malaise Era


Christian Hansen – C’mon Arizona


Ghibli – Rare Pleasures


Jordan Klassen – Kindness EP


Khyber Compilation Volume II


Knots – White River of White Lies


Little Chords – Afterlife


Matthew A. Wilkinson – Post-Namers


Mike Tod & The Buffalo Lake Kid – Live


Needles//Pins – 12:34




Paul Stewart – Permanence


Renny Wilson – “Sugarglider


Teapot Hill – Night Night Rock


The Strumbellas – My Father, The Hunter


The Utilities – Flint


Tops – Tender Opposites


Travis Bretzer – Making Love


Tyler Butler – Violence


You’ll Never Get To Heaven – S/T


From Elsewhere:
Devon Sproule – I Love You, Go Easy
Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city
Little Wings – Black Grass
Mount Eerie – Clear Moon
Perfume Genius – Put Your Back N 2 It

Dog Day – Night Group


Brenna Lowrie – The Body Electric

This album is deceptive. What initially appears as a modest little indie-folk record actually packs away a whole treasure chest of sounds, textures and elements. In chemistry, they would call this a compound record. Smooth pop hooks are followed by rough, almost atonal passages; up-front dry acoustic scraping sits alongside distant, expansive, reverb. Clean folk tones, abrasive, rock distortion. This album has a lot going on, and a confident and competent pop sensibility tying it all together. This is one that rewards listens and re-listens with dividends.

Jesse & the Dandelions – Time and Space and Everything In Between

The new EP from Lethbridge’s Jesse & the Dandelions is thick with the kind of college radio hits you would expect to hear at the turn of the millenium. Each track is a solid gem purloined from the sonic loins of forefathers like John K. Samson, David Bazan, and Ben Gibbard. Time and Space and Everything In Between gets better and better as it glides on, culminating in the slow cooker ‘Stealing Moonbeams’ and the irresistible hook of closer ‘The Fire’. Come soak in the dandelion hue of Northey’s heart throbbers tonight at the Elevation Room with Jessica Jalbert and Doug Hoyer. Jesse & the Dandelions were on the Swig of Alberta tour last winter and, seeing them play three nights in a row, I can testify to to just how much their live show grows on a listener. Enjoy:

Argue Job presents Loonie Bin no.1

Here on Argue Job we try to cover albums, specifically. That makes it very difficult to highlight individual singles that we can’t stop playing. For that reason we here introduce the Loonie Bin, a compilation of Canadian singles that we’re jamming right now. You can stream them below or download them as one zip file here.

Elsa – In Two
Monomyth – Anytime
Gold – Losing Your Hair
Horse Girls – Old Pressure
Topanga – Mabu
A.M. Overcast – Zebra
Man Legs – Take My Hand
Old and Weird – Doing the Things
Renny Wilson – By and By
Bleating Hearts – The Partisan
The Utilities – Eyelashes (My Mind, The Highway, & a Show)
Mike Tod – Ain’t Mad At Nobody
Joel Learoyd – Sluts
Christine Leakey – Here I Stand
Ghibli – Little Clique
Brock Tyler – Don’t Break Your Heart
Balacade – LA 3600
The Parish of Little Clifton – Light Handed
King Vulture – Maelstrom (Martyrs’ Oneiroi Remix)
Kuhrye-oo – Human Rights (Nadus Remix)
Matthew A. Wilkinson – Speak, Rainbow! (ft. Julie Le Gall)
Weird Party – Heart