Sunday, December 21, 2014Mostly Cloudy -3°C
Music

The top 10 songs from Toronto bands in 2010

Posted by Aldrin Taroy / December 15, 2010

top 10 songs Toronto 2010The top 10 songs from Toronto bands is a difficult list to carve out in 2010. This year's best of the best list features a wave of talented local musicians, each offering something unique and compelling. But perhaps the greatest strength of a group like this is the degree to which all of these songs speak to something greater: that Toronto has become a nesting ground for awesome musicians and music culture.

Young Empires Toronto#10 - Young Empires - "White Doves (Demo)" / MP3 via We Are Pajamas
Young Empires' "White Doves" opens with veering synths and then percussions gallop, taking you "back home" wherever it may be. Majestic hooks and rhythms form thick shoe-gaze that sparks nostalgia of youth swagger and the feeling of invincibility. Watch for the turn in the song as the overture of synths ascend for a vertical push.

Tokyo Police Club#9 - Tokyo Police Club - "Wait Up (Boots of Danger)" / MP3 via ATL's A-List / [Buy]
Tokyo Police Club's "Wait Up (Boots of Danger)" is a feel-good track that rekindles joys of youth, stretches summertime feelings and makes us reflect on the year's "good times."

The Wilderness of Manitoba#8 - The Wilderness of Manitoba - "November" / Video / [Buy]
The quietest songs are often the loudest as the ensemble from The Wilderness of Manitoba sing the lyrical couplets of "November," flowing like a stream of soft breaths.

Holy Fuck band#7 - Holy Fuck - "Latin America" / MP3 via Beggars Group / [Buy]
Holy Fuck's four-minute classic "Latin America" builds like a lit fuse until dynamite percussion, guitars and synthesizers explode, creating a tapestry of sound - a soaring landscape to explore.

Caribou#6 - Caribou - "Found Out" / MP3 via Said the Gramophone / [Buy]
In "Found Out" Daniel Snaith adds and subtracts layers of sound, displaying his obsession with mathematical music creation. The sum: a dance floor-ready track that flows with emotion and fluid energy.

Crystal Castles#5 - Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith - "Not in Love (Remix)" / MP3 via I Guess I'm Floating / [Buy]
Music bloggers everywhere took note when Crystal Castles announced that they would remix their track "Not in Love" and feature The Cure's Robert Smith in vocals. The result is a screeching, catchy dance track that makes getting over someone something to celebrate.

Hooded Fang Band#4 - Hooded Fang - "Laughing" / MP3 via Quick Before it Melts / [Buy]
Hooded Fang transformed themselves quickly from Toronto's hidden treasure to the city's newest most cherished multi-instrumental collective. The triumphant arrangements on their pop gem "Laughing" fulfills wishes and spills happiness all around.

Diamond Rings Music#3 - Diamond Rings - "Something Else" / MP3 via Quick Before it Melts / [Buy]
In early November, I recall musicians from Toronto tweeting their congratulations to John O'Regan when his album Special Affections received high marks on Pitchfork. John O's David Bowie-esque "Something Else" was intended to do one thing: turn whatever you set your foot on into a dance floor.

Broken Social Scene#2 - Broken Social Scene - "Meet Me in the Basement" / MP3 via Ca Va Cool / [Buy]
When the core members of BSS created "Meet Me in the Basement," the track instantly became the band's epic anthem. Hearts blew out when they played this song at their dream concert at the Harbourfront. Now, when we listen to the song, we all want to hear Kevin Drew shout "one more time!" again and again.

Owen Pallett#1 - Owen Pallett - "Lewis Takes Off His Shirt" / MP3 via Said the Gramophone / [Buy]
Toronto's gifted fiddler gave us the warmest gift this year with his album Heartland, which included the magical track "Lewis Takes Off His Shirt." The track floats like a bubble through Pallett's ambitious musical storytelling and fluttering violin. We follow the bubble as it rises, rising to heights like a dream of flight.

Discussion

56 Comments

abe / December 15, 2010 at 10:02 am
user-pic
geeze didn't Rush put out anything this year?
asdf / December 15, 2010 at 10:07 am
user-pic
I need to get out more.
roncesvaller / December 15, 2010 at 10:13 am
user-pic
I think this list might be a bit more niche than it's presented as e.g. the genres of hip hop, metal, soul, punk, jazz, electronic, etc. aren't really represented.
frankos / December 15, 2010 at 10:32 am
user-pic
I don't know about the others, but I think Caribou barely qualifies as a 'Toronto Band' these days. He's made his home in the UK for years now. Now that people are rioting in the streets of London maybe he'll move back...
Bob / December 15, 2010 at 10:48 am
user-pic
Why do people seem not to want to acknowledge that "Not in Love" is a Platinum Blonde cover?
sunny / December 15, 2010 at 10:49 am
user-pic
hello white people. you must be joking.
Annie / December 15, 2010 at 10:54 am
user-pic
Ah, I love top 10 lists because the comments are always filled with people's indignation over what's missing or what's wrong with the list. Obviously the post's author tends toward indie music, but that's a big scene here so it's only natural. But dang, Toronto really does have some good music coming out of it!
mike in parkdale / December 15, 2010 at 10:59 am
user-pic
I wish articles like this were called something like "MY Top 10 songs...." instead of "THE Top 10 songs...."
jimmydude / December 15, 2010 at 11:10 am
user-pic
are all of these bands on the Arts & Crafts label?
April replying to a comment from jimmydude / December 15, 2010 at 11:17 am
user-pic
Nope, just the one: http://www.arts-crafts.ca/artists.php
t. replying to a comment from jimmydude / December 15, 2010 at 11:27 am
user-pic
One, shithead.
Also, "leans towards indie."
INDIE is not a genre insofar as naming a SOUND. These are all POP songs. Alternative in nature, sure, but it's pop. And it's easily Toronto's predominant scene. Can you blame media for picking up what's actually on its radar as opposed to what flies well below it at all turns?
M-PC / December 15, 2010 at 11:40 am
user-pic
Great list! But no Austra??
Jordan replying to a comment from Bob / December 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm
user-pic
No Mathemagic? No Memoryhouse?
Matthew replying to a comment from t. / December 15, 2010 at 12:01 pm
user-pic
I'd hardly call blogTO media. it is a 'blog' afterall. anyone can submit stories and most contributors have actual jobs besides the citizen-journalist hats that they don for their ¢.02/word contributions. Just keep that in mind next time you want to whine about a top 10 list, if you don't like it, write one!
buhhh / December 15, 2010 at 12:08 pm
user-pic
shad should have been on this list
serious / December 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm
user-pic
the crystal castles song on this list is a platinum blonde cover, really shouldnt the author of this article make mention of that.
Shannon / December 15, 2010 at 12:25 pm
user-pic
There is a much larger scene in Toronto then this blog points out. When it comes to music i just can't take the lists on here serious, because they over look so many different types of music.

bands like the creepshow, die mannequin, numerous others i would put on this list. I am sure there are many R&b bands that deserve to be on the list too. among others.
mikey / December 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm
user-pic
Buhhh is absolutely right. Shad should be on here. "Yaa I get it" was tops this year.
Lucas Samuels / December 15, 2010 at 12:48 pm
user-pic
hey all,
over on blogTO most of us on the music team are into Toronto's bustling indie scene as well as some electro and a dash of everything else that comes our way

the top 10 lists are a reflection of what we actually like listening to and bands we like seeing live

these lists are not all encompassing, and its barely even possible to scratch the surface of any music scene with only 10 picks. if you want a better all-around view of toronto's music scene, read the blogTO concert reviews, hot tickets and mixtapes. all those help to provide the musical diversity some of you are looking for.

thanks!
LJ / December 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm
user-pic
may 2011 bring a lot less Diamond Rings.
mike in parkdale replying to a comment from Lucas Samuels / December 15, 2010 at 01:00 pm
user-pic
then call it "Our top 10..." and there will be nothing to debate.

And sorry to beat a dead horse, but the Toronto music scene is much bigger than the 'alternative rock pop' (leaving out the word 'indie' intentionally) listed here. Normally this blog is very good for that, but hey.... nothing gets people debating like a definitive list.
Aaron / December 15, 2010 at 01:04 pm
user-pic
I don't know, blogTO is still turning more and more into a blog about very specific styles and such.

All this crap is the same, derivative malarkey! How do you or these bands tell each other apart? You're all the same kind o' dipster.
Lucas Samuels replying to a comment from mike in parkdale / December 15, 2010 at 01:12 pm
user-pic
yah i don't disagree that maybe it's the title that's started this whole debate. but at least people are talking, gotta love that.

as marge simpson once pointed out on a clever australian t-shirt, 'pobody's nerfect'
Upheld / December 15, 2010 at 01:12 pm
user-pic
1) Shad is not from Toronto; he is from London, ON
2) Caribou is a citizen of the UK, and was originally from Dundas, ON
3) Owen is deserving of #1
4) Toronto currently has the best run-of-the-mill generic pop scene in the world right now.
5) Toronto has not had a "bustling indie scene" since Three Gut went under and took most of what was good with it. The only thing musicians from T.O. seem to aspire to do nowadays is to create a market friendly mix of pop and electronics that may sell well enough to afford them a nice fix-er-upper near the Drake.
Gabe / December 15, 2010 at 01:45 pm
user-pic
Golden Dogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Adam / December 15, 2010 at 02:16 pm
user-pic
Dinosaur Bones!!
rek / December 15, 2010 at 02:19 pm
user-pic
If these other bands and genres mentioned are so great, wouldn't they be on the list?

Eh? Eh?

*elbows you into the ground*
Sasha!!! / December 15, 2010 at 02:38 pm
user-pic
Is this Top 10 songs released in 2010 OR Top 10 most listened to?

I'm still rockin White Lies, Black Truth from SlikToxik!!! 1992!! Still my 2010 song of the year!!!
JHD replying to a comment from Aaron / December 15, 2010 at 02:47 pm
user-pic
Aaron, if you can't tell Crystal Castles from Hooded Fang from Wilderness of Manitoba you have serious musical problems we can't solve for you. Most of these bands sound NOTHING alike and play to very different audiences. The haters here need some new material, pronto.
JHD replying to a comment from Aaron / December 15, 2010 at 02:50 pm
user-pic
Aaron, if you can't tell Crystal Castles from Hooded Fang from Wilderness of Manitoba you have serious musical problems we can't solve for you. Most of these bands sound NOTHING alike and play to very different audiences. The haters here need some new material, pronto.
Sarah / December 15, 2010 at 04:07 pm
user-pic
Haters gonna hate.
J replying to a comment from mikey / December 15, 2010 at 04:55 pm
user-pic
RE: Shad should be on here.
He's not from Toronto. Just cus an artist is from Ontario does not mean they are from Toronto. He's from London!
Barf replying to a comment from Adam / December 15, 2010 at 04:58 pm
user-pic
Are you out of your mind?
andi / December 15, 2010 at 05:04 pm
user-pic
this is the best post ever!
mikey replying to a comment from J / December 15, 2010 at 05:04 pm
user-pic
My bad, you're right. I always assumed he was from here or lived here for some reason. In any case he kicks ass.
andi / December 15, 2010 at 05:04 pm
user-pic
this is the best post ever!
andi / December 15, 2010 at 05:04 pm
user-pic
this is the best post ever!
neilt / December 15, 2010 at 05:04 pm
user-pic
I'm consistently amazed by how many people view these top ten lists as definitive and not the starting point for conversation that they really are.

This list is missing some of your choices? Well then why don't you suggest some in the comments? And if there's a youtube video to go with the suggestion, all the better!

Collaboration kids, it's what the interwebs is s'posed to be about :)

(also it would help if you didn't make your suggestion all snarky-like and indignant...that tends to put people off :)
Riz / December 15, 2010 at 05:55 pm
user-pic
rofl, white people
bob replying to a comment from Upheld / December 15, 2010 at 06:13 pm
user-pic
You're an idiot, an everything you said except point #3 is ridiculous.
k3wl_gal-fashon532 / December 15, 2010 at 06:14 pm
user-pic
what about, like, justin beiber and avril laveen?
H-bomb / December 15, 2010 at 07:24 pm
user-pic
I really like Tokyo Police Club but i hate to break it to ya...they aren't from Toronto, they're from Newmarket
mondayjane / December 15, 2010 at 09:26 pm
user-pic
This list could also be classified under "Stuff White People Like".
HUK / December 15, 2010 at 09:29 pm
user-pic
Great list! I look forward to your top 10 hip hot hits of Toronto, too.
Amy / December 16, 2010 at 12:42 am
user-pic
I loooooooove Tokyo Police club. I'm glad BlogTo decided to cover Toronto Bands.
Aaron replying to a comment from JHD / December 16, 2010 at 10:42 am
user-pic
It all comes from the same place, JHD, if I may clarify. I have no serious musical problems. I love music, I write music. Now, that's neither here nor there, but just so you understand I'm not some musical dummy.

People get so wrapped up in themselves that they fail to see the sameness in what they all like. The bands and artists too. In 10 years - and like it has always been with every other era of music - we'll all look at these bands as trying WAY too hard to be cool and fit in. It never fails. You'll have a couple, honest bands, but the rest are just jumping on the wagon and doing the same shit. It's not apparent WHILE it's happening, but it comes out years after the fact. Mark my words. "Why were all those bands trying to sound like some 80's, alternative mish-mash?", someone will ask. "That was the thing back then!" The THING. It's all just one big THING.
Aaron replying to a comment from JHD / December 16, 2010 at 10:42 am
user-pic
It all comes from the same place, JHD, if I may clarify. I have no serious musical problems. I love music, I write music. Now, that's neither here nor there, but just so you understand I'm not some musical dummy.

People get so wrapped up in themselves that they fail to see the sameness in what they all like. The bands and artists too. In 10 years - and like it has always been with every other era of music - we'll all look at these bands as trying WAY too hard to be cool and fit in. It never fails. You'll have a couple, honest bands, but the rest are just jumping on the wagon and doing the same shit. It's not apparent WHILE it's happening, but it comes out years after the fact. Mark my words. "Why were all those bands trying to sound like some 80's, alternative mish-mash?", someone will ask. "That was the thing back then!" The THING. It's all just one big THING.
Aaron replying to a comment from JHD / December 16, 2010 at 10:42 am
user-pic
It all comes from the same place, JHD, if I may clarify. I have no serious musical problems. I love music, I write music. Now, that's neither here nor there, but just so you understand I'm not some musical dummy.

People get so wrapped up in themselves that they fail to see the sameness in what they all like. The bands and artists too. In 10 years - and like it has always been with every other era of music - we'll all look at these bands as trying WAY too hard to be cool and fit in. It never fails. You'll have a couple, honest bands, but the rest are just jumping on the wagon and doing the same shit. It's not apparent WHILE it's happening, but it comes out years after the fact. Mark my words. "Why were all those bands trying to sound like some 80's, alternative mish-mash?", someone will ask. "That was the thing back then!" The THING. It's all just one big THING.
Aaron replying to a comment from JHD / December 16, 2010 at 10:42 am
user-pic
It all comes from the same place, JHD, if I may clarify. I have no serious musical problems. I love music, I write music. Now, that's neither here nor there, but just so you understand I'm not some musical dummy.

People get so wrapped up in themselves that they fail to see the sameness in what they all like. The bands and artists too. In 10 years - and like it has always been with every other era of music - we'll all look at these bands as trying WAY too hard to be cool and fit in. It never fails. You'll have a couple, honest bands, but the rest are just jumping on the wagon and doing the same shit. It's not apparent WHILE it's happening, but it comes out years after the fact. Mark my words. "Why were all those bands trying to sound like some 80's, alternative mish-mash?", someone will ask. "That was the thing back then!" The THING. It's all just one big THING.
Aaron replying to a comment from JHD / December 16, 2010 at 10:43 am
user-pic
It all comes from the same place, JHD, if I may clarify. I have no serious musical problems. I love music, I write music. Now, that's neither here nor there, but just so you understand I'm not some musical dummy.

People get so wrapped up in themselves that they fail to see the sameness in what they all like. The bands and artists too. In 10 years - and like it has always been with every other era of music - we'll all look at these bands as trying WAY too hard to be cool and fit in. It never fails. You'll have a couple, honest bands, but the rest are just jumping on the wagon and doing the same shit. It's not apparent WHILE it's happening, but it comes out years after the fact. Mark my words. "Why were all those bands trying to sound like some 80's, alternative mish-mash?", someone will ask. "That was the thing back then!" The THING. It's all just one big THING.
toddy / December 16, 2010 at 01:58 pm
user-pic
Oh my God Aaron, why don't you just go ahead and post it 8 more times!?!?!?!?!?
Brock / December 16, 2010 at 02:52 pm
user-pic
Memoryhouse is from Guelph.
As was said, Caribou is not from Toronto.
Tokyo Police Club is from Newmarket.

There are a lot of good bands ACTUALLY from Toronto you know.
Bethany / December 16, 2010 at 04:33 pm
user-pic
To be just as nitpicky: Newmarket is part of the GTA and I'm betting that's what the post author was getting at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Greater_toronto_area_map.svg
RealTalk / December 17, 2010 at 11:35 am
user-pic
Crystal Castles should be WAY higher.
kt p / December 18, 2010 at 12:26 pm
user-pic
i'm loving the wilderness of manitoba, thank you for sharing!!!
Sandman / December 18, 2010 at 05:32 pm
user-pic
Interesting list.

With the exception of (overplayed) Drake, are the bands on the list ever played on Toronto radio???
All I ever hear on our only "alt" radio station is Billy Talent, Linkin Park & Nirvana.

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal