30-Second Reviews: December 2021

Taylor Swift, Adele, Loviet, Blue Rodeo, Indian City, Haviah Mighty, Silk Sonic, Tyler Shaw, Hot Garbage, Chastity, Falana and many more.

Taylor Swift's album cover for Red (Taylor's Version).

Taylor Swift

Red (Taylor’s Version)

Genre: Pop
Sound: Songs that confirmed Swift as one of her generation’s defining pop stars get modern facelift.
If you like: Phoebe Bridgers, Olivia Rodrigo, Harry Styles
Why you should listen: Recorded in effort to finally own her catalog; the album includes unrecognizable reboots of classic tracks, never-before-heard songs that are breaking the internet and the symbolic victory of a female artist reclaiming what was stolen from her.
Best track: All Too Well (Ten Minute Version)

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Album cover for AN Evening With Silk Sonic

Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak

An Evening With Silk Sonic

Genre: Funk/Soul
Sound: Smooth grooves, talk boxes and good-time funkadelia.
If you like: James Brown, Mayer Hawthorne, Durand Jones & The Indications
Why you should listen: With hammed-up sex symbol vibes, James Brown screams and stanky grooves, this ’70s revival will make you scrunch up your face and go “Ooh!” as you move your hips.
Best track: After Last Night (with Thundercat & Bootsy Collins)

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Loviet's album cover for 777.

Loviet

777

Sound: Dreamy, upbeat post-party pop that’s electric with emotion.
If you like: Olivia O’Brien, Carly Rae Jepsen, Soccer Mommy
Why you should listen: This rising Toronto singer offers synth-y late-aughts production and singer-songwriter sincerity to build summertime pop the likes of which we haven’t seen since the early 2010s. Perfect for dancing on a beach at sunset or revisiting your senior prom.
Best track: Jawbreaker

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Falana's album cover for Rising.

Falana

Rising

Genre: R&B/Soul
Sound: A velvety smooth voice luxuriates on catchy Afro-beats.
If you like: Erykah Badu, Greentea Peng, India.Arie
Why you should listen: Born and raised in Brampton and based in Lagos, Nigerian-Canadian rising star Falana comes into her own in her sophomore EP: both healing and empowering, this spirit-soothing record overflows with love, gratitude and joy.
Best track: Sweet Adetola

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Blue Rodeo's album cover for Many a Mile.

Blue Rodeo

Many a Mile

Genre: Roots
Sound: Nashville meets Liverpool.
If you like: Wilco, The Beatles, The Jayhawks
Why you should listen: Blue Rodeo fans embrace the complimentary contrast of co-leaders Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor. On their first album in five years, Cuddy offers upbeat tracks where even sad songs are hopeful while Keelor often lingers in the darker corners with trippier musings — all of it winningly stitched together with trademark harmonies.
Best track: Never Like This Before

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Chastity's album cover for Suffer Summer.

Chastity

Suffer Summer

Genre: Pop-punk
Sound: Angsty, head-banging anthems to transport you to a 2010 mosh pit.
If you like: PUP, Slow Crush, Jimmy Eat World
Why you should listen: The hooks on this nostalgic pop-punk record are as addictive as a sugar rush — but give them enough time and they’ll reveal something deeper: Buried among impeccable 2000s vocals and screaming guitar riffs are reflections on life in suburbia that’ll make you feel 17 again.
Best track: Pummeling

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Coeur de Pirate's album cover for Impossible à aimere.

Coeur de Pirate

Impossible à aimere

Genre: Franco-pop
Sound: Sweet, poignant vocals sing about lost love over simple yet evocative instrumentation.
If you like: Celine Dion, Regina Spektor, Sara Bareilles
Why you should listen: Coeur de Pirate’s quiet, twee indie-pop stylings have made her one of the leading voices in franco-pop, but she deserves a wide audience with English-speakers as well — her emotionally charged vocals and gentle piano-playing convey emotion beyond words.
Best track: Tu peux crever là-bas

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Indian City's album cover for Code Red.

Indian City

Code Red

Genre: Roots
Sound: Bluesy roots rock with a message.
If you like: William Prince, Eagle and Hawk, Great Big Sea
Why you should listen: Chantal Kreviazuk and Jim Cuddy guest with Winnipeg-based Indigenous roots rockers Indian City. Vince Fontaine is the “mayor” of Indian City, which brings members of his JUNO-winning band, Eagle and Hawk, together with other Indigenous stars.
Best track: Star People

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Silas Short's album cover for DRAWING.

Silas Short

DRAWING

Genre: R&B
Sound: Guitar riffs with neo-soul vibes.
If you like: Frank Ocean, Syd, Steve Lacy
Why you should listen: Chicago-based singer Silas Short’s smoothly soothing debut EP is the perfect R&B record for long walks, sitting in a café or lowering the lights. There are gentle guitar licks and great use of classic instrumentation designed to make even the coldest night cozy.
Best track: Joint Identity

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Nation of Language's album cover for A Way Forward.

Nation of Language

A Way Forward

Genre: Synth-pop
Sound: A dreamy and nostalgic trip driven by pulse-racing, mesmerizing synths.
If you like: New Order, Gary Numan, Black Marble
Why you should listen: Resonating melodies and vigorous synth lines, New York’s Nation of Language deliver a breathtaking marvel of an album. It’s a revolutionary modern take on its ’80s new wave influences.
Best track: Former Self

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Haviah Mighty's album cover for Stock Exchange.

Haviah Mighty

Stock Exchange

Genre: Hip hop
Sound: Spitfire ferocity and nonstop flow narrate searing social commentary.
If you like: Cadence Weapon, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Charmaine
Why you should listen: Haviah Mighty is known for her furious bars and explosive energy, and in this mixtape, she takes aim at the social systems that value some over others. In a series of fast-paced tracks drawing from dancehall, trap and grime influences, she lays out furious criticism in the form of addictive music.
Best track: So So (ft. Dai Burger)

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Hot Garbage's album cover for Ride.

Hot Garbage

Ride

Genre: Psychedelic rock
Sound: Hypnotic, psychedelic rock that oozes fuzz guitars and kaleidoscopic synth melodies.
If you like: The Black Angels, Wooden Shjips, Wand
Why you should listen: A mystique trance, Toronto quartet Hot Garbage’s powerful debut album is a fuzzed-fused euphoric awakening. Its synthesized sweetness and soft-spoken verses are undeniably hypnotic.
Best track: Shadowmaster

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The Tragically Hip's album cover for Road Apples Deluxe.

The Tragically Hip

Road Apples Deluxe

Genre: Rock reissue
Sound: Beloved band at bar room best.
If you like: Allman Brothers, Rolling Stones, Glorious Sons
Why you should listen: What’s better than pristine re-master of crucial Hip album? More undiscovered tracks, of course, including overlooked songs from original sessions to sweaty live tracks that catch band at their best, lots to love for Hip fans with vinyl or CD options. Plus a packed book that includes band members’ track-by-track deep dives.
Best track: Little Bones (remastered)

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Atmosphere's album cover for WORD?

Atmosphere

WORD?

Genre: Hip hop
Sound: Old-school boom bap with a gritty, edgy vibe.
If you like: Zion I, Mac Lethal, Brother Ali
Why you should listen: Minnesota hip hop duo’s 12th studio record hooks listeners into edgy narrative freestyle lyrics and wordplay mixed with a stripped-down production with sparse snares and bass lines. Raw and real.
Best track: Skull

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Visibly Choked's album cover for their eponymously named record.

Visibly Choked

Visibly Choked

Genre: Experimental Punk
Sound: Strong, cutthroat lead vocals backed by an angsty thunder of sound.
If you like: Amyl and the Sniffers, Gøggs, Surfbort
Why you should listen: While masterfully disruptive, Montreal’s Visibly Choked’s marvellous debut album is courageous and passionate. Singer Gabrielle Domingue’s charming roar creates a safe space within the chaotic energy. You’ll feel shaken to the core but in all the right places.
Best track: Mother Tongue

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KTheChosen's album cover for +Vice.

KTheChosen

+Vice

Genre: Alternative Hip-Hop
Sound: A melting pot of House and Jazz music, topped with hip-hop.
If you like: J Cole, Kendrick Lemar, Wale.
Why should you listen: Threaded with hip hop, spoken word and storytelling, Calgary-based artist KTheChosen raps about the intricacies of identity, grief, societal biases and more. This controvertible project is conflated with smooth, edgy, and jazz based rhythms.
Best track: Food For Thought

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Odreii's album cover for Sweatin’ Gold.

Odreii

Sweatin’ Gold

Genre: R&B
Sound: Infectious, hip-shaking beats with irresistible dancehall hooks.
If you like: Zach Zoya, Omega Mighty, late-2000s Rihanna
Why you should listen: This Montreal-based singer’s nonstop energy is enough to heat up even the coldest Quebecois winters. Her debut album combines Latin, dancehall, afro and pop influences to build a hypnotic, club-ready sound that will make even the depths of November feel like Carnival.
Best track: Adios, Bye Bye

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Holly Clausius's album cover for Rose Garden.

Holly Clausius

Rose Garden

Genre: Folk, Pop and Country
Sound: Traditional country-pop fed by strumming tempos and raw vocals.
If you like: Taylor Swift, Joni Mitchell, Martina McBride
Why should you listen: From the ups and downs of a relationship to the beauty of a healthy one, Toronto-based Queer artist Holly Clausius pours passion from acoustic instruments — including guitar, trumpet and piano — into her country-driven tracks.
Best Track: Strawberry Blonde

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Dope Lemon's album cover for Rose Pink Cadillac.

Dope Lemon

Rose Pink Cadillac

Genre: Alt psychedelic rock
If you like: Winston Surfshirt, Tame Impala, Tash Sultana
Sound: Wavy soundscapes of sliding guitar licks, echoing vocals and breezy melodies.
Why you should listen: This sensual mirage of a record melts influences from old-time westerns to yacht rock while carrying you on a psychedelic sunbeam to a beach … blunt in hand.
Best track: Rose Pink Cadillac

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