Top 5 Edmonton albums of 2013

Ghost Cousin GigCity Edmonton5: Erica Viegas – Unravel

This stalwart singer=songwriter of the local music scene seems to have the Midas touch, with every project she touches becoming instantly extraordinary. Her latest album is no different, a slow, methodical journey through stories of connections, each track an entanglement that Viegas explores in both heartbreaking and heartwarming detail. BUY

4: Cayley Thomas – Ash Mountains

It’s hard to believe anyone could listen to this album and not end up with their jaw fully agape at its conclusion. Cayley’s beautiful, sensuous voice cascades over extraordinary, groove-inducing guitarwork that is at once both gentle and soft, yet raw and brash. BUY

3: Ghost Cousin – Scotland

This indie-rock act (top photo) released their full-length debut in August of this year, which was recorded at McDougall United Church in November 2012 – apparently its acoustics aren’t just extraordinary for live shows, but for recordings as well. The band’s sounds incorporate not just indie rock aesthetics, but components of psychedelic and folk music as well. BUY

2: Jom Comyn – In the Dark on 99 (All the Time, All the Time)

Dark, brooding, and sombre sounds blend with a deep, Dylanesque voice to give Jom Comyn a sound that’s unique to the city, and perhaps the nation. He’s been at it a while, this being his fifth album, but with Eric Cheng (Coeur de Pirate, Michael Rault) at the helm producing and engineering this effort, “In the Dark” may finally be the record that makes Comyn a household name across our great nation. BUY

1. Two Bears North – Comeocean

Another pick reminiscent of summer indie-pop, this duo of Sophie Heppell and Melissa Walker presents nine tracks that evoke the frolicking amongst the waves or basking in a glowing sun, and yet presents just enough of a Canadiana feel to make this album perfectly suited for listening at any time of the year, in any climate. Add in some subtle synth textures, a little lo-fi sound, and you’ve got a phenomenal record. The best this glorious city had to offer this year, in fact. If you only have time for one track, check out “Hold On”. BUY

(Michael Senchuk’s New Music Michael was named the best music blog of 2013 by the readers of VUE magazine.)