Stop the timer, the year is up! Late in December, nostalgia sets in, and we find ourselves reflecting on the highlights from the last twelve months. Toronto is home to some extraordinary musicians, and there was a surplus of incredible music releases this year. From chillwave to rock to hip hop, these albums offer something unique and memorable, landing them on my list for Top 10 Toronto Albums of the year.

DIANA || Perpetual Surrender
DIANA’s debut record contains eight tracks that are smooth, dreamy, groovy, and dancey. All of my favourite things. They’ve created chill synth pop that momentarily reaches explosive heights before returning to a calm ebb and flow.

Basia Bulat || Tall Tall Shadow
Basia is from another world. With her stunning vocals and sophisticated charm, she’s made a powerful, emotionally charged folk record that’s encompassed in a timeless quality.

PUP || Pup 
PUP delivers a record full of raw upbeat anthems. They channel their inner angst using a bit of punk rock temperament, slapped together with some technical guitar work and atypical time signatures. It stays entertaining the whole way through.

Rhye || Woman
This is music to make love to. Believe it or not, these breathy, sexy vocals belong to a man! His voice, along with his sensitivite and impassioned lyricism, give this record the ability to transfer you to a entirely different state of mind.

Austra || Olympia 
These songs are expansive, with lush textures, percussive and symphonic tones coming together in a chill, groove-oriented mixture. The vocals soar overtop, with a remarkable vibrato quality that is nothing short of compelling.

Shad || Flying Colours
Shad emits a swagger that is unpretentious and so likeable. He is a quick-witted poet, recalling his own experience with an engaging sense of humour.

Braids || Flourish//Perish
Braids makes music that is received as art. This album explores experimental compositions through various landscapes of sound, with entrancing feminine vocals fluctuating throughout.

Light Fires || Face
Heavy synth progressions collide with bangin’ electronic drum tracks. Regina’s saucy and sassy vocals are simply addictive. Throw this album on when your gearing up to paint the town.

July Talk || July Talk
July Talk uses their strong blues-rock influences to create the finest in indie-pop-rock. Contrasting gritty male vocals and sweet feminine tones make a unusual, yet outstanding, combination.

Jessy Lanza || Pull My Hair Back
Jessy Lanza partnered up with beat-maker Jeremy Greenspan of Junior Boys to round out her dreamy solo project. The record offers electronic grooves, fuzzy baselines, and her effortlessly smooth vocals.