JUNO Week continues as we get ready for the Awards ceremony on Sunday. If you missed it, check out Day 1 here. Today, we’re taking a look at the Albertans nominated for Alternative Album of the Year and Rock Album of the Year.
Alternative Album of the Year
Viet Cong, Viet Cong
Described as “labrynthine post punk,” Calgary’s Viet Cong released their self-titled debut album last January. From the bio of the album:
“Recorded in a barn-turned-studio in rural Ontario, the seven songs that make up Viet Cong were born largely on the road, when [Matt] Flegel and band mates Mike Wallace, Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen embarked on a 50-date tour that stretched virtually every limit imaginable. Close quarters hastened their exhaustion but also honed them as a group. With all four members traveling in one car, the mood conflated with the soundtrack, the soundtrack with the cities around them, and so forth. There was repetition, but it was all different. This combined with the grey, chilly emptiness of Calgary rendered a record with a viscerally rugged vibe…”
You can read a great review of the album from Pitchfork here, but the short story is that it’s a raw, sometimes hypnotizing journey that evokes the chill of winter and takes you through some intense rock, ending with a song called “Death.” Pretty heavy, dude.
Here’s one of their latest singles from Viet Cong, “Continental Shelf”
Deep in the Iris, BRAIDS
Weave together long-time friendships, experimental pop and a little something called a JUNO nomination, and you get Braids. This three-piece band was formed in Calgary in 2007 by Raphaelle Standell, Austin Tufts and Taylor Smith. They released they’re debut album Native Speaker, which was shortlisted for a Polaris Music Prize, after relocating to Montréal. Braids has since produced two more albums: Flourish // Perish in 2013 and the JUNO-nominated Deep in the Iris in 2015.
Rock Album of the Year
No Fixed Address, NickelbackWhat more can be said of the boys from Hanna? Probably one of Canada’s most commercially successful groups, frequently sitting in the top 20 of Billboard’s top album and Hot 100 charts, Nickelback is, well, back with their eighth studio album, No Fixed Address.
The album is a slight departure from the classic Nickelback sound as the band tries out a few new things, both in their style and in their substance. The track “Edge of a Revolution” dips into political waters, while their second single “What Are You Waiting For” moves in a more synth-pop direction. In its first week of release, No Fixed Address debuted at number two on the Canadian Albums Chart, and subsequently got the JUNOs nod for Rock Album of the Year.
Here’s their lead single from that album, “Edge of a Revolution”
That’s it for day two of our JUNOs week blog-stravaganza! Be sure to check back in tomorrow for more, and tune in on Sunday for the JUNOs Awards Ceremony!