I've listened to some great music this year. Much of it has come from artists with which I was previously acquainted (The Arcade Fire, Neko Case, Daniel Lanois, Switchfoot, etc.), but a lot of new (to me) musicians have come across my path, for which I am very grateful!
Mumford & Sons I wasn't a fan to start. I had to listen to these guys quite a bit before I really started to enjoy them. My pastor, by preaching a sermon on this British folk band, had me listening to them.
I'm Not There (Soundtrack) I've been a Bob Dylan fan since I was born, but the cover songs on this album are absolutely gorgeous - in particular Iron & Wine/Calexico's version of Dark Eyes and Mira Billotte's As I Went Out One Morning. Stunning!
Paper Tongues These guys opened for Switchfoot this spring. I picked up their EP and it got some heavy rotation in my car. It's not what I typically listen to, but the vocals are amazing and the band is really tight. Great dancing music.
Calexico This SW Roots/Rock band makes fusion sound good. I saw them open for Arcade Fire a couple months ago and we stood right in front of their brass section. Beautiful melodies and some groovy grooves.
Owen Pallett This Ontario violin virtuoso released an album under his own name this year after several under the name Final Fantasy. He's a strange bird and his music can be stranger, but he's incredibly gifted and the music buried itself deep into my brain. Stuart McLean put me onto him by featuring a song on the Vinyl Cafe.
The New Pornographers I'd heard of this power pop band before and the name kind of put me off so I never paid them much attention. My worship leader invited Amber and I to go see them at MacEwan Hall in the spring and so I listened to their latest album, then bought tickets. It was one of the best shows I've ever seen, and their Together album is definitely worth picking up if you haven't already.
The Mountain Goats This guy opened for The New Pornographers and it could easily have been the other way around. He had some pretty devoted fans. I found his latest album, The Life Of The World To Come is a lot about dying and grief and just plain beautiful. I walked out of the concert with one song of his in my head and it stayed there for months.
Bon Iver I heard a song of his on CBC called Flume and immediately picked up the album. Such soothing and heartfelt acoustic tones!
The National Chris introduced me to these last two bands. The National is all about anthems, dark sing along songs. Precious.
Hayden I listened to this Canadian folkie while I worked on my Escher puzzle last month and I've been addicted to the soothing tones ever since. Message from London is my favorite song at the moment.