The SiriusXM Indie Awards 2014: A Good Reason for Living

By Aaron Binder

Have you seen the 2014 Sirius XM Indie Awards nominees yet?

Are you absolutely astounded at just how deeply packed this roster is?

Beside the heavy-hitters like City and Colour, Classified and Arcade Fire is a field punctuated by lesser known but extremely talented names like The Balconies, Hannah Georgas, Rich Kidd, THE DARCYS, A Tribe Called Red and Karim Ouellet.

A few of the usual suspects make appearances but definitely don’t dominate the ‘prestige’ categories of Album, Single and Artist of the year.  Aside from City and Colour’s imposition in 8 categories, the field is well balanced and worth listening to – this collection of impressive acts is a who’s who of Canada’s best. The Indies might not be the biggest awards platform in Canada but they’re proving again why they remain the most credible with their constant diligence in choosing the best instead of the safest.

In fact, take a look at the whole roster and you’re going to find a lot of names you’ve probably never heard. You’re also going to read a lot of names that should have been on lists like this long ago but, as it happens, sometimes cream rises slowly. 2013 was an exceptional year in music and if you ever find yourself needing new tunes to explore, this is the definitive list.  Also, how cool is this music video:  (Nominees below the vid!)

2014 SIRIUSXM INDIE AWARDS NOMINEES

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Arcade Fire – Reflektor (Merge Records)
Basia Bulat – Tall Tall Shadow (Secret City Records)
City and Colour – The Hurry and the Harm (Dine Alone Records)
Shad – Flying Colours (Black Box Recordings)
The Weeknd – Kiss Land (XO)

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
City and Colour – The Lonely Life (Dine Alone Records)
Classified – Inner Ninja ft. David Myles (Black Box Recordings)
Head of the Herd – By This Time Tomorrow (Independent)
July Talk – Guns & Ammunition (July Talk / Sleepless Records)
Mounties – Headphones (Light Organ Records)

GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Born Ruffians (Paper Bag Records)
Half Moon Run (Indica Records)
Hollerado (Royal Mountain Records)
Monster Truck (Dine Alone Records)
Mother Mother (Last Gang Records)

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Basia Bulat (Secret City Records)
City and Colour (Dine Alone Records)
Classified (Black Box Recordings)
Shad (Black Box Recordings)
The Weeknd (XO)

FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Basia Bulat (Secret City Records)
Hannah Georgas (Dine Alone Records)
Jessy Lanza (Geej Recordings / Hyperdub)
Maylee Todd (Do Right! Music)
Mia Martina (CP Music Group)

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Brendan Canning (Draper Street / SQE)
Daniel Romano (Normaltown Records)
Hayden (Arts And Crafts)
Sebastien Grainger (Last Gang Records)
Tim Hecker (Paper Bag Records)

LIVE ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
City and Colour (Dine Alone Records)
Half Moon Run (Indica Records)
Hollerado (Royal Mountain Records)
USS (Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker) (Coalition Music)
Wildlife (Wax Records)

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
Basia Bulat (Secret City Records)
Belly (CP Music Group)
Hayden (Arts And Crafts)
Jenson Vaughan (Ultra Music)
Mother Mother (Last Gang Records)

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Arcade Fire – Reflektor (Merge Records)
City and Colour – Thirst (Dine Alone Records)
Hollerado – So It Goes (Royal Mountain Records)
Said The Whale – I Love You (Hidden Pony Records)
Shad – Remember to Remember ft. Lights (Black Box Recordings)

MUST FOLLOW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Born Ruffians (Paper Bag Records)
City and Colour (Dine Alone Records)
Massari (CP Music Group)
Mia Martina (CP Music Group)
The Weeknd (XO)

COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR
Classified – Inner Ninja ft. David Myles (Black Box Recordings)
JRDN – Can’t Choose ft. Kardinal Offishall (Kuya Productions / Fontana North)
SonReal & Rich Kidd – The Closers (Black Box Recordings)
The Weeknd – Live For ft. Drake (XO)
Tim Chaisson – Beat This Heart ft. Serena Ryder (Bumstead Productions)

MOST PLAYED INDEPENDENT ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
City and Colour (Dine Alone Records)
Classified (Black Box Recordings)
Head of the Herd (Head of the Herd)
J.V. Project (Ultra Music)
Monster Truck (Dine Alone Records)

BEST-SELLING INDEPENDENT RELEASE OF THE YEAR
Arcade Fire – Reflektor (Merge Records)
City and Colour – The Hurry and the Harm (Dine Alone Records)
Classified – Inner Ninja ft. David Myles (Black Box Recordings)
deadmau5 – > album title goes here < (Ultra Music)
Monster Truck – Furiosity (Dine Alone Records)

ALTERNATIVE ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
July Talk (July Talk / Sleepless Records)
Suuns (Secret City Records)
THE DARCYS (Arts And Crafts)
We Are Wolves (Dare To Care Records)
Wildlife (Wax Records)

BLUES ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
David Gogo (Cordova Bay Records)
Downchild (Linus Entertainment)
Little Miss Higgins & The Winnipeg Five (Independent)
MonkeyJunk (Stony Plain Records)
Sunday Wilde (Independent)

CHILDREN’S ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Charlie Hope (Independent)
Gary Rasberry (Independent)
Helen Austin (Independent)
Marlowe & the MiX (Independent)
Splash’N Boots (Independent)

COUNTRY ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Daniel Romano (Normaltown Records)
Dean Brody (Open Road Recordings)
Small Town Pistols (604 Records)
The Good Family (Latent Recordings)
Tim Hicks (Open Road Recordings)

DANCE ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Born Gold (Independent)
J.V. Project (Ultra Music)
Mia Martina (CP Music Group)
Porsha (Ultra Music)
Rosette (Ultra Music)

ELECTRONIC ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
A Tribe Called Red (Pirates Blend Records)
Austra (Paper Bag Records)
Braids (Flemish Eye)
Pick A Piper (Mint Records)
Ryan Hemsworth (Last Gang Records)

FOLK/ROOTS ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Basia Bulat (Secret City Records)
Lee Harvey Osmond (Latent Recordings / Fontana North)
The Deep Dark Woods (Six Shooter Records)
The Sadies (Outside Music)
The Strumbellas (Six Shooter Records)

FRANCOPHONE ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Alex Nevsky (Audiogram)
Hôtel Morphée (Audiogram)
Jason Bajada (Audiogram)
Karim Ouellet (Coyote Records / Abuzive Muzik)
Ponctuation (Bonsound)

JAZZ ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Chet Doxas (Addo)
Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra (Justin Time)
Colin Stetson (Constellation)
Diana Panton (eOne Music Canada)
Matt Dusk (eOne Music Canada)

METAL ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Blood Ceremony (Metal Blade)
Gorguts (Season of Mist)
Kataklysm (Nuclear Blast / Fontana North)
KEN mode (New Damage Records)
Voivod (Century Media)

POP ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Fast Romantics (Pipe & Hat)
Groenland (Bonsound)
JRDN (Kuya Productions / Fontana North)
Mise en Scene (Pipe & Hat)
Two Hours Traffic (Bumstead Productions)

PUNK/HARDCORE ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Cancer Bats (Distort Inc. / Fontana North)
Protest The Hero (Independent)
PUP (Royal Mountain Records)
The Flatliners (New Damage Records)
The Mahones (eOne Music Canada)

RAP/HIP-HOP ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Classified (Black Box Recordings)
Grand Analog (Independent)
Rich Kidd (Black Box Recordings)
Shad (Black Box Recordings)
SonReal (Black Box Recordings)

ROCK ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Danko Jones (Hidden Pony Records)
Monster Truck (Dine Alone Records)
One Bad Son (604 Records)
The Balconies (Coalition Music)
Wildlife (Wax Records)

SOUL/R&B ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Chloe Charles (Athena Music International)
Jessy Lanza (Hyperdub)
Maylee Todd (Do Right! Music)
Nuela Charles (Independent)
Zaki Ibrahim (Pirates Blend Records)

WORLD ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
David Buchbinder & Odessa/Havana (Tzadik)
Jaron Freeman-Fox & the Opposite of Everything (Independent)
Kobo Town (Independent)
Lemon Bucket Orkestra (Independent)
Sultans of String (Independent)

INTERNATIONAL GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Disclosure (PMR Records)
Foals (Transgressive)
Jimmy Eat World (Dine Alone Records)
The National (4AD)
Vampire Weekend (XL Recordings)

INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Blood Orange (Domino)
Danny Brown (Fool’s Gold Records)
Janelle Monáe (Wondaland Art Society / Bad Boy Records)
Kurt Vile (Matador Records)
Neko Case (Anti-)

INTERNATIONAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Arctic Monkeys – AM (Domino)
Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap (MTC Records)
Disclosure – Settle (PMR Records)
My Bloody Valentine – m b v (Independent)
Queens of the Stone Age – ...Like Clockwork (Matador Records)

INTERNATIONAL SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know? (Domino)
Capital Cities – Safe and Sound (Lazy Hooks)
Icona Pop – I Love It ft. Charli XCX (TEN Music Group)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Can’t Hold Us (Macklemore)
Vampire Weekend – Diane Young (XL Recordings)

INTERNATIONAL BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST/GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
Chance The Rapper (MTC Records)
CHVRCHES (Glassnote Records)
Disclosure (PMR Records)
MS MR (IAMSOUND Records)
Phantogram (Indica Records)

INTERNATIONAL VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Atoms For Peace – Ingenue (XL Recordings)
Calvin Harris – Sweet Nothing ft. Florence Welch (Ultra Music)
Janelle Monáe – Q.U.E.E.N. ft. Erykah Badu (Wondaland Art Society / Bad Boy Records)
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Can’t Hold Us (Macklemore)
Phoenix – Trying to Be Cool (Glassnote Records)

SIRIUSXM EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR
 (English)
Fur Trade (Last Gang Records)
The Glorious Sons (Black Box Recordings)
Head of the Herd (Independent)
Michael Bernard Fitzgerald (Trauma2 Records)
The Matinee (Light Organ Records)
The Motorleague (Sonic Records)
Mounties (Light Organ Records)
PUP (Royal Mountain Records)
Royal Canoe (Nevado Records)
Wake Owl (Rezolute Music)

SIRIUSXM EMERGING ARTIST OF THE YEAR 
(French)
Jason Bajada (Audiogram)
Keith Kouna (L-A be)
Klô Pelgag (Coyote Records / Abuzive Muzik)
Lac Estion (Poulet Neige)
Les Hay Babies (Simone Records)
Oothèque (Bonsound)
Ponctuation (Bonsound)
Rouge Pompier (Slam Disques)
Sally Folk (Entourage Musique)
VioleTT Pi (L-A be)

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