Two Vancouver acts (Carly Rae Jepsen and Japandroids), and one who used to live on the West Coast but now calls Montreal home (Grimes), have made a big impact on the Village Voice's annual Pazz+Jop Critics Poll released earlier this week.
Under former music editor Robert Christgau the alternative New York City weekly began polling critics in 1971 (The Who Who's Next won that year) for their favourite albums and added a singles list in 1979 (Ian Dury and The Blockheads "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" came out tops). Even though Christgau was dismissed from the Village Voice in August 2006 the paper has continued the tradition of compiling critics' lists at the end of each year. The digital age has greatly sped up the process of counting ballots at Pazz+Jop - it used to take months for the year-end tally compiling hundreds of lists to come out. The second week of January must be some kind of efficiency record for the paper.
This year Carly Rae Jepsen's massive hit "Call Me Maybe" has topped the Singles Chart beating out Miguel ("Adorn"), Usher ("Climax") and Frank Ocean ("Thinkin' 'Bout You") who came in at 2, 3 and 4. No mean feat for the Mission, B.C. based performer who ruled radio airwaves in 2012 - selling records is one thing but getting the nod from Pazz+Jop is an appreciation of the track in an entirely different context and a huge achievement for Jepsen. Her album, Kiss, also came in at 39.
Japandroids' "The House That Heaven Built" is Number 5 on the Singles Chart with Grimes placing two on the list with "Oblivion" at 13 and "Genesis" at 23.
Japandroids' Celebration Rock is fourth on the Album Chart behind Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar and Fiona Apple who are 1, 2 and 3 respectively. Grimes' Visions comes in at number 9. Other Canadian acts on the album list are Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas at 22, Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill at 31 and Godspeed You! Black Emperor Allelujah! - Don't Bend! Ascend! at 37.
For the complete Pazz+Jop package with full album and singles lists plus individual ballots and several essays on the year in music (such as A Trip Through Fiona Apple's Wheelhouse: The singer-songwriter wrestles with the idea of mind as machine by Audra Schroeder) go to villagevoice.com/pazznjop.