Best Quebecois Albums of 2018
selected by Pierre-Alexandre Buisson

Chromeo <BR> “Head Over Heels”

“Head Over Heels”

Yes, Chromeo are Montreal’s first and foremost funk ambassadors, and this new album expands their sonic palette even further, while remaining typically funky and delicious. The basslines sound as good as a foot massage, and songs like One Track Mind or Room Service are best served very loudly. With collabs with the likes of The-Dream, French Montana and the Onyx Collective, and remixes by Chris Lake and Purple Disco Machine (on the Juice single), this is high quality work by high quality people.

♪♫ Listen: “Juice” + album stream

Chromeo on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Dave Chose <BR> “Dave Chose”

Dave Chose
“Dave Chose”

Seemingly careless, but deeply sensible, Dave Chose crafts popular folk ballads with tons of heart. He sings about beer and cigarettes, about living in a working class neighborhood, and sometimes surprises us by supplementing his bare bones songs with huge hooks. Dave Chose is very easy to love.

♪♫ Listen: “Chez Françoise” + album stream

Dave Chose on Facebook, Instagram, www.

Dumas <BR> “Nos idéaux”

“Nos idéaux”

After such a long career, Steve Dumas knows what works with his sensibility, and manages to output a very coherent body of work, culminating with that whopper of an album. Exploring his electronic sensibility even further, Dumas has crafted a collection of songs celebrating life, hopes and dreams.

♪♫ Listen: “Le déserteur de Fort Alamo” + album stream

Dumas on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Hubert Lenoir <BR> “Darlène”

Hubert Lenoir

Seemingly coming from out of nowhere, this ex The Seasons band member rose to stardom in Quebec after the release of “Darlène”, an album that’s part of a project alongside his girlfriend Noémie D. Leclerc’s book bearing the same name. He was mostly talked about for all the wrong reasons – a weird 7 minutes long video he made to ask Kanye West to work with him, and for his suicidal remarks during an appearance on the province’s biggest TV show – but rest assured, the guy has a lot of talent.

♪♫ Listen: “Fille de personne II” + album stream

Hubert Lenoir on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Jean-Michel Blais <BR> “Dans ma main”

Jean-Michel Blais
“Dans ma main”

After his first album was picked up by Arts & Crafts in 2016, Jean-Michel Blais’ trajectory became unstoppable. Favorably compared with giants such as Yann Tiersen and Chilly Gonzales, the pianist crafts beautiful and eerie songs, whose sad melodies linger in the mind. The perfect soundtrack for a slow motion roadtrip or for taking a bath while crying.

♪♫ Listen: “Roses” + album stream

Jean-Michel Blais on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Les Louanges <BR> “La nuit est une panthère”

Les Louanges
“La nuit est une panthère”

You wouldn’t guess that Les Louanges is Vincent Roberge’s solo project. It sounds a lot like several people poured their hearts out in the studio. With a very analog feel, the songs collection is very cohesive, and yet influenced by a wide variety of genres, and remains danceable even though it’s most often aiming straight at your brain.

♪♫ Listen: “La nuit est une panthère” + album stream

Les Louanges on Facebook, Instagram, www.

Lydia Képinski <BR> “Premier juin”

Lydia Képinski
“Premier juin”

To say that Képinski is unique would be an understatement. On this first album, her irony and ice cold temper are shrouded by her unique instrumentations, and this album is a testament to living in Montreal while in your twenties and trying to make ends meet through art.

♪♫ Listen: “360 jours” + album stream

Lydia Képinski on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Milk & Bone <BR> “Deception Bay”

Milk & Bone
“Deception Bay”

The duo is reunited after Camille Poliquin’s solo adventure as KROY in 2016, and their newest collection offers a dream songs selection chock-full of ethereal beats & feelings, with their unmistakable sense of melody. Daydream, indeed.

♪♫ Listen: “Daydream” + album stream

Milk & Bone on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Samuel Blais <BR> “Equilibrium”

Samuel Blais

“Equilibrium” is not only 2018’s best jazz album, but also the most exciting oeuvre of the last few years in a genre that’s rarely written about in the mainstream press. Blais’ quartet of highly skilled musicians take us to many places, using only the visceral evocative power of their highly energetic music.

♪♫ Listen: teaser + album stream

Samuel Blais on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Simon Kingsbury <BR>“Plaza”

Simon Kingsbury

For his second solo album, ex Lac Estion member Kingsbury almost leaves behind his folk aspirations and goes into rock territory. His songs are about the fragility of life – this newfound maturity is thematically rich, and leaves the listener quite satisfied. It’s a self-contained experience that is best enjoyed holding a beer in your hands.

♪♫ Listen: “Dans l’corridor” + album stream

Simon Kingsbury on Facebook.

Simon Laganière <BR> “Samedi soir de semaine”

Simon Laganière
“Samedi soir de semaine”

As a member of Les Frères Goyette, Laganière has developed a musical humor that’s quite tasteful; this first solo album still has traces of it, but it’s his lyrical prowess that’s the most surprising. Mixing rock and folk elements, his songs are stories, and the album is a microcosm on its own, populated by tragic and loveable figures.

♪♫ Listen: “Se planter un clou dans l’pied” + album stream

Simon Laganière on Facebook, Instagram.

Tristan Malavoy <BR> “L’École des vertiges”

Tristan Malavoy
“L’École des vertiges”

Malavoy’s long practice as a cultural newspaper editor and journalist has led him to take many routes. He has published a novel in 2015, and has always dabbled in music. This album is also a book, and it’s about many things, but it’s mainly about love, travel and life, as seen through a very gentle poet’s eyes.

♪♫ Listen: “La machine à aimer” + album stream

Tristan Malavoy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.