Discorder Retrospective: Early 2010’s
CiTR-FM’s Discorder Magazine has been published every month since February 1983, and UBC’s Open Collections offers complete online access to every single edition. This collection is an amazing time capsule into Vancouver’s indie music scene in any decade.
This week’s blog post is for the 2010’s indie music fans. If you found yourself averse to the pop hits of the time and drawn to the lesser known (you hipster you), then this blog post will likely be as nostalgic for you to read as it was for me to write.
When I first heard the song Odessa by Canadian artist Caribou (Dan Snaith) I remember thinking it was one of the most unique songs I had ever come across. The combination of the punchy electronic dance beat, the sharp intermittent synth melody and Snaith’s soft vocals seem antithetical but create this completely cohesive and intriguing sound. If you’ve never heard this track, I highly recommend it! Dan Snaith was interviewed for the May 2010 edition of Discorder, shortly after the release of his fifth studio album, Swim. You can find the interview on pg. 12.
In July, 2011 Discorder did a feature on Future Islands, a synthpop, alt rock band based in Baltimore. The bands third album On the Water would be released later the same year. On the Water has a dreamy, fluid quality that is enhanced by the yearning, nostalgic lyrics. And you’d be hard pressed to read a feature about this band that doesn’t mention their incredible live performances. I was lucky enough to see them perform in Quebec City in 2015 and can honestly say it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Herring’s stage presence is nothing if not unique, and I can confirm the accuracy of the ‘theatrical’ and ‘hyperactive’ descriptors used in the Discorder article.
Originally from Vancouver but based in Montreal at the time, Grimes had been making music for several years before her 2012 album Visions was released. Visions is now considered her breakout album with her songs ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Genesis’ remaining by far her most played songs on Spotify to this day. Grimes has now seen massive success and is known for her wild vocal range and ethereal, sci-fi inspired experimental indie-pop. She was featured on the cover of the February, 2012 edition of Discorder which also includes a feature on the artist by Sarah Berman starting on pg. 9.
Featured on the cover of the June, 2013 edition of Discorder are the Courtneys, an indie garage punk trio that formed in Vancouver in the early 2010’s. After three years together as a band they released their first self-titled album. The band is described in the Discorder feature (p. 14) as having a ‘summer laden aesthetic’, and the music video for their playful tune ‘90210’ (a montage of biking, skateboarding and sunbathing around the Stanley Park seawall) certainly lives up to that.
Angel Olsen released her album Burn Your Fire for No Witness in February of 2014. Just before its release, Discorder’s Lindsay Stewart wrote about the album for their Under Review section (p. 47-8). She calls Olsen’s voice “equal parts strange, bone-chilling, and addictive”, to which I completely concur.
That concludes this week’s blog post, I hope you enjoyed this 2010’s Discorder retrospective! Thanks for reading!