LiL MIX Volume 68: Iconic Canada

After what seemed like a tepid lead-up to our country’s sesquicentennial (probably because no one wants to try even pronouncing that word), we are being inundated with all things Canadian as the big 1-5-0 rapidly approaches.

My ears certainly don’t mind, as in a lot of ways we are all being reminded of the eh-mazing music that has come out of the Great White North for the world to hear and share. Maybe not 150 years’ worth, but the last third or so of that timeframe has produced gems from our rocky-in-places landscape that have definitely achieved elevated status.

With this mind, I’ve cobbled together an #IconicCanada playlist where each and every selection transcends borders, even if it may not have been the biggest chart-topper here or abroad.

Some of it is indebted to content laws that essentially forced music created here to be heard by its citizens, whether they liked it or not. Others like the ones on this playlist would have been successful even if the artist hailed from Timbuktu…or tiny Manotick, Ontario in Hollerado’s case.

The longer-than-150-year history of our nation may contain incidences not everyone should be proud of, but a hallmark of the reputation we’ve earned internationally is owning up to past transgressions and trying to do the right thing going forward. That, poutine, and YOLO. (Thanks Drake!)

Not every Canuck worships The Tragically Hip as the rest of the world probably believes; there is however an overflow of homegrown talent from sea to proverbial shining sea to get behind and support no matter what you’re in to. Don’t read into this as it being my way of saying “sorry not sorry” for not including any country music. Or Bieber. That kid still needs to grow up. Lucky for him his homeland is tolerant, patient and forgiving.

I am nowhere near egotistical enough to suggest these are the greatest songs of whatever whatever, although if you’re looking for some solid CanCon to wave a flag to over the long weekend while grillng or indulging in a stubby or three, you can do a lot worse than this playlist.

And this goes without saying, Happy Canada Day!


  1. Oh…Canada – Dirty version – Classified
  2. We’re All In This Together – Sam Roberts Band
  3. I’ll Believe In Anything – Wolf Parade
  4. Wake Up – Arcade Fire
  5. Drinking in L.A. – Bran Van 3000
  6. Montréal -40 – Malajube
  7. I Tried to Leave You – Leonard Cohen
  8. Ironic – 2015 Remastered – Alanis Morissette
  9. Electric Pow Wow Drum – A Tribe Called Red
  10. Pick Me Up – Hollerado
  11. One Dance – Drake
  12. Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd
  13. Her Daddy Don’t Like Me – Jazz Cartier
  14. Breathing Underwater – Metric
  15. Meet Me In The Basement – Broken Social Scene
  16. Romantic Rights – Death From Above 1979
  17. Take Me To the Riot – Stars
  18. Orleans – The StandStills
  19. Give It Up – The Beaches
  20. DVP – PUP
  21. Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff – Radio Edit – deadmau5
  22. Let Your Backbone Slide – Power Mix – Maestro Fresh Wes
  23. Miracle – The Darcys
  24. Wash Your Face In My Sink – Dream Warriors
  25. The Garden – July Talk
  26. Closer To The Heart – Rush
  27. New Orleans Is Sinking – The Tragically Hip
  28. Summer Of ’69 – Bryan Adams
  29. Rockin’ In The Free World – Neil Young
  30. American Woman – Remastered – The Guess Who
  31. One Great City! – The Weakerthans
  32. Closer – Tegan and Sara
  33. Mr. Someone Else – The Dudes
  34. Big Yellow Taxi – Live – Joni Mitchell
  35. I Don’t Know – The Sheepdogs
  36. Top Of The World – Rascalz
  37. Below – White Lung
  38. Ocean Pearl – 54-40
  39. The House That Heaven Built – Japandroids
  40. Middle Of Nowhere – Hot Hot Heat
About author

Gilles LeBlanc literally fell into “alternative rock” way back at Lollapalooza 1992, where he got caught in his first mosh pit watching some band named Pearl Jam. Since then, he’s spent the better part of his life looking for music to match the liberating rush he felt that day, with a particular chest-beating emphasis on stuff coming out of his native Canada. You can follow his alter ego on Twitter: @ROCKthusiast.