Various Artists

Arts & Crafts: 2003-13

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As Canadian indie pop was crossing over and becoming the big thing in the mid-2000s, Toronto's Arts & Crafts grew from a homegrown basement apartment to one of the most influential labels of that decade. Flash forward to 2013, and label heads Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene and Jeffrey Remedios announced they would be holding the Field Trip Arts & Crafts Music Festival to commemorate the label's ten-year anniversary. To coincide with the event, a compilation titled Arts & Crafts: 2003-2013 was released. Contributions by flagship artists like Broken Social Scene, Stars, Feist, and Los Campesinos! are included, but instead of simply focusing on the big acts and their greatest hits, a lot of the songs included are rarities. It's a nice selection. The style of music ranges from heady precision punk to rustic acoustic folk, but because the artists on board share in the same optimistic indie spirit, the compilation plays cohesively from start to finish. Interesting, too, to see how the label set the stage for many mainstream acts to follow in the year 2013. [The deluxe version comes with a 24-page booklet, with liner notes written by Stuart Berman, author of the Broken Social Scene oral biography This Book Is Broken.]

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