This decade has been one big fat W for Canada. In the 2010s, we finally colonized the American pop landscape, with acts like Drake, The Weeknd, and Justin Bieber making themselves at home atop the Billboard charts (at one point even simultaneously). And they brought company with them—a surfeit of other Canuck artists have also blown up stateside, from Shawn Mendes to Grimes. Suddenly, industry eyes are all focused north of the border. No longer are we just making poor man's versions of U.S. pop music (sorry The Moffatts; you were no Hanson), we're actively influencing it. This period may well go down as the 10 coolest years in history to be Canadian.
But the 2010s also marked a shift in what it means to sound Canadian. After decades of our culture being defined by plaid-and-beards rock n' roll, our most recognizable musical exports now all have sonic influences rooted in hip-hop, R&B, and electronic. For once, the rest of Canada gets to be heard, too. And it turns out the world really likes what it hears.
Ranking the country's finest musical output of the past 10 years, then, involves more than just making a list of killer LPs—it requires one to take stock of the collections of songs that best define this brave new Canadian sound. So we did just that. Thank us later. These are Complex Canada’s picks for the 15 best Canadian albums of the 2010s.