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Emanuel — Alt Therapy

Ontario: Top 10 of 2021

by Daniel McIntosh

Before he was co-signed by Idris Elba and Kardinal Offishall, Emanuel would post covers of the Weeknd and Frank Ocean on YouTube. His debut album, Alt Therapy, sees the vocalist step fully into a lane of his own, exploring the range of the ability he showcased on his Juno-nominated EP of the same name. “I Been,” peels back the groove until there’s only a guitar, a sentimental string section and Emanuel’s tightly controlled falsettos and stacked vocal harmonies. Alt Therapy certifies that the crooner is now in the same league as the artists he once emulated.

Read our interview with Emanuel here. 

Bo Burnham’s transcendent comedy special isn’t the only great piece of COVID-adjacent art titled Inside released this year. The indie-rock quintet’s latest opens and closes with the sounds of the 7pm clanging pots and pans that once heralded the essential workers, and many of the tracks find them grappling with introspective thoughts while trapped in a room – being stuck inside one’s own head being an even worse fate than the physical boundaries.