It's almost time to turn the page and welcome another 365 days of the good, the bad and the ugly of music, but we can't let 2012 pass without a round-up of the best Canadian albums this year.
The Huffington Post Music Canada team sifted through a plethora of records to bring you only the best of the best from across the genres, including everything from your favourite electro-rockers, experimental pop gurus, hip-hop champs and masters of the dancefloor.
Check out the slideshow below to see our Best Canadian Albums of 2012, and leave us your picks in the comment section below.
9. Dirty Ghosts 'Metal Moon'
A contemporary of Toronto's Fucked Up at the turn of the millennium, Dirty Ghosts leader Allyson Baker's musical vision quest finally resulted in <em>Metal Moon</em>, an album that takes a foundation of punk rage and distills it using filters composed of the best bits of '70s and '80s FM rock. In Baker's hands, Police-style reggae rock, Pat Benatar fist-pumps and Black Flag salutes all make sense together. — Aaron Brophy
8. Neil Young 'Psychedelic Pill'
Neil Young swore off drugs and alcohol this year after decades of excess. Paradoxically, he then put out <em>Psychedelic Pill</em>, his 35th studio album and what might be the aural equivalent to a giant flashback. Anchored by three separate 16-plus minute guitar jam-outs, there's little concern for lyrics, choruses or any other sort of pristine songcraft here. <em>Psychedelic Pill</em> captures a very specific feeling for a specific type of outlaw. It's about remembering what it was like when the sound of Young's "Old Black" guitar would make you whirl around and see trails. — Aaron Brophy
7. Crystal Castles 'III'
Canada's most enigmatic electronic act may refuse to name their albums, but their sound certainly hasn't remained locked in a similar stasis. While they began as little more than a chiptune take on Atari Teenage Riot, their music has progressively gotten gauzier and more dancefloor-focused, despite song titles like "Wrath of God." Alice Glass' aggro vocals are now mostly buried deep in the mix, and while her lyrics are as doom laden as ever, Ethan Kath's spectral synth music now sounds as unexpectedly beautiful as a sunflower in a graveyard. — Joshua Ostroff
6. Daphni 'JIAOLONG'
Once upon a time, electronic musician Dan Snaith was known as Manitoba until a lawsuit by an aged punk rocker forced him to adopt the moniker Caribou. This year, the expat Canadian took on a new name of his volition. Inspired by the DJ gigs he'd do to pass the nighttime while opening for Radiohead on tour, the alias serves as a declaration of his new dancefloor focus. And all power to him, because Daphni's soulful and tribal samples, sparkling and buzzy synths and assorted body-moving house, techno and breakbeat maneuvers make for some of the most exciting electronic dance music to emerge in this year of EDM. — Joshua Ostroff
5. Metric 'Synthetica'
After a band has been around a while, it becomes hard not to compare their latest album with their back catalogue, even with a Lou Reed co-sign cameo. This is admittedly neither Metric's best album nor does it contain the Toronto synth-rock quartet's best song — though the buzzsaw ballad "Dreams So Real" is right up there — but what <em>Synthetica </em>does is, appropriately enough, synthesize all that has come before like a greatest hits collection of all-new songs. The real treat, however, is Emily Haines' lyrics, which return to transforming socio-political subjects into pop poetry as songs like "Speed the Collapse" and "Youth Without Youth" soundtrack the Great Recession's long-awaited uprising. — Joshua Ostroff
4. Grimes 'Visions'
"Pop" is an amorphous label that has evolved far beyond its originating designation of popular. Grimes is not exactly Britney. Your mom does not know who she is (at least not yet). But like Bjork before her, there is an undeniable pop sensibility underlying Grimes' bedroom electronic experiments — consider it the sugar that helps her more eccentric medicine go down. The left and right sides of her brain aren't exactly warring here, as the expert fusion of her influences show a visionary young woman who, at the very least, picked the right album title. — Joshua Ostroff
3. Divine Fits 'A Thing Called Divine Fits'
The indie rock gods giveth and they taketh away. And so while 2012 will be remembered as the year that we lost Handsome Furs to a sad divorce, it will also be known as the year that we gained Divine Fits. The newborn outfit is comprised of Furs' Dan Boeckner, Spoon's Britt Daniels and New Bomb Turks' Sam Brown, but much like Boeckner's original group Wolf Parade, the diverse talents (and vocals) mesh into a surprisingly unified whole. Despite being somewhat hastily assembled, the resulting upbeat and infectious debut album is, well, divine enough to redeem the very term super group. — Joshua Ostroff
2. Leonard Cohen 'Old Ideas'
Over the years it's sometimes felt like Leonard Cohen was toying with us, coming up with new and exotic ways to woo lit majors. <em>Old Ideas</em>, the 78-year-old's 12th studio album, eschews many of those wry touches for something far more introspective. It's not quite a musical epitaph in the way Johnny Cash's last couple albums were, but Cohen is clearly contemplating his own mortality. However, like most good art, these songs leave you with more questions than answers. — Aaron Brophy
1. Japandroids 'Celebration Rock'
It's said that youth is wasted on the young. But that's not entirely true. There is a brief shining moment where you can see adulthood approaching — perhaps that first summer after high school or the epic days-long bender before the post-college job search begins — which inspires a rare real-time nostalgia for the present. That is what Japandroids celebrate. Not just on “Younger Us,” though that's perhaps the duo's most perfect moment, but throughout <em>Celebration Rock</em>, an album that is timeless because there will always be another group of kids who need to rage against the dying of youth's light. — Joshua Ostroff