In college I was a creative writing major, and that same subject was my favorite class ever to teach in high school. Were I to still be teaching the class, I think I’d probably use the text to Belleisle’s track “Talks a Lot” as a classroom sample of the “every poem is a song” idea. The song, from the 2008 album Longstanding, exhibits a narrative sense that I just love. Speaking of love, I’m starting to feel that way about Belleisle, (and it’s not just because I used to go to the Frederick Law Olmstead-designed Detroit park of a similar name when I was a kid). The Montreal-based team of Rebecca Silverberg and Tasha Cyr make up the core of Belleisle, and their smooth delivery and surprisingly tasteful moments of dissonance are making me smile a whole lot, making me want to wax poetic.

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Orilla Opry

Emma Baxter and Daniel Noble, recording as Orilla Opry for Montreal’s Ships at Night Records, make an awesome noise. Folk-influenced, stripped-down pop, sometimes harmonized, sometimes dissonant, with hooks and crannies and texture and detail — if Orilla Opry was a house, it would have character and heavy duty curbside appeal. Try “Riverside 2,” off their latest album Lighthouse for Stragglers’ Eyes, for one of the prettiest, most ear-pleasing songs of the year (well, technically, from late last year).

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