The Most ‘90s of Canadian ‘90s Songs

Fun Canada Day idea: make a bracket with all these songs and figure out which one is best. Or just queue them all up, because each and every one is a banger. 

Len, “Steal My Sunshine”

If it’s July of 1999, you’re in your best friends’ used Hyundai Pony, you both have oversized Slurpees, and you’re on your way to the mall, there’s a 90% chance the radio is playing “Steal My Sunshine” and you’re singing along. That’s science. 

Barenaked Ladies, “Brian Wilson” 

The album Gordon was incredible and produced so many songs that still make it into our regular rotation. They’re funny without being cheesy, deep without being pretentious, and catchy without being sell-outs. 

Rascalz, “Northern Touch” 

So distinctive, no other style comes near. Here’s a fact: Canada’s late nineties rap is still underappreciated. 

Love, Inc., “You’re a Superstar”

Sometimes you just want to dance in a room illuminated by blacklights, and when you do, Love, Inc. has the exact right tunes. 

Thrush Hermit, “From the Back of the Film” 

Halifax barroom heroes Thrush Hermit were known for their raucous performances and we wish they were still giving them. 

Our Lady Peace, “Superman’s Dead”

OLP landed at that sweet spot at the end of the grunge/alt-rock boom but before more regrettable musical trends like nu-metal and post-grunge showed up. 

Alanis Morissette, “You Oughta Know”

Jagged Little Pill was a monster of an album from someone once thought of as a teeny-bopper and “You Oughta Know” is the anthem of every woman rudely scorned. 

Odds, “Someone Who’s Cool”

Nominated for six Junos, winning zero—that’s Odds, the perennially underrated Canadian power pop band, frequently mistaken for Sloan.  

Moist, “Push”

Okay, so Moist weren’t exactly grunge. But if you’re an alt-rock band from the early nineties with a grimy look and distorted guitars, you’re close enough for Canadian kids looking for their version of Kurt Cobain. 

Bif Naked, “Spaceman” 

For a while, Bif Naked was everywhere. Aside from the radio, you could find her on other bands albums, appear as herself on TV, and acting. Fun fact: she appeared in the Daria movie Is It Fall Yet? 

Matthew Good Band, “Apparitions” 

With songs on multiple Big Shiny Tunes albums and videos on heavy Much rotation, the Matthew Good Band was an iconic piece of Canadiana. 

Propagandhi, “Anti Manifesto”

Ska-influenced power chords were hallmarks of bands like NOFX, but they could come from Winnipeg too. 

The Moffatts, “Girl of My Dreams” 

Call them Canada’s version of Hanson. They provided the soundtrack to many a sleepover and inspired plenty of bleached highlights. 

The Tragically Hip, “Ahead by a Century” 

Real talk: this whole list could have been Tragically Hip songs. But since this was the only one to actually hit number one on the charts in the nineties, and since “Courage” is timeless, we’ll go with “Ahead by a Century”.