An authoritative, unprecedented account of how in the early 2000s Canadian music finally became cool.

Hearts on Fire is about the creative explosion in Canadian music of the early 2000s, which captured the world’s attention in entirely new ways. The Canadian wave didn’t just sweep over one genre or one city, it stretched from coast to coast, affecting large bands and solo performers, rock bands and DJs, and it connected to international scenes by capitalizing on new technology and old-school DIY methods.

Arcade Fire, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Feist, Tegan and Sara, Alexisonfire: those were just the tip of the iceberg. This is also the story of hippie chicks, turntablists, poetic punks, absurdist pranksters, queer orchestras, obtuse wordsmiths, electronic psychedelic jazz, power-pop supergroups, sexually bold electro queens, cowboys who used to play speed metal, garage rock evangelists, classically trained solo violinists, and the hip-hop scene that preceded Drake. This is Canada like it had never sounded before. This is the Canada that soundtracked the dawn of a new century.

Featuring more than 100 exclusive interviews and two decades of research, Hearts on Fire is the music book every Canadian music fan will want on their shelf.

“This book is catnip for me. There is no Arkells if not for so many of the artists chronicled here. This era of Canadian music is revered in my mind, so it is amazing to have the curtain pulled back to reveal the goals, temperaments, and egos of my heroes. A must read for anyone who wants to celebrate the golden age of Canadian indie rock music.”

— Max Kerman, Arkells

"Barclay is an elite authority on the subject, with particular expertise on the indie scene. Hearts on Fire is the cohesive, meticulous and important follow-up [to Have Not Been the Same] that documents the subsequent, unexpected international rise of Canadian cool ... Canadians from all places have something to be proud of when it comes to the country’s music. Barclay, with this scholarly but lively read, has something to be proud of as well."

— Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail

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