The title and author's name "Hearts on Fire: Six Years that Changed Canadian Music 2000–2005" by Michael Barclay are written in beige overtop a red image of a girl holding up a megaphone.

Hearts on Fire Book

The title and author's name "Hearts on Fire: Six Years that Changed Canadian Music 2000–2005" by Michael Barclay are written in beige overtop a red image of a girl holding up a megaphone.

Cover of “Hearts on Fire: Six Years that Changed Canadian Music” by Michael Barclay, 2023 Heritage Toronto Book Award nominee. Cover designed by David A. Gee.

Author: Michael Barclay

Publisher: ECW Press

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, 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.


About the Author:

Michael Barclay is a freelance music writer, and copy editor at Maclean’s, and has contributed to CBC’s Brave New Waves, and Exclaim! magazine. He co-authored the book Have Not Been the Same: The CanRock Renaissance 1985–1995, about iconic Canadian artists including the Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, k.d. lang, and more, and runs the blog Radio Free Canuckistan, He’s been nominated for a National Magazine Award, and is a juror for the Polaris Prize.