Four albums into their career, Canadian indie rockers Metric have been named MySpace Music’s Triumph of the Year thanks to the success of their 2009 album Fantasies, which took only four weeks to beat previous album’s Live It Out sales over four years. The feat was more remarkable because Metric accomplished it without the aid of any record label, releasing Fantasies on their own Metric Music International. The album spawned the radio hit “Help I’m Alive,” which reached Number 30 on the Billboard Rock Songs list, Metric’s first appearance on the chart, while Fantasies peaked at Number One on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart.
In an interview with MySpace Music, frontwoman Emily Haines admitted the decision to record and self-release Fantasies alone instead of with a major label came with serious risks and sacrifices, all while the band worked on building their own recording studio in Toronto. “Everything we’ve earned from royalties and as a touring act went back into a number on the roulette wheel,” Haines said. “Everything was sacrificed. It’s like, you can have no money and lots of time, or you can have lots of money and no time. No time and no money is a pretty rough equation.”
Haines credits radio and retailers for picking up and playing “Help I’m Alive” despite the fact that the band didn’t have the promotional budget that most artists get from their major label deals. “You know, even though it still costs half a million dollars to work a single at traditional commercial [radio] stations, the people who work there are also still humans,” Haines said. “All over the industry we found people who actually listen to music and who, even at this time of doubt, are willing to take a risk on a song like ‘Help I’m Alive.’ ”
MySpace Music also named Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix the Best Album of 2009, beating out Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3 and Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion. All three albums also made it onto Rolling Stone‘s Top 25 Albums of 2009. Matt & Kim’s nude-in-Times Square video for “Lessons Learned” was named MySpace’ best video of 2009, while Drake was picked as the Best New Artist.