Oh, Canada! Neighbor to the North, how we love you for all the wonderful things you’ve given the world. The country that brought you hockey, Degrassi and poutine also has many fantastic musical offerings. Looking at this year’s Polaris Music Prize nominees, the sheer amount of quality albums Canadian artists are producing is quite impressive. Releases from K’NAAN, Fucked Up and Metric are sure to be hot contenders for the award, which will be announced on September 21st.
Kicking off September 30th is Pop Montréal, a city-wide music festival in, you guest it, Montréal. With this year’s line up featuring Fever Ray, Butthole Surfers, Faust and Os Mutantes, there’s more than enough audible variety to keep your eardrums content. While you’re waiting for Pop Fest and biting your nails in anticipation at the announcement of this year’s Polaris Prize, there’s an abundance of emerging Canuck artists on OurStage just waiting to be discovered! Here’s a sampling of some of the best:
Electro-rock outfit These Electric Lives have earned a lot of recognition opening for the likes of Asobi Seksu and The Mystery Jets. The band’s track “Called it Off” will leave fans of Austrlia’s Van She crying for more. After a successful EP and Remix album, the band is busy gearing up for their first full-length release.
Runs With Kittens is a staple of the Toronto music scene. This quartet, armed with microkorg and a glockenspiel, has a hard time sticking to one specific genre. Their comedic antics show full force in their chaotic track “Ricky Martin Shake Your Boobies In My Face”.
From Vancouver come folky rockers Said The Whale. One of the band’s more upbeat tracks “Live Off Lamb” is reminiscent of earlier records by The New Pornographers and Dr. Dog. Said the Whale is gearing up to release their new album Islands Disappear on October 13th.
Pat the White is a blues rock group that would seem more at home in the deep south than their native Quebec. Nonetheless, the band, lead by prolific guitarist Patrick Leblanc, has received critical acclaim at home and abroad for their album Reviver. The band might be one of the few with enough chops to make a solid cover of the Allman Brother’s classic “Whipping Post.” If you don’t have 14 minutes to spare you should check out their track “A Good Fool is Hard to Find” instead”.
Jamesking combines 90s style R&B and modern funk to forge their own unique brand of pop. Gyles, the band’s leading lady, has a strong soulful voice that could easily bring down any house.