City and ColourSaturday, July 23 at 9:30PM
There’s a line that I’m trying to find, between the water and the open sky,” sings Dallas Green on “Friends,” the penultimate track off of his fifth release as City and Colour, If I Should Go Before You. For someone like Green, it’s hard to imagine that there’s much left to search for – he’s traversed the globe on tour, released numerous albums (one most recently as You+Me with Alecia Moore, aka P!nk) and collected scores of accolades. Though Green is a musician, he doesn’t make a show of things: that’s the songs’ job. Thus he’s done this all quietly, intentionally, still looking for the next answer or dog-eared chapter each record holds. And this time, on If I Should Go Before You, he once again uncovered something new: a certain kind of family in his bandmates.
MetricSunday, July 24 at 8:30PM
Life is beautiful. The world is cruel. Music still matters. Metric have wrestled with these truths for 15 years, but their new album, Pagans in Vegas, takes them on in an entirely new way.
Six LPs into an inspiring career that’s seen them collaborate with legends like Lou Reed, perform with the Rolling Stones, entertain the Queen of England, become the first band in history to score their first Top 20 commercial radio hit in the U.S. without the backing of an outside label, win a plethora of awards including Junos for Album of the Year and Artist of the Year, pen the theme song for Twilight: Eclipse with Howard Shore (for which the music garnered nominations for both an Oscar and a Grammy), release an interactive app directly to fans, and set up an esoteric toll-free number for their dedicated listeners to navigate the past and future of their music, Metric have their creative process on lock. But nothing about Pagans in Vegas, set for release in September 2015, came together like any other Metric record.
ArkellsSunday, July 24 at 7:00PM
Arkells are a critically acclaimed rock n roll band, known for their classic songwriting, electric live show, and workman like touring ethic. Having formed 10 years ago at school, they have since become one of Canada’s most successful rock bands. Their latest album, High Noon, landed at #1 on the Canadian iTunes chart and debuted at #3 on the overall Canadian Neilsen Soundscan. It was certified gold in summer 2015.
High Noon is produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, The Kooks, M83), and includes the band’s #1 hit single “Leather Jacket.” This collection of songs is the band’s most unabashed effort yet – politically charged, heart-on-your-sleeve lyrics, combined with modern and throwback production styling.
Eagles Of Death MetalSunday, July 24 at 5:35PM
Eagles of Death Metal is an American rock band from Palm Desert, California, formed in 1998 by best friends Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme. Despite their band name, Eagles of Death Metal is not a death metal band. The story goes that a friend was introducing Josh Homme to the death metal genre. When he played a song by the Polish band Vader and made a claim that the song was within the death metal genre, Homme then referred to Vader as “The Eagles of Death Metal”. After hearing this phrase, he wondered what a cross between the Eagles and a death metal band would sound like. With that, the band was born.
Current SwellFriday, July 22 at 9:30PM
Cultivating the unique moments when a first take becomes the final cut, or when a fleeting idea turns into a fully realized creation, has become something of an unofficial philosophy for Current Swell. Considering the pace they have set in recent years – including a first place win and $100,500 top prize at Vancouver’s Peak Performance Project and sold-out headlining tours of Brazil and Europe – Current Swell had no reason to re-write their approach heading into the sessions for Ulysses, the band’s anticipated second release for Nettwerk Records.
Not after a six-year run which has positioned the group as one of the bright lights on the Canadian musical landscape.
The Cat EmpireSaturday, July 23 at 8:00PM
For over a decade, The Cat Empire have been known far and wide as one of the world’s greatest party bands. Their colourful, genre-bending music, shipped across the world in traveler’s backpacks seems at home almost anywhere, and yet the band has always been a kind of illusive stranger.
Difficult to describe and impossible to categorise, The Cat Empire’s reputation is built upon a chaotic and fiercely uplifting live show that, last year over half a million people bought tickets to see. Much like their other annual expeditions the band’s 2015 tour covered 15 different countries including Hurricane & Southside Festival in Germany, Secret Garden Party in the UK, Rock Wertcher in Belgium, and a career highlight headline show at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London which sold out months in advance.
July TalkSunday, July 24 at 4:20PM
July Talk isn’t easy to pigeonhole. Imagine Tom Waits and Amy Millan shouting whiskey-soaked lullabies while backed by Crazy Horse and youʼd have a start. Striking a balance between Americana and indie-rock, July Talkʻs Beauty & the Beast aesthetic burns a little going down, but will leave you wanting more.
The New PornographersSaturday, July 23 at 6:40PM
The New Pornographers are A.C. Newman, Blaine Thurier, Dan Bejar, John Collins, Kathryn Calder, Neko Case and Todd Fancey.
Since their debut in 2000, The New Pornographers have released five studio albums including their most recent, Together (2010), of which, NPR Music praised, “Unimpeachable pop gems…these are the songs of summer” while ELLE magazine asserted, “The New Pornographers have done what all great bands do: Evolve…unpretentious and unbelievably infectious” and the Associated Press heralded, “…Together finds them at their peak. The melding of Newman’s voice with Neko Case and Kathryn Calder is endlessly inventive, weaving in and out of the nervous-sounding rhythm that is the band’s calling card. The first four songs are what the Electric Light Orchestra meant to achieve but never quite did.”
Jesse RoperFriday, July 22 at 8:00PM
Victoria BC’s Jesse Roper is magnetic. “I was mesmerized by his energy. It’s raw and it just draws you in.” – Dylan Willows (Festival Promoter). With an explosive live show, the genuine quality and charisma of his versatile blues rooted soul, rock and country funk is as approachable as his charm. Quickly gaining momentum, the wheels on Jesse’s faithful van keep turning, chronicling a year of extensive touring and success of becoming a major festival draw.
The nostalgic may appreciate his throwback vibe akin to Stevie Ray Vaughan and vintage Texas blues, however, Jesse Roper’s music remains current, the organic rawness of his vocals and guitar over shadowing any preconceived stereotypes made of blues musicians. His youthful energy captivates audiences while his knock out live performance blows them away.
Big WreckSaturday, July 23 at 5:30PM
Returning to the studio for the first time since the success of 2012’s Albatross, Big Wreck approached the making of their fourth full-length album Ghosts, with a renewed sense of wonder toward the very things that turned them on to rock and roll in the first place. “Prior to this and before Albatross, I always had to sneak music in somewhere between a designed pop hit,” says frontman and guitarist Ian Thornley. “That was never really my bag. This time I just sort of said, “you know what, I’m going to make an album that I would really, really want to hear and that I’m madly in love with,” and that’s what we did.”
Yukon BlondeSunday, July 24 at 3:15PM
Yukon Blonde’s third album, On Blonde, is the product of an intense period of personal escapism. “These songs weren’t initially created with an album in mind,” explains front man Jeffrey Innes. “I started fooling around with drum machines and synthesizers and recording demos in Ableton. There was no end-point. I didn’t know if there’d be another Yukon Blonde record.”
In the past, the group had pumped out two albums worth of energetic indie pop music with a handful of EPs in between. But constant touring and compromises to the collective vision for the band had left Yukon Blonde exhausted, “I think we were all unsure as to the direction we were heading in. Coupled with living out of suitcases and sweating it out in an Econoline van for years,” he continues, “we needed a moment out to figure it out.”
Jon and RoyFriday, July 22 at 6:40PM
Jon Middleton and Roy Vizer each brought something new to the sessions for Riverside, their sixth recording as the acclaimed roots/folk rock band Jon and Roy.
Vizer, a trained percussionist, treated himself to a traditional drum set — not his typical studio path. “I put down the hand drums completely,” he said. “This was us trying to push it a little bit.”
Middleton also went off script. For the recording sessions at Greenhouse Studios in Vancouver, where records by Sarah MacLachlan, Matthew Good, K.D. Lang and 54-40 among others have been recorded, the singer-songwriter used a semi-acoustic guitar. He played the vintage 1947 Gibson L4 hollow body (on loan from the band’s manager) during each of the seven songs on Riverside, eschewing an acoustic guitar for the first time ever on a Jon and Roy recording.
Dear RougeSaturday, July 23 at 4:25PM
While bands often spend their early days discovering their musical directions and vying for visibility, the story of Vancouver’s Dear Rouge is something unique and almost unheard of in Canada. The band is led by husband and wife duo Drew and Danielle McTaggart. Between the two of them, they carry years of touring and recording with multiple bands and different musical ventures. It was these days of young exploration that led them to meeting. Both driven by a passion to create energetic music with a creative backbone, they formed Dear Rouge and their debut EP Heads Up Watch Out. Their follow up EP Kids Wanna Know helped hone their alternative dance-rock sound and also led to the duo winning the Peak Performance Project in 2012, the largest artist development project in Canada.
Towers and TreesFriday, July 22 at 4:25PM
Earnestness and vulnerability are two qualities not always present (or welcome) in this digital age of music. Yet true to the cover image of their newest album The West Coast, Towers and Trees have chosen to bear all and sprint headlong into those waters. From the soaring optimism of its anthems to the raw simplicity of its quieter moments, The West Coast could not plant its heart more firmly on its sleeve.
T&T lead singer/songwriter Adrian Chalifour describes it as “an album that believes in love even in the midst of losing it.”
The StandstillsSunday, July 24 at 2:20PM
What everyone already knows, is that The Standstills compose a story being brought down to its core, stripped of all inessentials and rendered as art. Like rugged, spare soulful prose, their craft is Hemingway meets John Lee Hooker, over-driven.
What everyone doesn’t know, is unlike other bands, The Standstills actually helped the Aliens construct the pyramids! They’ve done Absinthe with Van Gogh, they drove Robert Johnson to the crossroads, they drank wine with Jesus Christ, they fed pigeons with Nikola Tesla, and they played the roles of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong for the moon landing, which was filmed in Hollywood studios on July 24th 1969. They have been there, they have done that!
Band Of RascalsFriday, July 22 at 5:30PM
Nuts and bolts rock ‘n’ roll. Bringing genuine rock and roll back to ‘modern rock’, Victoria BC based Band of Rascals are becoming a strong presence within the Western Canadian music scene. Since the overwhelming and supportive response to their debut self-titled EP, Band of Rascals have been riding a surge of momentum becoming The Zone 91.3’s band of the month and selling out every home crowd show.
Their first single “Give’her to the River” saw great response on radio resulting in increasingly larger venues to accommodate their audience expansion. Performing at festivals including CMW, Rifflandia and Rock the Woods while securing direct support to artists including Current Swell and Jesse Roper, Band of Rascals are attracting well deserved attention.
KytamiFriday, July 22 at 3:25PM
If a line exists between classical and electronic, between ancient and new age, synthetic and organic, Kytami has sliced them all using only a violin bow… but what more does she need?
Apparently nothing at all, as Kytami has already been dubbed a ‘music revolutionary’ by Whats Up Magazine USA, a ‘violinistextremist’ here at home, and has been summoned to bring her violin thunder to audiences as far reaching as Taiwan, Dubai and Berlin.
Through an alchemy of classical, fiddle styles fused with the heavy bass elements of Drum n Bass, Dubstep and Hip Hop, Kytami has managed to soar above the constraints of musical genre and labeling and today she is regularly dubbed Canada’s most diverse and engaging fiddle player.
The MotorleagueSunday, July 24 at 1:30PM
The Motorleague is Shawn Chiasson, Nathan Jones, Francis Landry and Don Levandier.
Holding Patterns is a rock record, and The Motorleague is a rock band.
That may not seem like news to those that know them, but really, it is. The Moncton, New Brunswick-based foursome have been an East Coast scene staple for nearly a decade and, in recent years, have further propelled their profile across the country.
It’s easy to tell why. The live show is notoriously intense and the sounds they send from the stage are nothing but passionate and pure. But then, band photos from over the years are full of faces come and gone, and the music itself has bounced between everything from skate punk to stoner metal and plenty in between.
Royal TuskSaturday, July 23 at 3:25PM
Forged from rock ‘n’ roll soul, blue-collar charm and a renegade attitude, it’s no surprise this quintet of bearded prairie men made a lasting impression with audiences on their well-received 2014 EP, Mountain. Royal Tusk‘s full-length debut, DealBreaker out May 6, 2016 via MapleMusic Recordings, embraces a dynamic evolution in the band’s sound. Produced by the award-winning Eric Ratz (Big Wreck, Monster Truck, Arkells, Billy Talent), DealBreaker captures the true raw energy Royal Tusk wield, and the result is loud and guitar-driven with hints of Americana and soul.
MalahatFriday, July 22 at 2:25PM
Malahat is the loudest, heaviest, rock band to emerge out of Canada recently. A blast from the past with modern tastes, these men infuse their influences from the 1930’s to today. A Slamming unforgettable sound with a dark Grungey-Groovey edge, morphing through a wave of the deep southern Blues, in a Psychedelic Fusion. With powerful hybrid rock vocals, progressive and explosive drumming, 70’s grooving bass, and the dirtiest slide guitar you will ever hear, Malahat will blow you away with their stage show, diversity and their original sound of pure face melting Rock n Roll.
YEAR OF THE WOLFSaturday, July 23 at 2:25PM
Year of the Wolf has a musical identity that is simple; a group of musicians who love music at any capacity. Their sound extracts influences from Indie Rock, The Blues, Country and whatever else they can get their paws on. With a dedication to performance, Year of the Wolf is focused on keeping it energetic and fun but more importantly keeping it real.
“Working hard and really giving it our all combined with honest song writing and playing music with my best friends is a real nice time”
– Year of the Wolf
Stinging BelleFriday, July 22 at 1:35PM
Crunching riffs, dynamic beats and gutsy vocals make up this new 3-piece from Victoria, BC. Stinging Belle’s goal is to make rock’n’roll music you can’t help but move to, or want to make out with. Either way, they’ll have you doing one (or hopefully both) when you see their show!
Fintan O’BrienSaturday, July 23 at 1:30PM
Fintan is a singer-songwriter currently residing in Victoria, having moved here from his hometown of Birmingham, England. He has been writing music since he was 10 years old, and his songs have been enthusing audiences from the streets of Victoria (where Fintan started performing as a busker) to the stages of the Vancouver Island Music Festival (where he performed with his family as The O’Brien Family). He has recorded his own five-track EP with Grammy Award-winning producer Joby Baker, who describes the young man as “an exceptional young musician whose talents as a songwriter are beyond his years.”