And CCM is back for the next installment of all the Canadian bands playing in Osheaga 2014, coming to Montreal Aug 1-3. Last week we looked at a variety of Montreal artists, from festival staples Chromeo and Half Moon Run, to up-and-comers Beat Market, Foxtrott and Dear Frederic. Quite appropriately for a Montreal festival, there are still a bevy of bands hailing from The City of Saints, and today we will look at the rest of those familiar with the hometown crowds.
Montreal-born DJ Kaytranada, formerly Kaytradamus, is a man of eclectic tastes. Peruse his website and there you will find an assortment of what the beatmaker finds worthy of interest: art of sci-fi whimsy, short shorts-era NBA, brain-benders, and Stone Cold Steve Austin, natch. It’s just the kind of imagery one needs when listening to Kaytranada–versatile (re)mixes that draw from all recent decades of music: ’70s warm funk, ’80s cool synths, ’90s placid beats, ’00s glitch electro–all ably swirled into something distinctively modern and fresh. And then he gives those tracks names like “Hilarity Duff”. How can you not love that?
Now here’s one for workplace relations. Le Trouble came about when a couple of c0-workers, in the midst of writing songs for their ad agency’s commercials, found that they had a more creative use of their musical talents as a band. Having formed in 2011, what started out as a fun little side-project grew into something a little more serious, and now Le Trouble bring their five-piece set to Osheaga on a wave of acclaim, emanating from the recent release of their debut EP, Reality Strikes.
A true cohesive effort, Le Trouble bring attention to every detail of their music–the layering guitar, the driving rhythm, the falsetto-into-yell–and turn them out into one fine-tuned production. You could call them a garage band, but it would be an impeccably organized garage.
And now for something completely different. Well, not completely, but for one thing Mr. Mac DeMarco isn’t even from Montreal! Yes, this whole article is a lie: we have a product of Duncan, British Columbia here, with an Edmonton education. But, only when DeMarco started to live in Montreal in 2011 did he start recording under his name, so on a technicality we’re putting him here.
DeMarco started out under the charming name of Makeout Videotape, which should give you a clue as to his sense of humour, and indeed his musical career seems bent on scratching every box in the ‘off-kilter artist’ checklist. No stranger to skits, drag, and live sets that have been described as “raunchfests”, DeMarco chooses to describe his music as “jizz-jazz” and has a strong penchant for the outlandish that no self-respecting musician would employ (unless they’re the type to use the same $30 guitar they’ve had since they were 16).
Fortunately, us listeners get all the benefits of DeMarco’s kooks, and things will only get odder (and better) as DeMarco rockets away in commercial and critical acclaim. His first full-length album 2 was longlisted for the Polaris Music Prize and grabbed “Best New Music” from the always-picky Pitchfork Media. DeMarco’s latest, Salad Days, will appropriately be released this April Fool’s Day, and has already captured the diverse attention of Pitchfork, NPR, and The Guardian.
As such, his set will be a must to check out at Osheaga. Just don’t act surprised when his strip act starts.
Sam Roberts Band
Well, it sure feels a little weird to go from the quixotic act of DeMarco to this, a staple of the Canadian music scene from the last decade. All the more reason to lay praise on the Sam Roberts Band in recognition of their perseverance and servitude to Canadian music, right from 2001’s The Inhuman Condition, a landmark for Montreal’s music scene as well as Canada’s as a whole.
Now onto their fifth studio release (Lo-Fantasy, just this past February), we can certainly expect Sam Roberts and co. to keep it going until natural causes have their way (not that death has stopped certain rock acts before–see Rolling Stones, The) . I don’t know if I can write anything else here that you already don’t know, so why don’t we just remark on what pretty eyes Mr. Roberts has. Those slate greys, unf.
And since we’re on that particular topic, why not segue to Tiga James Sontag, or just Tiga, as he likes to be called. This particularly suave mister has already won a Juno to his name (2007’s Dance Recording of the Year for his debut album, Sexor). In the vein of Canadian artists who find more success across the pond–paging Danko Jones–Tiga has found his niche in the U.K., to the extent that he hosts his very own show on BBC Radio.
But don’t think this DJ and producer of fine electronic dance will be out of place in Osheaga. His founding of label Turbo Recordings in 1998 was a huge contribution to Montreal’s music scene, one that was responsible for nurturing many artists, including one that has already made an appearance on this list*cough*Chromeo*cough*.
That ends all of our coverage of Montreal-based bands. Next time, we’ll be taking a look at those that call Toronto their home.
Check out more in Osheaga 2014: The Canadian Bands!
Author: Nathan Christie