First off, Piknik Electronik stage is top notch on Saturday. If you like sampling, Tennyson and The Range are forerunners in an increasingly busy and cramped electronic scene. Plus, the stage then plays host to Montreal’s own Kaytranada and he’s nothing short of a beat wizard. To think that one can even look forward to Todd Terje & The Olsen’s at the end of the night is kind of nuts. Other big names to look forward to on the other stages include the divisive Lana Del Rey (I will be making up my mind as to whether I actually like her music or not), alt-rock stalwarts Death Cab For Cutie, and the dark sounds and lines of Future. As per yesterday’s post, here I preview five other acts worth catching before the big shows.
July Talk (Scène de la rivière Virgin Mobile, 2:30-3:15)
Toronto band July Talk bring on the bluesy rock n’ roll combined with a modern dance groove. Leah Fay’s jazzy lilt contrasts beautifully with Peter Dreimanis’ punk rock growl and the styles merge like natrium and water, explosive yet tantalizing. Their song ‘Summer Dress’ is one of my favourites and it walks with swagger like a cat on the prowl.
Daughter (Scène de la montagne Molson Canadian, 3:15-4:00)
The first and only time I saw Daughter was when they opened a set for The National. Memories of the latter have undoubtedly clouded my mind but Daughter were solid. The English band can be boiled down to its rock and folk roots, but their songs sway slowly like crops in a breeze. Frontwoman Elena Tonra channels Jeff Buckley and the guitars are spacey, bright, shimmery, and perfect for stargazing. If only this show was after sunset.
Hiatus Kaiyote (Scène des arbres SiriusXM, 2:45-3:25)
A Google search of this band sends up the kind of description I wish I had thought of myself, ‘Multi-Dimensional, Polyrhythmic Gangster Shit’. Either way, the band’s brand of future-soul is definitely kaleidoscopic. Making the trek from Melbourne, Australia and led by Naomi Saalfield on vocals and guitar, Hiatus Kaiyote can be jazzy and funky. Expect golden keys, engaging bass lines, and compelling drumming.
The Barr Brothers (Scène de la rivière Virgin Mobile, 4:00-4:45)
A band we get to see relatively often, Montreal’s unique folk quartet hit the main stage and I hope they manage to charm international visitors to our city. The last time I caught them was at 2015’s Jazz Festival after which they had released Sleeping Operator. The set was an impressive demonstration of hard labour, calculated waves of sound and silence, and well-timed intensity. From orchestral folk hymns to bluesy wails, my only complaint is that it’ll be too short.
The Arcs (Scène de la rivière Virgin Mobile, 5:35-6:25)
This band’s frontman was here last year with The Black Keys. The Arcs may not have reached the stratospheric heights of the garage blues duo, but they are my personal highlights for the day. Dan Auerbach takes on the role of quiet crooner rather well, penning songs that pull the old heartstrings. Last year’s debut album Yours, Dreamily, harkens back to a time when soul met rhythm and blues.