I don’t think I can write up a preview for Sunday without mentioning Radiohead. I’ve heard all sorts of responses to their latest album A Moon Shaped Pool and truth be told, I haven’t made up my mind on it yet. However, any songs played during their two-hour set from any of their previous albums will likely drown the audience insane in a shower of nostalgia. The rest of the evening is also electronic and synth heavy with Grimes, Disclosure, and M83. On a similar note, Dead Obies and Koriass will be representing the hometown hip-hop scene. It’ll be up to Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats to hold up the fort of funk and soul. Of course, there’s lots of stuff going on before that and here’s to another five picks.
Israel Nash (Scène des arbres SiriusXM, 1:35-2:05)
I haven’t really previewed anything like this band for Osheaga so far. Lying on the spectrum between alternative country and psychedelia, Israel Nash makes me think of long drives down quiet highways, away from troubled times. Incorporating both lap steel and warbled guitar solos, the band looks to deliver a jam session with a chilled out vibe.
The Paper Kites (Scène vertes Sonnet, 2:05-2:45)
Despite their best singles being tender and whispery songs—complete with vocal harmonies and catchy whistled riffs—The Paper Kites are more rock than folk. I’ve seen this Australian band a few times and while they’re no snoozefest, Sam Bentley’s voice generally lends itself to an unhurried approach to rock. Yet, their last album twelvefour showcased a branching out in terms of instruments. Look forward to a blend of everything: blaring synths, tinkling keys, wailing harmonicas, and acoustic picked guitar.
Foy Vance (Scènes des arbres SiriusXM, 2:45-3:25)
My confession is that I stayed away from Foy Vance for so long because I thought it was some DJ who thought mashing up the name of folk rock artist Vance Joy would be a great act. It turns out Foy Vance is an excellent singer-songwriter who relies on straightforward lyrics and a keen ear for melody. Armed with a guitar, he can do both ballad and upbeat rousers.
Dilly Dally (Scènes des arbres SiriusXM, 4:10-4:55)
There’s something about frontwoman Katie Monk’s voice that just makes me want to kick a punching bag to smithereens. Dilly Dally’s debut album Sore was released last winter and when their songs came on the radio or podcast, I felt awakened and energised on those chilly morning commutes. Their subject matter may not completely resonate with me, but Monk is doing good things by putting the female voice out there on matters that may still seem taboo even today. Yet, as the guitars and drums tear down the pillars of your ribcage, it all sounds like rock to celebrate to.
Leon Bridges (Scène de la rivière Virgin Mobile, 4:45-5:40)
From the opening bass lines of ‘Coming Home’—the first single I had heard off Leon Bridges’ eponymous album—I knew I liked his music. I’ve read interviews where he insists he hasn’t looked to pilfer the past. Whether he did or not is irrelevant to me. What’s fresh about Bridges is the effortlessness his music exudes, as easy as a bird flying in the sky. Most bands recycle things from the past 20 years, but to hear old-fashioned soul and R&B complete with references to the Mississippi River is an absolute treat.