Need I say more?
Chances are if you’re reading this article, you’re anglophone or perhaps most fortunately bi or trilingual. Either way, the francophone music scene isn’t always on the radar of the anglophones or allophones, save for radio-friendly pop music. Nothing wrong with pop music, of course, but, if you haven’t taken a dive into the francophone scene, you’re missing out on great music. It might be the water, or perhaps generous government funding, but Montreal and Quebec is home to incredibly talented musicians, singer-songwriters, and producers. The genres covered go from chill electronica to political rap to the big pipes of divas to cutting edge indie rock.
Find out the truth for yourself. The Francos is the perfect chance to hear some of the best of the francophone scene and it’s f-ing free.
Here are some suggestions.
Vanille is the project of Rachel LeBlanc, who reminds me of 60s singer-songwriters of vinyl like the Joan Baez and the Mamas and the Papas — soft, airy, sweet, but also with some crunchy, crackling guitars. Her new album has garnered quite a bit of critical acclaim and she’s touring the province’s summer festivals. June 11, 7 p.m.
Coeur de Pirate
Conservatory trained Béatrice Martin left it behind for the life of a indie folkrock star, complete with taking ownership of Dare to Care Records. Five albums and many collaborations later, she’s still in the limelight, if only because her personal life and its controversies are anything but boring. June 11, 9 p.m.
Since seeing her set at M Pour Montreal, I’ve been raving about Ariane Roy to anyone who asks me what I’m listening to. Ariane Roy is what kids are listening to these days and if you check out her show, you’ll see why. She’s a great singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Her lyrics speak about au courant issues and experiences, and she’s a natural performer. June 13, 8 p.m.
For the Arcadian in you, New Brunswick offers Lisa LeBlanc. Her funky, kind of trashy rock is totally out of an east coast Irish bar elevated to big stage levels. It’s folky, it’s rootsy, it’s stuff to dance to while you’re completely drunk. But I think what I love most about LeBlanc is that her music is so fun and so unapologetically vulgar. June 13, 9 p.m.
Synthy alt new wave sort of in the vein of 80s bands like Depeche Mode and the Cure, with similar amounts of eye makeup. That’s Choses Sauvages. Their live shows are more raw, and have a lot of attitude, so be prepared to rock as much as dance. June 14, 8 p.m.
I feel obligated to include Loud, as he’s the main event of the Francos, but tbqh, I’m not really into rap. Sorry. Every now and then an artist speaks to me, but it’s uncommon. Personally, I find Loud sort of gangster bruh-y, but my opinion is clearly not the norm. Loud is Bell Centre big and I admire how he used his Wikipedia page as his cover art on the last album. June 14, 9 p.m.
The Franz Ferdinand of the francophone scene, vibrant, bright, a real nuclear bomb of guitars and high octane lyrics. Funk, groove, indie pop awesomeness from this group. Admittedly, they’re not from Quebec… They’re from France. Who cares?! Europe makes good music too. June 15, 9 p.m. and again DJing at 23:59.
Velours Velours is the kind of musician that girls (and boys) fall madly in love with and put up posters of him on their walls and screensavers that they kiss before going to bed. It’s emotive, gentle, sensual, and dreamy stuff, the kind of music you fall in love to and the music you then break up to. June 16, 7 p.m.
For music that began as a concept project by the drummer of Bon Enfant and Canailles, Étienne Côté, he sure took the concept to the next level. He’s a wild and charismatic performer on stage and the music is satisfyingly alt disco, and, as the title of the latest album promises, kind of glittery glam in a Freddie Mercury sort of way. June 17, 10 p.m.
The Francos de Montréal take place at Place des Arts from June 9 – 17. Info on all shows HERE.