Lido Pimienta

Lido Pimienta

Lido Pimienta is a Toronto-based, Colombian-born interdisciplinary musician and artist-curator. She has performed, exhibited, and curated around the world since 2002, exploring the politics of gender, race, motherhood, identity and the construct of the Canadian landscape in the Latin American diaspora and vernacular.

Lido’s latest LP La Papessa (2016), charts an evolution from her debut LP Color (2010), an album full of (as the title suggests) colorful landscapes and positive vibrations. The 2017 Polaris Prize-winning album, La Papessa, takes a more personal approach, describing the narrative of how Lido has found her independence as a woman and as an artist who refuses to fit pre-conceived notions of what a pop Latina artist ought to be. 

The album was written in multiple cultural and geographic settings - the desert of Indigenous Wayuu land and the northern mountains in Colombia, as well as in Canada, in both London and Toronto, Ontario - and the music, in turn, reflects these settings. The sounds on La Papessa take listeners on a musical journey from traditional Afro-Colombian percussion to global bass and darker avant-garde electronic sounds. Lido’s piercing, explosive and heartwarming voice unites the compositions, beats and harmonies, resulting in a perfect labour of love and sound that highlights the creative voice of this talented artist.

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LUKA

LUKA

LUKA is nylon string poet-crooner Luke Kuplowsky and his gentle rock n' rollers. In their first two albums, Calling All Cats Black (2013), and Summon Up a Monkey King (2016), Kuplowsky has developed a vocal and lyrical style of opposites: deadpan spoken-word delivery transitions into a rich melodic tenor; poetic musings fall alongside conversational and plain-spoken observations. His latest work What Kind of Animal (2017) was recorded live in a single session and showcases eight poetic works that unravel questions of self-doubt, companionship, integrity and faith amidst sonic extremes of patient stillness and careening noise.

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Foonyap

Foonyap

Born in Calgary, FOONYAP is a classically-trained violinist with an incomparable sound. Her latest solo release 'Palimpsest' is a therapeutic reconciliation with her sheltered Chinese-Catholic heritage and the intense classical music training of her childhood. A haunting and challenging experimental-folk album, it has “a signature sound that alternates between vibrating lullabies and primordial heart-explosions,” (Discorder), drawing comparisons to Björk, Braids, and Lhasa. Described by CBC as “a stunning, colossal work that’s as disconcerting as it is captivating” the album was named #6 in the 2016 Top 30 Albums of The Year by the Toronto Star.

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MAUNO

MAUNO

Ever since forming in September 2014, Mauno (pronounced Mao-no, and ironically named after bassist/vocalist Eliza Niemi’s completely unmusical Finnish grandfather) has had a wandering sound that refuses to be pinned down. On Rough Master, they strayed from twisting grunge-pop to piano ambience and string-accompanied haze, in part inspired by Niemi’s background in classical cello and prog rock.

Tuning is a different beast. “It’s a lot more pop-oriented and concise,” says Everett. “Much more carefully crafted and a lot more cohesive. It’s more mature, I think – but I’ve listened to it about ten thousand fucking times so I don’t know anything about it anymore,” he laughs.

There’s a raw, guttural, emotional punch to Tuning too — tales of botched romance and misdirected dreams play out above its bed of crunchy guitars and crashing cymbals. “It’s a collection of reflections on the feeling of finally leaving, on the complexity of relationships, on what the end of something means,” say Mauno.

In the last year, Mauno released Tuning on Idée Fixe (Canada) and Tin Angel (EU/UK), peaked at #2 on the national Earshot! charts and toured Canada and Europe with Chad van Gaalen.

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Silla + Rise

Silla + Rise

Silla and Rise blend Inuit throat-singing and futuristic dancefloor beats. Silla are Cynthia Pitsiulak (Kimmirut, NU) and Charlotte Qamaniq (Iglulik, NU) their name comes from the Inuktitut word "Sila" meaning weather. Sila is what surrounds us; it is what connects us to our land, to the moon, sun and stars, the ocean and the air we breathe. In respecting and honouring the need to preserve Inuit culture and paying homage to our land and the strong connection to its spirituality, they experience and perform the sounds of traditional and contemporary throat songs. Rise is Ottawa’s Rise Ashen, a Juno Award nominated global-grooves producer, DJ and dancer who has spent his life pursuing the intersection of traditional and futuristic music.

Silla et Rise, est une collaboration artistique se situant à l'intersection du chant de gorge inuit et de l'electro-futurisme de la musique de danse globale. Silla, ce duo composé de Cynthia Pitsiulak (Kimmirut, NU) et Charlotte Qamaniq (Iglulik, NU), est un mot inuktitut qui signifie <<météo>> ou <<temps>>. Il s'agit d'un mot nuancé, difficile à traduire. Silla nous enveloppe; Silla nous lie à la terre ancestrale, à la lune, au soleil, aux étoiles, à l'océan, à l'air que nous respirons. Rendant homage à, et honorant la culture inuit et sa spiritualité, les artistes nous transmettent et partagent avec nous les chansons traditionnelles et contemporaines de leur culture. Rise, c'est Rise Ashen, DJ, danseur et musicien d'Ottawa, qui consacre son art à l'exploration de la fusion de la musique traditionnelle et futuriste.
 

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Lake Urmia

Lake Urmia

In Lake Urmia, Elsa Mirzaei and Kat Pavelic make sad songs to dance to.

Tangled in hypnotic synth tones and a tug between the East and the West, the band's careless and catastrophic moods unearth sequences of day-dreams, diaspora, and queer identity.

In June of 2017, the band released their first self-produced EP, Wine Time. The band is currently writing for their next EP, Yengejaleh, which will be released in September of 2018. In the sophomore release, Elsa furthers the narrative of the endangered Lake Urmia, their native land, through Azeri-Iranian-inspired melodies within their current synth pop waves.

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Helena Deland

Helena Deland

Montreal's Helena Deland writes songs that are a testimony of a given time or place, converting her memories to something that sounds, in a word, unforgettable. A myriad of influences filter in and out of her writing, from '60's Parisian pop to indie folk to fuzz rock. She describes her songwriting as a collection of 'unsent letters,' perhaps fueling her self coined genre, 'sincere pop.' Helena captures the unapologetic aspects of womanhood the world needs today, highlighting powerful femininity in her vocals and refined writing in her unique lyrical choices. Helena will be touring the world over the next year, promoting the release of her upcoming LP,Altogether Unaccompanied.

Les compositions d'Helena Delandsont fortement menées par l'émotion.Sa pop sincère, accrocheuse, mais imprévisible, évite de se poser dans les zones trop achalandées. Féminines et engageantes, les pièces qu’elle chantait autrefois seule à la guitare sont désormais interprétées en quatuor. Cette formule permet d’entrelacer la pulsion intime de la composition et la création de paysages sonores riches et oniriques.

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Blakdenim

Blakdenim

Formed in a basement in Ottawa, Ontario, in late 2012, BLAKDENIM blends genres like no Canadian act today. The group fuses hiphop, funk, rock and soul with lyrical content that ranges from identity issues to daily issues, like picking yourself up after a bad day,
perseverance, self-esteem and hope. Influenced by artists like The Roots to Earth, Wind and Fire, there’s no shortage of musical expertise with the line-up consisting of an emcee, female vocalist, trumpet, saxophone, bass guitar, guitar, keys and drums. They soon became known as an incredible live act not to be missed within the Nation’s Capital across a spectrum of music genre fans alike.

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Sparklesaurus

Sparklesaurus

Like glitter-infused jelly on toast, Ottawa’s Sparklesaurus spreads their shimmering sounds. The sounds can be described as living room dream pop - pairing the emotional rawness of garage with the lush tonalities of glam, set in a low-lit, carpeted living room. Cut into triangles with the crust left on, their self-released debut EP, titled 'Perennials', delves into dark truths about humanity through plant imagery and concentric wordplay - with an undercurrent of gentle optimism. These themes are set amidst a landscape of scaling synths, swirling guitar tones, colourful harmonies, and a stoney, muscular rhythm section.

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Steven Lambke

Steven Lambke

Steven Lambke sets poetic words to minimal, guitar based music. The song is a human ritual, enacted and re-enacted in the void. Love is a word hung before the infinite space beyond the reach of our words. It sways like a curtain on the light breeze. The flower, the sparrow, the insect will inherit our fouled world. The crows, and time, will clean our bones, and laugh. Steven Lambke and Daniel Romano co-founded You’ve Changed Records in 2009. Steven Lambke is also a member of the Constantines: young hearts be free tonight.

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Daniel Romano's Ancient Shapes

Daniel Romano's Ancient Shapes

Daniel Romano’s Ancient Shapes is the sound of punk rock, power pop, and psychedelic garage. It’s a solo recording project and a ripping and well-dressed live band. It’s a collage of spontaneous poetry and repurposed graphic design. The foul debris of late capitalism fuels alien engines. A hummingbird sits on barbed wire. Flowers bloom between the cracks. Insects crawl across the moon. Hopelessness and hope form a perfect sphere.

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Outside I'm A Giant

Outside I'm A Giant

Floating down from Quebec's upper Gatineau, the haunting ethereal sounds of Outside I'm a Giant carry poetic homage to Leonard Cohen. Jeremi Pierre Caron, the songwriter of this touring ambient folk band, drew inspiration from his family's much-loved river hideaway for many of the songs released in their acclaimed 2017 debut album, Point Comfort. Combining acoustic guitar, pedal steel guitar, violin, mandolin, clarinet and harmonica, this four-piece band creates atmospheric, richly layered, heartfelt songs that transport you to a calm and peaceful place. Lingering contemplation of nature and human nature is in abundance here.

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Nap Eyes

Nap Eyes

Hailing from Nova Scotia, Nap Eyes makes crooked, literate guitar pop refracted through the gray Halifax rain. Recorded live to tape with no overdubs, their songs are equal parts shambling and sophisticated, with one eye on the dirt and one trained on the starry firmament, inhabiting a skewed world where odes to NASA and the Earth’s magnetic field coexist easily with lyrics about insomnia and drinking too much.

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Moonfruits

Moonfruits

Escorted by a banjo and a parlour guitar, Moonfruits’ soaring harmonies captivate listeners and celebrate common ground. Partners on and off stage, they summon music from a place where ideals and imagination intertwine. Pulling as much from their imaginations as from their encounters on the road, their sophomore effort, Ste-Quequepart - a French-language concept album - plays like a short film soundtrack. Intimate moments give way to cinematic arrangements as characters emerge and speak through song.

Groupe sur scène, couple dans la vie, le duo Moonfruits crée un folk qui donne voix à ses valeurs et son imaginaire. Guidées par le banjo et la guitare, les harmonies envoûtantes de Moonfruits transportent le public dans un univers qui célèbre le pouvoir rassembleur du quotidien. À la saveur d’un court métrage, leur nouvel opus donne voix aux habitants du village fictif de Ste-Quequepart et invite les auditeurs à vivre la vie d'autrui. Village à l'épaule, Moonfruits partage ses histoires comme autant d’étincelles qu’on sème dans l’imaginaire.

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Scattered Clouds

Scattered Clouds

Scattered Clouds' sound is dark, experiential and post apocalyptic. It layers artificial enstasy with bouts of unsteady euphoria and romanticism. Brooding rhythms and precise noise from this Hull QC. outfit underline film noir imagery and auto-fictional narratives.

Le son de Scattered Clouds (Hull, QC) est un mélange de musique expérimentale et de “power-pop” qui, par son approche esthétique sombre et tendue peut rappeler l'environnement fictif d'un film noir. Les arrangements minimalistes, les textures denses et l'énergie projetée évoquent une forte image paradoxale passant de l'euphorie romantique au fatalisme postapocalyptique.

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Bonnie Doon

Bonnie Doon

Ottawa's Bonnie Doon wants you to enjoy their first full-length release Dooner Nooner as much as they enjoy sharing a poutine and chocolate shake 4 ways. The sludgy surf rock tunes captured on wax for the first time were inspired by actual events, such as the struggle of making it to brunch for noon and how it feels to brave a waterslide in a bikini. Dooner Nooner opens with “Haunted Life”, a doom-laced bass-driven throwdown that is guaranteed to cause a serious bang-over. “Pants and a Face” and “Panty Twister” give a fast and furious nod to punk goddesses Kleenex/Liliput and X-Ray Spex while “Sandy’s Song” is a tribute to Sandra the Car that’s dipped in Bleue Dry and deep-fried in a psychedelic haze. The beach party continues with “Now or Neverish” a wavvvy spaghetti surf groove with lyrics that only a mother could love. “Ghost Story” gets weird as it weaves a tale of murder and eulogizes haunted taverns everywhere. The album closes with two long-time fan favorites, “Messy//Clean” and “B Hole”. Dooner Nooner will rip your face off and put it back together albeit a bit messed up. Best enjoyed with a hot pizza and a cool breeze.

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Above Top Secret

Above Top Secret

Rising like a phoenix from the ashes of Toronto experimental band Abstract Random, comes the force now known as Above Top Secret. Cultivating a hardcore electro/dub/hop mash-up sound with self-produced bass-heavy beats and politically charged lyrics, ATS demands attention and helps to awaken those still asleep in this ever growing matrix we call life.
Three people, six years, three albums, countless shows. From galleries and parks to clubs and festivals across North America and Europe. Not new to the game, Above Top Secret has opened for, and shared the stage with amazing acts like Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, Lal, Phèdre, Maylee Todd, Lido Pimienta, Elephant 12, and DāM FunK just to name a few.
ATS share an interesting look inside their lives and minds with their latest Ontario Arts Council funded album ABOVE TOP SECRET released July 1st, 2016 via DAPS Records. With songs ranging from loss of friendships, and gossip; to missing a murdered indigenous women, police brutality and overcoming adversity, Above Top Secret continue to push the boundaries and prove they aren’t afraid to tackle serious issues.

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Hey Buster

Hey Buster

Hey Buster is a collective of Singer-Songwriters from Ottawa that perform original songs for children and their parents. Songs inspired by community and family life. Fun songs. Wonkytonk-folk-a-rockabilly-booger-peedancing songs. Their stage show is kinetic, interactive and heavy on the home-made props.

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Baby Cages

Baby Cages

Baby Cages' forthcoming release Bitter Melon is practically celebratory in comparison to the band's dirge-skirting roots. Shifting gears from downtempo doom to textured, ruminative guitar pop, Bitter Melon offers a lush palette of tones and memorable, off-kilter melodies. Subtle nods to krautrock and new wave keep the 6-song ode to complicated friendships bubbling against “the weighty cliff… [of frontwoman] Halloway Jones’ formidable voice”.

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WHOOP-SZO

WHOOP-SZO

Renowned for their cross-genre experimentalism, unabashedly unique, WHOOP-Szo is a wild fusion of folk, metal, pop, grunge, and even classical musical stylings. Though radically diverse in tone, WHOOP-Szo has crafted their many sounds well, and are able to create immersive musical tapestries that evoke deep emotions while conveying troubling
stories of civil unrest via layered harmonies, churning guitar, gritty
synth, and a whole psychedelic plethora of other noise.

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Expanda Fuzz

Expanda Fuzz

Expanda Fuzz was conceived attempting to rip apart a Pink Floyd song with a distorted bass, a fuzz-driven guitar through a ripped speaker cabinet and a Roland 404 sampler. The result is a unique brand of catchy, droney, post-punk songs that hook heavily into a psych-garage sound. Think Kim Deal fronting the Velvet Underground, or Mary Timony jamming with Suicide. In 2017, Expanda Fuzz released 2 EPs, "At War With Summer" and "The Last Of The Who Heads". "Who Heads" reached #1 on CHUO's weekly charts. They are currently preparing their first full-length release expected in 2018. "This two-piece would be equally at home playing to the beard-strokers at a Warhol Factory Party as they would be ignoring their neighbour’s angry knocks for making too much racket in the garage". - Sled Island

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Muzzy Legault

Muzzy Legault

Ottawa singer-songwriter, Muzzy Legault, is a soulful new voice in the experiemental jazz-rap/hiphop space in the Canadian independent music scene.
Muzzy’s has a background in dance, theatre, and penchant for creating murals on her bedroom walls; a hobby once seen as destructive, were early signs of her artistic expressions. A voice was growing inside her, often expressing itself through teen angst during her journey to self-discovery. Inspired by the soulful simplicity of 90’s Hip hop and R & B artists such as Aaliyah, TLC, and golden era rappers, Muzzy tried her hand at production but later decided to focus on being behind the mic.

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