By Team BeatRoute
CALGARY — Sled Island has announced its first wave lineup of 15 artists today, with experimentalism once again at the forefront of the 11-year-old fest. Silver Apples, an act that began pioneering electronic music 50 years ago, will be offering a Thor Harris, who has performed at Sled as part of Swans and alongside Ben Frost, brings delicate neoclassical to the festival under the guise of Thor & Friends. Don’t-call-it-slowcore indie folk/rock vets Low will also appear for one of their spellbindingly intimate performances.
Plenty of heavy acts will be represented, such as metalcore pioneers Converge, black metallers Wolves in the Throne Room, grindcore group Daughters and the doomy King Woman. At the most intense cross-section of heaviness and experimentalism is EX EYE, a virtuoso supergroup made up of Colin Stetson, Greg Fox, Toby Summerfield and Shahzad Ismaily who bring all manners of musical discipline to metal.
Young contemporary indie is also an ongoing focus for the festival. Merge Records folk-rock act Waxahatchee will perform a special solo set, evolving noise rockers Cloud Nothings are on deck, Georgian folk-based art rockers Mothers will appear, Toronto no wave renegades New Fries will be getting freaky, experimental pop act Weyes Blood plays and the beloved Land of Talk make an encore Sled Island appearance as rumours swirl about new music from the heartbreaking group.
Finally, in a very special legacy act booking, Hailu Mergia brings hypnotic jazz with history to the festival. Over his decades long career, Mergia has recorded his own wild works as well as having been part of a musical revolution during a time of unrest in Ethiopia, as part of the Walias Band.
Sled Island takes place at multiple venues in Calgary this June 21-25, with a second wave announcement expected to follow next month.AB, Alberta, Cloud Nothings, Converge, EX EYE, Hailu Mergia, King Woman, Land of Talk, Low, Mothers, New Fries, Silver Apples, Sled Island, Sled Island 2017, Thor & Friends, Waxahatchee, Weyes Blood, Wolves in the Throne Room