By Courtney Faulkner and Colin Gallant
In addition to our pages profiling Calgary and Edmonton acts at Sled Island, BeatRoute is pleased to show off even more Western Canadian talent visiting the festival. Whether you like drone and ambient music or punk and metal, you needn’t look further than the prairies to get your fix.
Brandon Saucier’s lo-fi post-punk band, WINT, is sure to mesmerize. Backed by two babes of YQL , Hope Madison and Rebecca McHugh, you’ll have the poppy melodies that make it out of the haze in your head for the rest of this drag year.
You know the feeling when you’re laying in bed, just about to fall asleep, and suddenly you’re falling? That’s An Ant and An Atom. They’ll gently rock you into a lullaby of drone and distortion, building up to crescendos that somehow take your soul out of your body through sound.
A. Trozzo and the Electric Few are rightly named so. It’s fast. It’s loud. It’s aggressive. Enter the storm of rock n’ roll with a contemporary twist that will leave you electrified and wanting more.
The Garrys make addictive surf rock about fun things like ice cream sandwiches, burgers and graveyards. With a newly released album, Surf Manitou, under their belt, this trio of sisters is all revved up for Sled Island.
A Saskatoon band with a strong Calgary connection, The Avulsions have a debut album for Flemish Eye records on the horizon (and a split with Mauno recently released) the dour post-punk band is back for another year.
Man Meat make a kind of punk rock that draws on many sub-genres and style, such as post-hardcore, noise and grunge. Basically, it’s loud and got attitude, Man Meat can pull it off in their sleep.
Releasing a debut album for Coax Records (run by Rae Spoon) on June 15, respectfulchild will be playing brand new tunes made up of solo violin loops at the festival. Their compositions are created largely acoustically, but the end result is not unlike ambient electronic music in its soothing, layered texture.
Wanna get your drone on? Look no further than Ursa, who can count Loscil and Drone Day as testaments to her minimal sensibility.
Few names in Western Canada are more synonymous with stoner rock mastery than Shooting Guns. The smoked-out heavyweights will be performing a live score to Nosferatu (1922) as part of Sled Island’s film programming in addition to a standard set.
As one of the most respected names in Winnipeg, Greg MacPherson’s role at the head of Figure Walking should be enough to fill a room. It doesn’t hurt that he’s making some of the most anthemic, danceable material of his career, either. Figure Walking plays a special all-ages show at the Ship & Anchor during the festival.
Living Hour is making heavy-hearted, contemporary shoegaze that rivals the genre original heyday. You don’t have to take our word for it—everyone from NPR to Stereogum is touting Living Hour as one to watch.
It’s a great year for the heavier end of music at Sled Island, and Wilt have the distinction of being the only strictly black metal band on the lineup. They’ve been chosen as support for the legendary Wolves in the Throne Room, which as about a good a sign as they come.
Most good pop-punk comes with a strong sense of humour. Mulligrub, stopping in Calgary during their “Teach Us How to Skateboard” tour, have no problems in that department. They’ve also got hooks, style and bittersweet angst—what else can you ask for?
In consultation for this roundup, our chief Winnipeg correspondent Julijana Capone called Kändəkt (say that ten times fast) her current favourite Winnipeg band. Intersecting vicious post-punk with industrial and progressive styles, the band formerly known as Conduct has become near-legendary for their live intensity.A.Trozzo and the Electric Few, An Ant and An Atom, Greg MacPherson, Kändəkt, Living Hour, Man Meat, Mulligrub, respectfulchild, Shooting Guns, The Avulsions, The Garrys, Ursa, Wilt