By Levi Manchak and Brittany Rudyck
Sled Island is a rite of passage for Edmonton’s artists and bands. It’s like a summer camp as some projects will get their first taste of independence, meet new friends and learn new skills. To learn more, we asked a sassy contingent of bands to fill us in on the fun.
BeatRoute: Please introduce yourself to the audience, round table style!
“I am Matthew Cardinal, I do my best to make pretty music. I also sing/play guitar in Slow Girl Walking, do bass/synths in nêhiyawak, and play bass in Cantoo.”
“We are K-Riz and the HonorRoll from Edmonton, Alberta. Our sound is a refreshing blend of hip-hop and ‘90s R&B.”
“Heyyy Sled Island-er qt pies! How’s it going? My name is Selah, aka Hales. It’s my name spelled backwards, it means healthy. My real name (Selah) means song and contemplation though.”
“Hello, my name is Hannah and I make synth pop under the name Symfan! I’m playing as well as attending Sled Island for the first time, and I’m very excited!!”
“Hey! I’m Ella, but sometimes Sister Ray for 30 to 45 minute periods. I sing (mostly) sad songs.”
“HJ! Beat maker + DJ.”
“My name’s Nickelas Johnson. My nickname is Smokey and my band is the Feeelings (three E’s).”
“Le Plaisir! We are from Edmonton, currently camped out in L.A., and we make kind of spooky ‘n’ psychedelic space-pop.”
“We are Counterfeit Jeans from Edmonton.”
“Mustafa Rafiq preforming as Family Injera.”
BR: To celebrate Deerhoof’s 20th anniversary, there was a documentary “Checking in at 20” made to commemorate the milestone. If someone were to make a documentary about your band, what would it be called?
Counterfeit Jeans: “A Fridge Too Far.”
Marlaena Moore: “Moore to Come.”
Smokey & the Feeelings : “Brilliantly Floundering for 17.”
Real Sickies: “THE THRILL OF ILL.”
Sister Ray: “She’s Really Not That Sad.”
BR: What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get to Sled Island?
Sister Ray: “Drink a coffee, try to figure out what the heck is going on.”
Counterfeit Jeans: “Likely give Spencer CPR. He arrives a few days before Jed and I (Tyler) and if it’s like it was in 2016, he’ll probably be mostly dead by the time the two of us get to Sled.”
Le Plaisir: “I think we are pretty much going to get off the plane from L.A. and immediately start a full-on campaign to become super buds with Deerhoof. Skywriting, Edible Arrangements, shyly standing really close by and acting weird… we’re prepared to do whatever it takes. Super. Buds.”
BR: The Guest Curator this year is Deerhoof. They’ve done a bunch of remixes for various artists like Sufjan Stevens, the Megaphonic Thrift, and Blonde Redhead. If you could remix another Edmonton band playing Sled, who would it be and why?
Hood Joplin: “Text Chunk, but we’re frequent collaborators!”
Marlaena Moore: “Borscht because they are the best.”
Symfam: “I think it would be really fun to remix one of Marlaena Moore’s songs. She’s an incredible vocalist and I think I’d have a lot of fun electro-pop-ifying one of her tracks. Heck, I should get on that!”
K-Riz: “I would remix a joint by Cartel Madras because they are two females that are edgy with that raw hip-hop touch that would make for great music.”
BR: If you were writing a very short letter to someone from Sled Island, what would it say?
Marlaena Moore: “Can’t write, brain hurt. Music good though.”
Real Sickies: “Hello, is it me your looking for?”
Sister Ray: ‘Hey, thank you so much for doing your job, this is really exciting. It’s my first year, so I don’t know much about what it’s like, but pre and post Sled week in Edmonton has been super inspiring, and helped me realize that people in Canada are making incredible, diverse, exploratory music that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. You rule.”
Hood Joplin: Dear Real Hip-Hop and Dilla (my cats): I wish you two could have joined but the ride was about three hours longer than you would’ve been able to handle. I hope that Alberta builds the train between YYC and YEG so you can join me next year. Love, HJ.”
BR: If you were to curate a knock-off festival, what kind of island would it be hosted on?
Counterfeit Jeans: “Devil Stix Island.”
Le Plaisir: “There is a band in L.A. called Slut Island and every time I see their name around I get homesick for June in Alberta and I also wish they would play this festival. It would be very confusing (I guess only if one said everything they read out loud?)”
Hood Joplin: “Shotgunning-Pilsner-in-the-Alley Island.”
Head to sledisland.com to see show times for the many Edmonton bands performing at Sled Island, including Le Plaisir, Hood Joplin, Counterfeit Jeans, Marlaena Moore, Real Sickies, Symfan, and moreCounterfeit Jeans, Hood Joplin, Le Plaisir, Marlaena Moore, Real Sickies, Sled Island, Symfan