Photo cred - Monsiieur
Montreal is a cultural hub and great music is certainly one of our landmarks. From some of the best concert venues in Canada to a whole army of indie bands, Montreal's spectacular music scene has been one of the defining features of the city for years. First there was Arcade Fire, who revolutionized the face of Montreal music, with a number of bands following in their footsteps. Arcade Fire may have been the first, and they are still killing it, but the city boasts such a deep array of local talent that just can't be looked over. Electronic music, for one, has exploded in the past few years, and a number of producers have emerged from the ice, the snow, and the smog and have been taking the scene in a whole new direction. Let's take a look.
Do you think you could ever be as funky as Chromeo? I highly doubt it, but that doesn't mean you should stop trying. This Montreal duo, comprised of funk masters Dave1 and P-Thugg, have been throwing down some killer late night jams and disco bangers that have been keeping the whole dancefloor jigging and jiving way past their bedtime. They’ve been touring extensively throughout North America and are playing some major festivals this summer like Bonnaroo and Osheaga. If you’re the kind of person who likes to sip on a gin cocktail in a hotel suite, wearing a bathrobe and dancing in front of the Las Vegas skyline, then Chromeo is probably for you.
Sam Roberts Band
After growing up in Pointe-Claire, going to high school at Loyola, cegep at John Abbott and graduating from McGill, I think it’s fair to call Sam Roberts a true Montrealer. Since his 2002 breakthrough EP, The Inhuman Condition, Sam Roberts has come a long way with his bright summery sounds and lush surfer rock melodies. They've been on the scene for a while now, cranking out catchy tune after catchy tune and have never stopped moving forward. Sam Roberts is back this year with his latest album Lo-Fantasy, which brings his sound to a whole new level. And not to mention, with a face like Sam Roberts's, he'll always at least have that crush factor going for him.
If you’ve been keeping up with Montreal’s indie electronic scene, you’ll know that it’s been thriving over the past two years. And who better to put Montreal on the map than your very own Kaytranada. Having recently signed to LA’s HUH WHAT AND WHERE he has been creating some of the smoothest, sexiest beats this side of the West Coast. His style blends downtempo electronic with soulful hip-hop beats, that have thrust him forward as a major force in his style. His irresistible remixes have gotten him recognition from such acts as Flume an Disclosure, and have really showed us that everything this guy touches turns to gold.
Claire Boucher, better known as Grimes, is most certainly a staple of the Montreal music scene. With a hauntingly angelic voice, and a liking towards the bizarre, Grimes crafts genre defying electronic songs that have attracted the music world at large. 2012’s Visions was a masterpiece in it’s own right and has us looking forward to what comes next from this beautiful songstress.
Half Moon Run
Potentially one of the most important bands out of Montreal in the past decade, these guys have an incredibly emotional sound that was showcased on their debut album Dark Eyes and in their incredible live performances. Blending elements of indie, pop and the harmonies of 60’s folk rock they have been making waves beyond Montreal and even beyond Canada, playing huge festivals like Lollapalooza and touring with Mumford and Sons. If you didn’t catch their double-header at Metropolis in December, you can see them this summer at Osheaga.
While some Dj’s might prefer to hit play on their laptop and dance around, waving their arms and fist pumping, others, like A-Trak, prefer to stay pure to the art form, scratching and mixing like the true pros do. Brother to Dave1 from Chromeo, founder of Fool’s Gold record label, and one half of Duck Sauce, he has created a small empire for himself, perfectly fusing the worlds of old school hip hop and electronic dance music. If you thought true turntablism was dead, you’re wrong, just go see an A-Trak show, his pure skill will blow your mind.
High Klassified has most certainly been making a big name for himself in the past year. Armed with a steady output of melodic "cloud trap" beats and watery basslines, his songs will carry you to some far-away smoke-filled universe. Playing dozens of Montreal shows in the past year and having recently signed to A-Trak’s Fools Gold, he has been making a name for himself in and outside the city. Definitely don’t sleep on High Klassified, because he’s sure to keep bringing big things in 2014.
If you’ve ever experienced a Patrick Watson show, then you’re very lucky, because you’ve actually experienced pure magic. The young musician out of Montreal is an incredibly talented singer, with a unique voice and a knack for obscure song composition. He is really like no one else out there, making us proud to call him a Montrealer. He played three shows at Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste with a full orchestra in November and brought light and beauty to the hearts of many.
So cool, so easy, so fresh. Lunice Fermin Pierre II’s energy onstage is unmatched and his skills in the studio are top notch. His “turbo-crunk” style and eclectic remixes have gotten him recognition from some of the biggest names in electronic, propelling him as a force to be reckoned with. In 2012, he teamed up with Scotland’s Hudson Mohawke and released the genre-defying, game-changing TNGHT EP. If you haven't heard it, get on that ASAP, your life will never be the same.
Here’s something you didn’t know: when Christian Srigley & Leighton James of Adventure Club first met back in high school, they decided to form a punk rock band. Growing bored of the punk scene, they moved into electronic dance music, primarily dubstep, and good thing they did because they have been literally killing it ever since, touring around the world and opening for major acts like Big Gigantic. With slow melodic builds and heavy drops, these guys will have your face melted when you hit up their next show at New City Gas.