Thursday night will feature African-influenced Francophone pop, a food-obsessed rapper, and Korean punks. What more do you need?
Not sure where to go for CMW? Don’t worry. We have you covered.
Brittany Brooks, Kelly Mischunk, and Hayley Robateau—the three members of Paper Bag Palace, all from St. Catharines, Ontario—released their first self-titled EP on July 22, 2012. The “folk-indie-rock” trio, to use the CBC’s description, is about as energetic in its touring as its music suggests. The group has performed whirlwind engagements across Southern Ontario over much of the last year. They have a free-spirited folksy mobility that really opens up the possibilities, audience-wise.
Driven by a simple arrangement of bass guitar, rhythm guitar, and violin, tracks such as “Rabbit Foot” enchant as much on the street corner as they do from the stage, whether that’s in a theatre or a coffee house. There’s a busking-friendly quality to Paper Bag Palace. As a venue, the Global Village makes a lot of sense in that light.
Go if: You like your music with a hint of wanderlust.
Efterklang’s first three albums (Tripper, Parades, and Magic Chairs) introduced North America to the Danish outfit. Now that the group is down to three members for the first time since it formed in 2000 (drummer Thomas Husmer left the band in 2011), the remaining members—Casper Clausen, Mads Brauer, and Rasmus Stolberg—may have produced their best yet. Piramida, Efterklang’s fourth album, is full of sounds the trio recorded in an abandoned Russian coal-mining settlement of the same name. Their live show is said to be even more impressive than their recordings, in part because they’ve got a few extra bandmates on hand for their tour.
Go if: You want a show with beautiful music, and a romantic back story too.
Musically speaking, there really is something about Winnipeg. Blame it on the incomparable cold of Portage and Main in midwinter, perhaps, or the massively vaulting, horizon-to-horizon sky that lifts the soul any time of year. Whatever it is, the banks of the Assinniboine teem with some of the best, rawest music in Canada. The Bokononists are part of that tradition. Described by the Manitoban as “no bullshit, in-your-face rock and roll,” these dreadlocked skuzzrockers bring a tight, pared-down, Prairie honesty, pulsing with the grimy tempo of a Manitoba road trip.
And here we thought the Vonnegut reference in their name was reason enough to check them out.
Go if: You can feel the cold in your bones, and you like it.
Karim Ouellet is a relatively new presence in Canadian music. Even so, in only a few years (his debut album, Plume, came out in 2011), he’s secured a spot as one of Quebec City’s most promising rising stars. His sophomore release, Fox, features some pretty catchy French tracks, with a persistent upbeat rhythm that calls to mind his nomadic upbringing across Senegal, Canada, France, Rwanda, and Tunisia. And with acts like Peter Peter and Eight and a Half following him at the Gladstone, CMW-goers are in for a bonne nuit.
Go if: You want to make your festival truly Canadian by going bilingual.
Chef-turned-rapper Action Bronson had a pretty big year in 2012. He dropped two hugely popular mixtapes, made guest appearances on a seemingly endless number of singles, and signed his first major-label deal with the Warner-affiliated Vice Records. The Queens-based MC has earned comparisons to Ghostface Killah and Kool G Rap for his sharp delivery and complex metaphors, and he’s already a critical favourite.
Go if: You want to see someone rap about poutine, Tunisian olives, and ahi tuna.
It’s no easy feat to follow as thunderous an act as Kingston duo PS I Love You, but hometown half-dozen Wildlife are game for it. They’ll be debuting a bunch of epic songs off their new LP, …On The Heart, produced by Peter Katis (who’s worked with The National and Interpol). They impressed us with their live show at last year’s CMW.
Go if: You want to clear your head and palate with some epic rock-and-roll anthems.
For a decade-and-a-half, Korean punk band No Brain have been their country’s antidote to K-Pop. Loud, anthemic, and with a clear SoCal pop-punk influence, this group is the voice of Korea’s misfits and weirdos.
Go if: You want to see what’s going on in Korea, other than Psy and Girls Generation.