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Top Ten: Up-and-coming POP Montreal bands

by Paul Traunero September 23, 2014
Top Ten: Up-and-coming POP Montreal bands

POP Montreal just wrapped-up, but continue to follow these up-and-coming artists

1. Luluc

This Australian indie duo have received critical acclaim for their subtle and refined folk tunes. Having signed to Sub Pop records within 48 hours of hearing the demo for their newest album Passerby, and sold out their show at POP Montreal, Luluc is sure to win your heart as well.

2. Esmerine

The ever expanding Montreal supergroup, comprising members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Thee Silver Mt. Zion, creates atmospheric, meditative post-rock. Already recognized with a JUNO for Instrumental Album of the Year in 2014, Esmerine deserve their rightful place in the indie pantheon.

3. How Sad

Juxtaposing wistful lyrics with hook-laden instrumentation, Montreal’s How Sad is a synth-pop phenomenon. Their upbeat live shows and energetic party vibe have made them a fan favourite at festivals like NXNE and M for Montreal. There’s nothing sad about this band’s upward trajectory!

4. Black Atlass

Frequent performer at Le Belmont under the stage name Black Atlass, 19-year-old Alex Fleming knows how to work a crowd. With a sensual mix of alternative R&B, hip hop and distorted electronic beats, Black Atlass’ sound is danceable yet sexy. This is definitely one to watch.

5. The Golden Tribe

Montreal’s The Golden Tribe certainly know how to put on a performance! The band combines psychedelic pop and funk with retro-futuristic imagery, to create an audio-visual experience with every show. A festival favourite, The Golden Tribe are definitely one of the most creative bands this city has to offer.

6. Mozart’s Sister

With layered upbeat dance pop, rivetingly powerful vocals and an undeniable charisma and confidence, Caila Thompson-Hannant (AKA Mozart’s Sister) is Montreal’s new diva. The fuzzy electro beats and quirky pop melodies from her new album, Being, are a fusion of ’80s synth-pop and ’90s R&B, and are sure turn Mozart’s Sister into a household name.

7. Ought

Combining high-energy ’90s college rock, underground politics and post-punk DIY, Montreal-based quartet Ought have drawn comparisons to Talking Heads and Television. Bursting with rage and joy, Ought transcends its influences creating a sound that is both evocative and refreshing. This is definitely a band to keep an eye on.

8. Dessa

Minneapolis-based rapper-songstress Dessa combines creative non-fiction, spoken-word and rap, to transcend genre and create a multi-platform voice for herself in hip hop music. Armed with a philosophy degree and her previous experience with rap collective Doomtree, this newcomer is sure to create waves in the scene with her original view and poeticism.

9. Pat Jordache

Pat Jordache has shed the garage pop sound of his debut for a textural new wave, funk and nu-disco meets post-punk vibe. Jordache’s newfound swagger has garnered the approval of Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan and the crowd at POP Montreal alike. Keep your ears open for his sophomore album, it’s sure to be a hit.

10. Jimmy Hunt

Jimmy Hunt has already gained quite a lot of critical praise in the Quebec French-language scene for his playful and eclectic folk pop sound. The francophone singer-songwriter will surely gain momentum in coming years and cross the language divide now that he has been longlisted for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize.

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