Concert Reviews Festival Review Music

Sophie Ogilvie with Bodywash at Tiny Fest 2023

Montreal musician and Concordia student hits the stage at Tiny Fest’s third edition.

Even with summer behind us, musical festivities in Montreal are far from taking a break. Tiny Fest, a local music festival featuring bands and artists, presented its third edition on Oct. 6–7. It was hosted and produced by Worst Dad Ever, an event organization that puts together independent shows, tours and gigs for touring bands. Among the same venues from last year, La Sala Rossa and La Sotterenea, the small but cherished venue Casa Del Popolo got added to the mix this year. 

I had the chance to attend the festival on its last day. Montreal singer and songwriter Sophie Ogilvie was the last act on the Saturday evening’s lineup. Bodywash—a local band with airy vocals and atmospheric sounds—played their respective show on the previous day and happened to be the backing band for Ogilvie’s gig. Concordia was also definitely in the house owing to the facts that Sophie Ogilvie herself is a current MA student, Bodywash’s Rosie Long Decter is a recent graduate and Concordia’s radio station CJLO 1690 AM was on the event sponsor list.

Before the final and main act of the night, I was able to catch a glimpse of the set from Toronto’s Westelaken. The “post-country” band set the mood for the rest of the evening, notably with their poignant and raw vocal delivery from frontman Jordan Seccareccia accompanied with sweet piano chords and handled rhythm with the drumset. Most of the songs were from their album I am Steaming Mushrooms released early this year. 

As for Sophie Ogilvie, her recent project Coming Up, Crocus was at the core of the live performance. Labelled as an indie rock artist on streaming services, Ogilvie has effectively merged jazz, R&B, and 90s alternative into her debut EP. Fellow friends of Ogilvie in the band Bodywash accompanied her with background vocals, bass, guitar and keys. Chris Steward from the band also worked on Coming Up, Crocus and as Sophie Ogilvie puts it, the album is “a labour of the two of us mostly.” 

Throughout the set, the singer promoted the delicate EP which, as stated in her Bandcamp bio, “chronicles how one season passes into the next and how a relationship resolves itself into something gone.” The single “Milk Glass” highlights exactly that, notably with my favourite lyrics—“And I don’t want to need anything I take from you, but I do.” The catchy harmonies of “I do” repeating only enhance the vulnerable message. 

The concept of change in motion is a prominent theme in the EP as well. The set went from featuring acoustic tracks like “New Friend,” putting forward Ogilvie’s soft vocals and guitar skills, to the most energetic track “Lash” which the Montreal artist asked the audience to dance to. 

Despite the unfortunate rain that weekend, attendees were definitely still present in showing their support for the young artists. Many fellow students, acquaintances, and friends of the starring musicians came together for the close of the tiny but mighty festival. 


Caveboy––a DIY punk approach to alt-pop

Montreal band Caveboy is ready to share their debut album with the world

In 2015, Caveboy released their first self-titled EP and quickly began the long journey of growing their audience. From playing in festivals such as SXSW, Osheaga, and Pride Toronto, to supporting some incredible acts like Tash Sultana, Tom Walker and Wintersleep, Caveboy has worked hard to grow their audience while still self-releasing all of their music. It doesn’t look like they’ll be stopping any time soon.

Lana Cooney

Since their first EP, the band has continued to release singles and amass fans thanks to their unique new wave 80s pop sound and chaotically-fun live shows. The all-women trio consists of Michelle Bensimon, lead singer and guitarist, bassist Isabelle Banos and Lana Cooney on drums, with whom I recently had the opportunity to chat about their story and the newly released debut album, Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark.

Cooney, a Concordia alumnus, grew up in a musical home here in Montreal where she gravitated to the drums at the early age of 10. Having a musician for a father meant she had plenty of instruments lying around, which she was always encouraged to mess around with. 

“I was just drawn to the drums,” said Cooney, before diving into her musical journey and the formation of the band. In high school she would go on to be the first female drummer in Lindsay Place high school orchestra, where she started meeting   other musicians and jamming out in her mom’s garage. “And that’s [the garage] where Caveboy got its start too.”

Banos met Cooney on their Cégep orientation day when she spotted the drumsticks sticking out of Cooney’s bag. A few years later, the two friends would go on to invite Bensimon to create the trio that became Caveboy.

Jumping to 2020, Caveboy released their debut album on Jan. 31. It was always a dream of the band’s to produce a full-length album, and they’ve done it. The very relatable album covers themes of being heard, relationships between childhood friends, partners and family.

Isabelle Banos

“There are some ballads, some dance-y ones, and even some psychedelic ones,” is how Cooney describes the album in her 60-second elevator pitch. When asked to pick one song from the album that those new to the band should check out first, she replied “N.Y.P!”

Montreal has and will always be part of Caveboy’s story, with their upcoming official release party on Feb. 8 at the Centre Phi. While the city’s lower cost of living and abundance of small venues has been a great help for getting the band’s feet off the ground, they have their sights set on longer and further tours. It’s a goal of Cooney’s to get on the road as much as they can this year and keep growing. The live performance is equally as important to the band. Adding performance enhancing elements to their live shows has been a focus since the beginning.

Michelle Bensimon

“Stuff like lighting! Not steroids,” said Cooney, with a laugh. From sets, to merch, to social media––they like to be as involved as possible, and every new team member is personally hand-selected, leaving nothing to chance. It’s clear this band is one of the most dedicated ones in the city, and one to keep on your radar this decade. 

Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark is out now, and it’s not an album you want to miss out on.


Photos by Cecilia Piga.


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