Beginning the night was soul rockers Meanwood, who already got a moderately sized crowd foot stomping. It was pretty hard to keep still especially with all the energetic dancing every time there was a musical interlude. Their music include banjos, lapsteel and a mini sing along moment with the audience where Belle the lead singer said, “My favourite part of that song is that I get to dance with pretty girls”.
Next was Toronto garage pop rockers Stella Ella Ola. Though they’ve been playing a lot around the city lately, it was my first time seeing them. They weren’t as energetic or exciting as the bands before and after but their sound made me really miss summer. They also seem to like to count a lot in their songs.
I saw a more toned down version of July Talk a few months ago at Sonic Boom during NXNE. I thought they were cute, but I didn’t think too much more of it. However when I heard their self-titled album (now streaming on Exclaim!), they became hard to ignore. The Tom Waits meets Amy Milan sound was loveable. Originally I thought Peter’s gritty vocals would be way too much for me as a record, but I was wrong and thoroughly impressed.
Their set last night made me feel proud to be supporting Canadian music. Like I stated in my review on Exclaim! Peter and Leah played off each other in an organic and believable way. It definitely wasn’t the same performance that they did a few months ago. Their masculine vs. feminine and love hate personas on stage definitely made July Talk one of the must see new artists this year. If I had to pick the top 3 artists I’ve seen this year (and you know by this blog there are tons), one would be July Talk.