by Tiana Feng
As per suggestions from friends on Facebook I wanted to check out Reuben and the Dark and Lowell during CMW. It just so happens that they were also playing the Lee’s Palace show with The Besnard Lakes so I stayed the whole night there and discovered some great new artists.
Reuben and the Dark started the night off with their Fleet Fox-like folk music. However, they were emotive without the use of overdone atmospheric distortion. They let their introspective lyrics and hooky melodies connect them with the audience.
Lowell was debuting herself in her hometown this CMW with a show at Lee’s and Danforth Music Hall. Returning from England (after working under project Apparatijik), she’s like Lykke Li and Beach House had a musical baby. Her music has layered textures created by looping haunting vocals that are powerful at the same time.
My favourite discovery the entire CMW was London singer-songwriter Lucy Rose. She performed with very little interruption, with her own guitar tech to pass her tuned guitars. There was something very charming about her and the audience felt the same way. The same people who were like “who the hell is that?” later tried to climb on the stool I was sitting on in order to get an autograph. Maybe it’s her captivating smile or alluring tunes like “Bikes”. The singer/songwriter is totally welcome to come back to Toronto again.
Imaginary Cities followed opening with new single “Chasing the Sunset”, off a new album out May 28th. The majority of the set featured classic songs from their debut album including title track “Temporary Resident” and “Say You”. I thought that the members looked different this time and they mentioned that their usual drummer couldn’t make it and they were playing with Dave from “Federal Lights” for the first time. He actually did such a stellar job I couldn’t tell the difference!
As the room started to smell more and more like weed, you could tell it was time for The Besnard Lakes. Jase Lasek even made some jokes about it. The band debuted some tunes from the upcoming Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO which hasn’t yet worked out all the kinks in terms of its live translation. That however didn’t matter because people were distracted by flashy lights.