KROY

KROY


Two passersby make their way down Spadina Street, quickly glancing at a sign advertising a CMW show at Comfort Zone. It’s hard not to hear them say “Canadian music? That’s funny. You mean Bieber?” The words are laughable and simultaneously depressing. After watching several Canadian acts perform live at Silver Dollar Room on May 7, it’s easy to disagree with the bitter sentiment of such words.

KROY–more like KROY-ing because the band’s so good–kicked things off with their brand of electronic music. The group might have a chilly sound on their birthday EP, yet their live performance was louder and had a much more haunting sensation (“monstrosity,” “river”). Camille Poliquin’s gentle voice contrasted surprisingly well with some of her blood-soaked lyrics. Splices of trip-hop beats and high notes made similarities to a group like Purity Ring null, allowing their sound to be genuine and beautifully sung. “I don’t want all my songs to be about you,” Poliquin sangs, ready to demonstrate her yearning for something more. Though I came during their sound check, I was so glad to hear the bursting notes of “river” again and again. It chilled the heart.

Nyssa

Nyssa


Next up was the odd but satisfying pop of Nyssa. Nyssa is totally not related to DC villain Ra’s al ghul. Despite this, it was nice to hear an artist who enveloped some of their songs with a story-like structure to them. Besides wanting her audience to jam to the line “We are champions!” she didn’t want to force her brand of pop on us. The lyric “Life is hard, but I’m easy” was endearing, especially when the line about her being a self-made lady erupted later. Whether you admire the atmosphere she can create with her production or the danceable tracks, Nyssa was an act that differentiated herself from the rock that encompassed the night.
Caveboy

Caveboy

Caveboy absolutely need to release a full-length album soon. I feel like life’s further existence depends on it. The band was a lively experience with vocals that could blow the roof off. They are a much more unhinged Tegan and Sara, with summer songs and guitar solos that could make you dance yourself silly. The band asked whether their audience wanted a Justin Timberlake or a Selena Gomez cover. With the latter choice winning, the band soothed the crowd. At one point, the each member grouped themselves close together, and in unison they lost control. It was a loveable and unforgettable chaos.

Speaking of unforgettable…

For Esmé

For Esmé

For Esmé made the best of a lame situation. Despite Martha Meredith’s mic failing to propel her vocals, the band pushed on, having Nathan Crook offer his own mic to start the set. The night lingered on with the act’s rock presence. Time felt like it didn’t have a bearing in the venue. Meredith was dancing and sharing the mic with Crook to offer a dual performance. Dave Thiel’s basslines were as slick as they were on Sugar. Each track was improved by the live intensity of the band.

“What’cha waiting / What’cha waiting for?”

It’s difficult not to love the electropop the band herald. The group love fun and especially love empowering others.

They finished their set with a cover of Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Gold Lion.” They crushed the song with a punk heaviness that rocked the venue. Whether they’re covering someone else or not, I can rest assured that good things are in store for this Toronto group.

So, passersby, we might not have music cities grappled by people other than Drake or, in Stratford’s case, Justin Bieber, but there’s comfort knowing that the women in music I’ve seen on my CMW excursion could honestly rule the world if people gave them the chance. There were other acts that would play on past midnight, but the aforementioned bands were great samples of Canadian work.