SUUNS, Land of Talk, Evening Hymns, Chloe Charles, Nap Eyes, Un Blonde & More @ Hillside 7/23/2016

The sun beamed down on us Saturday at Hillside. It was hot so we refreshed ourselves with a couple of dips in the lake in between sets.

We woke up early to check out the festival site while it was still quiet. Compared to any other festival, the grounds were immaculate. It was the most environmentally festival that we’d ever been to. There were dishwashing stations and all vendors used reusable dishes. Even alcohol was served on tap in reusable mugs that were sold on site. Some of the mugs were made of corn plastic that we joked about eating if we were hungry. There was literally nothing you could really throw on the ground. Other festivals should be taking notes.

Under the Island tent, we began our day with Montreal’s Caveboy playing energetic bass driven electropop. Dust clouds appeared as the crowd started to dance with the 3 piece band. They also did a fantastic cover of Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Around…Comes Around”. Over on the Lake Stage, Old Man Luedecke packed a tent full of people attentively listen to him tell stories in between charming folk tunes.

Un Blonde released one of the most underrated albums of the year so we were excited to get a glimpse. The set was as laid back as the album, with a tinge of bizarreness. Jean-Sébastien Audet delivered his experimental tunes with a weird unexplainable swagger.

Next Nap Eyes delighted us with their psychedelic rock while The Milk Carton Kids duetted theirselves into our hearts.

One of the special guests of the day was Ajinai. Founded in Beijing, China the group specializes in modernizing Mongolian music. They played post-rock with an Asian flair including the morin khuur (horse-head fiddle) and khoomei (throat-singing).

Also on the main stage orchestral soul pop powerhouse Chloe Charles presented us with her recent album With Blindfolds On. She was the winner of the 2015 John Lennon Songwriting Award and it really shows in her craft. Not to mention every note she sang was goosebump inducing.

Back under a tent, Evening Hymns played his beautiful folk tunes with a new backing band (and some new music!) since the last time I saw them. Jonas Bonnetta told a funny story about how he once successfully slowed down a drum circle. We wish we knew the secret to that because drum circles kept us all night the entire weekend. Bonnetta did a charming cover of Gowan’s “Moonlight Desires”.

Land of Talk has been really taking advantage of this reunion (as Tiana has already seen them three times this year). It’s really as if the band never left opening with crowd favourite “Quarry Hymns” and closing with “Some Are Lakes”. In between were new songs, so an album should be coming soon.

We finished off our Saturday night with a dark-wave dance party to Montreal’s Suuns.