Summer is coming to a close and here in Ottawa we have to send off the festival season with one more bash. CityFolk, now in it’s third year at Lansdowne Park, has set us up with quite the lineup, and I’m here to tell you my top five anticipated acts of the festival. They may not be big names, but they are the acts to watch out for; the bands that may not have a large crowd but will blow you out of the water.

Big Thief – Friday, September 15th @ 7:15pm

Coming to Ottawa in the middle of their North American tour, Big Thief will be treating us to tunes from both their 2016 debut as well as their new record Capacity which was released this past June. With both records earning this Brooklyn group great praise, it’ll be exciting to see how it translates into their live performances.

Common Deer – Saturday, September 16th @ 4:15pm

Folky instruments and pop vocals are hardly what you’d expect from a group filled with classically trained musicians, but it’s easy to see how this Toronto based band was able to incorporate strings to create a sound of their own. Check them out for vocal duets and to bring you back to modern folk music this festival is known for.

Lucy Dacus– Saturday, September 16th @ 4:30pm

Lucy Dacus has a killer mix of observational lyrics with a biographical twist. Starting out with bare-bones tunes written for herself, Lucy was able to get together with like minded musicians who helped her bring it all to life. Don’t miss this storyteller and her slow-burning tracks.

Tank and The Bangas – Sunday, September 17th, 7:30pm

I first heard of this group in an NPR Tiny Desk session and was instantly intrigued. There’s a fresh mix of spoken word and beautiful vocals highlighted by exemplary instrumentation. It’s easy to see how Tank and The Bangas came together so seamlessly and with such passion.

Rodriguez – Sunday, September 17th @ 8:30pm

Lastly, if you haven’t heard of Rodriguez, you’re not the only one. He released music in the 60s and 70s, which fell on deaf ears in North America but somehow he became an icon in South Africa. I’d highly recommend watching the documentary Searching For Sugar Man if you’d like to learn more about Rodriguez’ fascinating rise to fame after nearly 20s years of obscurity.

Six days of solid bands sounds like a pretty great way to end Summer and to kick of Autumn, if you ask me! Check out the official City Folk website (www.cityfolkfestival.com) for ticket information and I hope to see you out there in the crowds!