With over 400 bands playing in a single week at POP Montreal every year, it’s hard to keep up. Especially when 392 of them are mostly unknown bands that (often) need to be discovered.

In the past 15 years, POP Montreal has had great names on their bill: from Blonde Redhead, Interpol and Arthur H in 2002, to John Cale and The Kills last year, this end-of-summer festival pleases the hard-to-please discovery makers. See our articles here!

Big (indie rock) names like Arcade Fire, Queens of the Stone Age, Malajube (in 2002 and 2003), Franz Ferdinand, Holy Fuck, Tegan & Sara (way back in 2004), Beck, Wolf Parade, Gonzales (in 2005), Regina Spektor, Timber Timbre (in 2006), Patti Smith, The National, Cody ChesnuTT, Pere Ubu (in 2007), Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Burt Bacharach, The Dodos, Ratatat (in 2008), Fever Ray, Diamanda Galas, Butthole Surfers, Yo La Tengo, Buffy Ste-Marie (in 2009), The xx, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Karkwa (in 2010), tUnE-YarDs, Arcade Fire – again -, Azealia Banks (in 2011), David Byrne & St. Vincent together, Grizzly Bear, A Tribe Called Red (in 2012), Local Natives, Portugal. The Man (in 2013), Ty Segall, Sun Kil Moon, Ronnie Spector, Bonobo, Ought, Panda Bear, Suzanne Vega (in 2014), Giorgio Modorer, The Barr Bros, The Orb, Kaytranada, Motörhead, Built to Spill, Lee Ranaldo (in 2015) have played in the venues of the Mile End, Plateau and Metropolis through the years, showing the great musical taste of the programmers of POP!

But there are also a ton of unknown names that play every year at POP, and this is where we usually do the best discoveries… or not, depending on the surprises we have night after night.

This year, not having enough time to discover the 400 bands of the “Sweet 16” edition, I’m following the “5 word auto-desctiption” each band has given the organizers to describe their art to almost randomly check them out.

Here are the most intriguing ones of all, in no specific order… Enjoy!

CONES

“Music for cartoons” from LA.

They’ll play at Barfly on Sept 14, 2017 at 9pm, with Motherhood + These Guy + Know – tickets here

 

FAITH HEALER

Laid back rock and roll” from Edmonton AB. Led by Jessica Jalbert. Not to be confused with the hard rock band of the same name.

She’ll play at Brasserie Beaubien on Sept 15 with 5 other bands (Jay Arner + Renny Wilson + Faith Healer + Woolworm + Monomyth) – tickets here

 

JAY ARNER

“Existential glam rock” from Vancouver BC

 

BODYWASH

“Soft yet syrupy cream pop” from Montreal QC

They’ll play at Studio Rialto on Sept 14, 2017 around 10pm, with 5 other bands (Moon King + Doomsquad + Blanka + Bodywash + Sorry Girls + Pascale Project (DJ)) –tickets here

 

MKRNI

“Musical torrents” from Santiago, Chile

They’ll play at Club Balattou on Sept 14, 2017 around 11pm, with 3 other bands (Papi Chulo + MKRNI + Sueños Y Raíces + Lucius P. Thundercat) – tickets here

 

ALIEN BOY

“Gay goth pop punk noise” from Portland, OR

They’ll play at Brasserie Beaubien on Sept 16 with 5 other bands (Gazm + Beep Test + Alien Boy + pillowcount + BBQT + Doffing) – tickets here

 

BAMBI LOU

“Minor chords, major attitude” from Montreal, QC. Beach House fans should get a kick out this trio.

They’ll play at Quai des brumes on Sept 15 at 11:30pm with 4 other bands (Camille Delean, Bambi Lou, Night Shop and Jaye Bartell) – tickets here

 

ORA COGAN

“Hallowed, forlorn and full of promises” from Vancouver BC

She’ll play at Brasserie Beaubien on Sept 14 at 9pm, with 3 other great bands (Beliefs + Vallens + Fake Palms + Petra Glynt) – tickets here

 

PAPI CHULO

“X-rated VHS-era narco-thriller” from Montreal QC

They’ll play at Club Balattou on Sept 14, 2017 around midnight, with 3 other bands (Papi Chulo + MKRNI + Sueños Y Raíces + Lucius P. Thundercat) – tickets here

 

TEKE TEKE

“Psychedelic 60s Japanese surf rock eleki” from Montreal QC

 

THE HYPOCONDRIACS

“Three-part harmony hoe-down” from Fredericton NB

They’ll play at O Patro Vys on Sept 15, at 11:15pm with 7 other bands (Heart Attack Kids + Little You, Little Me + The Hypochondriacs + Young Satan In Love + S.H.R.I.M.P. Ring + WROTE + Tooth & The Fang) – tickets here

 

GLADYS LAZER

“Krautrock, post-jazz, hip-hop” from Nowhere, Earth

They’ll play at Casa del Popolo, on Sept 13 at 9h45pm, with 5 other bands (Doomsquad + Absolutely Free + Fet.Nat + Scattered Clouds + Gladys Lazer + Pulgas) – tickets here

 

DOUBLE DATE WITH DEATH

“Garage psy lo-fi punk dream” from Montreal QC

They’ll play on Sept 16 with 2 other bands (FREE) (BARRE + Deaf + Double Date With Death)

 

ECHO BEACH

“Better living through drones” from Montreal QC

 

EGYPTRIXX

“Jeep music for a Saturn desert” from Toronto ON

 

BUFFALO HAT SINGERS

“Contemporary pow-wow singers” from Montreal QC

 

ARON D’ALESIO

“Eerie, lo-fi, Orbison, haunting crooner” from Hamilton, ON

 

FAKE PALMS

“Oddball timing and chiming, angular guitars” from Toronto ON

 

HEART ATTACK KIDS

“Ferocious two-piece” from London ON

 

JAMES IRWIN

“Songwriter who swims up the river” from Montreal QC

 

LUCIUS P. THUNDERCAT

“Vivid pictures ignorant life lessons” from Montreal QC

 

J. BERD

“Self-taught MC, barber, painter” from Frederick MD

 

DENTIST

“Female fronted fuzzy surf pop” from Ashbury Park, NJ

 

DEAF

“Noise and pop got married” from Montreal QC

 

CARLA SAGAN

“Slow escape like low gravity” from Montreal, QC. Not to be confused with Carl.

 

HEY! DW

“Joan Jett meets EDM” from Toronto ON

 

GUIZO LA NUIT

“Stand-up spoken-noise pop witticism” from Montreal QC

 

JUSTIN WRIGHT

“Experimental cello meets analog synth” from Montreal QC

 

MAX COMEAU

“Unrequited love, hope, friendship, mortality” from Montreal QC (and also a RREVERB contributor!)

ZOUZ

“Four lokos and fuzzy sound” from Montreal QC

 

YEAR OF GLAD

“We’re our own white whale” from Montreal QC

 

JESSY LANZA

“Pop mantras against daily dread” from Hamilton ON

 

FAMILY BAND

“Bananas flambe – all for show” from Montreal QC

 

FOUNTAIN

“Jagged, angular, jarring, biting, driving” from Montreal QC

 

BLANCK MASS

“Suitable for casual noise fans” from Worchester, England

 

ALISON WONDERLAND

“Not in Kansas anymore” from Sydney, Australia. Be ready to dance!

 

FET.NAT

“Hull Hull Hull Hull Hull” from (you’ve guessed it) Hull QC

 

and so many more!

 

Oh, yes! Among the ones that are a little bit more known to music fans, do not miss these excellent artists!

JASON BAJADA

“Drama queen, Bruce Springsteen, warm melancholy” from Montreal QC. He just released one of the best Canadian albums of 2017 with Loveshit II.

He’ll play on the Ubisoft roof at 6pm, with Avec pas d’casque – soldout

 

LAURA SAUVAGE

“She is a loser” from Rogersville NB. One of the Hay Babes that does it solo too. Her raw rock album is reviewed here.

She’ll play at the Rialto Hall on Sept 16 at 9pm with 2 great bands (Laura Sauvage + Aldous Harding + Jeremy Dutcher) – info here

 

NANCY PANTS

“Dreamy, punky, poppy, slushy, oceany” from Montreal QC. Always an excellent stage act! Made our top 16 shows list of 2016.

They’ll play at L’escogriffe at 10pm, with 5 other bands (Saxsyndrum + Fleece + The Seams + Nancy Pants + Sportfan + Lemongrab) – tickets here

 

TY SEGALL

“Ty solo, acoustic! OMG” from LA. Our review of his 8th album in 8 years.

He’ll play at Theatre Fairmount on Sept 14 around 11:30pm with 2 other bands (Ty Segall Solo Acoustic + Traces + Still Kicking) – tickets here

 

ROYAL TRUX

“Feral rock’n’roll rises again” from Washington DC

 

CHOCOLAT

“No bullshit messy sweet Montreal” from Montreal, QC, featuring indie rock darling Jimmy Hunt

 

THE BESNARD LAKES

“Elated atmospheric new canadiana orchestra” from Montreal QC. They will revisit their first album entirely!

 

BING & RUTH

“Minimalist ensemble with piano drone” from Brooklyn NY.

 

DEAD OBIES

“Experimental hip-hop repping the South Shore” from Longueuil QC. They kick ass, in French and English blended.

 

SARAH PAGÉ

“Trance-inducing drones and mesmerizingly fast harp fingers” from Montreal QC. Also known as the sister of the Barr Brothers band.

 

AUSTRA

“Fueled by post-capitalism reading obsession” from Toronto, ON

 

GIGI FRENCH

“Franco jazz swing socio-political ranting retropop” from Montreal QC

 

THEE OH SEES

“Glorious psyche-garage shred-fest” from San Francisco CA

 

JOE GRASS

“New age, old time” from Montreal QC. Awesome guitarist that has played with Lhasa de Sela, Patrick Watson, Arthur H and many more great talents.

 

MEN I TRUST

“Make your right foot tap” from Montreal QC. We fell for them last year, check out our album review here.

 

Now go nuts and enjoy the festival!

Réagissez à cet article / Comment this article

commentaires / comments

About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier
Fondateur et rédacteur en chef
Google+

Mélomane invétéré et rédacteur agréé, Nicolas pratique la critique en mode olympique: il parle de tout, tout le temps, depuis 1991. Il a publié 4 500 critiques de disques et concerts dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Nicolas a publié "Les perles rares et les grands crus de la musique" en janvier 2013, un ouvrage de 1250 pages en deux tomes.