Under The Snow is not just your average local music jam. For the past eight years, this festival has been fulfilling its mission of shedding light on some of the best of the underground independent music scene. There was a wonderful showcase of, both, up-and-coming and established artists, and we were lucky enough to count among the artists headliners like Julie Doiron and Pat. Their respective performances were preceded by some talented openers. Here is a little roundup of our pleasant journey through underground.
03/16/2012 - @ La Sala Rossa
The City Streets
Originally from Edmonton but now based in Montreal, The City Streets has blown us away with an incredible ability to buildi-up textured soundwalls and sensitivity out of an alternative rock experience. This young power trio seems have it all ; developping an original sonic blend and mastering melodic accuracy. A fifth (!) full-length-album entitled Sawdust & Rum (2012) has recently come out. I heartily recommend you to check it out, there is absolutely no doubt that these guys will be gaining more success in a near future.
Hamilton-based singer Terra Lightfoot is a graceful singer-songwriter who composes emotionally-charged ballads craddled in chamber-folk arrangements. Terra’s hushed contralto vocals sing the tales of love and grief. Her songs are flowy, luscious and would appeal to both soft and raw-accustomed ears.
Prolific indie veteran Julie Doiron was given a special mandate that night as she was challenged to perfrom songs from The Loneliest In The Morning, an album that she released in 1997. Despiste how terrified she said she was, Julie admirably got through this daunting task. Reading out lyrics from her notebook Julie Doiron transmitted to the crowd, the raw emotions of these songs which recounted stories about «about being sorry and tired». Doiron might as well have made a Cat Power out of herself there - the solo performance, her rugged hushed vocals, the untuned guitar, the oh-so-sad songs and her fragile nature felt extraordinarily sincere.
03/17/2012 - @ La Sala Rossa
Musically it could ressemble Davie Bowie backed-up by the Strokes, reheasring in Lou Reed’s garage. As for the rest, the slight satirical component, the laid-back attitude and the infectious melodies definitely stand out. On stage, it is strangely entertaining; it would be very difficult to define what is being seen and heard, but we are irreparably hooked. This adoptive Montrealer, who has drawn the attention of Pitchfork will be releasing his debut solo EP Rock And Roll Night Club this week.
St-Patrick’s célébrations might be the reason if La Sala Rossa was nowhere near full, as it should have been, to welcome hometown favorite Pat Jordache. Through his debut EP Future Songs, Jordache has accustomed us to a signature ‘crafted’ sound which loses all spareness on stage. Jordache and his bandmates made this concert one neat experience, notably by delivering a high level performance. Singing the melodies of his incomparable baritone voice, Jordache also revealed himself to be a skillful bass player. We were also surprised by the reworking of his songs through stellar jazz arrangement featuring bass clarinet parts, impressive improvisation sections and an acute use pentatonic scales. What weheard that evening was enough to exited us about the possibility of a new release. That being said, I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
All in all, The 8th edition of the festival was a great treat. All you indie lovers must respond to next year’s calling.