One of Ottawa’s newest festivals is already one of its best. Megaphono is back for a second edition of 613 music from February 2-5, filling local venues as well as unexpected places (three words: skating bonfire party) with sounds, talks, and mixers that you can’t miss out on.
Whether you’re looking to discover more awesome bands in your backyard, or you’re totally new to the capital and half-expecting a Justin Trudeau DJ set, we have your Megaphono schedule sorted. Here are 10 artists at that will get you dancing and encore-begging at shows. You’re bound to hear a new favourite.
Boyhood is an intoxicating haze of dark yet melodic lo-fi jams by Ottawa’s Caylie Runciman. Kathleen Hanna’s Julie Ruin meets Wednesday Addams. Vice’s Noisey has their eye on her, do you? Boyhood will haunt Dominion Tavern on February 3 at 10:30 pm, supporting Fet.Nat and Duchess Says.
Amanda Lowe has of the purest songbird voices to come from P.E.I. Lowe cut her folk teeth working with Juno nominee Craig Cardiff and is ready to come into her own with her repertoire of wit and warmth. Lowe plays Pressed in support of Michael Feuerstack on February 3 at 5:00 pm.
Climbing fire escapes and playing guitar on each other’s shoulders could be described by New Swears as “Friday”. Or as Pitchfork describes the Ottawa punks, “like a lot of low-budget exploitation films, this thing is fun.” New Swears will have the wildest show at Megaphono’s skating bonfire party by AXENÉ07 in Gatineau at 1:00 am on February 5.
November is hypnotic electronic pop served by Ottawa-born, Montréal-based performer Gregory-Yves Fénélon. It’s soulful, sexy, and worth your ear as the Yung Prince continues to hone his craft. November reigns over Black Squirrel Books on February 2 at 9:30 pm.
Bedroom R&B producer Pipahauntas, the solo project of Sam Pippa from Ottawa bands Organ Eyes and Blue Angel, is an alluring collage of lo-fi sampled beats, lingering keyboards, and cooing vocals. Pipahauntas will woo St. Alban’s on February 2 at 7:30 pm, supporting The Acorn and Emilie & Ogden.
When cinematic pop collective Pony Girl play before you, you can’t help but be spirited away by visions and ohmygods. Exclaim! approved their latest album Foreign Life with a 9/10. Let their songs envelop you at Le Gainsbourg in Gatineau on February 5 at 9:00 pm.
Montreal’s Saxyndrum aren’t just electronic – they’re cathartic. Chaotic. Aggressive saxophone, drum, and vocal releases that have caught the attention of critics such as Consequence of Sound on the Canadian festival circuit. Live is where they live, so be sure to experience them at Le Gainsbourg with Pony Girl on February 5 at 9:45 pm.
Many a ‘60s Greenwich Village singer-songwriter would envy the ease at which Andy Shauf tells stories. His vintage-hued guitar and piano production and tender voice will command your attention as it has for NPR, NME, Nylon, and more. Shauf will bring St. Alban’s to a hush on February 3 at 9:30 pm.
The Artist Formerly Known as Silkken Laumann are like an LCD Ottawasystem, ever-armed with dance hooks and punk jabs to keep you sweating. Toronto Star rightfully called them one of their reasons to live. Silkken return to their favourite club haunt of Babylon on February 4 at 11:30 pm.
Isaac Vallentin has a timbre to his tenor voice that’s both tragic and magnetic. He lays deep thoughts before his guitar with such intimacy that any room he plays becomes yours. You’ve heard him on CBC Radio, now hear him live. Vallentin will play an old mill at Zibi in Gatineau for a unique set on February 5 after 4:30 pm.
Megaphono runs from Feb 2-5, 2016 at various locations. Festival Passes are $50 and provide access to all the showcases. A delegate badge, for artist entrepreneurs, artists and those interested in (or pursuing) music as a career is $100 and gets you into all the panel discussions and networking events.