As we did with Bluesfest this summer, Apt613 will have you covered with daily preview articles, including highlights and interviews with some of the artists about to hit the stage. Beyond the main stage, make sure you check out our feature on the dozens of acts being featured as part of CityFolk’s free Marvest series.
Saturday, September 14
With Friday’s incredible triple-header rock bill behind us, it’s back to the eclectic mix that CityFolk is well known for. Folk? Check. R&B? Check. Indigenous hip-hop? Yup, check too.
Eleni Mandell (4pm)
The weekend brings earlier start times, beginning with singer-songwriter Mandell. A veteran with ten albums so far, her music hearkens back to well crafted pop ballads of the 50s and 60s, with occasional hints of Motown or bubblegum pop. Her latest album adopts a slightly more indie folk sound as she experiments a bit beyond the pop borders.
Tamino’s music style is difficult to pinpoint. Gloomy dream pop? Some have said he’s a male version of Lana Del Ray, but his emotions are much more prominent and his vocal range is breathtaking (listen to the ending of “Habibi” if you don’t believe me). Whatever it is, it’s emotional. If ever an artist was designed to produce a perfect cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, it’s him.
David Wiffen Tribute (7pm)
As we wrote previously, David Wiffen is a singer-songwriter icon who has had a vast list of superstars cover his songs. This tribute performance will feature a dozen collaborators including Tom Wilson and Lynn Miles.
LeE HARVeY OsMOND (8:45pm)
Speaking of Tom Wilson, when not busy with Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Wilson manages to find time to put out perennial Polaris Music Prize longlist albums with his side project LeE HARVeY OsMOND. Their latest effort, Mohawk, was released this year, and again, the album simmers, providing a perfect backdrop for Wilson’s slow-burn vocals, whether sung or in spoken word form. Each track is saturated in storytelling magic.
Snotty Nose Rez Kids (10:15pm)
If you’re looking to explore a different genre from the mellow artists peppered throughout Saturday’s lineup, then make sure you catch SNRK, who prove you can make top class hip hop while remaining true to your culture. Their innovative mix has earned them award attention, their latest album Trapline landing on the Polaris Music Prize shortlist, as their 2017 The Average Savage did before. Where else will you find a group who can rhyme ‘Kanye’ with ‘Ojibwa’?
Saul Williams (4:45pm)
A Renaissance Man of sorts, Williams first broke through as a poet and writer, has worked in film and television, and has put out a full length album every 4-5 years since 2001. His latest release Encrypted & Vulnerable spawned his biggest hit to date in “List Of Demands (Reparations)”.
Originally a synth-based atmospheric dream pop production, the group’s latest release takes a strong turn towards simple piano melodies as the anchor for the silky-smooth vocals and minimalist beats. At times spacey but never rushed, their mellow vibe should be a great way to ease into the evening.
Tim Baker (7:30pm)
Baker rose to prominence with his original band Hey Rosetta! But after a dozen years, he’s now gone solo, and his debut album will ensure he remains a staple on the Canadian indie scene. His musical style might have shifted slightly in this new chapter in his career, taking on more pop overtones, with synths occasionally replacing some of the guitars, but his songwriting remains his strong suit, and continues to shine through. If you miss him tonight, don’t make the same mistake tomorrow when he plays a second set.
Leon Bridges (9pm)
Capping off a mellow night, Texan Leon Bridges will add a healthy dose of R&B and soul to the string of pop songs Saturday. A fresh take with an old school voice, make sure you bring a blanket so you can lay back on the hill and enjoy
CityFolk takes place at Lansdowne Park from Thursday September 12 to Sunday September 15, 2019. Visit cityfolkfestival.com for the complete lineup, schedule and all information.