Montreal may seem like an indie-rock factory pumping out bearded guys in skinny jeans, but the truth is, the city’s musical landscape is wildly eclectic. Osheaga, a two-day music festival at Parc Jean-Drapeau this weekend, showcases some of the city’s fastest rising stars. Here are five local bands – and their headlining counterparts – to catch this weekend.
If you dig the ’80s throwback vibe of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, then check out Winter Gloves’ synth-heavy sounds, keyboard-driven dance songs – and their unlikely cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
If you’re partial to Coldplay’s anthemic pop vocals, then don’t miss Marcus Paquin of Silver Starling (above), an Arcade Fire side project whose dreamy tunes will win over the harshest critics.
If you groove to the inventiveness and unpredictability of an Arctic Monkeys show, then you’ll surely dig Parlovr’s rock ’n roll with a twist. Parlovr’s (pronounced parlour) searing noises build layers, always leaving you wanting more.
If you get shaking to Crystal Castles, then get ready for Beast, who could be CC’s long- lost French-Canadian step-siblings. Kick-drum heavy with thick, meaty bass lines, Beast feels like Portishead-on-acid, featuring the soul-stealing vocals of Betty Bonifassi.
If you hum along to the quirky folk of the Decemberists, then you’ll be pretty vocal about Ladies of the Canyon. This all-girl outfit brings the twang back to the city with lilting, four-part harmonies.
For full schedule and lineup, go to http://osheaga.com/2009/en/schedule.