CBC Music Festival may have big names like July Talk and A Tribe Called Red headlining their 2018 event, but the festival will also provide a spotlight for many lesser-known and under the radar acts. Here’s our list of five bands that, while they may not be well-known, most certainly still deserve your undivided attention should you be heading to RBC Echo Beach on May 26th.
01.The Jerry Cans
- Hailing from Iqaliut, Nunavut, The Jerry Cans have been receiving attention thanks in part to their energetic live show. The band combines traditional Inuit throat singing, country and folk with all their lyrics sung in Inuktitut, the language of the Inuit. They received a big boost thanks the increased interest in throat singing following Tanya Tagaq’s 2014 Polaris Prize win. The band also garnered attention thanks to their cover of The Tragically Hip’s “Ahead by a Century”. They’ve received several award nominations including Juno nods for “Breakthrough Group of the Year” and “Contemporary Roots Album of the Year”.
- Halifax rapper Aquakultre, aka Lance Sampson is the winner of CBC’s 2018 Searchlight. At the age of 19, he was sentenced to five years in prison and took advantage of the prison’s guitar rental service and taught himself how to play, with the help of his fellow inmates. He was released after 19 months for good behavior. He received attention thanks to his live show, which made him a fixture on the Halifax scene. Toronto audiences will have a chance to see what all the hype is about when he performs.
Check out a solid sample of Aquakultre’s work here.
03.Milk & Bone
- Montreal synth-pop duo Milk & Bone, Laurence Lafond-Beaulne and Camille Poliquin, first came together when they were music students at Cegep de Saint-Laurent and initially performed as part of David Giguere’s touring band before striking out on their own. Despite being Francophone, they write all their music in English. They used SoundCloud to reach out to potential contributors for their Polaris Prize long-listed 2015 album Little Mourning. Toronto rapper Terrell Morris was one of the artists to answer the call and he appeared on the track “Tomodachi”.
- St. John’s, Newfoundland duo Fortunate Ones may not be under the radar, the title track from their 2015 album The Bliss reached number one on CBC Radio 2’s Top 20. The duo of Andrew James O'Brien and Catherine Allen are a couple. O’Brien was a solo artist and Allan was a back-up singer before they formed Fortunate Ones. The band plans to release a new album this year and will doubtlessly give fans a preview at CBC Music Festival.
- The music of hotly buzzed Montreal trio Caveboy has a definite retro vibe to it thanks in part to the group’s three members bonding over their love of their parents’ music. Since releasing their debut, self-titled EP in 2015, they’ve played festivals around North America as well as had their music appear on a wide number of TV shows including Netflix’sOrange is the New Black.
Caveboy recently won a two week recording residency at Grouse Lodge Studios (Michael Jackson and Muse have recorded music there) and worked with engineer Cameron Craig (Adele, Annie Lennox). They unveiled their track “Raconteur” and fans will have the chance to hear new music at the event.
Take a look at Caveboy’s official “Raconteur” music video.