10 Artists Pour Voir at OSHEAGA 2013: August 2nd-4th


Montreal might be the farthest away we’ve ever been from the shire. Sure, in the past few months we’ve branched out and covered festivals around the country, but Canada is a completely different story. Held in Parc Jean-Drapeau from August 2nd-4th, the three day festival boasts a lineup that rivals that of any festival stateside this year.

The lineup for this festival is insanely good—good enough have our attention across state and national borders, a language barrier, and out of Georgia’s famous August humidity. Headlined by classic bands like The Cure and New Order—along with newer sensations like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Mumford and Sons—there is enough talent and variety to draw nearly every music lover.

The main acts go without saying, but there are a number of other groups we’re looking forward to singing and dancing along with. In no particular order, they are:

Father John Misty

Father John Misty is the man— or rather, he is the man’s moniker. Joshua Tillman, formerly of Fleet Foxes and Saxon Shore, is currently performing in this incarnation, and he is not to be missed. Sometimes bluesy, sometimes with a hat-tip to 1960’s riffs, sometimes more thoughtful and lyrical, he has something for everyone. Two of our favorites are the campy “I’m Writing a Novel” and tender “Only Son of a Ladiesman,” but his cover of The Flaming Lips’ hit “Do You Realize?” will make a believer of you. Tillman collaborated on the single Young Lady” from Kid Cudi’s album Indicud, released last April.

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Shovels and Rope

I’ve seen this band live several times and they’re one of my favorites. This alt country duo exploded onto the scene after a remarkable gig on the Letterman Show a few months ago. We love how they use a stripped-down, five-and-dime style accompaniment to highlight vocals that will blow you away. Carrie Anne Hearst’s voice packs a Dolly Parton style punch—if Dolly Parton embodied Southern Gothic and sang about cocaine and brown liquor. Also check out “Gasoline” and “Hells Bells” for a quick introduction to this band you won’t forget.

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Tegan and Sara:

Where would Osheaga be without a performance by everyone’s favorite Canadian twin singers? Their seventh and most popular album to date, Heartthrob, which was just released earlier this year,  has a little something for everyone: fabulous break up songs (“Now I’m all Messed Up,” “Goodbye, Goodbye”) and tracks that so perfectly capture the thrill of a new crush (“Closer,” “Love they Say”). We’re hoping Tegan and Sara plan to draw us “closer” (see what we did there?) with some of their older material as well. We are definitely looking forward to hear more of what we’ve come to expect from this duo: solid – often playful—lyrics set to catchy keys and backing beats.

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Not surprisingly, another favorite Canadian band, Hollerado, is part of the Osheaga lineup. It was hard not to fall in love with this band after the song “Americanarama,” a track from Record in a Bag, had not one but two awesome music videos—one featuring Dave Foley from The Kids in the Hall and another Hollywood Squares/ 1980’s video game romp. This four-member indie band from Ontario, Ottawa released its second album, White Paint—its first in over three years—last February. The featured single, “Pick Me Up” stays true to its original honest rocker style. We’ve never seen them live and can’t wait to hear what they do with their new songs.

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Bonobo’s new album, The North Borders, just dropped in March of this year. “Cirrus,” the first track on the album, is soothing and downtempo with rhythmic xylophone and vibraphone. NPR Music named the track as one of its Top 50 Favorite Songs of 2013 (So Far), and with good reason. “First Fires” or “Emkay,” also from the new album, are fast becoming favorites as well. Simon Greene has come to be known for his trancy, extended live renditions of studio tracks, so we are particularly looking forward to catching Bonobo.

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Frank Turner

Frank Turner and his backing band The Sleeping Souls are one of the acts we are most excited to hear. Anyone who wins awards like “hardest working artist” (2011 AIM Awards) is someone I can admire- and that’s even without the music. He performed at the pre-show for the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, and has been touring the UK, US, and Canada for the past several years. His start in the music business was with a post-hardcore band, but his current singer-songwriter mostly-acoustic style is clear, honest, and easy on the ears. He has a new album out; Tape Deck Heart was released on 4/22/13. Check out his songs “I Still Believe” and “The Way I Tend to Be.” The anger is still there, though; just listen for it in “Thatcher Fucked the Kids.” His own brand of beer is called “Believe.” We do, Frank. We do.

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Los Angeles indie/ electronica band Grouplove exploded onto the scene only a few years ago and has definitely made its mark. Has there ever been a catchier song than Tongue Tied? Their second album, Spreading Rumors, will be released 9/17/13—just after the festival– so we are hoping to catch sneak peeks of new tracks at Osheaga; “Ways to Go,” which has already been released for preview, is promisingly dance-y and fun.

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Frightened Rabbit

The indie rock band Frightened Rabbit was formed in Sekirk, Scotland, but is based in Glasgow.  Led by Scott Hutchison and his brother, the band’s name comes from what their grandmother used to call Scott as a child. Ouch. The group’s sound, on the other hand, is anything but frightened. Its most recent album, Pedestrian Verse, was released in the US this past February.  Need another reason to support them? They support the charity Invisible Children music coalition project. Listen to these guys with a clear conscience. For a preview of Frightened Rabbit, try “The Woodpile,” “Hospital,” or “Swim Until You Can’t See Land.”

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Jake Bugg

Nineteen-year-old Jake Bugg hails from a musical family in Nottingham, England, and started playing guitar at 12. Though he has been criticized for co-writing his self-titled debut album with professional songwriter Lain Archer and two others, the results are impressive. Some songs are toe-tapping goodness and others darker and more somber, but his talent is unmistakable. Check out “Two Fingers,” “Seen It All,” or “Country Song” for a preview of his stuff.

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Lianne La Havas

I was first introduced to Lianne La Havas when a friend sent me her video for “No Room for Doubt,” shot in Paris for La Blogotheque’s Take Away Shows (“A pretty girl singing a pretty song through Paris. What’s not to like?”). She has an amazing voice, and we’ve become fans of other tracks of hers: “Elusive” and “Lost and Found,” along with “Is Your Love Big Enough,” the title track from her debut album (which was, by the way, named iTunes Album of the Year for 2012). Hailing from London with roots in Greece and Jamaica, Lianne La Havas is lovely to look at and to listen to, and she is one of the newer acts we’re looking forward to covering at the festival.

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Also, “pour voir” means “to watch”…

Words by Sarah Gerwig