Two festivals in Eastern Canada will consume six of my next eleven days. First up is Wayhome, a camp-out music and arts festival that takes place in Oro-Medonte — two hours north of Toronto. The festival has broken out in a big way in 2016, landing several huge names on the circuit after a number of more modest outings. Below we have a list of acts that have us wired with anticipation.
Alternatively melancholy and joyous, Calgarian act Braids’ latest effort, Deep In the Iris, is their best yet. They’re worth the early journey.
The reunited Canadian indie darlings have released a handful of new tunes, but their battle-tested early output is surely what fans will be showing up for. This one’s going to be nostalgic.
Festial-friendly acts Chvrches and Foals play at the same time, but Foals will be at Osheaga whereas Chvrches will not, so we’re opting for the Glaswegians. They’ve improved tremendously as a live act over the past three years, and they have an extra album’s worth of bangers from which to draw.
Five years on from their farewell concert at Madison Square Garden, the embodiment of Brooklyn cool is back from the dead, with a new LP in the works. They’re legends; don’t miss this one.
This Canadian native tours heavily, and he’s an unpredictable showman. The last time I saw him he concluded his set with a thoroughly over-the-top rendition of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”. If your festival-going experience needs a little more raunch, this is the show for you.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
I had the privilege of catching UMO in January and was absolutely floored by their show; four exceptional musicians moving in lockstep, playing some of the most colourful and soulful rock and roll written this decade. If you can’t handle their lo-fi approach to recording, their live wizardry will convert you.
Our sleeper pick for Friday, Georgian act Mothers dropped an underappreciated record earlier this year. When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tired, falls somewhere between the glistening psychedelia of a Jefferson Airplane and the pastoral weirdness of Joanna Newsom.
Alabama’s Matthew Houck hasn’t released new material in three years and he’s only playing a handful of dates this summer. This is top-notch Americana with indie and folk leanings
Kurt Vile and the Violators
Mr. Vile and his violators are heavy on the festival circuit this year. A perfect, lazy mid-afternoon set.
The idiosyncratic Torontonians overlap with M83 and the Last Shadow Puppets, both of whom are worthy choices as well. But these jazzy freestylers start their set first, and they’re way too wonderfully weird to miss.
If you have to ask, you’ll never know.
Tahliah Barnett is one of the most unique voices working in R&B today. After hosting mass dance classes in Baltimore earlier this week, she’ll be taking to the stage here for a late night set. If you’re looking to finish your evening off on a sweatier note, Savages play in the same timeslot.
Tours and records from the somber world-beaters are few and far between. Last year’s No No No didn’t make much of a splash, but the Santa Fe natives remain an alluring live act.
Danish pop breakthrough is a favourite of ours here at PMA. It’s been two-and-a-half years since her debut No Mythologies to Follow, so a new song or two isn’t out of the question.
A new album is expected later this year from the Sisters Haim. Their breezy, rhythmic songwriting belies how much they want the crowd to fucking party.
The Oxonian quartet vacillates between electro-tinged pop, indie rock, and more experimental pieces. Their debut album was brimming with potential. They’re touring in anticipation of their follow-up How to be a Human Being, due in August.
It has been quite a while since they’ve produced anything of note in the studio, but the Killers continue to crush it live. As far as sing-along anthems go, they can hang with the best, and you can be sure they’ll close out Wayhome a euphoric, collective high note.