Now in its 13th year, Indie Week has become one of Canada’s premiere indie music festivals showcasing 300+ acts from all over the world in front of music industry professionals.
Indie Week offers 6 nights of showcases, late last call after parties serving until 4am, 20+ venues, music industry panels, industry judging, demo listening sessions, mentorships, sponsored stages and more.
After listening to every band playing the festival we’ve narrowed it down to our top choices. Here are our Editor’s Picks for Indie Week 2016.
Wednesday – Nov 16
8:00pm – Supermarket
Based in Toronto, Brad grew up in the small town of Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Brad’s latest work entitled ‘Strangers’ was released in August, 2016 on Sparks Music/Universal Music Canada. This fall he will be on the road supporting multiple award winning Newfoundland folk trio The Once on select Newfoundland and Ontario Dates.
Sounds Like: Travelling Wilburys solo project
10:20pm – Bovine
Frontman/Guitarist Andy Dmytryshyn, Drummer Alex Sousa, Guitarist Dervish Kucukovic and Bassist Ty Quackenbush Comprise Mammoth Seed. A Rock n’ Roll band hailing from Hamilton, Ontario. In late 2013 Mammoth Seed hit the rehearsal room and began honing their craft creating heavy rock tunes with a unique sludgy psychedelic feel while keeping with the classic rock roots.
Sounds Like: Sludgy Monster Truck
Ginger Ale & the Monowhales
10:30pm – Supermarket
Ginger Ale & the Monowhales are a five-piece indie rock band from Toronto, Ontario. Carving out a niche with their high energy, Flaming Lips-esque live show, the Monowhales have quickly made a name for themselves in the local scene. Since their debut EP “HA!” was unveiled in 2014, the band has gone on to release three new singles and one music video, as well as play in support of heavyweight acts such as FIDLAR, Electric Six, Hank and Cupcakes, and In-Flight Safety. Packing Toronto’s legendary Horseshoe Tavern for their last two releases, the Monowhales have also headlined bills at venues such as Lee’s Palace, The Silver Dollar Room, and The Garrison. With the release of their new video “Home” already gaining momentum online, the Monowhales are gearing up for the release of their newest EP. “BANG” will be released EVERYWHERE on October 14th with a party at Toronto’s Horseshoe Tavern.
Sounds Like: Ginger Ale & the Monowhales
Adrian Pain & The Dead Sexy
10:30 – Coalition
Adrian Pain & The Dead Sexy is Toronto and Canada’s very own Post-Hardcore / Nu Metal Hybrid; a band that melds every splintered off sub-genre you can imagine into one, stand alone, Rock sound. This is sonic seduction delivered with a serrated edge image.
Sounds Like: Alexisonfire in dream
Jack The Lads
10:45 – Silver Dollar
With their mix of old-school rock &roll and modern style, Jack The Lads write pop, soul, and everything in between.
Sounds Like: Greased Lightning
12:20 – Coalition
Die Hexe formed in late 2015 and released their self-titled EP on January 2nd 2016. Focusing heavily on creating a captivating live performance, Die Hexe combines delicate ambience with honest aggression to portray a unique musical experience.
Sounds Like: If Deafheaven got run over by a Mastodon
Thursday – Nov 17
8:30pm – Cherry Cola’s
Cleopatrick is an explosive rock duo from the small town of Cobourg Ontario, Canada. From thunderous drums, and battle-cry vocals, to fuzzed out guitar, and bass-ridden riffs; you won’t look at a duo the same once you’ve experienced Cleopatrick.
Sounds Like: DFA 1979, White Stripes more refined
Laugh At The Fakes
9:15pm – Mod Club
With a name as unique and identifiable as their sound, Toronto, ON’s LAUGH AT THE FAKES is a band that challenges the trends of today’s rock and metal scene. Since the bands inception in 2010, LATF has combined elements of metal, hard rock, and prog to create an unmistakable sound. Debuting their six song EP ‘One Night Only’ in 2011, they return in 2014 with their latest offering ‘Dethrone The Crown’ their first full-length produced by Greg Dawson and mastered by Andy VanDette (Rush, Dream Theatre, Kid Rock, Deep Purple, Bruce Dickenson, Bif Naked).
Sounds Like: Dream Theatre plays Iron Maiden fest
9:30pm – Adelaide Hall
Ben Hudson is rising quickly in the Canadian country music scene. His self titled EP earned him a nomination at the 2016 CMAO Awards and a spot at CMT Music Fest. His new single ‘Redneck Summer’ is taking over country radio across Canada.
Sounds Like: Brad Paisley
Black Collar Union
10:20 – Coalition
Founded on blood, sweat and brotherhood, Black Collar Union is a hard rock trio that delivers a hard hitting, riff driven and head banging sound. Formed in 2014, Black Collar Union are a Hamilton-based band featuring guitarist Josh Belliveau, drummer Matt D’Alvise and bassist Dave Ens.
Sounds Like: Foo Fighters
11:10 – Coalition
My Hollow are a metal band who have been playing for several years. Indie week is a beautiful time for all artists and terrific for exposure! Make no mistake, My Hollow are a group of well mannered gentlemen who are in it to win it!! Lets ROCK!!
Sounds Like: If Threat Signal offered the Gods lamb to slaughter
11:30pm – Cherry Cola’s
With exotic vocals, driving lead lines, and heart-thumping grooves, the band weaves a musical web that pulls you to the dance floor. Delicate innocence meets howling distortion; soft in one moment then crashing into powerful crescendos the next. It’s little red riding hood and the big bad wolf all in one.
Sounds Like: Synth pop Metric
11:45pm – Adelaide Hall
Kansas Stone is a high energy Country band that fuels off of many different styles. Hailing from Ontario,Canada they deliver a sound that ranges from old & new country, blues, rock, and more… Kansas stone has become notorious for their catchy Melodies and well crafted Original songs.
Sounds Like: The Road Hammers
11:45pm – Cameron House
Soulful singer/songwriter from Windsor, border town to Detroit, MI. The former front man of The Walkervilles was raised on the spirit & sound of Motown and currently resides in Toronto. He performs around Canada, armed with his guitar, looper, “golden voice” (Exclaim Magazine) & countless soul stirring songs.
Sounds Like: James Blake joined Chet Faker on stage at Coachella
12:15 – Piston
Elijah Ford is a California native turned Austin-based musician, songwriter and producer, who began his solo career after breaking from touring with Oscar and Grammy award winning musician Ryan Bingham. Ford put out his first solo record Upon Waking in 2011, and an EP called Ashes in October of 2012. After spending the last two years touring Europe & the U.S., Elijah and his band, The Bloom, are releasing a new full length album called As You Were on September 16th, 2016.
Sounds Like: Joel Plaskett
Friday – Nov 18
I Shot Samo
8:30pm – Drake Underground
An indie rock band from Montreal, born out of a discontent with the same old shit (SAMO). Ideas and feelings offset with the desire of accomplishment.
Sounds Like: If Beck hosted a psychedelic brit pop listening party
The Lad Classic
9:15pm – Mod Club
A tip of the hat and appreciation of the classic rock heavyweights that came before them, The Lad Classic create a sound that is nonetheless their own. With Paul Stevens delivering a wide range of in-your-face vocals, the heavy boom from Josiah Whitney on drums, the rumble of the bass and groove, along with the intricate, explosive guitar of Ben Healey, this band has created a sound and energy that makes you look up and take notice.
Sounds Like: If Tom Morello and Glenn Hughes produced the Trews
9:15pm – Painted Lady
An eclectic blend of earnest melodies and evocative lyrics, DEON’s music is an enduring collection of heartfelt songcraft that calls to mind the Indie Rock brilliance of Coldplay and the heartburnt drawl of Rachael Yamagata. This Singaporean songwriter brings indie electronica rock to new heights with his keen sense of musicality.
Sounds Like: Sophisticated Coldplay
9:45pm – Peacock Bar
KNYTE is a dusky, nocturnal experience; a fusion of echoey guitars and synths, powerful and edgy alt-rock drums, heavy bass lines with R&B and electronic samples, strung together with emotional, pop inspired melodies that are dark, moody and full of momentum.
Sounds Like: The Pretty Reckless
10:45pm – Cherry Cola’s
Winners of the Canada wide Jack Daniels Supporting Act Contest, Löve Razër is here to bring back the flash and high energy to rock ‘n’ roll! With big hooks and choruses that will have you pumping your first in the air.. its time to turn it up!
Sounds Like: Motley Crue style rock party
10:45pm – Painted Lady
Los Bolitas created a new genre called Rock Chacota, this is a fusion of several genres as rock, folk, cumbia, reggae. They are from La Paz Bolivia.
Sounds Like: Los Lonely Boys got married to the music of Rage Against The Machine played by a Pacho Galan inspired Mariachi band
11:00pm – Mod Club
Born in Wales and raised in Toronto, Canada, Philip Sayce’s love of the guitar started at an early age when his parents introduced him to all of the classics, notably, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jeff Beck. “I have such distinct memories listening to these incredible musicians,” Sayce says. “Their music had a huge effect on me.”
Sounds Like: SRV
11:30pm – Bovine
Toronto Hard Rock, Punk Metal band ATOMIC TOMB unleash an intense, earth shattering aggression, with a hard edge sound as they emerge from several years of suspended animation. Re-united co-founder’s, Axel Tomb on lead Vocal’s and Tommy Gunn on lead guitar, along with original guitarist Ron Bechard on lead Guitar are back! With long time member Corrado Bartolo on bass and new arrival Gary Glynn rocking the drum’s. That rounds off the bands loud, fast and in your face sound. Watch for these guy’s killing it on a stage near you!!
Sounds Like: Sabbath
1am – Painted Lady
gLife is breaking the mold and exposing the system with his indie success in hip hop. Having been declared “top mover” by CMJ, he is on the road again with Boston legendary emcees Slaine (La Coka Nostra) and Jaysaun (Special Teamz) on their “Underdog Mentality Tour 2016”, and booking a tour with battle rap legend Diabolic for Summer 2016.
Sounds Like: Eminem had a problem child named La Coka Nostra
1:40am – Painted Lady
Not looking to fit a certain “format” or reduce themselves down to being placed into a “standardized” radio playlist this duo found great worth in performing within a group dynamic… FGE’s own 313phresh and TrueSpeech paired up as #FAMILYGRIND and has aggressively become a stable on the Detroit Hip Hop scene.
Sounds Like: Kardinal Offishall
2:50am – Cherry Cola’s
Energetic. Funky. Progressive. Rock n’ Roll. These elements have been forged together to create the power trio known as Moon Tan. Engaging spectators with their unique stage attire and theatrical live performance, they captivate both musicians and music lovers alike with their technical expertise, driving rhythms, and infectious melodies.
Sounds Like: Rush on steroids
Saturday – Nov 19
6pm – Cameron House
In the last year, singer-songwriter Jai Malano has maintained an Austin residency with the legendary C-Boys Heart & Soul, while also traveling around Brazil, England, France, Germany, and the United States. International festivals include the Tours Festival in France (July 2015), the SJOCK Fest in Belgium (July 2015), the Bossa & Jazz Festival in Brazil (September 2015), and the Dark Season Blues Festival in Norway (October 2015). In the United States, she has showcased at the Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point, CA (May 2015), SXSW Music Conference in Austin, TX (March 2016), and Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender in Las Vegas, NV (April 2016). She will also showcase at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, TX this coming October 2016. She is a rare gem you won’t want to miss.
Sounds Like: Boot scoot n boogie dixie land style
9:00pm – Painted Lady
Jenna Glatt is an “exceptionally gifted” soulful singing sensation with an impressive track record. This accomplished Canadian singer/songwriter has earned many awards and accolades over the years and is a Berklee (Boston) Grad. Jenna has appeared at many international music festivals and venues as well as on radio and television programs and has been collaborating with top level international producers and songwriters with whom she was invited to work.
Sounds Like: Paula Abdul
9:00pm – Coalition
Bien Agiter: a two piece, instrumental assault of drums and bass. The band is an eclectic and visceral combination of dancy funk grooves channeled through the gritty voice of punk. Something you can dance your angries out to.
Sounds Like: Primus went on a month long tour with the Ramones
10:00pm – Silver Dollar
Goodbye Honolulu is quickly becoming known as one of Toronto’s most powerful and intriguing new bands on the live music scene. The boys of Goodbye Honolulu – which include Jacob Switzer, Fox Martindale, Max Bornstein and Emmett S Webb make unbelievably catchy, garage pop-rock n’ roll tunes, with an attention to melodies. Goodbye Honolulu will continue their rapid word-of-mouth growth as they bring their heavy, powerful, catchy, fun and engaging garage rock sound to a venue near you!
Sounds Like: NoFx did a Nirvana inspired MTV unplugged session.
10:30pm – Peacock
REDD uses his words to paint vivid pictures of positive inspiration and overcoming hardship. As the lyricist, he inspires listeners to pay attention.REDD is gearing up his 2016 album release
Sounds Like: Classified
The Killer Wails
1:20am – Bovine
We’re The Killer Wails from Toronto. We’re punk and we draw heavily on garage, grunge, and classic rock. We have an energy filled show that you’ll be talking about at the water cooler on Monday.
Sounds Like: Iggy Pop full on Kevs mom