BreakOut West at Reeperbahn 2015
Friday, September 25, 2015
Spielbudenplatz 21, 20359 Hamburg (Map)
WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF FACTOR, THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF CANADIAN HERITAGE (CANADA MUSIC FUND) AND OF CANADA' PRIVATE RADIO BROADCASTERS.
TWO BEARS NORTH (AB)
Two Bears North is a father’s humorous euphemism for bipolar, playfully taken up by his daughter and brought forth to describe a musical collision of yin and yang. Helmed by bassist Melissa Walker and guitarist/vocalist Sophie Heppell, with Nich Davies on drums, Two Bears North is an ebb and flow of swirling opposites; playing an infectious blend of funk-flavoured indie-rock and progressive pop. While their sound tends to lightness in tone, the lyrical messages can be quite personal, sometimes vulnerable, and even a shade dark at times. The band has toured steadily for two years, making appearances at Breakout West, Canadian Music Week, and SXSW. As if these appearances were not enough to illustrate the band’s prowess and dedication, Two Bears North earned “best album” accolades from gigcity.ca for Comeocean, their debut offering; they also won the “People’s Choice” category at the Edmonton Music Awards in 2014. In October 2014, they signed with German label DevilDuck Records and re-released their album in May 2015, supporting it with a brief tour in Germany that swept through cities including Berlin, Hamburg, and Hannover.
DANNY OLLIVER (SK)
Danny Olliver, a singer/songwriter from Regina, Saskatchewan, got his start on a three string Yamaha he discovered in the back alley near his home. A fast learner, he quickly added three more strings, and transitioned into writing his own music. Inspired by guitarists like Don Ross, Antoine Dufour, and Andy Mckee, Danny began writing primarily acoustic pieces. His beginnings as a fingerstyle guitarist gave him a unique edge when he added vocals to his first stage performances in 2008. His music tells a story, both in instrumental melody, and in the lyrics. Complex acoustic guitar accompanies a smooth, pure voice that seems to effortlessly reach falsetto or soar into crescendo at all the right times. His first solo 8-track EP, Bad Omen Walking, was released on May 30th, 2014, is an introspective and approachable folk album. Produced by Michael Bernard Fitzgerald and recorded at Pilot Audio in Calgary, AB, Bad Omen Walking led Danny into an East coast summer tour, and a West coast fall tour. He has had the chance to perform with notable artists such as Del Barber, Jason Plumb, The Trews, Reuban Bullock, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald and many more.
THE CROOKED BROTHERS (MB)
Who says you can't choose your family? The Crooked Brothers are kindred, no question. Their blend of timeless country classic sounds, back porch blues, and stomping scrap yard funk has gained the attention of many folk festival and roots music fans both live and on their carefully crafted albums. A good dance, a good cry, it's all here. Music full of hips and heart. Slinky throbbing bass lines and growling melodies, or a heartache stripped and unadorned. The diversity in instrumentation and vocal arrangements are the vanguard of The Crooked Brothers' art. Jesse Matas, Darwin Baker and Matt Foster - all three are songwriters and multi-instrumentalists. Banjos, mandolins, dobro, guitar and harmonicas all take turns being juggled from brother to brother. Each having their own style and touch, the arrangements seem limitless, and there is a refreshing sense that they will never write the same song twice. The brothers are no strangers to festivals and house concerts alike, they feel at home playing in farmer's markets, they love a good rowdy dive bar, or a soft seated theatre with a hushed listening crowd. Whether performing as a trio, or with a backing rhythm section, the Crooked Brothers' visibly thrive on this versatility, playing any show they can dream up.
THE ROYAL FOUNDRY (AB)
The Royal Foundry are an award winning pop/folk band from Edmonton, Alberta. With soaring melodies, thought provoking lyrics and a passion to write music for the head and the heart. They have been featured on Good Morning America, TSN, BuzzFeed and Huffington Post. They are a 2-time top 12 Peak Performance Project band as well as GMA's 2014 New Artist of the Year. As they lay half way between their debut folk album and their sophomore release (exp. Spring 2016) they have gone on to merge their acoustic instruments with electronic elements leaving the audience with an indie-pop-folk explosion of synth, cello, banjo and drum machines. With infectious grooves, catchy melodies and intimate vocals The Royal Foundry find a way to capture music that infects the heart and soul of its listeners.
FEDERAL LIGHTS (MB)
In 2011, out of the ashes of Winnipeg buzz band The Morning After, singer/songwriter Jean-Guy Roy quietly rose from the depths of his basement's cold storage room to record a new collection of songs with award winning engineer/producer, Cam Loeppky (Weakerthans, Imaginary Cities, Cannon Bros). The result was Carbon, a six song EP that was met with immediate praise nationwide with the Toronto Star calling it "quietly electric, emotionally unguarded, and so thick with regret, you’d need a hoe to cut through it." From there 2012 saw Federal Lights tour the country playing festivals and opening for acts like Imaginary Cities, Rah Rah, and the Great Lake Swimmers. The band also received an APCMA nomination for Rock Album of the Year and performed on the nationally syndicated APTN series Arbor Live. In 2013, the band signed with Toronto's Aporia Records for the August release of the full length We Were Found In The Fog. Engineered by Loeppky and produced by Rusty Matyas (Imaginary Cities), the album sees the band at its sharpest. The hooks are more refined, the lyrics more precise and Roy’s timeless, resonant voice is as clear as a bright blue Prairie sky. From the propulsive, handclap pop of I See Love to the rolling, Wilco-approved Americana of Skyline, We Were Found In The Fog has a comforting warmth about it. Hailed by the CBC as a Top 15 Canadian record to be heard, the album's first two singles "I See Love" and "Cobra" both debuted at the No. 1 spot on the CBC Radio 3's Top 30. With the release of We Were Found In The Fog the band has performed at all kinds of music festivals, showcased from SXSW to NXNE, and toured both Canada and Europe. Their 3 performances at the famous Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany led to a successful 12 date European tour in 2014 and were featured in major European music magazines such as the Rolling Stone and Intro who stated, “what makes this LP so good is its spirited performance and variety.” From Europe they returned home just in time to receive a Western Canadian Music Award. The fall of 2015 will see Federal Lights releasing their sophomore full length album, Coeur De Lion on Aporia Records. They will be returning to Germany for the Reeperbahn Festival and a German tour, where they are developing a solid following.
JP HOE (MB)
JP Hoe’s sophomore album, 2012’s Mannequin, may be named for a plastic ideal but it beats with a human pulse. The acclaimed Winnipeg-based singer/songwriter has crafted the kind of album that, to borrow a Wilco lyric, tries to break your heart. A soaring collection of cinematic epics that still burn with an intimate intensity. The six-time Western Canadian Music Award nominated artist has a tremendous gift for writing songs would sound as good stripped down around a campfire as they would in a soft-seat theatre with a full orchestra. Hoe’s big, bold, blue-sky voice the product of hundreds of days on the road has a lot to do with that. He’s a dyed-in-the-wool troubadour type who knows he’s only as good as his last show. He’s played gigs all over the world, connecting with audiences via his soul-on-sleeve lyrics, but also his down-to-earth unpretentious charm. He will be putting that songwriting gift to use again this coming fall when he’ll release his sixth full length record, Hideaway, on MapleMusic Recordings. Expect an extraordinary collection of cinematic epics that will be both infectious and completely memorable.
Woodpigeon was coined in 2005 to shelter a revolving cast of Mark Hamilton’s musician comrades as they coalesced around his first songs. Since then, six full-length albums and at least a dozen other recordings have been released into the wild under the Woodpigeon banner. Hamilton, sometimes with guests but often alone, has toured Europe and North America alongside several artists (including Withered Hand, Jose Gonzalez, Iron & Wine, Grizzly Bear, Broken Social Scene, and Calexico), and been on the bill at a few festivals (Iceland Airwaves, Sled Island, The End of the Road, Haldern Pop, Field Day, Pop Montréal). Woodpigeon was awarded the Saatchi Gallery’s first Music Prize in 2013 and was previously nominated for Canada’s highest musical honour, the Polaris Prize. Woodpigeon is set to release their seventh full-length album Trouble in spring of 2016. Trouble delivers just the Woodpigeon album listeners have been waiting for since 2013’s ‘Thumbtacks + Glue’. Hamilton’s spookily delicate vocals, emotive melodies and orchestral folk-pop tell us bittersweet stories that will make your heart swell. These stories were made for you, dear listener, and for us together.
YOUNG BENJAMINS (SK)
Young Benjamins hail from central Canada. The band is comprised of Neusha Mofazzali, Veronique Poulin and Brynn Krysa. Young Benjamins combine contemporary folk and rock with a subtle dose of pop, creating a sound that is infectious and refreshing. The group has had the opportunity to perform at festivals such as Hillside Festival, Sled Island, Regina Folk Festival, Ness Creek, SaskTel Jazz Fest, POP Montreal and Folk Alliance. Young Benjamins’ live show and compelling stage presence have begun to attract some very positive attention for the young band, referred to by some as Saskatchewan’s “indie folk darlings”. Young Benjamins released a three song EP titled "Bones" in 2011 that made a strong impact in their home province. Their debut LP, "Less Argue", was released on May 21st, 2013 under Dollartone Records. The album is comprised of 11 original tracks that were recorded in Saskatoon at Avenue Recording Co. and mastered in Athens, GA by John Keane (Cowboy Junkies, REM, Indigo Girls). In their relatively short career to date the band has shared stages with; Wintersleep, The Wooden Sky, Rah Rah, Wilderness of Manitoba, Del Barber, Hey! Ocean, Shotgun Jimmie, July Talk, Pokey LaFarge, and The Elwins to name a few. They performed at the 2012 Regina Folk Festival supporting Austra and Stars.
THE LYTICS (MB)
In hip hop, as in life, there are few things more important than family. And no one embodies the bonds of brotherhood better than The Lytics. Brothers Andrew and Anthony Sannie have been trading rhymes together since childhood — as has cousin Mungala Londe, who moved in with the family as a teen. The beats come courtesy of big brother Alex Sannie, who in the early days handled production duties from his bedroom and basement studios, while newly “adopted” brother DJ Lonnie Ce has plenty of practice whipping dancefloors into a frenzy. Proudly committed to making music “real people” can relate to, The Lytics have never been much for empty boasts and bravado, preferring instead to promote the same brand of street-level optimism espoused by early influences Mos Def, the Pharcyde, and A Tribe Called Quest. Their live shows, in particular, are straight-up life-affirming affairs, during which the group’s easy beats and infectious enthusiasm can win over the most hardened of cynics. And that same penchant for positivity is reflected in the act’s sound — an amalgam of old-school soundscapes and boom-box bangers that celebrates, inspires and challenges. The five-man crew earned critical acclaim with sophomore full-length on Camobear Records, They Told Me, and have a much-anticipated follow-up on the way.
HOT PANDA (BC)
Hot Panda is a deluge of raw punk energy wrapped in a layer of psychedelia. Hot Panda is a tornado of fuzzed out guitars and swirling, squealing delays. Hot Panda is refreshingly honest and human. Their journey, as it goes, has seen Hot Panda drive five tour vans into the ground. They have taken their ferocious live show across North America over 10 times, as well as completing multiple tours of Europe which have included supporting slots for The Von Bondies, performances at Transmusicales 2012, and Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona. The band has also played some of North America's premier showcase festivals, including South by Southwest in Austin, and CMJ Music Marathon in New York City.
BEND SINISTER (BC)
Labeled as anything from math to prog to pop but feeling most comfortable in the plain guise of rock, Bend Sinister of Vancouver BC have evolved through numerous styles and absorbed a plethora of influences to become a band so refreshingly original that the struggle to categorize them is a losing battle. It’s hard to say what exactly Bend Sinister is doing, though they may be finding that elusive place for a band where they can do what they want, and how they want. All they know is that they love playing. And more and more people are finding out that they love listening.