5 for 5 - Ola's CMW Festival Picks

As avid attendees of Canadian Music Week's annual festival, BanTOR Radio looks forward to another year of international sounds and all-night venue hopping to discover innovative music.

Aside from catching shows by artists and bands we have admired, or friends playing support or first time headline gigs, CMW always leads us to ask the same question when it comes to new music; "What IS that?!" We mean it in the best way possible. CMW is known for curating an incredible, diverse festival lineup of exclusive showcases and events to ensure there is something for everyone. We've curated our own list, selecting our top five festival picks for the 2017 festival. For our CMW 2017 playlist, visit BanTOR Radio on Soundcloud.

Here are Ola's Top 5 festival picks:
(Read Nuruddin's list here)

Xavier Omar with Chris LaRocca, Voyce, TOBi

Tuesday April 18th
Velvet Underground (508 Queen Street West)
Doors: 7:00 PM

Following the release of his 2016 EP, The Everlasting Wave, Xavier Omar is riding it. The San Antonio, Texas artist will bring his soulful vibes to Canadian Music Week alongside locals, Chris LaRocca, Voyce and TOBi, who we’ve been following for some time. (Little known fact: Ola went to school with Chris LaRocca, so we’re looking forward to seeing his journey unfold on stage at this showcase!)

Showcase Spins:


Patrik, Mickey Blue, Mischa, Desiire at Supermarket

Tuesday, April 18th
Venue: Supermarket (268 Augusta Avenue)
Doors: 8:00 pm

This gig is definitely a BanTOR family affair! Friends of the show, Mickey Blue and Desiire, will deliver their soulful voices and deep lyrics alongside fellow Toronto native, Patrik and Kitchener/Ottawa-based Mischa. We’ve caught Desiire live numerous times and he never fails to deliver a stunning audio-visual performance (peep his IG for some incredible style inspiration) and we’re looking forward to hearing Mickey Blue sing sonic love letters to the crowd. Patrik’s blend of bouncy beats and catchy verses groove on his “Gang$ter Hippy” production and aesthetic. Mischa will also bring a blend of hip-hop/rap with pop-influenced vocals.

Showcase Spins:

Next Pop MTL @ CMW

With LOLAA, Tess Roby, Good Kid, Caveboy, Bossie, Exit Someone
Wednesday, April 19th
Venue: The Silver Dollar (486 Spadina Avenue)
Doors: 7:00 pm

Montreal’s music scene may be synonymous with “indie” but did you also know it’s synonymous with “innovative?” Those are the sounds you’ll hear at Next Pop MTL. I'm a longtime fan of dream pop trio, Caveboy, for their catchy melodies, insane musicality and incredible live shows, and look forward to checking out the highly acclaimed LOLAA. Their poppy vocals atop hazy, unique production show this duo’s gracefully orchestrated approach on “Always Been.”  Bossie brings bright, vivacious pop with synth-laden tracks and infectious pulse that leave you craving something sweet, and brings a sense of nostalgia. Her latest EP is due this spring. Husband and wife team, Exit Someone, take creative collaboration to a whole new level with their poetic verses and pop melodies. Driven by a TR-505 drum machine and lyrics that “narrate the essence of love and loss with a fixation on symbolic imagery,” they share the mic to form an intimate space for storytelling. Tess Roby brings techno keys, haunting vocals and a new wave aesthetic, while Good Kid will stand out as the sole Toronto unit on the lineup. The indie band formed while at University of Toronto, and brings a super fun, pop rock sound with quick riffs and witty lyrics.

Showcase Spins:

Taiwan Beats
with P.C.B., Outlet Drift, 88 Balaz
Thursday, April 20th
Venue: The Rivoli (334 Queen Street West)
Doors: 7:00 pm

With an M.O. of “sonic diversity” and a slew of world music mixes, we’re down to delve into the music of Taiwan with one night of three exports. Hosted by The Wall, a premiere multi-faceted (and huge!) venue in Taiwan, locals and visitors of CMW alike will understand this East Asian country’s progressive scene. P.C.B. delivers a different vibe to the showcase. By sampling 8 bit sounds and graphics from Nintendo games, they c tracks through styles that range from Electronic, Techno, Drum and Bass to Dubstep. Outlet Drift preserves cultural roots, while broadening horizons through folk, grunge, psychedelia and metal. Comprised of three young indigenous artists, and clad in traditional Amis (indigenous clothing), their live shows are a true audio-visual experience. Pulling influence from the 90s, 88 Balaz is known for their highly energetic stage performances in club venues to festival stages. This 20-year old band won the first ever Ho-Hai-Yan Indie Music Awards, and their first album came out nearly eight years later with the Taiwan Colors Music 044 release of The 44 Stone Lions. However, previous tracks including the Stooges-inspired, Clock People, can be found on TCM collections such as the 2001 Independent Compilation and the 2001 Ho-Hai-Yan Music Awards. 

 Showcase Spins:


Too Many Zooz

with Astrocolor, The Kount, Falcxne
Friday, April 21st
Venue: TheMod Club (722 College Street)
Doors: 8:00 pm

What the hell is brass house? Listen to Too Many Zooz, and you’ll know. But let’s get away from their self-defined genre and delve into the MUSIC. Known for their insane street performances and underground jams, this New York trio is not only incredibly skilled, but culturally innovative. Comprised of Leo Pellegrino, Matt Doe and David "King of Sludge" Parks, TMZ deserves press and paparazzi at all hours for their magnetic, danceable electro tempo compositions of orchestral degree. With three Eps and a full length debut, fittingly titled Subway Gawdz, we can only hope they’ll do a bonus set at Union. Opening up the evening is Toronto’s own, The Kount, who brings his hip-hop laden, soul bounce jams and reworks to the mix. Victoria, BC-based six-piece, Astrocolor, has a new album on the way, following an EP of Balearic House and their ethereal blend of dubby jazz, funky soul and joyful electro. But don’t expect anyone at the mixer helm – they put on a true live show, and everyone holds their own. Friend of the show, Falcxne, will bring his smooth baile funk, Dilla-honoured beats and unique production style to the mix. This lineup will make for a very lit night.

Showcase Spins:

Stay up to date, as we add to the guide, through our Best Of The Fest playlist: