Pop Montreal 2023, unveiling Sonic Gems. Lineup & tickets here.
From Wednesday September 27 – Sunday October 1, 2023, Pop Montreal festival is poised to offer a captivating lineup, featuring an eclectic mix of artists, each with a unique history and sound. As a music enthusiast and critic, I’m excited to delve into the backgrounds and distinctive musical styles of these featured performers:
Hailing from Belgium, Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul are a dynamic electro duo that are steadily gaining recognition on the international music scene. Charlotte Adigéry, with her hypnotic vocals, and Bolis Pupul, the mastermind behind the intricate electronic production, collaborate to create a sound that blends elements of techno, electro-pop, and funk. Their music is characterized by infectious grooves and an otherworldly atmosphere, making them a perfect choice to kickstart the festival and ignite the dancefloor.
Rialto Theater – September 27 – 9pm
Frankie and the Witch Fingers, the psychedelic rock outfit, plunge listeners into a kaleidoscopic musical whirlwind with their electrifying performances. Their sound, characterized by searing guitar riffs, frenetic rhythms, and a kaleidoscope of sonic textures, is a mind-bending journey through the realms of psych-rock and garage punk. Led by the charismatic Frankie, the band exudes an untamed energy that’s nothing short of infectious. Their live shows are a sonic carnival, a sonic explosion of raw, unbridled creativity that leaves audiences exhilarated and craving more. Frankie and the Witch Fingers are a testament to the enduring power of psychedelic rock in the contemporary music landscape, and their electrifying stage presence is not to be missed for any fan of high-octane, mind-altering music.
La Sala Rossa – September 27 – 8pm
A band that refuses to be confined by genre, emerges as a refreshing gust of sonic freedom in today’s music landscape. Their sound is a raucous collision of rock ‘n’ roll, punk, and garage, blended together with an unapologetic rebellious spirit. Led by the charismatic frontwoman Cam Hilborn, Wine Lips exude a raw and infectious energy that electrifies their live performances. The band’s lyrics resonate with a potent blend of introspection and defiance, mirroring the ethos of a generation navigating the complexities of modern life. With their debut album, “Stressor,” Wine Lips unleashes a cathartic sonic experience that’s as gritty as it is cathartic, leaving listeners intoxicated by the sheer power of their unfiltered sound. In an era where conformity often reigns, Wine Lips are a much-needed reminder that rock ‘n’ roll is very much alive and kicking.
Le Bar Le Ritz PDB – September 28 – 8pm
A rising rapper on the scene, brings a grounded authenticity to his music. With a solid, down-to-earth flow and a knack for storytelling, Jones’s verses offer relatable narratives that connect with everyday experiences. He doesn’t rely on flashy gimmicks; instead, his music is a reflection of real-life struggles and triumphs. Mosez Jones is an artist who embraces the essence of hip-hop, offering a genuine voice that resonates with listeners seeking relatable and honest storytelling in their music. Keep an eye on his career; he’s an artist with the potential to make a meaningful impact in the industry.
The Diving Bell Social Club – September 30 – 8h30pm
The Italian post-punk collective, unfurls a captivating blend of melancholy and intensity that echoes through the corridors of time. Their music is a haunting tapestry woven from the threads of darkwave, new wave, and post-punk influences, evoking a sense of brooding nostalgia with every chord. Lead singer Lillias Daltirus possesses a voice that is both ethereal and commanding, guiding listeners through a sonic labyrinth of emotion. Nuovo Testamento’s compositions strike a delicate balance between the enigmatic and the accessible, resulting in a sound that is uniquely their own. Their performances are a ritualistic journey into the depths of shadowy beauty, making them a notable presence in the contemporary post-punk revival.
La Sala Rossa – September 29 – 8pm
Men I Trust, the ethereal dream-pop trio hailing from Montreal, casts a spell with their music that’s nothing short of enchanting. Their songs are a tapestry of soft, soothing melodies, where every note feels like a gentle caress to the soul. Lead vocalist and guitarist, Emma Proulx, possesses a voice that’s both delicate and mesmerizing, effortlessly guiding listeners through their dreamy sonic landscapes. With a knack for crafting hypnotic grooves and atmospheric soundscapes, Men I Trust’s music is a sonic reverie that transports you to a tranquil, introspective realm. Their artistry is a breath of fresh air in a noisy world, and their live performances are an invitation to get lost in the hushed beauty of their sound.
TELUS – September 29 – 8h30pm
With a career spanning several decades, Candi Staton is a legend in the soul and disco music scene. Her powerful vocals and emotionally charged performances have made her a revered figure. Her farewell tour is a testament to her enduring influence and the timeless quality of her music. Audiences can expect a soulful journey through her classic hits and a celebration of her remarkable career.
Rialto Theater – September 29 – 8pm
English producer Loraine James is an emerging force in the electronic music scene. Her sound is a fusion of glitchy beats, experimental textures, and evocative vocal samples. With a background in experimental and IDM music, James’s music is a sonic exploration that resonates with those seeking innovative and genre-defying electronic sounds. Her live set is an opportunity to witness the evolution of electronic music in real-time.
Piccolo Rialto – September 28 – 11pm
Hailing from California, Annahstasia is a rising star in the world of soul-folk. Her music is characterized by hauntingly beautiful vocals, introspective lyrics, and a folk-infused sound that incorporates elements of R&B and indie pop. Her bewitching melodies and soulful delivery promise a captivating performance that will leave a lasting impression.
Rialto Hall – September 29 – 10pm
Lila Iké brings a fresh Jamaican voice to the festival, fusing reggae, soul, hip-hop, and dancehall influences into her music. Her sound is a reflection of Jamaica’s rich musical heritage, infused with contemporary elements. Her songs often carry messages of empowerment and self-discovery, resonating with a diverse audience. Her live show is a celebration of Caribbean rhythms and modern storytelling.
Piccolo Rialto – September 30 – 11pm
Pop Montreal’s History and Theme
Established in 2002, Pop Montreal has become a beacon for music enthusiasts seeking an eclectic blend of emerging talents and established icons. The festival’s theme has always been one of artistic evolution and boundary-pushing. It’s a celebration of music in all its forms, a platform for emerging artists to shine, and a place where musical pioneers continue to reinvent themselves.
In 2013, Pop Montreal’s theme was a reflection of its enduring commitment to fostering innovation and diversity in the world of music, ensuring that Montreal’s vibrant music scene remains at the forefront of creativity for years to come. Check our archive on previous years coverage by Best Kept MTL here!
From wild wanderers to secret seekers, the Best Kept Montreal Staff is an electric team of contributors dedicated to capturing the pulse of the city