With POP Montreal starting we want to help you navigate the insanely large list of artists playing over the next few days. While there’s more shows than you’ll really be able to sort through, we’ve found the most unique shows from outside the city and some of the best and strangest that Montreal has to offer. For its 16th edition, here’s our top 5:
Kali Uchis – September 13 – Theatre Fairmount
Whether you’ve heard her on her own or backing Damon Albarn on the latest Gorillaz record, you can hear right away that Kali Uchis is a force to be reckoned with. The Colombian-American musician hasn’t let genre define her, blending in part pop, doo-wop, dance, reggae and R&B among other genres into her sound. Her unique sound has attracted Diplo, Tyler The Creator and Kaytranada among many more and as you can tell by her new single “Tyrant” she brings a hard edge to all the pop she’s pulling from.
RZA – September 15 – Theatre Rialto
Not that we really need to tell you to go see RZA but it’s still a wonder that he’s playing the festival. What makes this so interesting is that RZA is actually doing a live scoring of the classic Shaw Brothers action film The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. Using parts of the original score and his own library, RZA will be giving his own take on the martial arts film that inspired his and Wu-Tang Clan’s music throughout the years. Needless to say this show ain’t nothing to f*ck with.
Pierre Kwenders – September 13 – Centre Phi
DJ-ing or making his solo music, Congolese-Montreal transfer Pierre Kwenders brings a lively kick to all the music he makes. With his latest ambitious release MAKANDA at the End of Space, The Beginning of Time, he’s going into the stratosphere sonically. Bringing in Shabazz Palaces’ Tendai Maraire on production, he plans to bring in even more flavour to his dynamically fresh sound. Singing in not only French, English, Lingala and more, it won’t really matter what language you speak or genre you love, you’ll leave satisfied.
Fleece – September 16 – L’Escogriffe
One of those bands that always manage to deliver solid records, Fleece really outdid themselves on their latest record. The Montrealers’ new record Voyager is a unique treasure that as its name suggests, brings listeners on a sonic journey that you might not expect on top of all the catchy hooks. Harnessing parts jazz and psychedelic rock as well, they do the city proud as a band that delivers again and again, making every show a unique and mind-bending experience.
Casper Skulls – September 15 – L’Escogriffe
Best described as spooky punk rock, this vicious band has a dangerous energy when they hit the stage. Able to immediately craft a raw mood in their mix of instruments, their sets quickly turn into a full sensory experience. Along with the haunting harmonies that bounce back and forth between singers Melanie St. Pierre and Neil Bednis, they bring a cutting sense of lyrical maturity that makes their music all the more eerie. Their show will also be featuring Buzz label mates like Twist and PONY who would be well worth your 10$ as is.