The Linda Lindas POP Montreal

The Linda Lindas. Photo by Zac Farro

It’s nearly time for the music festival of music festivals, POP Montreal

Eight artists you don’t want to miss at POP, which takes over the city’s music venues from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2.

It only feels like yesterday when many of us gathered at l’Entrepôt 77 for shows at last year’s POP Montreal music festival, but that time is almost upon us once more. From Sept. 28 to Oct. 2, POP will once again be hosting shows in venues across town, showcasing a diverse array of music, art, film screenings, workshops and panel discussions throughout those five days.

Although there are tons of fantastic names on this year’s bill (and certainly not enough time to see everyone we’d want), here’s a list of eight who we think will be particularly worth the watch.

Bran Van 3000

Who better to start things off with than some local legends? For the grand finale of BV3’s 25 year anniversary tour, James Di Salvio and his ragtag gang of multitalented musicians will be playing two nights at Club Soda, on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. The seminal, genre-bending Montreal collective have been celebrating a quarter century of their ’97 breakthrough album Glee, and will be playing two dates for POP Montreal — just a few months after playing the Jazz Fest — to cap off a significant milestone for the band.

The Linda Lindas

There’s no escaping it at this point: the pop-punk revival is officially upon us, and the Linda Lindas are one of its most exciting young acts. After their performance of “Racist Sexist Boy” in a Los Angeles library caught traction on YouTube, the all-female quartet have proven they’re no one-time fluke. These kids — seriously, they’re only between 11 and 17 years of age — can really play, and their rough-edged, ’90s-flavoured sound evokes the best bits of the Pixies, Nirvana and Bikini Kill, the latter of whom they’ve even opened for. Catch them with Sophia Bel and MBG on Sept. 29 at the Rialto Theatre.

Tortoise

One of post-rock’s foremost pioneers, Chicago’s Tortoise will be bringing their damn near uncategorizable sound to the Rialto on Oct. 1, alongside Joe Rainey. The quintet are known for their tendency to dabble in genres outside of rock music, and their live show feels tailor-made for intimate, darkly-lit indoor spaces. With only a handful of other tour dates scheduled for this fall, this will be a rare opportunity for fans in Montreal to watch them bring their unique discography to life onstage.

Martha Wainwright

martha wainwright pop montreal
Martha Wainwright (POP Montreal music festival, 2022)

Another local mainstay, Wainwright will be headlining the Rialto at POP this year, just like she did in 2016 at the M for Montreal festival. This time, she’ll be bringing fellow veteran Canuck songstress Julie Doiron with her. As she performs in support of her most recent disc, 2021’s Love Will Be Reborn, Wainwright’s entrancing, emotionally raw performance style has a way of captivating an entire room of people—and she’ll be looking to do that yet again on Sept. 30.

OMBIIGIZI

Consisting of members from Zoon and Status/Non-Status, OMBIIGIZI are among the more exciting newcomers to be booked for POP this year. Longlisted for this year’s Polaris Prize for their debut LP Sewn Back Together, the duo (pronounced om-BEE-ga-ZAY) makes indie rock with a politically charged twist. As both members are Anishinaabe, their lyrical content focuses primarily on stories relating to the Indigenous experience in our country. Expect them to bring their spellbinding, sonically rich live show to the rooftop of the Rialto on Oct. 1.

Magi Merlin

Definitely one of the more eclectic young artists to come up in this city in recent years, Magi Merlin (pronounced Madge-eye) is one of the more vibrant, musically adventurous acts on this year’s bill. Blending hip hop, jazz, R&B, house, and breakbeat (among other genres), this St-Lazare native/Bonsound signee is on the rise and riding on the buzz sparked by her newest EP, Gone Girl, and she’ll be looking to win more audiences over when she takes the stage at the Fairmount Theatre on Sept. 30, accompanied by Strange Froots and Kaya Hoax.

Maky Lavender

Maky Lavender (POP Montreal music festival, 2022)

You’ve probably heard his name in the news recently because our province’s attitude about language politics is absolutely fucked, but that shouldn’t distract you from the fact that Maky Lavender is a seriously talented dude. The 26-year-old, born Makendal St-Félix, is a true Montrealer, having lived in Montréal-Nord, RDP and the West Island, and his music — in addition to his bilingual rapping prowess — can go from hard-hitting 808s to a more sensitive side almost seamlessly. Catch him opening for Radio Radio at le Ministère on Sept. 28.

Thanya Iyer

This jazzy experimental pop singer-songwriter made her newest project in the midst of quarantine, as evidenced by song titles like “Leave the Room and Face the Waves.” Thanya Iyer’s alluring, emotionally soothing voice and  tender instrumentation both make for an excellent set to whet one’s appetite before the rest of the night’s show-hopping. Playing POP to promote her recently released EP Rest, Iyer will be hitting up le Ministère on Sept. 29, alongside Bibi Club (who are headlining the show for the launch of their debut album, Le soleil et la mer) and Still Kicking.

For the complete festival program and to buy passes of tickets, please visit the POP Montreal website.


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