FME is music’s Plan Nord

When it comes to music festivals, the prevailing notion is that bigger is always better. After all, Osheaga made the switch from two to three days, while Coachella is now over two weekends, and both seem to be better for it in the court of public opinion.
Thankfully, the Festival de musique émergente en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (better known as FMEAT or FME) is a different beast altogether. The annual fest, which this year celebrated its 10th birthday from Aug. 30–Sept. 2, is a defacto-retreat into cottage country for summer festival-fatigued Quebec music industry-types and artists, so instead of feeling like yet another pit stop on the estival festival itinerary, FME is an invigorating deep exhale in the crisp, dewey woods after three months of holding in particulate urban smog.

Peter Peter finds happiness in synths

Montreal songwriter Peter Peter has been bitten by the M83 bug.
Whereas the 28-year-old’s first eponymous record was all about dour guitar tones and maintaining intimacy, his second release, the straightforwardly titled Une version améliorée de la tristesse, is packed with soaring synths, roaring saxophone solos and grabbing refrains.
The “HoMa” songwriter launches his album tonight with a free show. I spoke to him on the weekend, at this year’s Festival de musique émergente in Rouyn-Noranda, where he premièred his new five-piece band.