BreakOut West announces lineup for 2016 edition

By Regina Sienra

BreakOut West, the festival that celebrates independent music and emerging artists from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Yukon and Northwest Territories is back in Regina for its 2016 edition.

Alongside with the Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMA), the 14th annual BreakOut West starts on Thursday, October 13 and runs through Sunday, October 16. Eleven venues across the city will host the shows.

Headlining this year’s lineup are Lexi Strate and Devin Morin. Rah Rah, The Matinee, The Mariachi Ghost, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, The Dead South and Mise en Scene are also part of the 2016 BreakOut West performers.

Visit the BreakOut West site for more information on the festival, wristbands and acommodation. Check out the full lineup below.



Sights of Regina Folk Fest 2016

Pictures by ShonicaR3

The 47th annual Regina Folk Fest, which took place last weekend (August 5-7,) brought a collection of marvellous musicians from across the country and beyond to the Queen City.

The lineup for the 2016 edition, included Sam Roberts Band, The Strumbellas and The Wet Secrets, among others. This festival has been a staple of the Saskatchewan arts and Canadian music for decades and this year’s edition brought further proof.

Here are some pictures of Regina Folk Fest 2016.

The Strumbellas played the Main Stage on Sunday.
Sam Roberts Band, the Saturday headliners.
The Barr Brothers opened the Main Stage on Sunday.
Frazey Ford.
Edmonton rockers The Wet Secrets played a teaser set on Friday.
Supercharged by love: Powerful voices workshop with Terra Lightfoot, Matt Epp and Twin Peaks.


Scenic Route to Alaska releases new single

By Regina Sienra

Edmonton indie folk pop band Scenic Route to Alaska have released a new song called “Coming Back”. This is also the first single from their upcoming record, Long Walk Home. The new album from will be released in late September.

“Coming Back” was produced and mixed by Howard Redekopp, who has worked with The New Pornographers, Hannah Georgas, Fast Romantics and Dear Rouge. The video for this song was directed by Edmonton photographer Cory Johnn.

Scenic Route to Alaska are songwriter Trevor Mann on guitar and vocals, Murray Wood on bass and Shea Connor on drums. The band released their debut, self-titled EP on July 2011, and have toured across Canada and Europe with Warrington, their sophomore album.

Check out the video for “Coming Back” below. The song is available for purchase on Bandcamp, and you can stream it in on Spotify.

Oh, Alberta: An OurBasement Playlist

By Regina Sienra

Sweet, loud, edgy Alberta. Home to contrasting landscapes of high mountains and flatlands, but also to bands with an equally diverse sound. It’s indie rock, besides being beautifully crafted, has a bit of an bubbliness and unrest to it that makes it stand out among Canadian music, while its folk side is loaded with inspiration from the lifestyle and hard work that has defined this province.

Join as we celebrate the vibrant indie Alberta scene. From the mysterious atmosphere of Faith Healer, to the tender sounds of The Dearhearts, without forgetting to stop by the perennial party of The Wet Secrets, the Wild Rose Country music has something for every taste.

Featured picture: Lab Coast. Taken from the band’s Facebook page. 

Give it up for Summer Lights Festival, Brandon, MB’s new music celebration

By Regina Sienra

Brandon, Manitoba, just keeps getting cooler. After a captivating edition of their long-running Folk festival – which featured a Weakerthans reunion – a new festival is coming to the city of 46,000 inhabitants. The first edition of the Summer Lights Festival is happening on Saturday, September 10th.

The lineup features the likes of Said The Whale – who will be hopefully releasing a new album before 2016 is over –, Joel Plaskett, Terra Lightfoot and Attica Riots. Other performers include Slow Leaves, Begonia, Okay Mann and  local singer Hannah Selyn. There will also be a collaborative songwriting circle featuring some of the performers.

Summer Lights Festival will be sharing venue with Brandon Folk Fest, for the event will be happening at the Keystone Centre Grounds. The festival is offering free camping, along with free, locally made, bannock and honey. Food and craft vendors will also join the event.

Advance tickets are available now for $20 for adults and $15 for students, and you can get them now through their website. Make the most of the summer and part of the country you may not be familiar with yet.

4.5 Free Albums Downloads

By Nick Jean

“Never work for exposure” is one of the fundamental rules for beginning artists and designers. The opposite is often true for independent musicians, however. Exposure is one of the most valuable assets one can acquire. More exposure means more fans. More fans means more exposure. Eventually the cycle feeds back on itself to the point it’s possible to fully monetize your music and make something that resembles a living off of it.

Those early steps are where sites like NoiseTrade get involved. In exchange for an email address and a postal code, a listener can get access to reams of new music from acts of whom they may be, or more often aren’t, familiar.

“Great music is its own best marketing tool… There’s no better way to build your tribe than by letting the music speak for itself,” NoiseTrade says of their system. And for those who join that tribe, they also offer the option to “Tip” the artist, creating something of a pay-what-you-want system for the music. The biggest difference is that by offering the music for free and calling any money given a tip, they have helped negate the guilt many fans feel when taking an album for free from a pay-what-you-want offer.

There are all shapes and forms of sound available on NoiseTrade. If you’re looking at acts you’ve not yet heard, they offer a “For Fans Of” section with other similar acts to make your “shopping” easier. You can also preview any of the music right on the page just by clicking on the song title.

We’ve picked out four full albums and a sampler from some great Canadian acts you can get immediately. Click on the album art to grab the download.

Les Jupes - Some Kind of Family
Les Jupes – Some Kind of Family

Winnipeg’s gloomy Les Jupes released Some Kind of Family last year. This is not a pick-me-up kind of record. Save it for when you’re looking to wallow in the dumps. It’s the perfect soundtrack for when you just want the world to go screw itself.

NoiseTrade’s For Fans Of
The National, Frightened Rabbit, Nick Cave, M83, Joy Division

rebekah-higgs sha-la-la-cover

Rebekah Higgs – Sha La La

Dreamy synths, reverberating, foggy vocals and a hint of Doo-wop make up this 2013 release from Halifax’s Rebekah Higgs. Sha La La isn’t the longest album you’ll find out there, but every one of the six tracks is packed with excellence. Guaranteed you’ll be looking for more from Higgs.

NoiseTrade’s For Fans Of
Cat Power, The Crystals, Best Coast, Feist

lauren mann dearestly

Lauren Mann – Dearestly

Hopefully you’re already familiar with Dearestly, the surprise record Lauren Mann dropped last month. As we previously mentioned, Mann is in the midst of a massive cross-country tour. If you didn’t grab this folky pop masterpiece then, grab it now and listen to it repeatedly so you can sing along when she plays near you.

NoiseTrade’s For Fans Of
Joni Mitchell, Brooke Fraser, Florence and the Machine, Copeland, Eisley


PS I Love You – Muster Sessions

Turn your calendars way back for this one. It was six years ago that Kingston noise-rockers PS I Love You release Meet Me at the Muster Station. You’ll notice, however, that isn’t the name of the album above. This is actually their 2012 release wherein they’ve packaged all the tracks from Muster Station as they were recorded live at radio sessions while touring the album. The intimate setting produces a softer sound you may not expect from one of Ontario’s loudest bands, but it’s certainly one worth tuning into.

NoiseTrade’s For Fans Of
Joni Mitchell, Brooke Fraser, Florence and the Machine, Copeland, Eisley

craig cardiff love is louder

Craig Cardiff – Love Is Louder Sampler

While this sampler may only be two songs, hear us out. Craig Cardiff is one of the hardest working songwriters in the country. If you don’t believe that, check out the rest of his repertoire on NoiseTrade. He has 16 individual releases available on there, each with two or three tracks. Each of those downloads represents an EP or LP he has released. On top of all that, he’s constantly touring, playing in any venue that will take him, even your living room. Check out his upcoming shows (54 of them between now and next May) on his NoiseTrade page, too.

NoiseTrade’s For Fans Of
Nick Drake, Sufjan Stevens, Wilco

Tear it down and build it back up – An OurBasement Playlist

By Nick Jean

It’s been a week, a month, a year of upheaval around these parts, and today’s playlist theme has been chosen to reflect upon this. The bedroom is being renovated, the highway is being repaved, careers are being shifted, our old home is gone and a new site is taking its place.

Sometimes the trappings we surround ourselves with get dull and boring, or maybe they just aren’t working as well as they once did. When that happens it’s time for a renovation. Tear it down and build it anew. Nothing is so satisfying as looking upon your completed project and knowing you made a thing.

Here’s a little playlist to soundtrack your reconstructive impulses. What songs would you add to it?