Of course we're all excited to see bands like Future Islands, Mac Demarco, St. Vincent, and Joywave, but for those who want to catch some new tunes at North by North East 2014, look no further. Having begun just yesterday (June 13), NXNE is in full swing until June 22. The festival features a plethora of bands, producers, and artists of all genres, ranging anywhere from Rhye to Ryan Hemsworth to Wake Island.
NXNE spans over hundreds of bars, concert halls, clubs, and holes in the wall across Toronto, proving the festival experience to be one of endless adventure. To help plan out your journey throughout the next little while, EARMILK has come up with a list of the top 5 gems that you need to make the effort to see and hear.
1. Tei Shi
Tei Shi, the moniker of Valerie Teicher, hails currently from Brooklyn. Impressing with her dazzled-out vocals and lush dream pop backdrops, she's definitely one to make time for. Catch her at Baltic Avenue on June 19 at 9pm as well as at Wrongbar on June 20 at 9pm.
Snowmine has their loyal fan base, but if you have never heard of them or seen them live, the time has come to change that. Just take one listen of "Columbus" and you'll get it. Also Brooklyn-based, Snowmine bridges ambient rock with what you might call "orchestral indie". You can see the band at St. James Gazebo on June 20 at 7pm and at The Garrison on June 21 at 11pm.
Now this is really a band you can't miss. Kins are Brighton, UK-based and probably the most stunning alternative music we have heard in some time. As DIY puts it, "Rarely have we heard so much anger and cause in a band sporting sophisticated, guitar-led pop". Whatever you do, don't miss these guys at either MiO Squirtcar on June 19 at 12:30am or at Silver Dollar Room on June 20 at 11pm.
4. Look Vibrant
Talk about noise-pop. Look Vibrant, an outfit from Montreal, Canada is supercharged, chaotic, and not in the least bit a boring listen. Catch their lo-fi tunes live when they play the Silver Dollar Room on June 19 at 9pm.
Haze-rock trio CTZNSHP are in Toronto to capture crowds with their wall of sound-esque shoegaze. Think MBV crossed with Joy Division and The Cure. It's quite the mix. Catch the threesome and you'll be glad you did. They're playing The Garrison on June 21 at 10pm and at Baltic Avenue on June 22 at 12am.