Five Canadian acts to discover at Wavelength Winter 2021

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Backxwash Wavelength
Photo: Mechant Vaporwave

Wavelength Music is at the center of Canada’s alternative music scene. Their winter festival is a great way to discover acts that will shine through the next year. In the following two weeks, a few shows will be streamed as part of the 2021 virtual edition. Here are our favorites.

Zoon (20 February on Wavelength Youtube)

Zoon! He released Bleached Wavves in 2020. One of the best albums of the year. A shoegaze delight. Dark and optimistic. All the layers in a chaotic symbiose. What sounds like sitar in ‘Was & Always Will Be’, the instrumental ‘Brokenhead’ and the explosive ‘Landscapes’ all intricate pieces of a masterpiece. If the live show is as good, we are in for a treat.

Clerel (21 February)

On a calmer note, but still making noise in the Canadian scene, we have Clerel. The Montreal-based musician from Cameroon has slowly made a name for himself, attracting praise from fans and media. His songs are simple and straightforward, perfect for his soulful voice. His smile is infectious and genuine. A recipe for a good time, on February 21 at Wavelength.

Backxwash (20 February)

2020 was Backxwash year in Canada. The Canadian-Zambian rapper-producer won the Polaris Music Prize with the self-released God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It. Dark, emotional, poignant LP that often challenges the norms of hip-hop, taking it to the punkier side. Her live shows live up to the expectations, as she proved it last September during her performance at POP Montréal. On February 10, Backxwash announced that her third album will be released on May 28 at the latest. Exciting!

Beverly Glenn-Copeland (27 February)

I was really curious at first, when I saw 77 years old Beverly Glenn-Copeland among all the relatively young artists performing at Wavelength Winter 2021. Wavelength describes him as a local Canadian legend. I understood why, when the curiosity rapidly turned into amazement the moment ‘In The Image’ started playing in the Wavelength Spotify playlist. “Get up and dance”, he says. Well, I did. Groovy, simple, beautiful.

Witch Prophet (27 February)

Witch Prophet is an Ethiopian/Erythrean singer-songwriter. Her sophomore album, DNA Activation, takes music elements from both her cultures and adds some of jazz, hip-hop, soul and R&B. In addition, she has a few other LP’s that only widen her range and give her more possibilities for her live sets. If you can’t visualize yet, here’s how Wavelength described her: “Think Erykah Badu meets Lauryn Hill meets Jill Scott.”

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Wavelength Winter Festival 2021

Wavelength Music keeps up with its status in the indie community by delivering a very exciting lineup for the Winter 2021 edition. While virtual, it’s a good way to know what’s happening in the scene, and another excuse to discover new music. Maryze, The OBGMs, Kali Horse and Shabason, Krgovich & Harris complete the program and are must-see as well. Wavelength Music also continues to seek to be a safe space for everyone, booking trans, Black and Indigenous artists while aiming for equal representation of women and nonbinary people.

To watch the performances for free on Wavelength’s Youtube channel, click here.

Akram is a 26yo living in Montréal. After visiting Sziget Festival in 2014 (and 2015, and 2016), his love for live music started ascending and is yet to peak. His favorite bands are Arcade Fire, Radiohead, M83, Big Thief, Beach House, Sufjan Stevens...