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Festival Preview, Music

5 Must-See Artists at Rifflandia 2016

By: Staff –

Rifflandia 2016

Rifflandia is back with four nights of great music from the likes of Jurassic 5, Michael Franti, Wolf Parade, X Ambassadors, Charles Bradley, De La Soul, Band Of Skulls, Coleman Hell, and more!

With the addition of BreakoutWest last year, Rifflandia grew to over 20 venues and 150 performances over four days and four nights. Headliners Modest Mouse, Mother Mother, Julian Casablancas and the Voidz, and Kiesza kept Royal Athletic Park buzzing all weekend, while the Capital Iron night stage made it’s debut with stunning visuals and premier DJs like Torro Torro, Neon Steve, and A Tribe Called Red. And with this year’s line-up, it’s bound to be another scorcher of an experience.

Tickets are now on-sale.

Wolf Parade 


Wolf Parade is back following a five-year hiatus, which included a series of residency shows in North America and the UK back in May and June.

Wolf Parade formed in Montreal in 2004, where the band’s first show saw them opening for Arcade Fire. From there, bandmates Dan Boeckner, Spencer Krug, Hadji Bakara, and Arlen Thompson have since released three studio albums, four EPs, and six singles. If you want to hear a band that has championed the marriage of post-punk and indie rock, see Wolf Parade at Rifflandia 2016!

Band Of Skulls 


UK rock band Band Of Skulls released their latest album, By Default, on May 27th via BMG.

Produced by Gil Norton (Pixies, Foo Fighters, Patti Smith) and recorded at Rockfield Studios, By Default finds the band—Emma Richardson (bass, vocals), Russell Marsden (guitar, vocals) and Matt Hayward (drums)—following up on their acclaimed 2014 release, Himalayan, by making a conscious decision to take a step back from their relentless world-wide touring schedule, having never spent more than a month off the road in the last two years.

“We went back to square one,” says Hayward. In the church—between visits from the vicar, bringing tea and biscuits on his trolley—they found the new songs in hours of woodshedding on ratty old practice amps. “It’s definitely a new era,” says Marsden. “The first three records were like a trilogy, a piece of work in of themselves. We wanted to do those things, and we did them all. We took a breath, took a look at what we’d done, and started from scratch again.”

Don’t miss Band Of Skulls at Rifflandia 2016!

Charles Bradley

Charles Bradley released his third studio album, Changes, this spring on Daptone Records imprint Dunham Records, and has spent the majority of 2016 on the road in support of the widely praised album.

Since the beginning of 2016, “The Screaming Eagle of Soul” has been on the go, performing shows across the globe and making a number of national television appearances including CONAN, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and CBS This Morning: Saturday (interview, “Changes” // “Ain’t It A Sin“). He also returned to Austin, TX for SXSW where he delivered a show stopping set for NPR Music; had a touching conversation with NPR Morning Edition’s David Greene; and Pitchfork ran a politically-charged feature on the singer, and named his cover of Black Sabbath’s “Changes” “Best New Track, to name just a few things.

Bradley is not ready to slow down yet though. After a few days at home, Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires will head back out on the road, bringing his riveting live show back to stages across North America & Europe. Don’t miss your chance to see the “The Screaming Eagle of Soul” live!

Keys N Krates

While it may look that way on stage, nothing is ever simple with Keys N Krates. Not when everyone has an equally valid opinion, along with the willingness (no, the all-consuming need) to sit and scrutinize a hearty 808 hit or laser like synth line for hours on end.

It’s been this way since the very beginning, when Keys N Krates went from being a live hip-hop band reliant on rough acapellas and memory-jogging remixes to something much more complex – a tight-knit trio of producers/performers – Turntablist Jr Flo, Keyboard player David Matisse, drummer Adam Tune – who take rocking a party as seriously as a week spent in the studio. “We always trade roles from song to song,” explains Jr. Flo. “It’s not uncommon for Matisse to flip a sample, or for me to write a melody, or for Tune to chime in on the mixing of a track. It’s not the fastest way of working, but everyone has a say in everything.”

Which explains why their breakthrough singles (the elastic loops and diamond-edged drums of “Dum Dee Dum,” the head rush hooks of “Treat Me Right,” a frantic, D’n’B-flavored “Are We Faded”) are able to pull the strings of packed festival crowds without resorting to tired EDM tropes. Hip-hop, house and UK bass music all play a role in a Keys N Krates record, but so do the dark-tinged dynamics and widescreen ways of indie acts like Caribou and M83. “Seeing M83 live at the Osheaga festival changed our whole perception of how their music translates live,” says Jr. Flo. “The chord progressions are beautiful and catchy but never corny. It’s pop music at its best.”

That was essentially the goal with the Toronto group’s new Midnite Mass EP: cuts that are calibrated for clubs but that can translate beyond. Punchy and powerful. Emotional and epic. That goes for everything from its title track (an intro that sounds like a suspenseful thesis) to a Katy B collab (“Save Me”) that’ll beam old-school ravers straight back to the ’90s. And then there’s something as deceivingly simple as “Love Again,” a soulful rap beat created from scratch and such artful details as the orchestral flourishes of Ouici and the gospel vocals of a friend named JP. Let’s just say it’s no coincidence that the song sounds like it sampled a dust-caked ’70s record from a long-buried discount bin; That Just Blaze or Kanye might find and flip, Keys N Krates want to leave you wondering just how they do it.


Coleman Hell has crafted a genre-defying monster of a hit with “2 Heads.” The mesmerizing track has become a multi-format smash, surpassing 50 million global streams on Spotify and Double Platinum sales status in Canada. It has also had major chart success at both US and Canadian radio, going Top 5 Alternative in the US. and Top 5 at Pop, Hot AC, and Alternative in Canada.

Coleman has spent the past several months touring North America, including a support tour with Glassnote Records recording artist, Robert Delong, as well as a number of radio shows across the US. He has a full tour schedule planned for 2016, including direct support on the Twenty One Pilots tour coming through Canada in March/April as well as a long list of festival dates in both Canada and the US.

Along with his bandmates, La+ch and Michah, Coleman has spent the past few years paying his dues, offering genre-busting songs and videos that always seem to break new ground. Veering from house, alt-pop, folk-electronica and more by cleverly fusing beats atop the catchiest of songwriting chops, Hell has a knack for pushing the boundaries of existing pop frameworks and delivering memorable choruses to boot. Anchored by his inspiring and unorthodox approach, the Thunder Bay (Canada) native has forged a prolific reputation as an adventurous outlier with a diverse palate.


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