NXNE 13 Top Music Overview Part 1

Posted 8 years ago by myetvmedia

Variety and intimacy are what set NXNE apart from many of the other music festivals in North America; instead of being lost within a crowd in front of hyper-popular acts that have predictable live sets, NXNE offers astonishing variety paired with the opportunity to get lost in the music as an individual. NXNE places you in front of a meticulously constructed collection of choices, and chances are, your musical taste has been accounted for.

The NXNE 2013 festival in Toronto June 10th – 16th will have 1000 bands appear on stages across Toronto; from small local gigs to big name shows. Here are some we highly recommend.

PUNK

NXNE has a terrific punk lineup this year. Iceage, a band of young Danes, have released their sophomore LP ‘You’re Nothing’ this past February, and unsurprisingly it is a brutal record. After gaining a large amount of hype amongst Internet music bloggers with their first LP ‘New Brigade’, Iceage have come back with an album that has better production and more varied song writing. Although Iceage’s production fidelity has been improved, they still maintain the dirty recording textures that make their music so abrasive. But this aspect of their sound is ultimately only enjoyable to someone who is attuned to the noisy post-punk revival that has been occurring in the past few years: especially in Scandinavia with bands like: Lower (who are also playing at NXNE) and Holograms. Iceage’s live shows are known to be violent and filled with vitality, so don’t screw up and decide to see someone else; you need to experience Iceage’s quick doses of ruthlessness. Further, Toronto natives Fucked Up offer an energizing hardcore performance. Their last album, David Comes to Life, was extremely ambitious. In contrast to Iceage’s 20-some-minute piece of violence (You’re Nothing), David Comes to Life takes up more than an hour. With an extensive storyline and interesting characters, Fucked Up succeeded at forging one of the most ambitious hardcore projects in recent time. Translating this work live will provide for an enthralling experience. Though, much of the album’s story line takes multiple listens to understand; accordingly, their live shows focus on their extreme vigour on their instruments. And it makes sense, because even though they sound heavy on record, when playing live they reach new heights, creating soundscapes crammed with the passionate yells of vocalist, Damian Abraham. Bands that match Fucked Up’s intensity are OFF! and Pissed Jeans. But be wary, if you don’t have much listening experience within the hardcore genre it may be completely overwhelming.

While Iceage and Fucked up are great, the most important punk act of the festival is Flag. Flag is a band established by the former members of Black Flag, who are arguably the founding fathers of hardcore punk, and have immensely influenced the direction of punk music in general. These Californians have more experience than pretty much every other act in the lineup, as their last album (In My Head) was released almost thirty years ago. But they plan on releasing a new album soon after their tour. Black Flag changed everything with the release of their first, five-minute, EP Nervous Breakdown. And three years later they released their most celebrated record Damaged, which is still referenced as the epitome of quality in the hardcore punk genre. Bands that sound similar to Flag are The Dead Kennedys and Minor Threat. They may not be in their Black Flag prime, but Flag’s years of experience still grants them the ability to put on a smashing performance.

INDIE ROCK

The indie rock genre has become somewhat irrelevant over the past few years. The novelty of bands such as Arcade Fire has died down as other genres became trendier. But one of indie rock’s long time runners, Brooklyn-based The National, who released another morose outlook on life with their LP Trouble Will Find Me, are the headlining band of the festival. The National has an incredibly dedicated fan-base that is continually growing between each of their excellent releases. Matt Berninger’s presence on stage is relaxed but emotional; he eases the crowd through The National’s sombre soundtracks, crafted for instances of depression and isolation. The nuance of their bleak sound is similar to bands such as Interpol or The Antlers. Their film Mistaken for Strangers is also going to be shown at the festival, which is why it makes sense for them to be accompanying the film’s showing with one of their outstanding performances.

Wintersleep have been slowly moving away from their indie rock roots as they continue to implement more experimental elements into their sound. Their last album Hello Hum provided rock and electronic sounds synthesized together with anthemic pop song writing. Wintersleep have continued to impress with their ability to create catchy melodies and guitar riffs. After having seen them live twice, I can definitely recommend this band to anyone who enjoys the likes of Broken Social Scene or Plants and Animals. Their music’s pop sensibilities also make their sound accessible to the average passer-by.


Continue Reading
NXNE 13 Top Music Overview Part 1

1 2

Gallery

  • NXNE Music Overview Part 1
  • NXNE Music Overview Part 1
  • NXNE Music Overview Part 1
  • NXNE Music Overview Part 1
  • NXNE Music Overview Part 1
  • NXNE Music Overview Part 1

ETV Newsletter

Get the latest on the media landscape and the minds that create inspiring, paradigm-shifting ideas. Sign up and stay in the loop.

Advertise with Us

close