In anticipation of next month's Halifax Pop Explosion, we decided to put together a list of all the unreal musicians you can regularly hear playing throughout Halifax. Some of the bands included below have been putting out music for years and playing shows all over the world, while others are just getting their start in the industry.
Either way everyone we included is putting out dope work, so give them a listen and hit up their shows when you get a chance!
1. Sarah Denim
A newcomer on the Halifax music scene, Sarah Denim released a few unreal electro-pop singles on her soundcloud account before dropping an EP called Left Side Trilogy this summer. Denim’s dreamy vocals on Left Side’s three tracks are well complimented by a series of groovy electronic beats that sound similar to something you might find on a Lykki Li album – give it a listen here!
This past weekend Halifax based four-piece band Mauno made 12” vinyl copies of their new album Rough Master available for pre-order ahead of a tour that spans across Canada and parts of Europe. Mauno’s attention to both the physical and audio presentation of Rough Master demonstrate the band’s admirable commitment to creating quality art – click here to see if they’re playing in your city soon!
JOYFULTALK’s unique electronic sounds continued to grow on their most recent album MUIXX, which was released last June. On MUIXX, the band expanded on the homemade sounds from their first album Sappy Tape, to create a heavily produced collection of tunes that use some really creative and unconventional audio techniques. This November JOYFULTALK will embark on an 11 date tour throughout central Europe – check out their schedule here.
4. Vogue Dots
This chill Halifax duo sprung onto the Canadian music scene in 2014 with their debut EP Toska, which was quickly followed up by another EP called Muaka only a few months later. The band did an excellent job of producing lots of high quality, electronic material in quick succession as a means of building some well deserved buzz. Their highly anticipated new single If You Stay came out this May - give it a listen here!
5. Special Costello
Special Costello has been producing lots of very chill rock music since their debut single Music and Image came out (on cassette!) in 2012. The band’s emotional, acoustic sound has evolved over the past four years to become a more heavily produced electronic endeavor that features unique, heavily mixed vocals on each track – listen to some of their awesome material here.
6. Chudi Harris
This incredible Halifax based vocalist has blown up over the past year, producing some super unique R&B sounds. Harris’ six track EP Canvas came out in May of this year, and features heavily synthesized instrumentals underneath soulful, catchy vocals. Listen to some more of his work here.
Jonah R Guimond has been making some dope French language tracks out of St. Mary’s Bay since 2013. Through Jonahmeltwave’s material, front woman Guimond does an incredible job of bringing the Acadian French language into some hip, up beat tracks - making it accessible to an audience that may not have encountered Acadian French in a musical context before. Jonahmeltwave’s most recent EP Just Love Peace was released just under a year ago – listen to some more of her badass sounds here.
This five-piece Halifax band has been releasing tons of “soft and funky, wet vocals” since their debut single Robert Loveless and the Loveland Band came out in 2013 (also on cassette! I love it). In August the band released their most recent single Vanilla Vibrancy, with a b side called By the way – both v chill and worth hearing at Loveland’s upcoming Halifax tour – click here for dates.
9. Century Egg
Halifax based rock band Century Egg released their chill debut EP Mountain God 山神仙 this April, with both English and Chinese songs featured in the mix. The playful sounds on Mountain God are brought to you by the four talented musicians who make up Century Egg – check out some more of their tunes here.
10. The Everywheres
A staple of the Halifax indie community, The Everywheres put out their first single End of Time in 2013 and have been making sweet rock music every since. The band has grown and shrunk over the years, with tons of local musicians bringing different talents and sounds to The Everywheres extensive body of work. Listen to their chill musical stylings here.
11. Vulva Culture
Vulva Culture appeared on the Halifax music scene in 2014 with their (aptly titled) demo supermoon demo, which would set the foundation for their future haunting, beautiful sounds. The vocals on their most recent EP IN VAIN continue to sound like a rock and roll lullaby – or at least that’s the best way I can describe it. Check it out for yourself here.
Another super popular rock band from Halifax, Walrus is currently half way through their cross country tour - having just finished the Maritime leg they’ll now spend some time out west before performing again in Halifax mid October. Give their EP Goodbye Something a listen here.
13. Kurt Inder
Inder put out his first album bits and pisses in 2015, an experimental collection of tunes that play with sound in a beautifully unconventional way. Inder’s three follow up albums continue to expand on his playful, eclectic musical style, each one using sounds and samples that one would never expect to hear in such a cool way. Give his work a listen here.
14. Nap Eyes
Since releasing their debut self titled EP in 2011, Nap Eyes has become an indie essential in the Halifax music community. Their most recent album entitled Thought Rock / Fish Scale put front man Nigel Chapman on The Coast’s February issue. Currently you can hear them on tour as they work their way along America’s West Coast up into Canada. Give their extensive catalogue of work a listen here.
15. Nomadic Homes
This “fuzzy psych pop band” just released an exceptional debut EP called Mesas in February of this year. They’ve got a jazzy, instrumental sound you can hear this Saturday night at Art Bar. Give their bandcamp page a browse here.
16. no problem
no problem debuted with their self titled five track EP in March of 2015, and since then have produced an awesome follow up album in the form of the honestly hour. Both collections have a chill, acoustic vibe – the type of music that makes you feel like you’re on vacation. Catch them at the HMCS Wardroom this November, and listen to a couple of their tracks here.
This badass rock duo from Sackville released their debut single Hot Knives in October of 2015, followed soon after by The “Ellen” Page, which they described as being “a celebration: a coming out anthem, a source of pride, strength, and joy” in honor of the Canadian actress. Having just finished their summer tour, Partner will be playing in Halifax this October at Pop Explosion – listen to some more of their music here!
18. Heaven For Real
Their bandcamp tags read “alternative art rock baby jazz experimental rock guitar pop new wave Halifax” which I actually think is a pretty cool description of their style. Heaven For Real just put out a new awesome album in July called Kill Your Memory - keep an eye out for their gigs in Halifax, and give their tunes a listen here.