Pop Montreal 2017
Now entering its 16th year as a permanent ﬁxture on the Montreal music scene, this not-for-profit festival returns over September 13th to 17th with an array of international and independent acts. With symposium discussions, artisan and visual art exhibitions, fashion shows and ﬁlm screenings, POP Montreal has a lot to offer, and with a rich musical line-up including Moor Mother, Kali Uchis, Swet Shop Boys and more, there's almost too many potential highlights to choose from. Still, we gave it a go.
One of the most exciting, important rappers to emerge in the past year, Quay Dash's Transphobic EP was full of searing bangers. The Bronx rapper serves up raw , swag-laden lyrics, boasting that she's "Queen of NY", on top of glitchy, swirling beats, all the while owning the reality of being black and transgender in Trump's America. "Bossed Up" is one of her biggest songs, replete with production from PC Music's SOPHIE, but the record as a whole is a rush: catch her now before she blows up.
The current leader in the realm of protest music, there is no one creating anything quite like Moor Mother right now. The Philadelphia-based artist makes angry music: all abrasive electronic and seething poetry that brings to the forefront her afrofuturist philosophies. Considering history, race, domestic violence and other salient subject matter, Moor Mother's FETISH BONES was considered by many to be one of the best albums of 2016. With no two live shows the same, this should be visceral and unforgettable.
One of Canada's finest electronic artists, Jessy Lanza makes lush and beautiful soundscapes that nod as much to lithe, futuristic '00s R&B as to the current dance scene. With serene, light-as-a-feather vocals that seem to nod to Aaliyah, glitchy beats and shimmering keys, this show should be all kinds of ethereal and magic. Her album last year, Oh No, was strange, experimental and beautiful (kind of a poppier Jlin, with elements of FKA twigs). Get to this set if you want to catch something altogether otherworldly.