Canadian Bands @ SXSW 2012 – my picks

February 28, 2012

After many hours of listening to all the Canadian bands scheduled to perform at the annual event SXSW 2012 in Austin, I’ve picked my favourites. It wasn’t an easy task. I was quite underwhelmed and disappointed by the poor production quality. Some of the bands might be excellent live but their poor quality recordings are doing them a disservice in this over crowded music industry. Of course, it’s open for debate – some people will say it’s fine, others won’t.

For now, here are my picks:
(view the full schedule on


While Michigan Left combines the bombast of Bruce Springsteen, the infectious 80′s R&B sounds of Hall & Oates and the delicate studio touches of Spoon, the sound that results is undeniably that of the Arkells.

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Plants and Animals

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Patrick Watson & the Wooden Arms

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Leif Vollebekk

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Ariane Moffatt

At the heart of her success is that voice of an instrument of arresting intimacy that tugs on your heartstrings as it floats through the atmosphere, at once earthy, ethereal and capable of surprising power.

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Unlike the several heavy metal bands that share the same name, the Canadian indie group Zeus forgoes doom and gloom to make music with three part harmonies, Americana sensibilities, and sunny power pop hooks.

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Yukon Blonde

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Young Galaxy

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