Music » Feature

Find your new favourite musician: 101 new local acts to see and hear

Songs and stories that make up the New Music Issue 2017.

by and

2 comments
Aquakultre - NILLA MUSIC
  • Nilla Music
  • Aquakultre

Let’s make a promise. Let’s promise to see one/35/all 101 of the new projects from this epic new music list this year. Want to see these new acts mapped out by genre? Check it.

You’ve got lots of time—365 days, and at least some of those days are weekends. After all, the sheer creativity and willingness to get on stage—even if it’s their first time doing so—is worth celebrating.

These bands, solo musicians and musical projects have all started up locally within the last year, give or take. That fact alone says a lot about the state of local live music. Venues may close, bands may break up and grant applications may be rejected, but nothing can stop the flow of new sounds. It’s out there, you just need to go experience it. If you’re housebound, most of these musicians have music online. In fact, we’ve created a streaming playlist to accompany the feature, it can be found here. Warning: There might be some swears. There might be some music you absolutely hate. But there might be some music you absolutely can’t live without.

This list was a labour of love, compiled by one person over a year, so if you feel that a group or musician is missing, just let me know at arts@thecoast.ca, I’ll add them online. -Stephanie Johns


HARDCORE/PUNK/METAL


Cutie
  • Cutie

CUTIE
fast, slow, mean

TIEF UNTER
  • TIEF UNTER

TIEF UNTER
Inspired by “science fiction, personal and shared struggles, snacks, kitties,” TIEF UNTER’s (Elyse Moir, Susie Shapones, Stephanie Muise and Eric Diolola) sound covers intricate guitar lines with a punk patina. With a recording on the way, the group is continuing to make a go despite frequently not being in the same city. Maybe this tension adds to the energizing, frenetic energy of the music. “One or more of our members are often out of the province so honestly when we can we will be trying to write some music together,” says Moir. “Which so far we have done only a week or so in advance of each show we've played. It's worked pretty well but is a high pressure way to work and we love to take lots of dance and snack breaks, so it's hard to fit those in.” —Stephanie Johns

Blood Beach - DYLAN CHEW
  • Dylan Chew
  • Blood Beach

BLOOD BEACH
sweet and spicy garage

DESPERATE TIMES
anarcho peace crust

Alt - Generic
  • Alt - Generic

ALT-GENERIC
sarcastic solo punk

FRAGMENT
raw hardcore

FILTHEATER
deadly and harsh beauty

POWERLINE
extremely good hardcore

ALIENS AT LARGE
genre bending scream and squeal

Bury Me At Sea
  • Bury Me At Sea

BURY ME AT SEA
melodic progressive hardcore

Story To Tell
  • Story To Tell

STORY TO TELL
melodic pop punk

N.G.O.I.
  • N.G.O.I.

N.G.O.I.
four on the floor punk rock

LUNA AMOUR
small town deathcore


ROCK / INDIE


Pros and Cons
  • Pros and Cons

PROS & CONS
sludgy ‘80s indie

The Greasy Stranglers
  • The Greasy Stranglers

THE GREASY STRANGLERS
horror punk and roll

Social Smokers Club
  • Social Smokers Club

SOCIAL SMOKERS CLUB
woods rock

Dust
  • Dust

DUST
wavy krautrock

Shadow
  • Shadow

SHADOW
moody atmospheric tangles

Coyote Rock Gym
  • Coyote Rock Gym

COYOTE ROCK GYM
When you’re in school, sometimes you just have to make the most of what you have to work with. The four members of Coyote Rock Gym met while going to Dalhousie and three were roommates. "It was pretty much entirely DIY, everything was done at my house,” says vocalist and guitarist Sean Carey. The band started with one mic, used electric drums, samples and changed recording styles from song to song.

“I want to be able to kind of move through genres,” says Carey. “But keep it all firmly riff rock at heart.” —Jonathan Briggins

CoPilot - TRAVIS DUFFY
  • Travis Duffy
  • CoPilot

COPILOT
loud quiet loud

Nor
  • Nor

NOR
heavy psych freak outs

Science Project
  • Science Project

SCIENCE PROJECT
depraved mutant rock

Dimension Boys
  • Dimension Boys

DIMENSION BOYS
scrappy swamp garage

Badd Math - CHAD PARKER
  • Chad Parker
  • Badd Math

BADD MATH
blues garage funk

No, It's Fine - JORDAN HAINES
  • Jordan Haines
  • No, It's Fine

NO, IT'S FINE
emo revival

Gun Jr.
  • Gun Jr.

GUN JR..
scratchy dad rock

Dark Sky Parks
  • Dark Sky Parks

DARK SKY PARKS
melodic, chaotic

Dazor
  • Dazor

DAZOR
'90s alt-rock

Not You
  • Not You

NOT YOU
'90s slippergaze

Shuteye
  • Shuteye

SHUTEYE
melodic emo

norc
  • norc

NORC
progressive psych

Chebucto
  • Chebucto

CHEBUCTO
bang on pop punk

Only Vultures Left
  • Only Vultures Left

ONLY VULTURES LEFT
'90s grunge

James Bradley Band
  • James Bradley Band

JAMES BRADLEY BAND
classic rock, straight up

The Royal Volts
  • The Royal Volts

THE ROYAL VOLTS
guitars, twang

Illustrious
  • Illustrious

ILLUSTRIOUS
mellow and technical builds

The Bloody Hell
  • The Bloody Hell

THE BLOODY HELL
scrappy horror garage punk

Fungus
  • Fungus

FUNGUS
grumpy and grungy

The Bad Nintendos
  • The Bad Nintendos

THE BAD NINTENDOS
nerd rock

5 Dai Suspension
  • 5 Dai Suspension

5 DAI SUSPENSION
crass and sarcastic

Luke Mumford
  • Luke Mumford

LUKE MUMFORD
pure Trurocore

The Coughin' Fitters
  • The Coughin' Fitters

THE COUGHIN' FITTERS
Lo-fi psych rock

Time Lizard - CRAIG C PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Craig C Photography
  • Time Lizard

TIME LIZARD
Lovecraftian post-punk

Wet Box
  • Wet Box

WET BOX
grungy post-punk


POP


Valerie
  • Valerie

VALERIE
shoegaze dream swirls

Rabies
  • Rabies

RABIES
synthy punky jewels

Matt Steele & The Corvette Sunset
  • Matt Steele & The Corvette Sunset

MATT STEELE & THE CORVETTE SUNSET
hooky power pop

Fake Buildings
  • Fake Buildings

FAKE BUILDINGS
ecstatic psychedelic grooves

The Staples
  • The Staples

THE STAPLES
noisy power pop

Jacqustic
  • Jacqustic

JACQUSTIC
gentle singer/songwriter harmonies

Juice Girls - ALYSON SARTY
  • Alyson Sarty
  • Juice Girls

JUICE GIRLS
floating shoegaze harmonies

Tangent
  • Tangent

TANGENT
bizarro art rock

Yoneda
  • Yoneda

YONEDA
Releasing music is nothing new for Drew Yamada, but it’d been a while for The Super Friendz guitarist. “This was, until last fall, this was the longest I’d gone without playing a show in Halifax since the ’80s,” says Yamada.

Racing Toward A Red Light includes songs he wrote with past bands but didn’t get around to recording and a couple songs originally written for short films in the ‘90s. The record also gave Yamada a chance to hang out and play with old friends including Super Friendz members Charles Austin and Dave Marsh. “A lot of it was just Charles and I kind of goofing around and screwing around one-on-one and then we'd bring in different people along the way to help out.” —JB

Darts
  • Darts

DARTS
power alt-pop

Cameron
  • Cameron

CAMERON
sister harmonized indie

The Drug Rugs - JORDAN HAINES
  • JORDAN HAINES
  • The Drug Rugs

THE DRUG RUGS
freaky, sparkly, energetic

Building Confidence Through Play
  • Building Confidence Through Play

BUILDING CONFIDENCE THROUGH PLAY
fresh and jangly

Pretty Normal
  • Pretty Normal

PRETTY NORMAL
high energy pool party

Night Lunch
  • Night Lunch

NIGHT LUNCH
beautiful catchy gold


FOLK


Villages
  • Villages

VILLAGES
Celtic indie folk

Hatchet Lake
  • Hatchet Lake

HATCHET LAKE
fuzzy twangy power

Blue Lobelia - ANNA WOTHERSPOON
  • Anna Wotherspoon
  • Blue Lobelia

BLUE LOBELIA
atmospheric floral folk

Kurtis Eugene
  • Kurtis Eugene

KURTIS EUGENE
alt-orchestral folk


COUNTRY/ROOTS


Franklin Brewery Boys
  • Franklin Brewery Boys

FRANKLIN BREWERY BOYS
original bluegrass & country

Cassie and Gabriel - CRAIG CROCKER
  • Craig Crocker
  • Cassie and Gabriel

CASSIE AND GABRIEL
cosmic old-time country lullabies

Brooklyn Blackmore
  • Brooklyn Blackmore

BROOKLYN BLACKMORE
AM twangy pop ballads

Thomas Stajcer
  • Thomas Stajcer

THOMAS STAJCER
Thomas Stajcer grew up listening to pop punk and a lot of Blink-182 but he is on a completely different path now, writing country & western ballads. “I feel like I’ve finally found my voice in country music,” says Stajcer. “I find country music lends itself to a frankness in approach to songwriting. I don’t have to write a pop lyric that’s sort of vague to appeal to more people or something.”

Stajcer has an audio engineering background and works at New Scotland Yard. Naturally, he’s worked with Joel Plaskett, with the Dartmouth icon co-writing a pair of songs including one on an upcoming release. —JB


CLASSICAL


The 19
  • The 19

THE 19
unconducted choral tunes, Renaissance-present


RAP/HIP HOP


Anewbis
  • Anewbis
ANEWBIS Hometown proud, in Westvilladelphia born and raised

SIP SET
sippy crew/supergroup

Jizeey Milez
  • Jizeey Milez

JIZEEY MILEZ
laid back realness

Voodoo Gang
  • Voodoo Gang

VOODOO GANG
banging bass

Stayready Sweetz
  • Stayready Sweetz

STAYREADY SWEETZ
There has likely never been, nor will there ever be, a first show as wild as Stayready Sweetz’s. Held at Hugo’s Bar & Grill last September, “Sweet’s September Seduction” was not only a release show for her stellar first mixtape, UNBREAKABLE SMILE: CHAPTER 1, but hosted—for the first time ever in Canada—female stud strippers from Atlanta and Baltimore. The over the top commitment to an unforgettable show is something that comes through in Sweetz’ songs—classic, confessional, heartbreakingly honest raps that show off her top shelf skill. Look for her second solo mixtape sometime this summer, in the meantime, daydream about what Sweetz can possibly do to top the last mixtape release. —SJ

Bobz
  • Bobz

BOBZ
chill party time

FemStars
  • FemStars

FemStars (Mackie and X-Plycit)
female-forward crew


FUNK/SOUL


Lazeez
  • Lazeez

LAZEEZ
Making music is a full-band effort for the six-piece Lazeez. Vocalist Laura Gallant writes songs, drummer Ryan White composes music on a computer and pianist Behrooz Mihankhah also brings compositions to the band. "When we rehearse is when it all comes together. Everyone kind of adds something into it,” says Mihankhah of the music primarily influenced by R&B and soul music.

With improvised segments built into every song, the Lazeez experience is constantly changing. “The thing about our music is we can change the arrangements any time. Every show that we play can always be something different.” —JB

Superfluid
  • Superfluid

SUPERFLUID
smooth multilingual soul

quiet hill
  • quiet hill

QUIET HILL
poppy, proggy

The GetUP
  • The GetUP

THE GETUP
funk soul swing


WORLD


Son Latino
  • Son Latino

SON LATINO
Four members of the Latin music community were missing one ingredient to play salsa music properly—trumpet. After adding a trumpet and vocalist, Son Latino was born as a six-piece band. “In a lot of Latin music, especially salsa, the horns are essential,” says keyboardist Mauricia Duarte.

Salsa dancers are regulars as Son Latino play everything from the Latin classics to contemporary songs. But you’ll also find people looking to tap into the vibes of vacations down south. “Not only do we get the Latin community to come to our shows,” says Duarte. “We get a lot of Canadians that want to experience Latin music again or they're learning how to dance.” —SJ

The Oxfords
  • The Oxfords

THE OXFORDS
ska roots reggae classics

Arenye
  • Arenye

ARENYE
When Tosan Arenye first started making music in Canada, it was hip hop, but he wasn’t happy with the generic results. Now he makes smoother, afro-soul and shares stories of his transition from Nigeria to Halifax while dropping lyrics in English and Yoruba. It breaks the mold of what he was doing before and allows him to share his culture and language.

“I love Nova Scotia and I love Africa and I feel like I should be that bridge that connects both places,” Arenye says. “My life journey, my life story.” —JB


JAZZ


Sam Wilson
  • Sam Wilson

SAM WILSON
instrumental emotive improvisation

Bastian Roode
  • Bastian Roode

BASTIAN ROODE
passionate bluesy vibes

New Hermitage
  • New Hermitage

NEW HERMITAGE
ambient environmental improvisation

Blue Spirits
  • Blue Spirits

BLUE SPIRITS
soulful modern jazz

Budi - DYLAN CHEW
  • Dylan Chew
  • Budi

BUDI
spontaneous free jazz

GBLOO-BIES
improvisational performance collective


R&B


Monette Rockliff
  • Monette Rockliff

MONETTE ROCKCLIFF
soulful crooner

Ray Reaves and the Antagonists
  • Ray Reaves and the Antagonists

RAY REAVES & THE ANTAGONISTS
powerful, vulnerable, slick

Chudi Harris - MICHAEL CANN
  • Michael Cann
  • Chudi Harris

CHUDI HARRIS
silky, conscious, poignant

XO XV XT
alt-R&B very rare


Aquakultre - NILLA MUSIC
  • Nilla Music
  • Aquakultre


AQUAKULTRE
Lance Sampson’s, AKA Aquakultre, Water Temple EP is elegant and richly layered, a stunning and mind-blowing first album. Inspired by the guitar-driven “I Gotchu”, Sampson got to work on writing more in that acoustically-minded vein, and letting the songs flow like water. “The name [Water Temple] comes from a Zelda game I know and love, and for me it also means the versatility I manifested with this project, because I used to rap and I thought that’s all I knew,” Sampson says. “The isolation that I have at work just makes what I’m thinking about come to life in a song. I’m always beatboxing in my head, and 90 percent of the songs on this project are composed through beat boxing. It starts with a rhythm in my head, and isolation finishes it.”

With upcoming shows at Evolve and a showcase slot at Sappyfest with Big Budi Band (“something I am extremely stoked for. Because I’ll be playing with all my favourite musicians and it’s such an honour”), Halifax can thankfully expect to see a lot more from Aquakultre. “I like performing in Halifax because it gives me a chance to represent where I’m from. And that’s Uniacke Square,” he says. “It has been nothing but an honour and a blessing to be out here and sharing my thoughts with music scene of Hali.” —SJ


ELECTRONIC


Maximata
  • Maximata

MAXIMATA
An inadvertent keyboard stroke led to the name electronic musician Eric Diolola performs under. “I wanted to use my grandmother’s name—it’s Maximana—I just typed ’T’ and thought, ‘OK, this looks cute’,” says Diolola. He used to make ambient and melodic beats but shifted gears after his fellow Filipino friends started listening to bass music. It’s like he let the chill vibes ferment, and over time, it’s transformed into something weirder and grittier. "It totally freaks out and is funny, there's humour to it,” says Diolola. “But at the same time you can totally be smart with it. It's fun to mess around.” —JB

BLOOD/FLESH - ALEX PEARSON
  • Alex Pearson
  • BLOOD/FLESH

BLOOD/FLESH
ambient and industrial soundscapes

Etherlands
  • Etherlands

ETHERLANDS
electro groove pop

Sarah Denim
  • Sarah Denim

SARAH DENIM
The electronic pop music of Sarah Denim is a full-on audiovisual experience as she syncs her music to edited videos. She uses film as another layer to what she wants to communicate as she draws on life experiences to create art.

“Life’s strange and mysterious. If I'm making something in music, it's just a way for me to understand it. I think people in our world right now, we like to think that things make sense in a logical sense, but actually nothing does.” Sarah Denim will release a new video and single ahead of a performance at SappyFest this summer. —JB

Dope
  • Dope

DOPE
bassy beat producers

Apriskah
  • Apriskah

APRISKAH
glitchy, melodic, immersive

ENZO
  • ENZO

ENZO
EDM and hip hop selector

LIZ BRAIN
mind expanding sweetness

Codo Lowe of Twilight Express
  • Codo Lowe of Twilight Express

TWILIGHT EXPRESS
A Skratch Bastid performance in a high school gym was Codo Lowe’s first exposure to DJ culture and planted the seed that eventually led to Twilight Express. It further blossomed after taking a rhythm program in high school with local musicians Jesse Matthews and Lindsay Dobbin.

"This rhythm course, I thought it was just going to be how to DJ, but it ended up being so much more. It ended up talking about the history of dance music, about resistance to music and working within limitations,” says Lowe. "When I got into making music, it wasn't like I wanted to produce pristine tracks. It was more like I want to create a framework to improvise within electronic music for myself." —JB


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment
 

Add a comment

Remember, it's entirely possible to disagree without spiralling into a thread of negativity and personal attacks. We have the right to remove (and you have the right to report) any comments that go against our policy.