Arts & Culture Opinions

Halifax Pop Explosion recommendations

If you are overwhelmed by the many amazing options in this festival, here are a few picks of bands who have recently released new albums that you should check out.

If you are overwhelmed by the many amazing options in this festival, here are a few of my picks of bands who have recently released new albums that you should check out.
One Hundred Dollars
Tuesday October 18 @ The Seahorse 9:30pm $15
One Hundred Dollars, an indie psych-alternative-country group, from Toronto, offers highly praised and interesting story-telling in the lyrics, which singer Simone Schmidt delivers in her passionate, and at times, haunting voice. They released a new album in May, Songs of Man, which was quick to gain the group’s second Polaris Prize nomination. Through Schmidt’s work as a speech facilitator, she has learned to express the desires, needs, and troubles of others, influencing her powerful lyrics. The low lighting and small space of The Seahorse would be the perfect place to take in the dark and revealing stories that the group has creatively portrayed on their album.
Preview: Here
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Wednesday October 19 @ Olympic Community Hall 8:00 pm $18/$25
The indie-pop band, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, is a group of fellow East Coasters from NYC. Their youthful, playful, and optimistic sound is both fun to listen and dance to. They have just come out with a new LP this year, Belong, which is reminiscent of the favourite tracks of teens growing up in the eighties onwards, while still bringing their own twist to their sound. The album’s synthetics, familiar rhythms, and even a chorus in “Even in Dreams,” which according to The Pains sounds like “prom-in-heaven,” result in an album portraying the carefree and sensitive nature of adolescence. They are great live, and it should be a fun show that will give you a chance to shake out all of your midterm stresses.
Preview: Here
Dan Mangan
Thursday October 20 @ St. Matthew’s Church 7:30pm $20/$25
Dan Mangan, an indie folk-rock singer- songwriter from British Colombia, performs songs with catchy melodies on the guitar, and rhythms that make you want to bob your head and move in your seat. His last LP, Nice, Nice, Very Nice, earned him a Polaris Prize nomination, and he has just released his third LP Oh Fortune. With themes of fortune and death in the album, this concert is sure to be moving and beautiful in the intimate and reflective setting of St. Matthew’s Church, while I’m sure he’ll play some of the upbeat favourites that have “Sold” well among audiences.
Preview: Here
Charlotte Cornfield
Friday October 21 @ The Citadel Hotel 6:00 Free!
This pop singer-songwriter born in Toronto and schooled in Montreal is already on a North American tour at twenty. She is releasing her debut album this month (October 25), Two Horses. She plays the guitar and sings, and has written all the songs. Inspired by Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and others, her music is natural and refreshing and very pleasant to listen to. Her beautiful, clear voice delivers her poetic lyrics, and with the occasional tambourine to spice up the track, I can see her music playing in coffeeshops or in the car with the windows rolled down. Her live preview of the album should be great at The Citadel Hotel.
Preview: Here
Fucked Up
Saturday October 22 @ The Converse Pavillion 3:30 pm $15
The hardcore punk-rock band, Fucked Up, from Toronto, has actually done quite the opposite of what its name suggests, and won the Polaris prize in 2009 for the album The Chemistry of Common Life. The band aspires to make the audience feel like they don’t “waste an evening, ” and with a number of wild performances and destructive moshing in the past, and a lead singer who is known to take his shirt off in the middle of the performance, this is sure to be a afternoon of entertainment. Their creativity is especially seen in their album artwork and their lyrics. Their most recent album, David Comes to Life, is a rock opera with four acts based on a love story. My parents actually saw Damian, the lead singer, perform at a 60 year old’s birthday party, and had a lot of fun, thus, the group is very versatile!
Preview: Here

By David J. Shuman

David is the current editor-in-chief of The Watch and writes on student issues and events. Find him on Twitter: @DavidJShuman

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