Toronto music fans love their ever growing list of homegrown festivals. NXNE attracted thousands to the streets, now in its 21st year. CMW, which moved to June, continues to focus on not only Canadian acts, but has partnered in with programs from Ireland and Australia in the past two years. TURF also moved, though to September with a stacked lineup. Drake had his own three day OVO fest. The Toronto island and hosted the new festival, Camp Wavelength. The second year festival TWiMFeST, the lovechild of promoters Two Way Monologues and the Indie Machine, has expanded its lineup and included more venues.
TWiMFeST runs November 4th through 8th in Toronto with additional dates TBA in St. John’s. Last year’s festival was held in October, and highlighted by B.A. Johnston’s beer spewing, beer stealing, and diving across the Rancho Rexalo bar.
Known for its hashtags #nofees #noradiusclause #paidgig, TWiMFeST features artists from across Canada and from multiple genres. The hashtags refer to other festivals with fees for applying, dates that can’t be playing in the same city (radius clause), and no payment for playing said festivals. Though there were post reports of one of two artists not paid for playing TWiMFeST.
Long time Toronto music promoters Dan Wolovick (Two Way Monologues) and Dave Marksell (The Indie Machine) had previously worked together on the TWMFEST of which TWiMFeST grew out of. Wolovick lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and is involved in live music there, and travels to Toronto for the festival. TWiMFeST has additional shows there.
The festival has doubled in size in year two. It’s grown from 68 to 118 announced acts. Participating venues are the Bier Markt, Bovine Sex Club, Cameron House, Dundas Video, Horseshoe Tavern, Holy Oak, Junction City Music Hall, Lee’s Palace, Sneaky Dee’s, the Painted Lady, and Tennessee.
Ticket prices for TWiMFeST vary from single event ($8.75) to one day ($15) to five-day festival passes ($22.50). See TWiMFeST website and Eventbrite for tickets..
Here are five acts to keep on your radar for TWiMFeST this November.
Toronto’s Paint have earned their reputation as one of Canada’s hardest-working and most genuine indie bands with their infectiously energetic live performances, pop hooks, and lyrical depth.
Since the release of their critically-acclaimed 2009 debut Can You Hear Me?, Paint has played over 200 shows from Vancouver to Halifax, including multiple returns to North by Northeast (named one of the top acts of 2012 by The Toronto Star), Canadian Music Week, Indie Week.
Paint’s 2011 sophomore album is “Where We Are Today”. The album is influenced by Britpop and New Wave with a dynamic and pop-focused edge. It’s “a step away from the ‘wall of sound’ and towards more intricate and mature musicality and songwriting.”
Robb Johannes: vocals
Jordan Shepherdson: guitar
Devin Jannetta: drums
Keiko Gutierrez: bass
“Prepare to clap along.” – The Toronto Star
Playing at Tennessee on Friday November 6th at 10 PM
Amos the Transparent
The orchestral rock sound of Amos the Transparent have been pleasing sold out audiences everywhere. They return to the Toronto’s festival scene in November for TWiMFeST.
“Although they claim to be transparent, Amos are anything but. They live between the light and the dark, sometimes in the shadows, occasionally in the dark, more often in the light. Their songs take them there! Quantum shifts between heavy and light, soft and hard, loud and quiet.”
“Goodnight, My Dear… I’m Falling Apart” was recorded as two separate EPs. It has tracks ranging from indi pop to experimental ones. They appeared in March’s in Cineplex’s behind the music across Canada.
It was followed up by their 2014 concept record “This Cold Escape”.
Whether they are sharing the stage with Patrick Watson, Zeus or the Darcys, or headlining a show in Australia or SXSW Amos come alive when they perform.
With some recent additions, including keyboards and strings, Amos the Transparent’s live show has been able to capture the intricacies of their recordings while delivering their high energy shows they are known for.
Playing at The Horseshoe Tavern on Wednesday November 4th at 11 PM
Yes, Skye Wallace is her real name. Her songwriting draws from pieces and stories from Canada’s rich landscape. Her songs are described as dynamic, gritty, orchestral “both the melodies and narratives sticking in your head long after listening.”
Her third full-length studio album, released in 2014, is titled “Living Parts”. It’s and filled with human storytelling, emotion, and things living and dead.
Skye’s festival circuit list has taken her through central Canada with CMW, NXNE, and multiple times through western Canada with Arts Wells, North Country Fair, Rifflandia, Sled Island, Mission Folk Festival, Khatsalano!, and Edge Of The World.
Listed as one of Blog TO’s Top 20 Folk & Roots Shows in Toronto Summer 2014 and hailed as Vancouver’s queen of dark folk, Skye Wallace truly is a “national treasure” (Sad Mag).
Playing at The Horseshoe Tavern on Wednesday November 4th at 8 PM
Originally from Kenora, singer-songwriter Brooklyn Doran lives in Toronto with a love for the Bloor-Landsdowne neighbourhood. She even shot a music video on the TTC there. “Toronto is a really great city to be involved in the arts.”
Her music is “a unique and harmonious blend of jazz and indie-folk.” She mixes song and storytelling with anecdotes and emotional ballads and love songs. Her lyrics are described as honest, vulnerable, and clever, delivering each song with crisp, clear vocals charged with passion and ease.
Her debut EP has been featured on CBC Radio, has charted across Canada on college radio. She’s played both the major CMW, and NXNE festivals.
“Doran’s voice is light, sweet and full of a sense of mischief that you can’t help but be enchanted by” – Listen with Monger (2015)
Playing at Tennessee on Friday November 6th at 8 PM.
Lakes of Canada (band)
Montreal-based Lakes of Canada was founded in 2010 by Jake Smith (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, percussion) and Conor O’Neil (drums, vocals) as a folk-pop duo. They’ve since moved to an indie-rock sound with gospel/soul influences adding Tim Dobby, Sarah Morasse on keyboards, vocals, flute and harp, and, former Honheehonehee front-man Greg Halpin (guitar, bass, vocals, percussion). Lakes of Canada maintains their commitment to vocal harmony, but with a rich instrumental complexity befitting a classically-trained group of musicians.
Their second full-length album is based on Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”. They’ve played POP Montreal, Canadian Music Week, Festival Folk sur la Canal, St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival, and NXNE.
“The music is energetically grandiose, with choral and orchestral folk-rock evoking the classical origins of the concept album in oratorios and orchestral tone poems.”
-Mike Doherty, The National Post
Playing at Junction City Music Hall on Wednesday November 4th at 10 PM