Who ever said that good music can only be found in urban settings? Situated along Elora, Ontario's scenic Grand River backdrop, Riverfest 2016 presents a unique blend of renowned musical acts paired with rootsy, community vibes. Food, art, and culture mingle with melody, rhythm, and movement; providing fans a weekend escape at one of Ontario's most charming villages.
Riverfest Elora 2016 arrives Friday, August 19th at Elora's Bissell Park. Three days of dancing, feasting, and music discovery complement headline acts from the likes of Chromeo, Walk Off The Earth, and The Sheepdogs. Not only does Riverfest's lineup boast a variety of popular talent, but the festival has a knack for bringing budding, independent acts to the three stages it provides. Harmonious with our unsigned music blog status, I thought it would be a great idea to highlight the top "fairly unknown" talents performing on each day of the festival. Today I'll provide a synopsis of Friday and Saturday's lineup and next week we'll have the final play detailing Sunday's top five. Without further adieu, I present Friday and Saturday's top eight!
Friday, August 19th
1. 'I Do, Do You?' by HIGHS
Float to a new elevation with Toronto ensemble HIGHS. Already successful with their self-titled EP released in 2013, the five-piece indie outfit impress with soaring harmonies, upbeat alt-pop textures, and feel good rhythms. It's safe to say this group will deliver one helluva' show on Friday, so get there for 7:00 PM to dance the night away!
2. 'Floating in the Sky' by The Wet Secrets
"Swampy basslines, primal drumming, dancing ladies with brassy hornstacks, keys, congas & vocal harmonies galore" - I think that sounds like something worth seeing, don't you? Composed of six horn-wielding musicians of the rock 'n' roll variety, Edmonton band The Wet Secrets carry a 70's pop influence with every track released. Catch them on Friday at 6:05 PM!
3. 'JULIA' by Fast Romantics
Repeatedly compared to Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Fast Romantics have gained a ton of traction over the past year for their highly infectious, exuberant pop hooks. The lead single 'Julia' is a force to be reckoned with; caked in memorable lyrics, indie rock euphonics, and robust guitar shreds. Fast Romantics are playing at 7:00 PM, so make sure you're ready to bounce around stages to catch both sets from HIGHS and FR!
Saturday, August 20th
1. 'Sunday Sara' by Alexandria Maillot
Described as a "swoon-y bedroom pop artist", Alexandria Maillot marks her epic entrance to Riverfest with a forthcoming second album titled 'Time'. The nine-track release showcases the Vancouver singer-songwriter's spirited, vocal-driven talent, just as ethereal as it is melodic. Peep the official video for 'Sunday Sara' below and catch Maillot at 12:45 PM on Saturday!
2. 'Badlands' by Raven Shields
When classic R&B elements are combined with jazzy vocals, it's clear who takes the cake. In this case, the winner is Torontonian Raven Shields. The vocalist proactively abandons exclusive genre choice in her songwriting, allowing the music to speak for itself in ways you can't help but sing along to. Find Shields at 2:15 PM on Saturday!
3. 'Warpaint' - Ivory Hours
London, Ontario is where indie-pop trio Ivory Hours call home. Overflowing with summer vibes, the band's lead single 'Warpaint' is a perfect example of how Ivory Hours operate: buoyant, carefree, and tuneful in every regard. Watch the trios performance on Saturday at 2:15 PM (the same time as Raven Shields)!
4. 'Freida On The Mountain' by The Zolas
The Zolas have so many different styles it's hard to keep step. From their synth-pop single 'Swooner' to their creative electronic jam 'Freida On The Mountain' (below), the Vancouver quartet continually innovate the genre game while remaining a powerhouse in both vocal and instrumental production. Fall in love with The Zolas at 3:05 PM on Saturday!
5. 'Sweet Marie' by Sun K
Lastly, Sun K. Who doesn't love smoky timbre contrasted by soaring falsetto, rolling guitar riffs, and homegrown groove? Casting a spell with their self-described line of "woodstock folk", Sun K are bound to put on a remarkable performance ideal for mid-afternoon blanket hangs. Catch Sun K at 12:35 PM on Saturday!
Alright folks! That's a wrap for Friday and Saturday's top eight! Grab your last minute tickets for the festival here and catch The Beatforest's Riverfest playlist below! Otherwise stay tuned next week for Sunday's top five!
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