CMW is now over and done and you can tell it was a busy festival by the sheer fact that I’m just sinking my teeth into the halfway mark right now. I spent the third and fourth dates, respectively, at semi-CMW shows (by which I mean reviewing Noel Gallagher and photographing Of Monsters and Men). By the fifth day though, it was back at the CMW marathon and back to venue hopping.
I started the night at the non-CMW Toro y Moi show. After a quick chillwave fix, it was off to the fairly busy Garrison for a stop celebrating Toronto’s women in music. A big bill spoke to this city’s fantastic ability to foster incredibly talented musicians (who also just happen to be women.) I saw a bit of Programm’s set and it was enjoyable and entrancing. I’m kicking myself now for leaving The Garrison early – by all accounts, Dirty Frigs was also fantastic and probably worth staying for.
Forgoing the local in favour of Quebec was my choice though, and so I headed up Ossington to the far less-busy Smiling Buddha to see Montreal’s Syzzors. The three-piece has a technical setup that doesn’t really lend itself to a festival like CMW, but a brief delay eventually gave way to sultry vocals and electronic beats. They’re young and, frankly, the amount of instrumentation and elements they throw at the audience can at times seem to overwhelm them. That said, they certainly have an ear for pop melodies and an eye on the bigger picture. Give them some more time and they could be the soundtrack to your disco floors.
It was next over to Rancho Relaxo to see Boston’s Oh, Malô. These guys were a pleasant surprise – presenting a much-needed full sound and a heavy instrumental build. They know their way around feedback and pair it to a gentle vocal. Celebrating the release of their Orange EP (the third and final EP in their colour-themed trilogy) I was glad to have found myself at their set. There’s enough there to go see them again, so fingers crossed on their return to town.
I then wandered into a sweaty smelling Sneaky Dee’s down the street in the hopes of seeing Bike Thiefs. Much to my dismay, the band was dismantling their instruments well ahead of their 1:00 am time slot. Apparently a band earlier on the bill had dropped off and Bike Thiefs’ set had been pushed up. These kinds of things happen at a festival like CMW, but it’s inevitably still a let down. Thankfully the band shouldn’t be too hard to find again, given they call Mississauga home. On the bright side, too, I was able to get home an hour earlier ahead of schedule. No complaints there.