You know that feeling you get when you stumble upon a great song that no one else seems to have heard? The feeling that causes you to walk on air for days, like the musical genie you are for discovering a song which could become the new soundtrack to your super cool life. If you want to triple that feeling, then these are all the concerts you have to be at before the end of the year. PS -- you heard it here first.
For fans of Marina and the Diamonds, Ellie Goulding, Lana Del Rey, and Tegan and Sara Ever Since Phoebe Ryan released a mashup cover of R.Kelly’s “Ignition” and Miguel’s “Do You…” we've been big fans. Go and see her perform if you like pop songs with oddly infectious lyrics sung by someone who can hit high notes like nobody’s business. Concert: Saturday July 23, Alexander Gastown
For fans of Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean, Kehlani, D’angelo, and Ty Dolla $ign
BJ the Chicago Kid has been on the music scene for a while, writing and recording vocals for rappers like Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q. His music is a near perfect combination of street, blues, hip-hop, jazz and soul, and reminds us of Smokey Robinson, Raphael Saadiq, and early 2000s R-Kelly (before he was trapped in the closet).
Concert: Wednesday July 27, Alexander Gastown
For fans of Ben Howard, The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, The National, and Fleet Foxes.
Whitney is what you get when you throw in guitarist, Max Kakacek (from Smith Westerns), drummer, Julien Ehrlich (from Unknown Mortal Orchestra) and add some of Professor Utonium’s chemical X. All the songs on their LP, Light Upon The Lake, are as ethereal and sweet-sounding as the LP’s title. If you like the sound of brass arrangements, giddy strings and organs, then you just found your new favourite band. You’re welcome.
Concert: Monday August 1, The Cobalt
For fans of Birdy, Rhodes, Ed Sheeran, Christina Perri, and Adele
Julien Baker has a voice that will give you ALL the feels; every song on her album, Sprained Ankle, is so raw and intimate. Her voice is so unique and powerful that we can confidently proclaim she has limitless potential. Minimalist music never sounded so good, promise.
Concert: Tuesday August 9, The Cobalt
For fans of Sia, Lorde, Tove Lo, Chvrches, and Troye Sivan
Listening to brother-sister electronic pop duo, Broods , is like having a mini dance party in your head. Their sound is synth and percussion-heavy, so if you’re into stomping your feet, bobbing your head and pumping your fists, by all means, go and get your lovely self some tickets.
Concert: Tuesday August 16, The Vogue Theatre
For fans of Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, and The Killers
If you don’t already know Preoccupations (formerly known as Viet Cong), all of your playlists need redemption. The band’s post-punk mercurial sound is a skill that cannot be taught; witness it live at the end of September.
For fans of Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse, Lianne la Hava, Janelle Monae, and Leon Bridges
KING is the all-girl group you and your BFF’s never formed, which means you need to live vicariously through them. These alternative R&B musicians are less Destiny’s Child and more Janet Jackson, using soulful vocals so grandiose and enthralling that you’ll want to listen to them for hours on end. Listen to “In the Meantime” and thank me later.
For fans of Bon Iver, Passenger, James Bay, and Sampha
James Blake just might be the king of electronic music, and nobody does melancholy and wistfulness better than he does. In other words, his voice can sing you through every kind of heartbreak. If you need to be convinced further, listen to “Forward” which he sang with Beyoncé for her recent album, Lemonade , and marvel as his aching vocals seduce you into buying tickets for his October concert.
For fans of Drake, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Dvsn, and The Weeknd
If you like Drake, you already like this Canadian R&B duo who wrote and and co-produced Drake's “Hold On, We're Going Home.” Also, if you kept on singing “I want your hot love and emotion, endlessly,” on loop in 2013, then mark your calendars for this epic concert happening the night before Halloween. Listen to their single, “Something About You”, and even though your vocals may not be as dreamy and capable as Majid’s, you’ll have something else to sing on loop before the big day arrives.
Concert: Sunday October 30, Commodre Ballroom