Canada always gets the good stuff first; Leif Vollebekk’s latest album, North Americana, didn’t drop stateside until January 28. Vollebekk, from Montreal, is one talented guy—singing and playing the guitar, piano, harmonica, and fiddle—and he crafts songs so mesmerizing that they’ll leave you with tears in your eyes. “Southern United States” is a particular favorite. Leif embodies the SXSW spirit, playing year after year and everywhere, including in the street. A stunning performer with a folksy/bluesy voice and somber style, Vollebekk is sure to steal your heart. More at leifvollebekk.com.
The Pack a.d.
This Vancouver duo lit up Mohawk this week with an energetic set of their distinctive drumbeat-driven, sexily-snarled garage rock. Their latest album, Do Not Engage, dropped just two weeks ago; its first single, “Big Shot,” was near the top of CBC Radio 3’s list of best Canadian indie songs of 2013. Wear a helmet, this shit could get serious. More at thepackad.com.
Rich Aucoin could make better use of the slogan “Taste the Rainbow” than any candy could. How many artists end their show with the audience huddling under a giant billowing sheet, lights aflutter and confetti bursting overhead? Rich Aucoin’s live shows are not simply something to hear, they are something to experience. If his electro-pop grooves and incredible audience interaction can’t get you dancing, you should probably reevaluate your being at SXSW. More at richaucoin.ca.
For more information on all the 100+ Canadian artists coming to SXSW 2014, as well as the latest news, music, and Austin-area shows featuring Canadian independent artists, tune in to This Great White North, every Friday at 4:30 PM on KOOP 91.7 FM and online at KOOP.org. And keep an eye on thisgreatwhitenorth.com for all the latest lineups and news on Canadian artists coming to Austin.
For the complete list of Canadian artists coming to SXSW, bookmark our SXSW 2014 page—it’ll be updated with new artists as they’re announced!