By Emma Kenny
MEGAPHONO is back this year to give Ottawa a showcase of some the best indie and emerging artists around! If you’ve been following us, you know we’re very excited about the amazing and diverse artists that will be in town. There’s something for everyone at MEGAPHONO 2018, so put on your parka and get ready to navigate the slush puddles, because this fest is worth ending your hibernation for.
Here are 10 MEGAPHONO performances featuring artists you won’t want to miss. Don’t forget to check out our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for the other rad artists we’ve already featured!
LAKE URMIA FEB. 8TH/LE MINOTAURE/10:15 PM
If you like dreamy synth sounds and moody lyrics, you’ll love Lake Urmia. Kat Pavelic and Elsa Mirzaei make muted melodies with a wide emotional range, addressing topics of queer identity, diaspora, and friend-love – you might find yourself dancing and crying.
CENTURY EGG FEB. 8TH/LE MINOTAURE/11:00 PM
Fronted by illustrator, video game designer, lyricist and vocalist Shane Keyu Song, Century Egg makes sweetly sincere indie-pop that’s fun as hell. With lyrics sung in both Mandarin and English that cover topics ranging from love and chosen family to eating tasty food, Century Egg will have you laughing and bopping.
LEANNE BETASAMOSAKE SIMPSON FEB. 9TH/NAC THEATRE/7:30 PM as part of the COLLABORATION NATIVE NORTH AMERICA GATHERING & FEB. 10TH/PRESSED/9:00 PM
Simpson is a renowned Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg artist, musician, poet, storyteller, and writer. Her compelling and powerful work disintegrates the boundary between story and song, showing the permeability, flexibility, and compatibility of two disciplines. Let Simpson carry you away and make you think deeply with her layered lyrics about the land, spirit, and body and sensuous arrangements.
BONNIE DOON FEB. 8TH/LE MINOTAURE/11:45 PM
Local surf-rockers Bonnie Doon have released their first full-length album and they’re ready to celebrate! Let them take you to a beach party in the middle of February with their sludgy, wavy jams. Grab a slice of pizza and get ready to get sweaty.
KING KIMBIT & BLACK WAX FEB. 8TH/TRIPLE 7/10:00 PM (WITH BAND) and FEB. 10TH/ORIGIN ARTS AND COMMUNITY CENTRE/3:00 PM (SOLO)
Originally Nguyễn Anh Thư, King Kimbit has was born and raised on unceded Algonquin territory and has travelled all over North America and Jamaica performing and recording. King Kimbit shares a message of love and light in her rhythmic poetry accompanied by musical arrangements. Celebrate the resiliency of women and the world in the face of the white cis heteropatriarchy with King.
MUZZY LEGAULT FEB. 9TH/27 CLUB/12:00 AM
If you like soulful vocals and experimental beats, you’ll flip for Muzzy Legault. An Ottawa singer-songwriter with a background in dance and theatre, Muzzy has been creating since a young age. Inspired by Aaliyah and TLC, Muzzy is creating music that spans the genres of jazz, rap, and hip-hop. Keep an eye out for more projects of hers coming in 2018 – you definitely don’t want to miss out.
SPARKLESAURUS FEB. 9TH/IRENE'S PUB/10:45 PM
Get fuzzy with Sparklesaurus, the Ottawa dream-pop group spreading glitter wherever they go. Felicity DeCarle’s vocals are nostalgic of 90s alt-girls, crooning emotionally raw lyrics that weave between shimmering synths and a powerful rhythm section. Sparklesaurus will take you on a journey that may sometimes be dark but always has a silver – and shiny – lining.
MELODY MCKIVER FEB. 9TH/NAC - THE SALON/5:30 PM
An Anishinaabe musician, visual artist, media artist, traditional powwow dancer and artist, and arts educator, Melody explores the possibilities and potential of the viola through a wide range of genres, collaborating with other artists like Lido Pimienta and working solo. Often incorporating laptop looping and processing, their music pushes boundaries and moves from minimalist to evocative to ambient to danceable. Get carried away on sonic waves that will put you in every kind of mood.
GRACE MARR FEB. 10TH/PRESSED/7:30 PM
Feel as much and as powerfully as you did when you were fourteen but with the maturity that the world has forced on you with Grace Marr. Her precise and far-ranging vocals will make you swoon and rekindle your dreams of nailing every high-note for a room full of captivated strangers.
NIGHTSHADES FEB. 10TH/DOMINION TAVERN/11:30 PM
If you’ve always thought that you were too soft for punk, Nightshades is here to prove you wrong. With songs ranging from garage rock to grunge to post-punk to alternative, there’s a little something for everyone in a Nightshades set. Mallory Giles’ graceful vocals tell bittersweet stories against the backdrop of a bassline tinged with darkness. Let Nightshades put you in the right mood to cope with the rest of winter.