10 artists you can’t miss at Ottawa Explosion Weekend


by Emma Kenny

With the infamous Ottawa Explosion Weekend just around the corner, it feels like summer has finally arrived in the capital. Join in the fun of this amazing fest with our top ten picks below and reject the idea that Ottawa is boring.


Eva Moolchan has been making noise and waves under her stage name Sneaks in the DIY punk scene of Washington D.C. since 2014. We love the way that Sneaks takes up space with her minimalist, mechanical beats and deadpan vocal style. Get bopping at her set at the 27 Club, Thursday June 14, at 11:00 PM.


Local hardcore punk stars DOXX will be making their third appearance at OXW this year. Fronted by the grotesque glamour of Sof Shu’s vocals and look and backed by relentless riff and driving drumbeats, this set is guaranteed to be a fun time. Catch them live at the Dom, Friday June 15, 10 PM.

Crossed Wires

This hazy pop-punk trio of Halifax shredders are not to be missed. The dripping guitar melodies of Kayla Stevens put you in mind of a melting ice cream cone while the rhythmic bass and catchy lyrics of Heather Grant get you hopping. They’ll be playing on Saturday June 16 at 2:30 PM - check the OXW website for the TBD venue.


A three-piece post-punk/garage outfit from Montreal, Heather’s has been rocking together since 2012. Their most recent album, Midnight is a Place, was released last month. The group’s nostalgic, grungey sound will have you feeling like Buffy Summers out at The Brass for a night. See them Friday, June 15 at Black Squirrel Books, 11 PM.

Fruit and Flowers

This four-piece punk rock band from Brooklyn, NY has been touring relentlessly  all last year promoting their debut EP Drug Tax, and we’re very stoked to see them come to Ottawa. Emotive guitar and warm, assured vocals give the group a sound like summer nights in the city. They’re live at the 27 Club on Wednesday, June 13 at 11:15 PM.


Get lost in the solo instrumental/experimental project of Gan, also known as respectfulchild. Their stage moniker is the direct English translation of their Mandarin name 敬兒, and their layered, intricate soundscapes act as a way of seeking meaning in that name after a lifetime in the predominantly white environment of the Canadian Prairies. See them live on Friday, June 15 at 10:00 PM in the cozy nook of Black Squirrel Books.

Blood Beach

Halifax trio Blood Beach is keeping rock music cute with feedback heavy, bass-driven tracks designed to make you fall back in love with pop punk. Their noisy tunes will get you in the pit, and the fun, bratty vocals of Taylor Furey will surely be the cherry on top of this sonic sundae. Come jam Halifax style at 2 PM at the Clocktower, Saturday, June 16.


OXW gets bilingual this year with Quebec QC punk trio Victime. The group released their new LP, La Femme Taupe, in February and here to remind us what punk is all about. Their combination of polished riot grrl vocals with noisy guitar and dependable drums will definitely get you dancing. Don’t miss out on their set - Thursday, June 14, 10:00PM at the 27 Club.


An emerging Anishinaabe artist and producer from Toronto, Ziibiwan will take you on a journey through their ambient electronic visions. Their debut EP Time Limits was released in 2016, and since then they’ve continued to work and perform at a variety of fests. Ziibiwan creates mystical soundscapes to get you out of your body and into the fabric of the universe. Catch them Friday, June 15 at Black Squirrel books at 1 AM.


This four-piece Montreal-via-St. John’s band brings the party with their repertoire of power pop bops. BBQT supplies sharp guitar riffs and relatable tracks, all with a distinctive east coast flavour. With genius lyrics that play on high waisted shorts and being high and wasted in shorts sung in Amery Sandford’s sweet tones, this group truly has something for everyone. Join the kitchen party Friday, June 15 at the Clocktower at 8:15 PM.