Date: February 22, 2020
Time: 7:00 pm
It’s big. It’s back. It’s Calgary Folk Music Festival’s Block Heater 2020!
7:00 pm – 36?
8:35 pm – Catch and Release: Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, Sunglaciers, Carmanah, Amelie Patterson
10:25 pm – Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar
About 36? (via Block Heater)
Early in 2019, Taylor Cochrane posted what amounted to an artist statement to accompany the release of his band 36?’s album, Milk Mountain. In it, he both described and wrestled with his creative process and his intentions, and the pharmaceutically confused mindset he created in through his formative years. He had arrived, he said, at a conclusion: “one thing that I have come to need in art to consider it authentic is to feel everything unapologetically”. And indeed, 36? is both “everything” and “unapologetic.” Careening from spikey, prog-psych rock to gauzy, atmospheric explorations to retro tinged Thin White Duke soul, 36? occupies a dizzying number of sonic spaces on stage, on record and within a single song. At one moment Cochrane and Co. shimmy up to the Scissor Sisters, the next they’re bashing out art damaged agit-prop a la Wire, all while remaining satisfyingly honest – ironic winks and nods be damned. Having spent much of 2019 on the road, 36? return to their hometown a tour-tested live machine, none the wearier, though perhaps — just a bit — the weirder.
About Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar
Big, soaring, full-throated vocals fronting a dynamic big band, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar are a force of nature live. They’re a band that has honed its sound on the road, gig by gig, performing 500 shows in the past four years across Canada and Europe with a melange of gospel, blues, country and R&B into an intoxicating foot stomping brew, punctuated by organ, horns, a pair of co-vocalists, and tasty guitar riffs. Martin belts out original numbers about love, loss and desire with classic sounding soul melodies and simple but powerful harmonies. Each night, by the end of their blistering, sweaty set, they’ve left everything they had on the stage, and the audience catches their breath, already looking forward to the next time.
Sunglaciers produce reverb-soaked, guitar-driven psychedelic pop tunes balancing propulsive post-punk rhythms with warm, dreamy vocals. Starting as a solo project of singer/guitarist Evan Resnik (who also plays in local semi-supergroup Lab Coast), they have since expanded to become a four-piece band, allowing for fully fleshed-out and layered songs that maintain their dreamy atmosphere and pop sensibilities, even at the most noisy and frenetic moments. With the release of their first full length LP Foreign Bodies last fall, Sunglaciers are ready to prove themselves to be one of Canada’s most captivating psych acts.
Ethereal and exuberant – these two qualities walk hand in hand by the delightfully melodic musings of Carmanah. The name, borrowed from an ancient Vancouver Island rainforest, hints at the band’s ethics. They request no-plastic riders for their shows, their tour van’s fueled by used vegetable oil from local restaurants, while their music is powered by passion for sparking dialogue, rather than an argument, about our relationship with Earth – a dialogue. It’s a perfect use of beautiful songs, with nary a proselytizing moment rising over the misty West Coast horizon.
Their slightly vintage sound captures a longing for something not named nor touched; crisp production, sometimes spare, sometimes fattened on rhythms, horns and backing vocals, soothes that longing. Songwriter and vocalist Laura Mina Mitic creates songs out of revered island air, then coaxes them to her bandmates for touches and tightening. Her flowing Feisty vocals are the anchor; her reverence the ballast.
But it’s not all sweet sailing – her reflections on love lost and found and those moments between both while between the sheets keep it real, so real that a couple of songs from the album hit number one on the CBC’s Top Twenty, bespeaking a genuineness that resonates.
About Amelie Patterson
Banff’s inaugural poet-laureate blends artful indie-folk with ethereal soundscapes, creating a lush sonic pillow to catch her lilting, delicate melodies. Not content with merely working for herself, Patterson has built on her reputation, first in the Bow Valley and in recent years in the big city, by bringing musical artists of multiple disciplines together, creating a community-based piece of work she calls the Playlist, a series of diverse rolling singles, coherently organized into a body of work centred on a thematic through-line. Patterson plays with genre and mood throughout, experimenting in writing and pushing herself and her collaborators to darken the corners of her moody alt-folk sound-space.
Find more information about the timing and lineup here.