Canadian Musician


CM Does M For Montreal, Day 2

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013


Canadian Musician correspondents Candice Dugas and Melanie Cheung are back with coverage of the 8th annual edition of M for Montreal.

Day 2 of M for Montreal was a bit of a relay race, transferring back and forth between Foxtrott and Solar Year at Casa del Popolo, and TOPS, Odonis Odonis, and Born Ruffians at Sala Rossa. Luckily, the venues are directly across the street from one another. Admittedly, it was comical to see the crowd of badge holders hustle busy St.Laurent traffic in between performances.

Our night started at Casa del Popolo for an intimate show by Montreal’s Foxtrott. Singer, songwriter, and self-taught producer, Marie-Hélène L. Delorme brings a confident rawness to her live performance. At times, her lyrics may teeter along fragility and vulnerability, but she delivers each song with such reassuring self awareness. With a backup cow bell and a friend accompanying on the French Horn, Foxtrott provided catchy electronic pop music to start the night right.


It was time to jet across the way to catch TOPS’ performance at Sala Rossa. Band members include Jane Penny, David Carriere, Riley Fleck, and Matthew Otto (a member of Magical Cloudz) accompanying on drums. The Montreal band as a whole looked like a casting call for My So Called Life with their vintage ’90s style. TOPS’ sound is a balance between new age pop and dreamy melodies of the past. Leading lady Jane Penny has a sweet innocence to her vocals, reminiscent of Tennis front woman Alaina Moore in that regard.

In between songs, Jane asked how the industry schmoozing was going and declared the band was open to any yacht disco party bookings. Their set ended with a romantic rendition of “Turn Your Love Around.”

Odonis Odonis

This was our cue to head back to Casa Del Popolo for Solar Year. With ties in Montreal and New York, David Ertel and Ben Borden form the electronic progressive pop band. Their stage was set with projections of glossy ivory interiors, fading into water. David’s vocals layered Ben’s electro arrangements in a hazy unison. Their entire set, visuals, vocals, and synth beats, could be summed up by watching Sting’s “Desert Rose” music video.

Gaining musical momentum, we had to dodge traffic again and return to Sala Rossa for the final performances of the night. Toronto’s Odonis Odonis hit the stage with a bang and did not relent on volume. In a nutshell, they’re loud. Dean Tzenos, Jarod Gibson, and Denholm Whale form this industrial punk band. Their music motivates head thrashing and moshing.

Fellow Torontonians, Born Ruffians headlined the M for Montreal evening. The indie rock band consisting of Luke Lalonde, Mitch Derosier, Andy Lloyd, and Steven Hamelin just came off their fall tour in support of their latest album, Birthmarks.

Born Ruffians

It was influenced mainly by their rural upbringing of chopping wood, building bonfires, and shooting beer cans with a bow and arrow.

Their set was filled with infectious energy and offset a fun dance party. Mitch, or as he was referred to that night, Mitch for Montreal, delighted the audience with his bass playing hairography moves. Although we were happy to hear their latest jams, “Needle” is always a crowd pleasure.

More coming up from Day 3…

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