Kobra & The Lotus
What: Heavy Metal
Where: Calgary, AB
Although they may not be a household name quite yet, it could simply be a matter of time before people all over Canada – and the world – know Calgary heavy metal/hard rock band Kobra & The Lotus.
Since their formation in 2009, the group, fronted by the impressive Kobra Paige on vocals, has steadily built an dedicated fan base via three full-length efforts and heavy international touring. Later this year, the group will be releasing what will arguably be their most ambitious effort to date, a double album called Prevail. The group successfully crowdfunded the forthcoming effort, ultimately reaching 112 percent of their goal, a testament to the widespread appeal and relevance of the band.
What: Rock, Blues
Where: Hamilton, ON
Like The White Stripes, The Black Keys, and Royal Blood before them, Montreal blues-rock band Les Deuxluxes prove that, sometimes, less can be more. Comprised of just two members, guitarist-vocalist Anna Frances Meyer and drummer Etienne Barry, this duo wholeheartedly bashes out the blues with a definite rock edge and hints of garage and rockabilly thrown in for good measure.
The songs on the group’s latest release, Traitement Deuxluxe, harbour a raw energy that pays tribute to the ethos of the aforementioned groups while carving a path that is soulful, powerful, and uniquely theirs. Les Deuxluxes ultimately show that Canadians can indeed play ball when it comes to churning out gritty rock and roll.
What: Soul, Rock
Where: Hamilton, ON
With big names like Steve Bigas (Taj Mahal) and Daniel Lanois (U2, Bob Dylan) credited as producers on Dirty Cheat, the debut EP from Hamilton’s Laura Cole, some might be drawn to her music out of curiosity alone. The good news, however, is that Cole has the goods to warrant your time.
Cole’s vocal talent is simply undeniable, showcasing influences from the likes of Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, and Amy Winehouse. She pulls no punches throughout Dirty Cheat, choosing to exercise the demons of infidelity on the appropriately named title track while “Death Row” solemnly (yet also somewhat playfully) documents the end of a relationship. “These songs are my catharsis,” she says. “Honest stories I am telling because I have nothing to hide.” Combined with her talent, Cole’s honest approach to her subject matter is sure to resonate with music fans from coast to coast.
The Midnight Sons Band
Where: Whitehorse, Yukon
Slight shades of the jam band scene and the Allman Brothers abound in the sound of Whitehorse’s The Midnight Sons Band. The group, formed in late 2012, employs melodic guitar, soulful vocals, and occasional time signature bending drums to create a sound that is at once dynamic and unique, drawing from contemporary rock, blues, and folk music. Earlier this year, The Midnight Sons Band celebrated the release of their debut record, Traction.
The album’s title track serves as the perfect complement to the Yukon’s seemingly endless summer days while they flex their muscles a little more prominently on “Next Time Around” and “Contraband.” Following in the footsteps of acts like The Sheepdogs, The Midnight Sons Band could be destined for a career of rock and roll glory.