Friday Night Soundtrack, (HPX 2013 Edition)

With the overwhelming line-up of artists/bands playing at Halifax Pop Explosion 2013, I thought I’d make an intitial list of must sees for this year’s festival. Of course, my list of must sees will probably change, as we have yet to see some of the non-headliners to make the line-up. But more than likely I’ll be checking out these bands at Halifax Pop Explosion…

By Divine Right, “Come For A Ride”

Halifax Pop Explosion has always been known to dig into it’s roots, and pull out some bands that had originated from the 90’s. Last year, we saw the return of The Super Friendz, and Cool Blue Halo who both played amazing shows at the Marquee. This year, we see the return of indie rock band, By Divine Right. They’ve just released their new album, “Organzined Accidents”, and have been touring since June in support of that album.  it’s only seems fitting to see them play this year at HPX.

Japandroids, “The Boys Are Leaving Town”

These guys are no strangers to Halifax Pop Explosion as they’ve played at the Marquee (which was known as the Paragon) a few years ago. This duo from Vancouver play an alternative rock, but are known for a more loud aggressive sound (It wouldn’t be HPX without a few of these bands). Their intial release, “Post Nothing” is quite amazing and would  compare them to Joel Plaskett’s old band, Thrush Hermit. The band’s vocals are fast and full of energy, while the guitar sound can be quite over-bearing. They followed up with “Celebration Rock” last year which had gotten quite a bit of good reviews. They appear to be at the top of the list at this year’s festival (judging by the poster), and rightfully so.

No Joy, “Hare Tarot Lies”

I”m fairly new to this band and after listening to “Hare Tarot Lies”, and “Lunar Phobia”, which both appear off of their album, “Wait To Pleasure”, I thought I’d check out the rest of their music. They’re pretty good. Their music lies between being dream-pop, and kinda shoegaze. They opened for Best Coast (fan of), which they were praised by the lead singer as being “the best band ever”. (They’re good, but not that awesome, sorry). They’ll probably end up being the sleeper of the festival (the one band that everyone overlooks), but I’m letting you know to check them out.

Braids, “In Kind”

When Halifax Pop Explosion was teasing about the initial release of their line-up, it kinda had me guessing who they would bring on. Braids, the one, and only band that I had right in my speculation are playing this year, and their definitely one band to write about. They just released an EP, entitled “In Kind/Amends, which had been getting a lot of praise, especially from their track, “In Kind”. They also have a new album coming out this month, “Flourish/Perish”, so it only makes sense for this band from Montreal to tour this October in Halifax. Take this track for a listen, the vocals seem to juggle quite a bit through the beats, similar to Amber Coffman of The Dirty Projectors. Their sound is quite original though, it’ll be interesting to see what venue they play at, and who they play with.

Zeus, “Are You Gonna Waste My Time?”

Last band, on my initial list of must sees, Zeus! Their a bit of an odd ball when compared to the large assortment of noise/indie rock bands that play Halifax Pop Explosion. But this festival has always been known for it’s diversity, so Zeus is a warm welcome to the line-up. These guys are very old school/hard rock, and they would be easy to tag comparisons to. I’ve seen a few comparisons to Boston, Foghat, ELO, but dig deep, cause they cover a large amount of styles. I actually thought they sounded more like the Beatles, or Queen than anything. But you go watch a few of their music videos, and you’ll how good this band actually is. They seem like a lot of fun, and will be interesting to see what they bring to the table at HPX 2013.

About the author


Me, I'm an avid music goer, documenting/photographing Halifax's music scene. I like loud shows, and long walks on the beach.