Halifax Pop Explosion // Five Performances to See // Part 1

Hi folks. It’s your annual Halifax Pop Explosion piece popping by again. I apologize for being a little later than usual this year but life has been busy, and with the unfortunate passing of Charles Bradley, I was a little shaken up. But do not fear, as I’ve been able to put together a lineup that boasts some of the coolest indie artists this musical country has to offer.

Just to be clear, all of the acts which have been booked for this year’s festival are worthy of being on this list, so to avoid playing favourites, I’ve asked Jeff, Mitch and Trevor to put together the list for me. Aside from this list, you can check out the full schedule here, and tickets can be purchased here.


Ralph – Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if Haim were to drop the instruments and move towards a more electronic, synth type sound? I know I haven’t, because Haim are awesome at what they do. However, if that were to happen I’m sure they would sound something along the lines of Toronto-based artist Ralph. With the resurgence of the ’80s vibe that has been taking place over the past year, it is only fitting that the ascendance of Ralph would coincide. If there was one act due to explode into the mainstream sooner than later, Ralph would be a good bet.


When – Thursday, October 19th

Where – The Marquee Ballroom at 10:00 pm


Designosaur – What goes around, comes around would be what comes to mind with Designosaur.  Dialing things back to the ’90s when acts like Weezer, Doughboys and The Smashing Pumpkins held court, this three-piece alt-rock group from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, are still new and raw enough to have the confidence that they’re creating something new and fresh. When you find a band with that attitude, great things could ensue.


When – Thursday, October 19th

Where – The Seahorse at 11:15 pm


Megan Nash – Advertised as unapologetically open and honest, Megan Nash has spent the past few years honing and perfecting her craft. With her highly anticipated album Seeker in tow, Nash makes her way to this year’s festival as the songstress most likely to make you yearn for more. Sliding somewhere between Dolly Parton and Gwen Stefani, Nash will leave you crying at the altar while begging for more.


When – Friday, October 20

Where – The Carleton at 9:00 pm


Aron D’AlesioAnother act turning back the musical clock, only this time to the more innocent times of the ’60s. Playing like a hazy dream, D’Alesio is a blend of bubblegum, jukebox pop with Alex Turner (of the Arctic Monkeys) as the front man. It would be easy to picture all of D’Alesio’s songs playing in the background of any Tarantino film. This is arguably my most anticipated show of the festival.


When – Wednesday, October 18

Where – The Seahorse at 10:30pm


Vogue Dots – I’ve had the pleasure of viewing the Vogue Dots on multiple occasions, and have walked away each time more impressed than the last. Their sound, described as electronic dreampop, is instantly palpable and leaves the listener completely consumed in ways least expected. There is also no better setting than The Marquee to see this duo.


When – Thursday, October 19

Where – The Marquee Ballroom at 9:15pm

About the author


Jeff is one-fourth of the group that makes up HAFILAX. His usual ramblings can be read right here on the website. If reading isn't your thing, he also hosts the Basement Tapes podcast.