10 Must-see bands at NXNE


Evidently everyone is excited to see St. Vincent, Spoon, Danny Brown or Sleigh Bells at the NXNE this year, which, we’ll point out, are all free shows at Yonge-Dundas Square. In our humble opinion, the best part about multi-day music festivals is discovering new music – finding that new favorite band, new favorite song, being pleasantly surprised and fighting an urge to dance. In that spirit we’ve pulled together a shortlist of must-see up and coming bands. 

A Sol Mechanic 

A Sol Mechanic, real name David Blazer, is a Los Angeles based chillwave producer. But let’s not underestimate the definition of chill music, this is not something you sleep to (though if you did, you’d sleep real well). Blazer’s production skills clearly show in his masterful layering of delicate percussion and occasional hip hop or trip hop beats, resulting in luscious collected slow build tracks that work their way through you from your toes to the tip of your nose. Can’t think of a better way to wrap up a Thursday night.

Thursday, June 19 @ 2 AM, Handlebar
Thursday, June 19 @ 3 AM, Handlebar

Diamond Bones

A 3-piece chick indie band from Montreal, though they try to stay away from placing themselves in the single genre basket. Admittedly that goes for most bands these days, everyone is a blend of something. Diamond Bones are a blend of dream pop, indie electronic music – in their own definition, tribal dream pop. What they really do, however, is spread the joy of retro beats paired with punchy lyrics across the dance floor like confetti. Dance with them.

Thursday, June 19 @ 8 PM, Silver Dollar Room

Fine Times

A duo from BC, comprised of Matthew Moldowan and Jeffrey Josiah Powell, known for their synth-based indie pop tunes. You may know these two from the track released over a year a go called “Hey Judas”, one of those songs that immediately becomes the anthem for summer and summer-like days. It is that similar feel that you can expect from the live show.

Thursday, June 19 @ 11 PM, Handlebar


Foxtrott, aka Marie-Hélène L. Delorme, is a one woman show. She’s a self-taught singer and producer who spent years looking for her sound and she’s figured it out. Delorme produces dance floor friendly rhythmic beats overlaid with lyrics based on her personal experiences. Give her a chance, you just might be pleasantly surprised. 

Wednesday, June 18 @ 10 PM, venue changed to MOD Club


Another LA based duo that has gotten attention from the likes of Billboard, Noisey, and Fader mags. Their raw pop music layered over bouncy retro electronic beats caught the attention of multiple music labels after their performance at CMJ, but Nistico and Diller decided to take it slow, spending their time sharing their music, genuinely, with the people of North America. See them while they’re small. 

Thursday, June 19 @ 11 PM, Tattoo


Kiings call themselves musical chemists. And that’s a bold statement for electronic music producers. This Milwaukee based duo has been producing stellar originals and remixes that promise to have a little something for everyone, from EDM fanatics to the regular folks in plaid shirts.

Friday, June 20 @ 8 PM, Wrongbar


This Montreal based trio is making music about subtle relationships of sadness and warmth. Yes, that’s pretty deep, but the result is fairly simple dream-pop, the kind that starts your day off on a light step or withers the night away into a slow walk home. Either way it’s a show worth checking out.

Thursday, June 19 @ 1 AM, Silver Dollar Room
Saturday, June 21 @ 7 PM, Smiling Buddha

Small Black

Jagjaguwar’s Brooklyn based four-piece indie band, is on the chillwave side of things. Small Black recently released a critically acclaimed  EP, Real People, inspired by “Colton Harris-Moore aka ‘The Barefoot Bandit’, a teenager from rural Washington who went on a crime spree/adventure, sleeping in people’s vacation homes and stealing and crashing airplanes.” Now who wouldn’t want to hear that live?

Friday, June 20 @ 12 AM, Edward Day Gallery
Saturday, June 21 @ 1 AM, The Garrison 


Brooklyn’s Snowmine put a lot of craft in their music. Their last album, Dialects, was meant to have a more organic sound than studio records do, so they recorded all the synths in an open space. The result is wide open sound that travels like ocean waves through the space, Grayson Sanders’ voice is very gentle and effortless, making the whole project feel like a frolic in the park. 

Friday, June 20 @ 7 PM, St. James Gazebo   
Saturday, June 21 @ 11 PM, The Garrison

Tei Shi

Tei Shi is Valerie Teicher’s solo project based on haunting vocals and minimal instrumentation. Her music has a fantasy feel to it, in Teicher’s words this is “mermaid music” andwe can roll with that. 

Thursday, June 19 @ 9 PM, Baltic Avenue
Friday, June 20 @ 9 PM, Wrongbar

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