Toronto bands NXNE 2013

The top 10 Toronto bands to catch at NXNE 2013

The roster of Toronto bands at NXNE 2013reminds one that life isn't all sunshine and lollipops. Sometimes tough decisions have to be made, particularly during festival season. North by Northeast is no exception. The math will never add up. Hundreds of bands. Five nights. One body (yours, most likely). What do you do? Well, let me try to help by suggesting some amazing (and local) bands you should check out. No time-turners required.

DIANA | Thursday, June 13 | The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern (10pm)
This local band has been making a name for itself this past year, opening for international bands such as CHVRCHES during Canadian Music Week as well as playing with beloved national band Tegan and Sara this summer. Our prophetic powers in November called them a Breakout Band, and they've done more than break out (to their own surprise) - they've knocked down every wall. With their first full-length record being released by JAGJAGUWAR in the States and Paper Bag Records in Canada this August, their indie, eclectic, 90s-effing-saxophone sound will leave you wanting more. And if you're lucky enough to see them, you should stick around at the Horseshoe for the next band...

Moon King | Thursday, June 13 | The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern (11pm)
What's not to like about grunge-pop gone reverb and introspective? With two EPs to their name out from One Big Silence (Obsession I and Obsession II), Daniel Woodhead and Maddy Wilde are bringing their "reverb-layered surfaces with punchy playing and swooning melodies" to your eagerly awaiting ears. If you want to learn more about them prior to the big day, check out our (once again prescient) Breakout Band post on them.

BEAMS | Friday, June 14 | The Central (12am)
BEAMS is the cure for the electro/synth/pop hangover you're bound to get a couple days into the fest. Soulful vocals, melodic and bittersweet banjo, and folksy roots indie rock will drive your boots to stomping and bodies to swaying. With their debut album Just Rivers arriving soon, they've got a lot of love to share.

The Beaches | Friday, June 14 | The Rivoli (10pm)
If you like the sounds of Patti Smith, The White Stripes, and other hooky, pared-down rock'n'roll bands, this all-female rock group from the Eastside is bound to make your body move.

WickedWitches | Thursday, June 13 | The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (9pm) Also: Sunday, June 16 | Measure (11pm)
Take a trip back in time. This bluesy, surfy, at times calypso-y band brings a ton of energy to the stage, and their 50s rock sound will make you wish you were wearing that pair of super retro shoes you left back at home tonight. Described as "what you hope people were doing in their garages in the 50s" on the NXNE website, they are bound to blow the socks off of your now shoeless feet (as you've already volunteered to start the sock hop).

Ostrich Tuning | Friday, June 14 | Creatures Creating (12am)
Having released their newest album In her highest Moon the same week in February as My Bloody Valentine, and garnering as many comparisons with the aforementioned band re: shoegazing, Ostrich Tuning stands on its own as a uniquely reverb-friendly, droney, vocally inclined band. With satisfyingly atmospheric builds and self-consciously dissonant sounds, they will pull at both your heartstrings and head at once.

Fresh Snow | Saturday, June 15 | Creatures Creating (1am)
A 2013 Wavelength Incubator Band, Fresh Snow is getting a leg up during festival season as they hit the road this summer with Del Bel and Most People. Before they do, however, they'll be hitting NXNE and they've got one hell of a show to play. With a shoegaze-y, cerebral sound including electronic, orchestral, pop, and synth elements, long build-ups, and noisy fills, they live up to their description of "difficult music for easy people."

The BB Guns | Saturday, June 15 | Lee's Palace (9pm)
If you're looking for a break from the shoegaze type, look no further (well, further than your shoes at least). Just last month, the BB Guns released their EP Baby, I Hate You, a combination of 60s pop and 70s punk that is perfect for the oncoming summer. Their upbeat, edgy music will make you wish you had a beer in your hand and the sun at your back. At least one of those is possible at the show.

Wordburglar | Thursday, June 13 | Sneaky Dee's (9pm)
Always clever, often hilarious, and a super friendly guy, Wordburglar should already be in your list of top hip hop acts in Toronto. His description on the NXNE website will convince you of that fact in about five seconds flat. Enjoy.

"I'm Wordburglar and I totally wrote this bio. I've got more lines than cokeheads playing Tetris. Bram from Sharon Lois and Bram was in one of my videos. You're probably googling me right now so check my latest record 3RDBURGLAR. It's awesome and my live show kicks ass. Hope to see you. xoxo."

Lonnie in the Garden | Thursday, June 13 | The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (12am)
With a voice that begs to be compared to Jeff Buckley's gripping and soulful style, lead singer Lynne Craven fronts the band's inspired and heart-jamming tunes as they traverse the gamut of genres - psychedelic, blues, gospel, rock. While they're not technically from Toronto, they play here often enough to qualify in my books - and their sound is worth claiming.

For more on what to catch at NXNE, check out our main preview post.

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