Our subjective rundown of songs by artists coming to the Squamish Valley Music Festival.
Mumford & Sons
And while you weren’t looking (or listening), Mumford & Sons ditched the banjos and acoustic guitars, pledged undying devotion to Kings of Leon, and transformed into an honest-to-God rock ’n’ roll band.
In a song almost entirely about weed, guest MC (and noted nontoker) Kendrick Lamar steals the damn show with a multilingual verse in which he declares, “I’m more than a man, I’m a god.” Suck on that, Kanye!
Stay the Night
Remember who won Cover Me Canada? Neither does anyone else. We do know that Ali Milner was booted off the short-lived CBC reality/talent show. Now she has reinvented herself as electro-pop siren Willa, and if the rest of her songs are as soaringly awesome as this, she’ll be laughing last.
Fuck the People
Fuck the people indeed, and not just the ones who’ve never gotten the Kills’ brand of double-grimed, minimalist-minded rock. Fuck the police, your teachers, your parents, and your priest. Oh, yeah—and fuck Donald Trump and his hair.
Anyone who cites Blind Willie Johnson and the Gun Club as primary influences is okay by us. Actually, never mind “okay”. We’re buying the whisky shots, Benjamin Booker—all you have to do is keep rawk-ing like Jack White circa White Blood Cells.
The party, unfortunately, can’t rage all weekend. At some point your liver, lungs, and eardrums need a break. Cue up “Babylon”, on which SZA proves herself a downtempo queen with her own private chillout tent.Hannah Wants (with Chris Lorenzo) “Rhymes” Sorry, rockers, but it sometimes seems like all the fun at finer music festivals is takingplace in the EDM tent. Hannah Wants drops beats with the best of them on the bass-bombed banger “Rhymes”. Pass the Red Bull.
Flashed Junk Mind
Think Beck smoking the world’s biggest fatty with early Bob Dylan and then hitting a fantastically sun-splashed stage with the backing of the Bembeya Jazz National orchestra. Heaven sounds like this on 4/20.
Night and Day
“Weird-ass superfunk disco” is a descrip-tion that comes from Hot Chip’s label, but it fits “Night and Day”, with its elastic synth-bass line and ready-for-the-floor beat. Its video features Lara Stone, Reggie Watts, and Terence Stamp, and is utterly baffling.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Spread Your Love
Oh, sure, you’ll check out Drake’s mopey rap and Sam Smith’s old-school ballads and whatever it is Mumford & Sons does. But if you have any sense at all, the real reason you’re going to Squamish is fuzz-blasted psych-blues rockers like “Spread Your Love”.
Next of Kin
Such a jaunty, jangly little ditty! And then you read the words (“No colour to his skin/Inform the next of kin”) and realize it’s about the narrator’s boyfriend drowning in a river. Sometimes you’re better off not looking at the lyric sheet!