Photograph by Christopher Nelson

Though not the first of the major summer festivals, Sasquatch! sure felt like early summer. The Gorge Amphitheatre is nestled in the eastern foothills of the Cascades just outside George, Washington (really), the mountains to the west managed to keep the coastal rains at bay, but the altitude and dry air made for some sunburnt days and brisk nights. We were woefully unprepared for these climatic factors, not to mention the sheer scope of this year’s lineup. Festivals like this one lure you in with a laundry list of bands you would love to see, and then dash those dreams when the schedule is announced and you realize you will only be able to see approximately a third of them – given you’re still standing at the end of the day.

Some tough choices were made to give you the best coverage we could, that is we made game-time decisions and saw whatever we felt like. It would have been lovely to have seen more up and comers but schedule conflicts and the occasional sleep-in (see Day Three) conspired against that notion. Sasquatch!, despite its laid-back west coast feel, is still a commercial festival. If you want cutting edge, beg one of our Toronto writers to cover NXNE, you probably won’t have to beg too hard. What follows is our take on the best of Sasquatch! Music Festival 2010, day by day.

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— , June 9, 2010    3 Comments

Photograph by Chris La Putt

The Wild Hunt emotes like a restless child – a tacit resolution paints Kristian Matsson in a positive light – unruly, expressive, and urgent. Following-up his debut Shallow Grave and several months of touring with Bon Iver, Matsson delights with raspy vocals and an elegant guitar. The Wild Hunt strays from its predecessor with respect to instrumentation as Matsson explores the piano and banjo in conjunction to familiar finger-plucked harmonies on guitar. Matsson’s Dylan-esque vocals provide a striking contrast to the humble guitar and delicate storytelling while divulging aged idealism. The Wild Hunt marks the Tallest Man on Earth’s first release on Dead Oceans as he joins labelmates Phosphorescent and Bowerbirds this April.

The Tallest Man on Earth elicits an unspoken beauty while describing the northern countryside in a vibrant tone from fragile flower petals to mighty rivers. The Wild Hunt is a dynamic record in that it wanders with an unrelenting curiosity, the album pleads for interpretation opting to show rather than tell. Matsson is wistful on ‘A Lion’s Heart’ tugging at the warmth of reunion singing, “Well there’s no real goodbye if you mean it, so I guess I’m forever alone.” The Wild Hunt reads like an introspective memoir – treasuring the past while meandering serenely through the tall grass at present.

The eponymous title track rings with Matsson’s echoing vocals that resemble a Sufjan Stevens-like elegance when combined with a strummed banjo. The Tallest Man on Earth avoids stagnation as The Wild Hunt truly blooms with romanticism on ‘You’re Going Back’ aching with honesty and compassion. The track explodes with hidden wisdom and finds Matsson emoting with a desperate fervour. Comparatively, ‘King of Spain’ celebrates the transformative spirit of affection in a playful manner with the lyrics, “I never knew I was a lover, just ‘cause I steal the things you hide, just ‘cause I focus while we’re dancing, just ‘cause I offered you a ride.” Matsson offers a reason to revel in love, loss, and desperation because what else do we have if not our tales?

The Tallest Man on Earth – You’re Going Back
The Tallest Man on Earth – King of Spain

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— , May 7, 2010    3 Comments


The leaves are turning green, flowers are blooming and if you live in Toronto the smog is slowly starting to settle in; all signs of spring. With the warmer weather and themes of renewal, growth and romance on the horizon, Ca Va Cool presents a seasonally fitting mixtape. Whether you head outdoors for a weekend escape or you find yourself strolling through the park on a lunch break, take a moment to enjoy the following bands that have clearly nailed the spirit of such a lovely season.

Download | The ‘Under a Cherry Blossom’ Mixtape

Fleet Foxes

01 | Fleet Foxes – Sun It Rises

Fleet Foxes are a five-piece group from Seattle with soothing guitars and mesmerizing vocals. ‘Sun It Rises’ is also the opening track on their acclaimed self-titled album released last June. The variety of carefully plucked acoustic arrangements accompanied by Robin Pecknold’s voice have the ability shake the deepest slumber as Fleet Foxes scoff at hibernation. The band is currently on tour and they’ll be making two stops in Canada – Montréal and Toronto on August 3 and 4, respectively.


02 | Air France – June Evenings

Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, the blissful electronic duo of Henri and Joel produce rhythmic pop music that quickly carries you away. ‘June Evenings’ off their No Way Down EP is analogous to sensory overload from the sounds of birds chirping to imagery of the first rays of sunshine peering through your bedroom curtains. The group is yet to release a full-length album but to their credit, the music they have produced to date is as close as anyone has reached to dream pop perfection. To quote Air France, “Give in, it’s spring”.

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— , May 18, 2009    4 Comments