Four on the Floor: Canadian Bands

Written by Rory Burbeck | Friday, Jan 17, 2014

Canada is a beautiful country and a hotbed of musical creativity. Although we have a ton of bands coming to SXSW from Canada, we have been neglecting our friends to north so far in our Four on the Floor series. That changes today. Our first (and certainly not last) post on Canadian artists features Americana, EDM, blues, and hip hop. Let's get to it!


The Deep Dark Woods recorded their recently released album, Jubilee, in the middle of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. The quiet wilderness almost certainly contributed to the soothing sound of the record, which features an effortless blend of folk and rock.
RIYL: Blitzen Trapper, Calexico

SXSW 2014 Band The Deep Dark Woods


An EDM trio that has become “the face of an urban Native youth renaissance,” A Tribe Called Red use their incredibly unique sound, which includes intense electronic beats and samples of stunning Native chanting, to speak out on issues facing descendants of Native North Americans. The trio of DJs hosts a club night, called Electric Pow Wow, each month in Ottawa.
RIYL: Das Racist, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

SXSW 2014 Artist A Tribe Called Red


The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer pack so much energy into their songs that it’s hard to believe the band is just two people. Shawn Hall - “the harpoonist” - with his soulful vocals and sweltering harmonica, and Matthew Rogers - “the axe murderer” - on guitar and drums have combined to create a blistering blues sound, with lyrics covering themes like heartbreak and addiction.
RIYL: The White Stripes, Black Pistol Fire

SXSW 2014 Band The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer


Artists like Grand Analog are rare in the hip hop world. Combining a full band setup with the traditional MC and DJ arrangement, the music of Grand Analog is steady, groovy, and upbeat in all of its aspects - from the rhyming to the instrumentation. This Toronto-based band is led by two brothers, vocalist Odario Williams and DJ Ofield Williams, who were undoubtedly influenced by their father - a reggae DJ in the 1980s.
RIYL: Solillaquists of Sound, The Roots

SXSW 2014 Band Grand Analog

Keep up with the list of showcasing artists here.

Photo credits:
The Deep Dark Woods photo courtesy of the artist
A Tribe Called Red photo courtesy of the artist
The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer photo courtesy of the artist
Grand Analog photo courtesy of the artist