The centre of Canada is returning to Toronto next month, and it’s bringing some stellar indie music. The Manitoba Music Export showcase is set to pack them in at the Horseshoe Tavern on October 24, featuring performances from dark synthpop duo Ghost Twin, indie pop singer/songwriter Boniface, hip hop artist Hellnback, and noisey punk trio Tunic.
This will mark the seventh year in a row that Manitoba Music has invited music fans and industry insiders to Toronto culture haunts for shows featuring some of Canada’s most buzzworthy emerging acts. Each of the 2017 showcase artists have been garnering praise and making waves.
Ghost Twin is dark synthpop that combines roaring synthlines, dirty pulsing bass, dreamy guitar, and a haunting vocal dichotomy where Baroque meets industrial, with live video percussion that feeds cinema through a cut-up technique imbued with occult aesthetics. The husband and wife duo has been turning heads with its 2017 album, Plastic Heart, released by Winnipeg label Head In The Sand.
Indie pop project Boniface, aka emerging singer/songwriter Micah Visser, takes its name from the unique Winnipeg enclave of Saint Boniface. Fresh from a coveted turn at Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival and known for his powerful, lyrical, and personal songs Boniface has recently released his new single, “I will not return as a tourist”, which earned international attention after its debut on BBC Radio 1 this fall.
Hailing from the Samson Cree Nation, Carmen Omeasoo aka Hellnback is no stranger to the music industry. Earning nods as co-founder of Warparty and as part of acclaimed hip hop collective Team Rezofficial, Hellnback picked up an Indigenous Music Award in 2015 in recognition for his contribution to music and community while his album #FOE=Family Over Everything also won him new fans. He has collaborated with artists such as A Tribe Called Red, and most recently DJ Shub and Snotty Nose Rez Kids, and Mob Bounce for his second release off the new solo album titled, #1491.
Arty noise punk trio Tunic recently unveiled Boss, its follow-up to last year’s debut EP, Disappointment. Dissonant, yet abrasive, Boss features punishing bass and drums, the surgical cuts and hisses of guitar, and gravelly vocals. Conceived in a musty room above a cellphone repair shop, Boss’ songs were honed in basements, warehouses, and bars across North America and they will continue to do so throughout 2017.
The Toronto showcase is part of a busy season for Manitoba Music, which has been supporting showcases in Hamburg, Nashville, and Denver, including an artist exchange event in Minneapolis with MPR’s The Current. Bringing Manitoba music to new markets and intensifying trade activity in existing markets is a key component of Manitoba Music Export initiatives. Manitoba Music Export is funded by the Province of Manitoba, FACTOR and the Government of Canada, Manitoba Film & Music, and Manitoba Trade & Investment. Through events like these, Manitoba Music is able to increase the connection between our province’s music industry and the broader national and international industry, which is vital to the career advancement of Manitoba artists and industry professionals, and contributes to the growth and development of Manitoba’s economy.