I had one of those moments last night, the kind where my love for this city (and particularly my new neighbourhood) filled up my heart and vibrated the air around me. It happened as I sat on the school-tile floor of the basement of the Drake Hotel, surrounded by some of the most beautiful tunes I've heard live.
The band was The Wilderness of Manitoba
, (click to listen and love) and their music, with its cello and banjo and ukulele and samples of birdsong honestly spoke to my soul. Last time this happened was when I went to see Evening Hymns
and Bruce Peninsula
, this feeling I'd only had at a few previous concerts, where the air became somehow thicker, the strains of all the instruments and the many voices singing at once almost visible and wrapping around me, causing my skin to goosebump and making me shiver with joy.
I seem to have a real thing for bands with more than one vocalist, who sing in unison and create gorgeous, layered, folky mountain-treeroot-darkearth songs with pulses so vivid they almost have a life of their own. Sitting there in the Drake's basement, with its 70s-prom vibe and spinning disco ball, I let the notes cascade over me and through me and in those moments I was perfectly content.
Sigh. So wonderful.
The Wilderness of Manitoba was actually the opener and it was one of those rare times when, while I definitely enjoyed the main band (Horsefeathers, from Portland), it was the opening band who really struck me with their brilliance. All in all it was an evening of glorious music and being able to walk home afterwards was just the icing on the tasty tune cake. Also, I am now in love with the basement of the Drake - lovely little venue, and the fact they let us get all cosy on the floor was awesome. Made the show seem a bit warmer, somehow.
In conclusion, check out all three bands I've linked to above, for they are fantastic and will make you want to run through the forest while singing at the top of your lungs (I promise).