Frenchies? Swooooooooooooooooooooooooooon

Thursday, September 29, 2011
By Victoria King

As if there weren’t already loads of benefits to knowing French, (eg: a decent-paying government job, an upper hand in travelling abroad and a couple nifty pick-up lines to whip out once and a while) now there’s Karkwa.

I really shouldn’t say ‘now’ though. The guys in Karkwa have been playing and recording together for 14 years, with their most popular and recent album of being 2011’s Le Chemins de Verre which earned the band the Polaris Prize. And FYI, that year’s nominees included favourites like Tegan & Sara, The Sadies and Broken Social Scene. Before I’d listened to their latest album earlier that day, I really wasn’t too sure of what to expect and was only looking forward to the opener of the show, Aidan Knight. Not a big deal, but I sorta fell in love with LCDV not long after hitting play.
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Karkwa – Out of the bleu

By Sabrina Carnevale

If it seems as though Montreal is churning out hipster rock like it’s going out of style, it’s probably because it is. Between Arcade Fire (who recently had the highly coveted musician slot on Saturday Night Live), the Dears, the Unicorns and the Stills, Montreal has taken over as Canada’s indie rock capital. The city can now add a Polaris-prize winning band to its list of accomplished musicians – Francophone quintet Karkwa won Canada’s highest musical honour, along with a cool $20,000, this past September against some major heavyweights including Shad, Broken Social Scene, Radio Radio and The Besnard Lakes.
“Montreal is a great community, there are a lot of dedicated fans and a great group of musicians that we are friends with,” says Karkwa vocalist and guitarist Louis-Jean Cormier. “The music comes very naturally, we’re influenced by many things, the weather, maybe even the winters; there is definitely a ‘Montreal’ sound.”
To make their Polaris win for their fourth album, Les Chemins De Verre, that much sweeter, they also managed to be the first Francophone act to take home the popular prize. “All the newspapers in Quebec and Montreal were talking about it, we were surprised just to make the short list and to be a part of it with many bands that we listen to and are fans of,” says Cormier. “We were so surprised to win, it was unbelievable, we had no expectations. But when we won, we had to speak in English in front of all those artists – that was pretty strange.”
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