A recap of Femme Wave’s fantastic festival weekend
Feminist funk from across the prairies
By Kennedy Enns, Publishing Editor
Femme Wave finished up their four day festival this past weekend and if you were unfortunate enough to miss some of the artists that came through Calgary, The Reflector has created a fail-safe list of bands you should check out.
Here are some of the incredible Canadian acts you might have missed and should definitely add to your catalogs.
Bunwitch out of Saskatoon are a grungy, garage rock band that will absolutely steal your heart. They also do a cover of Kraftwerk’s “The Model” that will knock your socks off. Bunwitch happens to share members with other incredible Saskatchewan acts worth checking out including The Garry’s, Owners and Babyfats.
TOAM also out of Saskatoon played a packed show at Blackbyrd music record store. They switch from beautiful sparse electronic beats to fuzzy dance rock and (pro-tip) their latest EP, Decay is great to put on while studying.
respectfulchild is one of the most unique and beautiful performances I have been lucky enough to see. Sporting a felt mask designed by Edmonton artist Olivia Forsyth, they loop violin tracks, vocals and pure magic together. Listen to them immediately!
The sheer amount of talent coming out of Saskatchewan right now cannot be overlooked. While I’m already giving you a grocery list of bands look up Femme Wave alumni Homo Monstrous, Man Meat and firestarter and you will not be disappointed.
MomBod is a brand new band that was created for specifically for Lethbridge’s Flip Fest, their own feminist music festival, this summer. But from their already polished sound you would never guess they’re only a few months old. Keep an eye out for this name as they continue to grow.
Mulligrub from Winnipeg is fun, feminist pop-punk on par with band’s like Diet Cig and Speedy Ortiz. Their latest album Soft Grudge is incredible front-to-back, in a few years you’ll be seeing their name everywhere I guarantee it. Get a head start by listening to them now and you can say you liked them before it was cool.
I could list bands for ages, there’s simply an overwhelming amount of talent coming out of the prairies. The 2016 line-up of Femme Wave featured many bands out of Edmonton, most of which have come back to Calgary to play Sled Island. Femme Wave has created an fantastic jumping off point for first time bands and guaranteed you will see these names again.
Headliner SAMMUS brought the crowd to tears when she closed up the festival on Saturday night at the Royal Canadian Legion around two in the morning. Her honesty and enthusiasm paired with her non-stop energy and handmade anime character costume pieces created an incredible live show.
If you’re not already familiar with SAMMUS, she’s an Ithaca, New York-raised, Philadelphia-based rap artist, producer, and a Science & Technology PhD student at Cornell University. These characteristics all combine into her brand of incredibly sharp, funny and creative “nerd-rap.”
Her latest album Pieces in Space, which was released in 2016, discusses mental health, intersectionality and also includes references to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Marvel’s Avengers and the Star Wars franchise.
Crowd favorites from her set include “Comments Disabled” which describes how she deals with internet trolls and “Perfect Dark” which talks about the lack of representation black girls have in media. They also serve as perfect jumping off points to her expansive catalog.
If you enjoy rap music, video games, comic books or feminist theory, you’ll find something to love about SAMMUS.
Calgary is also lucky to be home to a few of the acts that played Femme Wave this past weekend. So next time you see the following names on a bill be sure to check them out. There’s something for fans of every genre including the Dolly Parton-esque country star, Amy Nelson, the ukulele synth-pop band Dark Time, feminist punk Slut Prophet, the bedroom pop band Soft Cure and expert MC and hip-hop artist Sinzere.
Just because Femme Wave’s four day festival has wrapped up, it doesn’t mean that you have to miss out completely. Support some incredible Canadian talent on bandcamp, or check out the next Slut Prophet show. There’s some incredible work coming out of Calgary, so make sure you don’t sleep on it.
There’s also many local organizations that support Femme Wave that could always use more volunteers. If you have a few spare hours over winter break check out local organizations like Calgary Sexual Health Services, SASS (Society for the Advocacy of Safer Spaces) and the Calgary School of Informal Education to name just a few.
You can still view a few of the visual art exhibits created for Femme Wave throughout November. “Dancing on My Own” by Maddie Alexander is on display at The New Gallery until Dec 9 and “POST WAVE” a curated collection by Chelsea Yang-Smith, KAYTHI, Molly Caldwell, and Theresa Tam is on display at Stride Gallery until Dec 1.
See you next November!