Five days, 160 bands, 15 venues.
This year Halifax Pop Explosion celebrates 20 years and will highlight a plethora of local queer talent, including Heather Green, Mo Kenney and the all-female rock group Like a Motorcycle.
“The Pop Explosion gives local bands like us, just starting, the opportunity to meet and connect with national and international acts and their representation,” says Jillian Comeau, Like a Motorcycle’s guitarist. “It’s not something we could necessarily have access to otherwise.”
The Halifax trio, made up of Comeau, drummer Michelle Skelding and bassist Kim Carson, opens for The Pack AD at Reflections Cabaret. Like a Motorcycle will highlight the occasion by releasing a single from their forthcoming album, Naked Pictures.
“We feel like we have been working the last two years for an opportunity like this, and we are going to show HPX fans everything that Like a Motorcycle is about,” Comeau says. “Sweat, three-part harmonies, crunchy hooks and dance-beat drums.”
Halifax trio Like a Motorcycle are one of several queer groups performing at HPX.
Comeau says Halifax was integral to the development of the new album.
“This environment is conducive to new bands with lots of opportunities to play and grow,” she says. “With a wide range of venues that accommodate new bands, bands that are on the rise and touring bands, we have a built-in ladder that just about anyone can climb if they put the work in. It sets Halifax apart."
For those who prefer more tailored, glossy harmonies, Heather Green, who will perform with Young River, will bring her sound to The Carleton on Oct 18.
“Halifax has relaxed me and restored my faith in being a struggling independent musician,” Green says. “I can play a gig and not freak out about having to pay for it if I don’t get enough people there. I can develop relationships with real people who are generally interested in my music and not just trying to make a quick buck.”
Green is thrilled to be a part of the 20th anniversary festival, so much so that she wishes she could bake all the staff a cake to congratulate them on their hard work. “I’m just really happy to be a part of it. I know that the selection process is competitive, and I’m honoured to share in their milestone festival.”
Local up-and-comer Mo Kenney, who performed at last year’s Halifax Pop Explosion, will also give fans a sneak peek of her self-titled debut album at the festival.
“HPX is significant to Halifax's music scene because it gives local artists the chance to play with artists from out of town,” Kenney says. “You can meet other musicians, network and check out a massive amount of live music.”