5 must-see West Coast artists at this Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2016

Jul 3 2016, 2:15 am

The Vancouver Folk Music Festival, which is held from July 15 to 17, is known for bringing in talent from all corners of the world to grace its stages at Jericho Beach Park. But, what about artists right here on the West Coast? We’re well represented, indeed, with this year’s lineup featuring many local artists in a wide scope of genres.

Here are five that you won’t want to miss at the upcoming festival.

The New Pornographers

West Coast Artists VFMF

Photo: The New Pornographers / Facebook

The New Pornographers features some of the most prominent players in Vancouver’s music scene — members performing at the VFMF include Carl Newman, Kathryn Calder, Joe Seiders, Todd Fancey, John Collins, Blaine Thurier, and Samantha Serenader — and the talents of each combine to create an ingenious, infectious, and inimitable alternative pop-rock sound. The JUNO Award-winning supergroup has released six albums to date, their latest being 2014’s Brill Bruisers.

Shane Koyczan and The Short Short Long

West Coast Artists VFMF

Photo: Shane Koyczan / Facebook

A fixture in both the VFMF lineup and Vancouver’s slam poetry community, spoken word artist Shane Koyczan has captivated audiences with his uplifting and evocative work for years. Koyczan, who grew up in Penticton, addresses social and politically relevant topics with an unfaltering honesty, performing alongside multi-medium accompaniments including his collaborating backing band, The Short Short Long.

The Bills

West Coast artists VFMF

Photo: The Bills / Facebook

By performing acoustically and melding a variety of musical influences like jazz, classical, world, and folk, British Columbian quintet The Bills have created a distinctive and defining sound. Trails of Tales, the new album from the group, showcases the band’s range as it moves between toe-tappers to affecting instrumentals.

Twin Bandit

West Coast Artists VFMF

Photo: Twin Bandit / Facebook

If you’re a fan of Fleetwood Mac or Emmylou Harris, then Twin Bandit will hit that sweet spot right in your soul. The East Vancouver duo made up of Hannah Walker and Jamie Elliott stay true to the golden age of folk with their intimate arrangements and soft harmonies, which are displayed beautifully on their 2015 debut album, “Providence.”

Geoff Berner

West Coast Artists VFMF

Photo: Vancouver Folk Music Festival

Combining klezmer (Eastern European Jewish folk music), punk, and Balkan rhythms with political satire, Geoff Berner’s compositions are both biting and brilliant. The Vancouver-based artist has amassed a cult following through relentless touring and his innovative approach to tradition, which is, as he describes, “drunk, dirty, political and passionate.”


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Yasmine ShemeshYasmine Shemesh

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