Link Live Sessions

Our video team films musicians playing in various spots around the city.

  • Echo Beach

    You can hear Julie Matson on the airwaves in daylight hours on CJLO hosting “With Gay Abandon.” Once the sun goes down, however, the signal changes into the electronic drone sounds of Echo Beach, her synth-heavy solo endeavour.

    “They have the same flavour,” says Matson of her radio show and musical project. “I don’t play simply synth-based music [on “With Gay Abandon”], but definitely in that experimental vein for sure.”

    Echo Beach is an act of juxtaposition, a meditative ambience placed against harsher sounds, wrapping the listener in their own cocoon of layered vocals over analogue and digital modules.

    The Link caught up with Matson on one of the first sub-zero nights of the season—luckily in a heated location. Her spacey take on the old Depeche Mode song “Photographic” ricocheted off the walls of a downtown parking garage like aural springboards.

    “That particular song is really special [to me],” says Matson. “Depeche Mode has been my favourite band since the age of 10. When I heard it I became obsessed with it. I was like, ‘How do they make that music?’

    “I taught myself how to play keyboards in grade nine because I bought a Depeche Mode songbook.”

    Her take on “Photographic” is a murky mood-setter.

    “I want to take you to that place where you think about things that happened for you, or have happened to you, it sort of takes you a journey somewhere else while still being in the same room,” she said.

    “Visuals are telling you a story, but music takes you where you can go, and I hope that’s what my music does to people.”

    Echo Beach / Nov. 16 (M for Montreal) / l’Esco (4467 St. Denis St.)

  • Declan O’Donovan

    Whitehorse, Yukon’s Declan O’Donovan, who’s touring the country to promote his new alt-roots blues LP, will be in Montreal this weekend.

    This blues-, jazz-, rock- and roots-inspired pianist and singer is releasing his debut self-titled solo album, which features his wicked, soulful vocals over his unique blend of genres.

    “I don’t consider myself specifically roots or blues, but when you throw in a word like ‘alternative’ in front of that, it gives you some imagination as to what you can use those different genres for,” said O’Donovan.

    The tour kicks off at Divan Orange on Oct. 6 and features stops all the way to Vancouver.
    Listen in the latest Link Live Session, filmed at old-timey jazz bar Gainzbar. Watch his performance of “Crumble,” off his self-titled LP below.

    Declan O’Donovan / Oct. 6 / Divan Orange (4234 St. Laurent Blvd.) / 8:00 p.m. / $7.00


    If you were at the Loyola Quad Friday night, then you probably wound up soaking wet from a torrential downpour. But before that, you also got a taste of one of the most interesting and fastest-moving bands out of Toronto right now: the dark, layered post-bop of BADBADNOTGOOD.

    The trio dropped out of Humber College’s prestigious jazz program, taking full advantage of the attention they were getting. Since then they have played around North America and Europe, including the role of backing band for Frank Ocean at Cochella. With a frenetic energy, BADBADNOTGOOD blow any notion of the stuffiness of jazz right out of the water.

    Here are some highlights from their set at this year’s Concordia Student Union Orientation Concert, along with some footage from our interview with the band.

  • Salton Sea

    We brought the guys from Salton Sea to the railroad tracks in Outrement on a Sunday afternoon while they were visiting Montreal, mostly because we knew there would be less trains to dodge on the weekend.

    The folk duo played their song “Sailin’,” a little tune rich with vocal harmony, off their debut record slated for release Sept. 1. It sounds a bit like what you might hear on a good radio station in the ’50s.

    Keep up with the band on their Facebook page for info on the Montreal album release party, but for now enjoy their performance on The Link Live Sessions.

    Produced by Corey Pool & Colin Harris

  • Aim Low

    Aim Low find a home for their drone-heavy post rock in Montreal, combing heavily-effected guitars with atmospheric percussion. What better place to experience their brooding, meditative sound than in a church?

    The latest Link Live Session captures the trio playing “Coptic Christmas” at the Loyola chapel, so sit back, relax and take in the intensity.

    Aim Low / June 20 / Casa del Popolo (4873 St. Laurent Blvd.)