AroarA Island Stage, Guelph ON, July 28

AroarAIsland Stage, Guelph ON, July 28
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
Husband and wife duo Andrew Whiteman and Ariel Engle took the Island Stage on Sunday afternoon as AroarA, bringing their unique folk style to an attentive crowd. Their debut EP, In the Pines, is based on the books of the same name by Alice Notley, with the lyrics to each song crafted from only the words of the poet. Their set presented a number of new songs beyond the five from the EP – all confusingly following the number-for-a-title approach – including "#1," "#9" and "#14." Whiteman admitted that "#1" borrowed inspiration from a Bell Orchestre piece, as Richard Reed Perry looked on from the side of the stage, reminding everyone that even after ten years of Broken Social Scene, there is still a tight-knit group of Canadian musicians that look to and draw from each other's work. The duo played through the set with only a guitar each and a drum machine, even abandoning the guitars all together for the aforementioned "#9." It was a charming set, if a little subdued, but the pair seemed happy to a part of the festival, which they thanked at one point for "thirty years of giving hippie a good name."