Lowlands Il Motore, Montreal QC, September 26

Lowlands Il Motore, Montreal QC, September 26
Photo: Julie Michaud
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Representing Guelph, ON, blues-tinged folkies Lowlands brought a nice, relaxed pace to the Hillside Festival showcase at Pop Montreal, allowing each tune to expand and shift as the band played. The quintet worked well on stage together and undoubtedly functioned as a unit instead of a haphazard collection of musicians.

The musicianship was great all-around, with the members working together to execute a series of plaintive folk songs. "Black Mask" marked a notable uptempo turn that put lead signer Gordon Auld's breathy voice to great use, and the lap steel accents and vocal harmonies on "The River" made the song a centrepiece of the set.

While a song with banjo was cut due to time, the band marched on undeterred. Not needing to rely on the hooks of pop music, the band provided a nice, entertaining set that hopefully predicts their rise into the annals of contemporary Canadian folk.

See more photos from Pop Montreal in our gallery here.