Lydia Képinski Festival de Musique Emergente, Rouyn-Noranda QC, August 31

Lydia Képinski Festival de Musique Emergente, Rouyn-Noranda QC, August 31
Photo: Matt Forsythe
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Lydia Képinski definitely knows how to make a great first impression. The singer was nowhere to be found as her three band mates began with the sparse electro-pop intro of "Les routes indolores." Then, her strong vocals came through as the packed crowd frantically looked around the tiny venue. Finally, a hand shot up through the crowd pointing to Képinski on the balcony, from where she slowly strode down the staircase (jammed with people), confidently delivering the lyrics as the audience stared, transfixed.
 
While her recently released debut album, Premier juin, oscillated between folksy rock and synth-pop, her live set unifies elements of the two, settling on an electro-rock sound. It took the pop choruses of songs like "360 jours" and "Maia" to new heights, while sparse, folksy EP track "Brise-glace" was given a fuller arrangement that culminated in waves of guitar fuzz. Whereas the violins on the recordings were fairly clean, they were treated live through a chorus pedal to bolster the rock sound.
 
Képinski is a strong performer, with her commanding voice and confident, dance move-laden stage presence — though her few forays on guitar leads were rife with out of time or squeaking notes. Nevertheless, her FME set showcased her willingness to take risks, most of which worked fairly well.

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