We Were Lovers Gladstone, Toronto, ON, March 22

We Were Lovers Gladstone, Toronto, ON, March 22
Photo: Kevin Jones

While the down-home rock tunes running in between sets were a lot closer to what many still picture when we think of the prairie provinces, electro-pop outfit We Were Lovers offered a firm reminder that there's a lot more going out there than pub rock and new country.

Styled-out singer Elsa Gebremichael's affected, mid-range vocals carried commandingly over the heady guitar melodies, programmed bass lines and varied electronics manned by cohort Ash Lamothe. Conjuring up a sound reminiscent of like-minded Brits New Young Pony Club, the group's dancefloor-directed tempo, along with the smart inclusion of live drumming to complement the set's digital rhythms, slowly but surely rocked the crowd — with a little coaxing from the singer herself, who momentarily left the stage to provide a little motivation.

Faster-tempo cuts, like the set's joyous, bouncing closer, worked best at showcasing Elsa's range while also pushing her bandmates to add a little more meat to their musicianship, as Ash's shiny guitar work led the way over a series of cascading synths. With the last of three festival sets left to go, and a "crowd share" album production plan to pitch, here's hoping they can make the sell and bring what should be a well-received record to light before the end of the upcoming summer season.