Laura Sauvage Agora des arts, Rouyn-Noranda QC, September 4

Laura Sauvage Agora des arts, Rouyn-Noranda QC, September 4
Photo: Matt Williams
Laura Sauvage took the stage at Rouyn-Noranda's most beautiful venue on the last night of FME with a rad-as-hell captain's hat, staking out her claim at the vanguard of the off-the-cuff Canadian college rock revival. Other than some relaxed French and Frenglish stage banter, Sauvage was lackadaisically on point, delivering loose and fun guitar rock in a less philosophical, but far more emotionally tumultuous Pavement vein.
When her band took off halfway through the set to leave her alone, she revealed a truly powerful side of her tunes. While Sauvage is a sweet force throughout each of her songs (quite simply in part because of her addictive love of heavy overdrive), when she's left alone without the noise, she proves herself just as formidable a performer, levelling the rapt Agora with a stunning version of "No Direction Home" from this year's Extraordinormal.
Sauvage is, like kindred spirit Courtney Barnett, a rare beast — one of those musicians who is as severely chilled-out as your stoner neighbour but at the same time, a bit of a savant. You should expect nothing but endlessly cool things from her.