Library Voices, Kicking it up in Quebec City

I love the music of Canadian power pop septet Library Voices, and in the past year have twice had the pleasure of hearing them play live. The first time was last November when they played the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn with the six-piece outfit Ohbijou*, a show I wrote about in the early weeks of this blog. The second time was this past April when they played Pianos on the Lower East Side with Yukon Blonde, when the photos accompanying this post were shot.

Library Voices play their power pop with an exuberant intensity that I’ve found a great joy to take in. In my post last fall, I wrote they have “a brash, fun sound with vibrant catchy hooks, bookish song titles and literary-minded lyrics by synth player Mike Dawson (‘Reluctant Readers Make Reluctant Lovers,’ ‘If Raymond Carver Were Born in the 90s,’ ‘Prime Minister’s Daughter’), and a very athletic performing style.” Among the foremost of the athletes on stage is bassist Eoin Hickey-Cameron, a big man with a great personality who in a photo shown here utterly dwarfs me! Eoin jumps in place while playing his instrument, which he does with great abandon. It is for good reason that Library Voices got a lot of votes in last year’s CBC Radio 3 Bucky Awards in the “Best Live Band” category, including mine.

I was delighted to read today that over the past weekend Library Voices played a festival in Quebec City, far from their prairie base in Regina, Saskatchewan. And, according to Mark Teo of Exclaim magazine, the show they played at the Festival d’été was one for the ages. Teo writes their “eager energy — more befitting of a hardcore act — translated into scintillating pop, converting ‘If Raymond Carver Were Born in the ’90s’ and ‘Generation Handclap’ into insta-memorable shout-alongs. And when they closed with the Misfits’ ‘Where Eagles Dare,’ it became official: Library Voices owned the funnest set of the Festival d’été.” About Eoin, he adds, “Bassist Eoin Hickey-Cameron pogoed as if he were in Youth of Today.” Teo’s terrific review is only a few paragraphs, and really worth reading at this link.

* Ohbijou is a great band too. In my post last November, I described them as playing a kind of “space jam with soaring notes and lyrical interludes with great vocals by sisters Casey and Jenny Mecija, who also play guitar and violin respectively.” In the last photo in the gallery along with this post, I’m pictured with Jenny, who happens to be Eoin Hickey-Cameron’s girlfriend.

Brendan Ross, Library Voices.

Carl Johnson, guitar and vocals (l.) and Amanda Scandrett (r.), keys.

Brennan Ross (l.); Mike Thieven, drums; Eoin Hickey-Cameron, bass; Carl Johnson.

Me with Jenny Mecija, Ohbijou.

Me with Eoin Hickey-Cameron, Library Voices.

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