Get ready to shake the frostbite out of your numbed limbs. This week, the Shivering Songs Festival will be taking place for the fifth time, with a slate of acts designed to appeal to music and book lovers alike.
While acts like Owen Pallett, Buck 65 and Hey Rosetta! were announced in November, the lineup has been expanded to include folk artists like Andy Shauf, introspective rockers like Zeus, and dreamy instrumentalists like Fredericton’s own NUAGES.
Shivering Songs co-organizer Brendan MaGee said that the slate of artists reflects the eclectic mix of genres that Shivering Songs is known for.
“There’s a little bit of everything — from straight-ahead folk like Amelia Curran and Skydiggers, to cinematic pop music from Owen Pallett, as well as bluegrass, rockabilly, blues, some late night rock, even a literary element with reigning Giller Prize winner Sean Michaels. We’re ecstatic.”
That last name is a hint that Shivering Songs isn’t just your regular festival — with special sessions like the Songwriters & Storytellers Event and the Songwriting Intensive Showcase, it’s clear they aim to go deeper into the creation process.
“Musicians are the biggest music fans out there, and most relish the chance to share what was going on when they wrote a particular song or album,” MaGee said. “It adds to the appreciation of a song, when you can understand where it came from, emotionally. It’s a very personal thing to discuss in a large group of strangers, which makes for a really unique afternoon.”
Beyond songwriting, Shivering Songs also includes a literary element, with authors and academics in attendance to share their work — including Henry Adam Svec, UNB’s current media artist-in-residence.
“As a festival that’s very much concerned with the words that go along with music, having literature was a natural fit for Shivering Songs,” explained MaGee.
Of all the acts playing at Shivering Songs this year, MaGee named two in particular that you do not want to miss: Owen Pallett, Academy Award-nominee for the Her soundtrack, and whose album In Conflict was one of the most critically-acclaimed of 2014, and Bry Webb, who MaGee believes is one of the top artists in Canada.
“In my opinion, he is the best songwriter in Canada at the moment. Definitely in the top 10. Both of his solo albums are so stirring, but at the same time, so nicely comforting.”
The Shivering Songs Festival runs from January 22 to 25 and will be taking place around the city, at venues like Wilmot United Church, The Urban Almanac and Boyce Farmers Market.