• By: Keith Whittier


With 20-years writing about Ottawa life we think we have
a pretty good idea of the best of what this city has to offer.
In this new weekly summer series we’ll share it with you.
From our top picks of hotels, live music venues, local brews,
bands and more, check, share and discuss
#OLMBest every Monday!

Photo By Jordan Palmer Wiens

New Swears

Formed: 2012
Style: Take punk rock, electrocute it, put it in a blender, mix in some power pop chunks, hit MASH and wait till your appliance explodes. Serve what remains leaking down the walls of your kitchen and you got some tasty New Swears
Known for: Chaotic live shows that make you feel like you’ve been through the thresher
Select discography: Funny Isn’t Real (2013), Junkfood Forever Bedtime Whatever (2014), And The Magic of Horses (2017)
Choice cut: “Dance With The Devil

A Tribe Called Red

Formed: 2007
Style: Electric Pow wow
Known for: The band, made up of three DJs, has fused Indigenous music with dance club beats for what has become a Juno Award-winning sound. Their usual local stomping grounds, Babylon, has been home to some legendary parties. They have also been heavily involved in Indigenous causes like Idle No More.
Select discography: A Tribe Called Red (2012), Nation II Nation (2013, We Are the Halluci Nation (2016)
Choice cut: “Indian City Ft. Black Bear

The Souljazz Orchestra

Formed: 2002
Style: Soul-jazz, of course! (with some latin, funk and Afrobeat tossed into the mix)
Known for: Their explosive clash of musical styles to create one sweat-inducing party. It’s kind of impossible to not watch this band without moving. The energy is infectious!
Select discography: Freedom No Go Die (2007), Rising Sun (2010), Inner Fire (2014), Resistance (2015), Under Burning Skies (set for September 2017 release)
Choice cut: “Shock and Awe

Photo by Valerie Keeler

The PepTides

Formed: 2007
Style: They’re a well-oiled Where’s Waldo? Rube Goldberg machine of colourful lightening strewn with silk, soul and funk! They’re the Warhol painting you’ve never seen hanging on the bridge of a shimmering disco starship about to enter your atmosphere in rainbow warp drive. They are stardust. They are golden.
Known for: Shows as bright and beaming as the outfits they wear on stage
Select discography: I’m A Spy (2007), For Those Who Hate Human Interaction (2010), Revenge of the Vinyl Café (2013), Love Question Mark (2014), The PepTides EP (2017)
Choice cut: “Attack of the Treadmill

The Acorn

Formed: 2003
Style: Indie rock, folk
Known for: From ALLMusic: a “…band whose music makes equal room for acoustic instruments, electric touches, and conceptual themes.”
Select discography: The Pink Ghosts (2004), Glory Hope Mountain (2007), Ear Worms (2008), No Ghost (2010), Vieux Loup (2015)
Choice cut: “Influence


Formed: 2007
Style: Indie rock
Known for: Outside of their catch hooks, the band started turning more heads with 111 Songs, an ambitious project where the band wrote and recorded 111 cuts filling five full length albums over a 2 year period. Each song was written for one of their fans.  
Select discography: Record in a Bag (2009), White Paint (2013), 111 Songs (2015), Born Yesterday (2017)
Choice cut: “So It Goes


Formed: 2008
Style: Blues
Known for: the best swamp-blues music this side of Louisiana and Tony D.’s epic guitar solos.
Select discography: To Behold (2011), Tiger in Your Tank (2014), Moon Turn Red (2015), Time To Roll (2016)
Choice cut: “Time To Roll

Amos the Transparent

Formed: 2007
Style: Indie folk rock
Known for: While falling a little silent since their 2014 release, the band is back with their signature harmonies and layered sounds.
Select discography: Everything I've Forgotten to Forget (2007), Goodnight My Dear…I'm Falling Apart (2012), This Cold Escape (2014)
Choice cut: “Sure as the Weather


Formed: 1984
Style: Thrash metal
Known for: Over three decades of power chords, ear bleeding metal thrashing and devil horns!
Select discography: Alice in Hell (1989), King of the Kill (1994), Criteria for a Black Widow (1999), Carnival Diablo (2001), Waking the Fury (2002), Metal (2007), Suicide Society (2015)
Choice cut: “Alison Hell


Formed: 2012
Style: Prog-grunge? Poly pop? Music from another dimension?
Known for: Caylie Runciman’s dreamy vocals
Select discography: When I’m Hungry (2012), Bad Mantras (upcoming release)
Choice cut: “Drivin’