When we think about supporting local amid COVID-19 in Kelowna, many might think to grab a pint and a pound of wings at Doc Willoughby’s, a coffee from Pulp Fiction, or a sweater from Okanagan Lifestyle.
But while these establishments reopened in May, provincial restrictions have made it difficult for many in the entertainment industry, especially music artists, to perform and ultimately earn a living.
Kelowna is home to some stellar music of all genres. By simply streaming, sharing or buying merch of a local artist, your support can go a long way. Here are eight notable local artists to add to your playlist.
PMC is an indie-band that defies norms. Constantly showcasing eclectic inspirations, the band keeps you anticipating what’s next. Their soundscape varies from soulful R&B infused vocals meet catchy indie-pop riffs to electronic synths pair with classical violin and more. Post-Modern Connection’s ability to play with dynamics is apparent. They most recently played in Kelowna at the Fireside Festival in January 2020.
Lucky Monkey is a band that blends the soul of old-school 70’s rock with the energy and polish of the 21st century, to create music that speaks to fans both new and old. The band’s sound is melodic, crunching, and accessible. Lucky Monkey has supported big names acts such as Danko Jones, The Lazys and Bret Michaels.
Josh + Bex are a Canadian dream folk duo. Josh, with his Eastern soul-folk vibes and Bex, her melody-driven West Coast influence, together they make music that captures their vulnerabilities and draws listeners into their world with a transparent and heart-forward presence. Josh + Bex won the “Inside the Festival’’, emerging new artist contest in 2019 where they performed at the internationally acclaimed Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival.
Zoe is described as an R&B, soul and alternative R&B singer and songwriter. Her emotional seeded lyrics fuelled by vulnerability is what brings her music to a level of relation. From years of honing her sound, Zoe has released her debut EP “As Promised”.
Frig Off! is a two-piece band full of talent and liquor, often drawing comparisons to the White Stripes. The duo headlined the third day of Kelowna’s Fireside Festival in January 2020. They have supported acts at local venues such as Doc Willoughby’s, Fernandos Pub and BNA.
The Wild! is a Kelowna staple, playing at local venues such as Doc Willoughby’s for years. The band is the epitome of old-time rock n’ roll. The rebellious foursome from Kelowna is a perfect mixture of rock’n’roll swagger and punk rock attitude. Their new album “Still Believe in Rock N’ Roll” is out now.
Yukon Blonde is probably the most commercially successful band on this list but still deserves some attention. The band is an indie-rock band from Kelowna that has been based in Vancouver since 2009. The band has toured the U.S. and Canada and played at such festivals as South by Southwest. The band was named one of the “10 Canadian bands destined to break in 2010” by CBC and Chart called the band the best of the 2010 Canadian Music Week festival. Since then, the band has released numerous albums and hit singles such as ‘Stairway’ and ‘Saturday Night.’ Their new album Vindicator is out Nov. 6, 2020.
Other Kelowna artists to note include: Kentucky Eileen, Under the Rocks, The Melopinas, Kansas Lee, Hot Knox and Elk the Moose.