Five indie bands to watch right now

Local bands like Lost in Japan (pictured) are making their mark on the Canadian indie scene.

Indie bands and musicians don’t usually get the coverage they deserve for the music and showmanship they produce. They travel from city to city performing at local venues and put on shows for varying sized crowds.

Ontario has a very active and vibrant indie rock scene, with many bands hailing from London. The sound of each band can accommodate the taste of anyone wanting to get into the local scene.

For those who don’t know where to start, here are five local indie bands you should start listening to.

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New Friends

New Friends is an indie-pop group that sprouted right out of Fanshawe’s music industry arts (MIA) program back in 2018. The band consists of lead singer Stefan Boulineau, guitarist Cole Wilson, keyboardist Ayden Miller, bassist Conrad Galecki and drummer Nico Elias. They played their first show as a band together in 2021. The band draws inspiration from bands like Coldplay and Arctic Monkeys. They released their first song, “Purple Candy,” which hit over 7.8 million streams over an eight month period. Their new EP draws from 2000s dance music, alt-rock, and pop. They have a show here in London, at Rum Runners on Nov. 23.

North of 64

North of 64 is an alternative rock duo from Ontario. Their sound offers great vibes, and their musical composition has a great rhythm that will get you head banging. One of their newest songs, “Letting Go,” was a summer song that I had blaring in my car when going out for long drives. The rest of their music follows suit by giving early 2000s alternative vibes with catchy guitar power cords and rustic harmonic sequences. Their newest EP, Loving & Letting Go, is a great listen and encapsulates the authentic blastfrom- the-past sound. They deserve more attention for the content they produce.

Sun Junkies

The Sun Junkies are a four-piece group based out of Brampton, Ont. They take from a variety of different genres, like punk and emo, and infuse it with their own sound. Songs like “MDMA” and “Sometimes,” give off great vibes with upbeat rhythms and catchy lyrics. Their shows are known for their mosh pits and the band are great live performers by engaging and being involved with their audience. The overall experience of listening to their music is a feeling of being on cloud nine, which is something anyone wants out of the music they listen to.

A Weekend at Ramona’s

This band is based out of Toronto and are an indie powerhouse. Their sound gives me some early Arctic Monkey vibes with some hints of The Backseat Lovers. They’ve released one EP from 2019 that had a 50s surfer movie sound, with songs like “Chest Pains” and “Why Won’t You Be Mine.” What draws a crowd to their shows is the simplicity and softness of their instrumental composition.

Lost In Japan

Another band hailing from London, Lost in Japan is on the rise for their music, clocking in over a million streams since their founding in 2016. They’ve recorded with MIA’s very own Dan Brodbeck and two of their singles have reached the top of two Canadian charts. They fuse indie rock, alternative, and pop rock with songs like “Red Line,” “Don’t Wanna Let Go,” and “Animal.” They have played in cities across North America and have garnered many fans from overseas as well. They are known to play in venues across London as well, like the Palasad Social Bowl and Rum Runners. They are playing in London at the Acoustic Charity for Melanoma on Nov. 25.

These are just a couple of bands from the area that you should check out. If you are hoping to check out local talent, there are shows going on almost every weekend at local venues and beyond. Check out local postings to learn more.