It’s amazing to think that the French capital of Quebec has produced such a rare breed of incredible music talents over the years, from Grimes to Arcade Fire. We want to know what they’re putting in the water over there. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s such a great city to live in, according to the 2015 Global Liveability Ranking Montreal ranked 14th out of 140 cities.
We sought out one of the city’s most exciting new musical talents Leif Vollebekk to take us on an insider’s tour of his hometown. Vollebekk’s music is a woozy americana cocktail that serenades, harking back to the folk yesteryear of Dylan, Donovan and even homeboy Leonard Cohen. Leif was kind enough to list a spot in his city for every day of the week, so if you see him around in any of these places, make sure you thank him.
This place is perhaps more aptly described as a museum of Montreal’s back alleys. If you’re lucky, sometimes it’s just you and the owner’s dog. No pictures (strictly enforced).
A Norwegian woman named Else started this place. With its out of tune piano, low hanging lights and comfort food, its timeless. A good place to read on a Tuesday.
This bar is beautiful, quiet and almost impossible to find for some. It’s next to Patati Patata, behind an unmarked door. During the week it has such a beautiful quietness.
There’s just something beautiful about walking along the canal in the summer and seeing the trees sway. The locals named it Lachine (French for China) to mock the French explorer, De La Salle, who once hoped to find a passage to Asia.
This is the Montreal music store that sold more records of mine than I can count. The owner, Luc, is a champion of new artists and hosts many in-stores. He can also tell you the entire history of the Montreal music scene.
A hidden-away place straight out of a Murakami novel. A good place to talk.
As the city’s artists and dilettantes move north, so do the bars. It’s big and breezy and hidden away amongst all things industrial. Only in summer.
Montreal Canadiens paraphernalia on the walls, an old piano and an always incredible band. They only play old country songs on Sundays and I hope they always will.
Just you, a smoked meat sandwich and the spirit of Leonard Cohen. And they’ll sell you a jar of pickles.
And to hear new music on any night : Divan Orange or Casa Del Popolo is your best bet.
Leif Vollebekk latest single ‘Into The Ether’, is taken from his forthcoming album ‘Twin Solitude’ you 24th Feb via the Montreal based Secret City Records.