Concordia University

'Triple wow show!' Concordians take centre stage at POP Montreal

PLUS: Performers / grads Caitlin Loney and James Irwin share their top festival picks
September 21, 2016
By Arwen Jean Fleming

Freelove Fenner perform live at the Bottle Garden Studio party. | Image courtesy of the artists Freelove Fenner perform live at the Bottle Garden Studio party. | Image courtesy of the artists

At POP Montreal this year, it's a case of so many Concordians, so little time...

This week, we're running a three-part "mini" series to cover as many as we can. This is Part I of our POP Montreal extravaganza; read Part II here.

Freelove Fenner: 'Songs in less-popular time signatures'

At POP Montreal on Thursday, September 22 at 9 p.m. | Studio Rialto

Freelove Fenner is an experimental pop trio featuring Peter Woodford and two Concordia graduates, multi-instrumentalist Caitlin Loney (MA 12) and drummer Michael Wright (BA 11).

The band is currently working on a new record to be released next spring. Like all of Freelove Fenner’s records, this one will be recorded and produced by the band members themselves.

“I guess one accomplishment related to this record is learning to play songs in less-popular time signatures,” says Loney. “If you come to our show, you will hear some!”



An accomplished album producer and specialist in analog tape, Loney’s master’s project in media studies focused on analog recording techniques in psychedelic music.

Loney and Woodford are also the creative force behind The Bottle Garden, a Montreal analog recording studio that has produced albums for renowned acts such as Jef Elise Barbara, Brave Radar and Cheap Wig. The Bottle Garden was recently featured on CBC Radio One’s Cinq à Six.

Caitlin Loney’s top picks for POP Montreal


James Irwin: 'It's all out of the same kettle'

At POP Montreal on Wednesday, September 21 at 9:15 p.m. | Brasserie Beaubien

James Irwin (BA 05) is a graduate of Concordia’s English and Creative Writing program. His dreamy, autobiographical pop tracks have earned him a cult following over the past decade.

In 2012, his album Western Transport won Bandcamp HunterAlbum of the Year. Irwin’s more recent foray into electro pop, Unreal (2015), was also met with critical acclaim.


Concordia provided a fertile ground for Irwin’s early explorations of Montreal’s arts and music scene.

“I was in creative writing and had a zine with Ruby Kato Attwood (BFA 06) formerly of Polaris Prize-nominated band, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan),” he says. “We put on art, music and poetry shows and zine launches.

“I was editor of the department literary journal, which was launched at the Art Matters festival. There were a lot of readings then, usually connected to music and painting shows. Ruby and I ended up starting a band. It was all out of the same kettle because everyone we knew was into arts.”

Irwin encourages students hoping to pursue a career in the arts to value their dreams and take a collaborative approach.

“Do it. And do it with others. Team up. You're really doing it,” he says, before adding, “Remember, if you're worried about when you’re going to be successfully doing it, you're doing it already.”

James Irwin’s top picks for POP Montreal

  • John Cale | Rialto Theatre (5723 Parc Ave.) | Thursday, September 22, at 7 p.m.
  • Pat Jordache | Balatou (4372 Saint-Laurent Blvd.) | Thursday, Sept. 22, at 8:45 p.m.


POP Montreal runs Sept. 21 to 25. Find out more about Concordia’s alumni network

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