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Everything to expect for Sled Island x The Gauntlet 

By Ansharah Shakil, June 21 2023—

Sled Island, Calgary’s annual music and arts festival and one of the summer’s most anticipated events, officially kicks into gear from June 21 to 25. While the festival boasts a whole host of fascinating activities and killer bands dispersed in venues across the city, the Gauntlet is excited to present alongside the long-running music festival on June 23. The Sled Island x the Gauntlet showcase features Sargeant X Comrade, Kaeyae Alo, Wura Sol and Ebun performing this Friday at Modern Love, formerly known as Broken City. 

Since Kaeyae Alo is the only one of the four to be performing at another time during the festival — whereas the others are slated only for the Modern Love show — this showcase is an opportunity to see a series of talented local artists all gathered together. If you haven’t heard of any of these artists before, you’re missing out — but here’s the rundown on what makes their performances a must-see. 

Soul music duo Sargeant X Comrade, who hails from Calgary, break boundaries between genres like jazz and hip-hop to create their own sound. Sargeant’s velvety vocals and Comrade’s captivating production make their nostalgia-infused electronic music impossible not to nod your head along to. Newcomers to the duo will easily fall for tracks like “Stages” and “Soul Queen.” 

Kaeyae Alo is another local artist whose charisma is clear to see in her simple and elegant contemporary soul music. There’s delicacy inherent in Alo’s gentle and coy lyrics, and gripping, bold emotion as well. Her newest EP 17times is only 13 minutes, but not a single minute goes to waste, and each song is hypnotically distinctive from the others. 

Ontario-based singer-songwriter Wura Sol does R&B classically and compellingly — her affinity with jazz and soul carries into the way she sings, unashamed and poised and seeking genuine emotion from whatever audience is listening to her. The latest release “lfe” is carefree but lively, a pleasant addition to Sol’s genres. It joins the rest of her recent singles in being a refreshing and appealing combination of genres.

Ebun, a hip-hop, R&B and afro-pop artist raised in Alberta, sings in a soft, angelic manner. The rhythmic production in her music along with her vocals and lyrics are instantly alluring. Ebun’s latest single “Blue Water” is a seamless blending of hip hop and soul, but her 2021 single “Sunset Chasing” is the perfect gateway for new listeners to feel the evocative, dreamy images conjured up by her music. 

While they’re different from each other in many ways, there’s clear compatibility with the music of these artists. They’re only a few of a massive and impressive lineup, but they certainly promise an exciting show and one that is not to be missed. 

More details about these bands and the rest of Sled Island’s events can be found on the Sled Island website

To buy tickets to the Gauntlet x Sled Island showcase, click here.

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