Up and coming artists to check out in Vancouver

Vancouver’s local music scene is home to hidden gems

Wesley Attew. Photo by Jack Madeley

Vancouver is one of the most international cities in Canada. Its natural beauty and endless opportunities for adventure draw wanderers from all over the world. This is what brought three talented musicians, a Brit (Wesley Attew), an Irishman (Gary O’Neill) and a Saskatchewanian (Zach Kleisinger) to Vancouver. Even though you may have to do some digging, the music scene in Vancouver is bursting with local talent. There are hidden gems all over the city. Venues such as The Corduroy, Kings Cafe and Park Sound Recording Studio in North Vancouver brought Attew, O’Neill and Kleisinger together. These venues have created a tight knit music community that supports local artists and sends a pulse through the rainy, grey streets of Vancouver. The following three artists are all names you will be seeing a lot of as the Vancouver music scene continues to grow and flourish.

Wesley Attew @wesleyattewmusic

Wesley Attew. Photo by Jack Madeley

Wesley Attew is a world traveling Englishman who moved to Vancouver last February. Prior to living in Vancouver, Attew lived in Toronto and Dubai. He draws his style from a range of influences, mainly modern day indie folk-rock (The Lumineers, Jake Bugg, City and Colour, The Head and the Heart) and 60s and 70s folk music. Attew displays a refreshing honesty through his hard-hitting poetic lyricism and expressive melodies.

Attew has spent the last few years on the road. First picking up a guitar whilst traveling around Australia and Asia, it was not until he moved back to Dubai, where his family is based, that he began to hone his craft in the country’s emerging music scene. After relocating from the Middle East to Canada in 2015, he found time to record and release his debut EP The Other Side in Toronto. Since being in Vancouver Attew’s newest songs speak to the struggle of applying for permanent residency, road tripping across Canada and the friendships made while traveling.  

Zach Kleisinger  @zachkleisinger

Zach Kleisinger. Photo by Jack Madeley

In 2014, Moose Jaw native Zach Kleisinger took out his walking shoes and journeyed across the country playing street corners, bars, coffee shops and venues. Kleisinger landed in Victoria, B.C. to work with old friend Sam Weber, who produced his debut EP Between Cities. The songs released on the EP capture an honest authenticity with a youthful curiosity. His brooding tales, gravelly vocals, and meandering guitar reflect the folk-fused blues of Bob Dylan, the earnest optimism of Jack Johnson and the sonic style of Bruce Springsteen.

The upcoming year will see Kleisinger release his follow-up EP, tour the west coast to continue building a faithful fan base, hitting small grassroots festivals and taking his position in Canada’s folk landscape as a voice to be reckoned with.

Gary O’neill  @garyoneillio

Wesley Attew and Gary O’Neill. Photo by Jack Madeley

After years of honing his craft in the small knitted songwriting circles of Dublin City, Gary O’Neill is quietly working on his next self-produced album. Based in Vancouver, O’Neill is grafting it in his makeshift home studio; carving plans for a busy year of travel, old returns and new releases throughout. After a year away from music and some time spent travelling, a collection of songs have been slowly rising to the surface. O’Neill’s haunting yet warm Irish voice makes every audience member swoon and want to instantly book a one way ticket to Ireland.