Photos by Ming Wu/Photogmusic

This past Wednesday, two six {ate} hosted Laurent Bourque, Fred Woods and Julie Corrigan as part of the MEGAPHONO 2016 series. I got the chance to catch both Laurent and Fred’s sets in what was a cozy and intimate environment. Fifteen of us crammed into the upstairs bar to listen to this late afternoon folk-pop set.

Laurent Bourque, an Ottawa native who turned heads with his 2011 release What We Talk About, has since toured across North America on the festival circuit including NXNE, POP Montreal, and RBC Ottawa Bluesfest, where he won the 2014 Stingray Rising Star Award. Laurent’s set was tight and intimate. He has a fresh sound, with crafty songwriting and arrangements. His voice is beautiful, and his lyrics made me feel all of the feelings. “Memories” in particular pulled at the heartstrings. It’s the kind of tune that everyone can relate to – heartache & regret. He conveyed a certain charm in his performance, and engaged his audience, asking us all to check out his merch, and joking that a copy of his CD makes for a great coaster. I think we will all be hearing a lot more from Mr. Bourque in the future

After a short intermission, Fred took the stage. His haunting voice and sombre lyrics really speak to the soul. Hailing from Montreal, his debut album Documenta was self-released in 2013. Although rooted in the singer-songwriter genre and relying mostly on acoustic instruments, Fred’s music also explores elements of the electronic genre (https://soundcloud.com/fredwoods). He is currently in the studio working on his next record and I am excited to see what it has in store. Fred’s music is emotional and thoughtful – it hits you like a wall of noise with each element ricocheting inside your head. The unlikely combination of synth and acoustic guitar works to create a really layered and melancholic sound.  His sound is reminiscent of James Vincent McMorrow, with those longing intimate vocals. Fred seems kinda shy in an endearing way, keeping his head down for most of his set, with little interaction with his audience.

Fred Woods @ Two Six [ate]. Photo by Ming Wu/Photogmusic
Fred Woods @ two six [ate]. Photo by Ming Wu/Photogmusic
 

Both Laurent and Fred are exceptionally talented, it was a real treat to see them perform in such an intimate setting. Although I couldn’t stay for Julie Corrigan‘s set, her soulful roots-country sound and songs of heartache, loss, and longing are deservedly making waves in the Ottawa Valley. Keep an eye out for all them on the festival circuit this summer!