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  • Writer's pictureSam.D

Quebec's Soundtrack: The Perfect Soundtrack for Your Next Adventure

As a traveler, there are few things more exciting than immersing yourself in a new culture. From trying local cuisine to exploring historical landmarks, every aspect of a foreign land is a cool chance to learn and grow. And one of the most powerful ways to connect with a new culture is through its music.


While language can be a barrier when it comes to fully understanding a culture, there are ways to connect beyond words. One of those ways is through music. In Quebec, even if you don't speak French, listening to local music can be a great way to immerse yourself in the culture. Music is after all a universal language that transcends linguistic and cultural differences.You can connect with the traditions, and people on a deeper level.


So what you know about Quebec music?

Sure, you may have heard of some of Quebec's biggest names in music, like Celine Dion,Leonard Cohen, Patrick Watson or Simple Plan. But have you ever heard of Les Cowboys Fringants, Offenbach, or Harmonium? These talented artists are just a few examples of the many hidden gems (to the whole world) that make up Quebec's vibrant music scene.


As a tour guide and proud local, I am thrilled to share with you somes of the classique and also somes my favorite music from this part of the world.

Im not an expert and there so many to discover but get open minded a bit and travel to various kind of music.I will probably forget many as I can't say all of them. I guarantee you'll find something to love on this list. So go ahead and give it a listen – I can't wait to hear what you think!

I MADE YOU A MIXTAPE!


I've curated a Spotify playlist perfect for a road trip to Quebec or for your plane journey. However, I must mention (Surtout pour les gens du Québec qui lis ce blog) that some of the songs may come off as a bit cheesy. In our local slang, we refer to them as 'Quétaine,' yet somehow, we secretly adore some of these tunes. For you, it'll be a whole new world of musical discovery! Its really a mix of all genres! I dont like all of thoses songs but I must say that somes of them are simply famous enough to make the list! Click here



Rock

Quebec has a rich history of producing incredible rock music, with a number of classic bands.Two of the most iconic of these are Offenbach and Harmonium, both have helped define the sound of Quebec's francophone rock scene in the 1970s and '80s.






Offenbach is one of my favorite band of all time.The band was known for their high-energy live shows and catchy, guitar-driven rock songs with a blues-inspired sound. People remember alot their singer Gerry Boulet. He was not only the lead vocalist of Offenbach but also one of the most iconic and beloved figures in Quebec's music history. He had a powerful and distinct voice, with a raw and emotional quality that made him a legendary figure in Quebec rock music.

Some of their most famous songs include "Câline de blues", "Mes blues passent pu dans porte", and "Ayoye".Somes of my favorite song are "Je le sais bien" and "Promenade sur mars" .





While Harmonium was more experimental, incorporating elements of progressive rock and classical music into their sound. We can say they were pioneers in progressive rock genre in Quebec .Harmonium's music have elaborate instrumentation and soaring melodies, as well as real poetic lyrics.One of the most beautiful lyric of one of their song (Un musicien parmi tant d'autres) is

"Où est allé tout le monde qui avait quelque chose à raconter" ("Where did everyone go who had something to say").

"On a mis quelqu'un au monde, on devrait peut-être l'écouter."

which translates to "We brought someone into the world, maybe we should listen to them."





These two bands are quite famous here but there were also many other great bands that emerged, Some notable examples include:

Beau Dommage ,Corbeau,Marjo,Vilain Pingouin,Michel Pagliaro,Aut'Chose,Morse Code and Les Colocs (even if they are diverse)


Folk-Trad


Quebec's traditional music is a fascinating amalgamation of influences, notably the profound impact of Irish heritage. During the 19th century, a significant influx of Irish immigrants brought their distinctive musical traditions, including reels, jigs, and instruments like the fiddle, which intermingled with local melodies in Quebec.






Key figures such as Mary Travers, renowned as "La Bolduc," epitomized this amalgamation in the early 20th century. Her performances, often accompanied by a blend of instruments like the fiddle, accordion, and spoons, showcased a captivating fusion of Irish and French-Canadian musical elements.






The legacy of fusion continued with prominent groups like La Bottine Souriante, who further enriched Quebecois music by infusing it with diverse influences from Irish, Scottish, and Breton musical traditions. Their vibrant performances and innovative arrangements put Quebec's traditional music onto the international stage.





Building upon this rich musical heritage, contemporary bands like Les Cowboys Fringants not only preserve but also evolve Quebec's folk music tradition by seamlessly blending diverse musical styles. Unfortunately, the band faced a tragic loss when Karl Tremblay, their lead singer, passed away due to prostate cancer. Despite his health battle during chemotherapy in the summer of 2023, the band performed in front of an 90,000 people, akin to the crowd of a Metallica concert, at the historic Field of Abraham.The first concert was cancelled due to the weather so Le festival d'été extended the festival one more night. An unique event that many people will remember.


Karl Tremblay's passing deeply affected many as he was a beloved and current artist. His music is destined to echo through radios, campfires, and karaoke nights for the coming decade. Such was his impact that even the Quebec government have suggest and extended the honor of a national funeral.


In addition to the list, I'd include names like Les Charbonniers de l'Enfer, Le Vent du Nord, and Carotté, known for their unique blend of punkish traditional tunes.


Traditional music thrives during New Year's Eve celebrations and sugar shack seasons, evoking memories of family reunions and cherished moments of days gone by.


Throughout the summer, our region hosts diverse music festivals, including 'Es Trad,' a vibrant celebration dedicated solely to traditional music. Feel welcomed to join the festivities, immerse yourself in the rhythms, and let loose on the dance floor!



Here some suggestion with other genre!




🎵 **Rap Scene: Vibrant and Diverse**

Quebec's rap scene is lively, showcasing various styles and voices. Check out these Quebec rap artists: Alaclair Ensemble, Dead Obies, Loud, Koriass, Souldia, FouKi, and Webster. Webster not only contributes to the music but also leads eye-opening walking tours (he is a tour guide like me and we went together in the sames classes) , highlighting the area's Black cultural heritage and shedding light on the history of slavery in the region. There an exhibition currently about Quebec Rap Music legacy at the museum of civilisation.




🎸 **Metal for the True Enthusiast**

Calling all metalheads! Quebec has a strong booming metal scene. Dive into the heavy sounds of these influential bands: Voivod, Kataklysm, Anonymus,Cryptopsy, Despised Icon, Gorguts, Unexpect, Martyr, Quo Vadis. I was myself a keyboardist to a death metal band named Aeternam (our first album was sign on Metal Blade Records...Yeah I love to brag this). Also Quebec have a huge black metal scene.




🤠 **Country Melodies to Soothe the Soul**

If country music resonates with you, explore the heartfelt tunes of these Quebec artists: Paul Daraîche, Guylaine Tanguay, Renée Martel, Patrick Norman, Willy Lamothe.



🎶 **Iconic Classics of Quebec**

Let's not forget the timeless and iconic artists that have shaped Quebec's music scene: Bruno Pelletier, Daniel Bélanger (One of my personal favorite), Felix Leclerc,Jean Leloup, Céline Dion, Robert Charlebois, Diane Dufresne,Claude Dubois,Ginette Reno,Garou,Alys robis.





🎶 Looking for more current music, here are a few contemporary musicians and bands from Québec: Charlotte Cardin, Half Moon Run ,Coeur de pirate, Patrick Watson , Milk & Bone , Caravane

These artists represent a diverse range of musical styles and have been making waves both locally and internationally with their unique sounds.



What Quebec music I listen thoses day?

My playlist is a diverse mix reflecting my current musical taste. Recently, I've been drawn to Maude Audet's vibrant pop and Alexandra Streliski's soul-stirring piano melodies also somes good rock from Caravane and Keith Kouna. Occasionally, I weave in Leonard Cohen's timeless classics.



Finally


The people of Quebec (this work for anyone in the world also) appreciate when visitors take an interest in their culture and traditions. Go se a live performance at a local venue or attend to a music festival, immerse yourself in the vibrant music scene,Its an adventure you'll never forget. Not only will you have the chance to meet locals and share in their passion for music, but you'll also gain a deeper appreciation for the unique blend of Musique!


Experience something fun at karaoke at Ninkasi on Saint-Jean Street or any other bar during their karaoke nights. While the classics like 'escape' 'Killing in the name of' and 'Sweet Caroline' often take the stage, it's not uncommon to witness locals occasionally showcasing Quebecois songs, creating a unique connection that resonates among the crowd. It happen more then you think!



Bonne écoute!














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