Festival Guide 2018: In the Dead of Winter

Where: Halifax, N.S.

When: Jan. 18-20

What it is: The little festival that mostly lives in the North End of Halifax comes at the perfect time every year. The calendar is pretty barren over the next couple months, unless you count Valentine’s Day, but even that can cause enough stress on its own. So alas, we have some of the best musicians that North America has to offer coming to Halifax to warm our souls while we warm our bones.

Headliners: Waxahatchee, Palehound, Witch Prophet, Fiver, Rose Cousins, Kaia Kater

Full lineup can be viewed on the IDOW website

Mix Pick: Fiver

One of Canada’s best songwriters, Simon Schmidt, released the album Audible Songs from Rockwood under their Fiver moniker last year. It’s an album sharing stories from Rockwood Asylum for the Criminally Insane late in the 1800’s. She put a lot of research into the project, sharing the stories of woman who faced the hardships that come along with mental illness. The songs are chilling and Schmidt’s presentation at her live shows is moving and captivating. We can’t really do the songs or the stories justice in this little blurb, so check out Fiver and find out for yourself.

Thursday, Jan. 18, 10:30 p.m. at The Carleton

Bonus pick: Palehound

Yeah, yeah, we’re a Canadian blog. But Boston is closer to Halifax than most major Canadian cities, so we’re going to mention Palehound. Making their Halifax debut before a tour with Toronto’s Weaves, this band is a must-see at IDOW. Products of the Boston DIY scene, the Polyvinyl artist has a way of throwing together warm guitar riffs with cool vocals to make addictive indie rock. Songs that sound happy have sad lyrics and vice versa. It messes with your head in the best way possible.

Friday, Jan. 18, 11 pm.m at the Seahorse

Mix Tips: We always talk about brunch in this portion because everybody at least thinks about brunch once a week. Last year, the IDOW brunch sold out. Good news this year, there’ll be two brunches at Good Robot. One at 10:30 a.m. and the other at 12:30 p.m. It’s $15 in advance and $20. But seating is limited so we’d advise getting tickets early and getting there early if you don’t want to be hangry the rest of the day.

Press photo of Palehound by Shervin Lainez