Listening to Reuben Bullock now, it’s hard to imagine him ever having a crisis of confidence. After all, there’s nothing even slightly timid about his emotionally charged indie-folk. His soulful vocals and multilayered songwriting were powerful enough to land him on one of Canada’s largest indie labels, Arts & Crafts, for his band’s first full-length album, and to pick up some high-placed fans along the way. Not just anyone can say they’ve caught the ear of both Florence Welch (Florence + the Machine) and Justin Trudeau.
Growing up in Calgary, though, Bullock was convinced he couldn’t sing. Words came easily—he started scribbling poetry as a teenager and hasn’t stopped since. But given that even campfire singalongs were terrifying, the thought of being a songwriter didn’t cross his mind. It wasn’t until his early 20s when Bullock’s brother handed him a guitar and taught him a pair of chords that things clicked, and Bullock’s path became clear.
The rest has been a rush. After two solo albums in the early 2010s, Bullock recruited The Dark (its membership has shifted a few times over the years). In 2013, they hooked up with producer Stephen Kozmeniuk (Nikki Minaj, Madonna, Kendrick Lamar), and began playing to crowds across the continent. Aside from a 2016 single, though, Bullock and co. have kept relatively quiet lately. Lucky for you, they’re ready to step out of the shadows again.
Opening the show will be Treaty 6 electronic trio nêhiyawak and Toronto dream pop artist AMAARA.