Emmas Ringer is opening for Dress Black on Sept. 17 at LIVE! on Elgin. Photo: Zak Johnson, MUTT design.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Dress Black and Emmas Ringer jump into the Ottawa music scene

LIVE! on Elgin is about to receive a double dose of indie rock goodness when two up-and-coming bands, Dress Black and Emmas Ringer, arrive to perform on Sept. 17.

Having formed just two years ago, Toronto-based group Dress Black have been on a steady rise since the release of their first self-titled EP in the summer of 2014.

“We decided to release a recording so that we could start getting listeners involved before we even started playing a live show,” said vocalist and guitarist Stephane Monten. “It’s a weird way to start, but it was cool to have a product online that we could use to show listeners what we’re up to.”

Since then, they have been touring extensively throughout Ontario, and play in Ottawa about three times a year.

Even though they’ve only been together for a short time, the four band members are already making a name for themselves. They are one of five nominees for Best Indie group at the 2016 Toronto Independent Music Awards, and are playing sold-out shows across the city.

“Toronto is really making a name for itself now in the music scene,” said Monten. “There’s a lot of good content coming out of here, and we feel confident that Toronto is a good city to be in for the next little while.”

But Toronto isn’t the only place where one can make a living as a local musician, not if homegrown Ottawa talent like Emmas Ringer has anything to say about it.

The 90s grunge-inspired group released their full-length album Generations in 2014, recorded in Ottawa and Toronto at Capital Art Productions.

Scott Maybee, a Telfer School alumnus and lead vocalist/guitarist for Emmas Ringer, is not ashamed to hype up the Ottawa music scene.

While he says Ottawa might lack big names like Drake or July Talk—and we definitely won’t count Organized Rhyme as a big-name Ottawa act—the city is not without its perks.

Maybee says it’s easy to get gigs in the city with its large number of music venues and festivals on hand. He sums it up as one of the best scenes in the entire country.

When asked for advice to give to students that are new to Ottawa, Maybee said that it’s all about balance, but he maintains that academics isn’t everything.

“A big part of university is the work you do outside of school,” he says, whether that means joining clubs, groups specific to your program, or even starting a band.

The upcoming year holds big promises for both bands, with new music and tours of the East Coast on the horizon.

But before all of that transpires, Ottawa residents have the opportunity to see these two up-and-comers perform in the nation’s capital on Sept. 17.

Emmas Ringer and Dress Black are playing LIVE! on Elgin at 220 Elgin Street, on Sept. 17 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.


  • Spring 2022: Desiree Nikfardjam Fall 2021: Zofka Svec 2020-2021: Aisling Murphy 2019-2020: Ryan Pepper 2018-2019: Iain Sellers 2017-2018: Ryan Pepper