Charlottetown: That electro-cute look

Female vocalists like Emily Haines, Jenny Lewis and Deborah Harry are always tops on the best dressed lists I keep in my head. So maybe it’s not surprising that the girls I would crown most fashionable on Prince Edward Island are also rising stars in the Maritime indie music scene.

The Barnkats consist of Katie Rankin (vocals, keys and bright blue tambourine) and Gillian Arsenault (guitar and vocals) and the two friends play music that blends rap, techno, folk and pop in a style that fans have affectionately dubbed “electro-cute.” Their lyrics are as charming as their musical style, with topics ranging from first heartbreaks to good luck charms that stave off creepy old men.

Original music and fun lyrics aside, the fashion is my favourite thing about Barnkats. Rankin dresses like an Agyness Deyn/Annie Lennox hybrid, with white blonde hair, pleather leggings, rompers, and leopard print accessories. While Arsenault is known for her cropped hair, party dresses and a love for all things argyle. The two cats also always coordinate outfits pre-performance and have a tendency to match their clothes (subconsciously they claim) to the color of the night’s instruments.

The next few months are important for the band as they launch their first EP That Female Look in December. Until then, you can listen to the Barnkats online at, or better yet, check out a live show in downtown Charlottetown on any given Friday or Saturday night where you can ogle their outfits firsthand.

Photography by Patrick Callbeck

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