PERSONS. Photo by Ariel Bader-Shamai

By Kristin Archer

Delta Days – “Party Tonight” [Listen]
All the boys say
It’s alright
All the girls say
Party tonight
Delta Days’ debut record A Round Town kicks off with quite literally a party and continues rockin’ and rollin’ right through. The band is an alternative folk rock/country gang of musicians you’ll know from around town (a fitting album title!). You can always catch them on solid bills in Hamilton – like back in December with Pet Sun and The Bandicoots, and coming up on February 21st with Beams (see next track!) at This Ain’t Hollywood. But first, this Friday, February 9th at The Casbah it’s Delta Days’ time to shine, celebrating their album’s release with Cam Malcolm and Free Love.

Beams – “My Second Time At The Mountains” [Listen]
Someone just told me
Once you’ve seen one mountain
You’ve seen them all
Toronto-based indie-psych-folk rockers Beams are here with their sophomore album Teach Me To Love. The album is the result of a tumultuous time for lead vocalist Anna Mernieks, both personally and creatively; perhaps they one in the same? Through the turmoil came this new collection of songs, with introspection and weight behind the catchy, happy melodies. This track “wonders if you can ever experience a ‘first’ again, whether it’s the awe of seeing mountains for the first time, or the way you loved someone in the beginning.” Beams’ record release tour brings them to Hamilton, as mentioned, with Delta Days at This Ain’t Hollywoood on February 21st.

Beams. Official photo.
Beams. Official photo.

Fanny Price – “Slow Burn” [Listen]
And now I’ve figured it out
Can’t come near me anymore

‘Cause I’m turning around
Fanny Price is a new artist on local label Other Songs Music. My ears perk up immediately when a new female artist is on the scene – more of this please! This debut single “Slow Burn” is just as the title suggests – already a gorgeous sound from the start, the song picks up steam exactly halfway through, with percussion kicking in. Fanny’s soft, airy vocals float effortlessly and I can’t wait to hear more. We’ll see Fanny Price this Sunday, February 11th at The Casbah alongside Jennifer Budd and Shanika Maria.

Fanny Price. Official photo.
Fanny Price. Official photo.

Gareth Inkster – “Last Year” [Listen]
So maybe I should listen to 
My head when it says “run from you.” 
Or does my heart know what to do? 
Oh man, it’s a lose-lose
Another local debut single in this mix comes courtesy of singer-songwriter Gareth Inkster. A song about the complicated nature of relationships, the lyrics capture the confusion that so often races through one’s mind, all the while being set to a catchy, toe-tapping melody. The track was engineered and mixed locally by Glen Watkinson at Sheepdog Studios. Watch for a full album to come which Gareth describes: “Being in large part a sonic tip of the hat to many of [my] influences, Last Year promises to be an eclectic mix of musical styles.”

Donovan Woods – “Burn That Bridge” [Listen]
I always knew it
We were taking the long way around

When I see a new Donovan Woods tune, it’s always a drop-everything-you’re-doing-and-listen-right-now moment. Donovan announced his 5th album Both Ways which is due out on April 20th. In the meantime we have this lead single and it’s more songwriting brilliance from Donovan. The song escalates wonderfully and the added percussion that kicks in has me practically fist-pumping in the air by the end. There is so much more than just a folky, singer-songwriter style to Donovan Woods – he always has a solid groove that hooks right into you. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the record.

Donovan Woods. Official photo.
Donovan Woods. Official photo.

The Crowleys – “Pink Rainbows” [Listen]
Pink rainbows will find their way to you
This is a back-to-back Playlist appearance for The Crowleys, but as long as they keep churning out the good vibes, I’m all about it! Their EP Colour Change Their Tone is finally here and I’m already projecting it to be on my Best Of 2018 local list at the end of the year. They say this deliciously psychedelic tune “is the first song that we have recorded that we never played as a full band prior to hitting the studio. Cohen wrote the song a while back and recorded a few of the parts, and then the rest of the band kind of wrote and recorded on the fly. It gave a lot of creative freedom and we believe it shows in the final product.”

Bossie – “Strawberry Moon” [Listen]
You’re making away with my night
And it’s not alright
No this isn’t the time

To assume that I need your advice
I needed this blast of glittery pop in the dead of winter! Bossie released another burst of sunshine at the end of last year, and it’s always a delight to hear new tunes from Anne Douris. In light of the recent Grammys debacle with a lack of women artists represented, she also gave some terrific thoughts about being a women in the music industry. Bossie also accompanies this single with her pop take on a classic, “Solsbury Hill.”

Bossie. Official photo.
Bossie. Official photo.

Persons – “Got Nothing For Ya” [Listen]
Got got nothing for ya
My favourite gang is back with new tunes – Dreams is a 7″ release from Persons featuring two tracks you’ll be familiar with (and will have grooved to already) if you’ve seen them live recently. And they are bangers! The physical copies of this release are limited edition 7″ lathe cut picture disks, each with different cover art, plus they’re magnets! They’ve really thought of everything. Persons says of the tracks: “this two song excursion weaves through beat-driven sonic environments over which all Persons members make an appearance. Dreams alludes to idealist vs. dystopian ideas present in modern discourse.”

PERSONS. Photo by Ariel Bader-Shamai
PERSONS. Photo by Ariel Bader-Shamai

Emma Rush – “Blue” [Listen]
There is no end to the diverse range of talent in Hamilton. Emma Rush is an acclaimed musician who has established herself as one of Canada’s preeminent classical guitarists, earning international attention. This month sees Emma in Malcolm Island, BC, as the Sointula Artist-in-Residence, and this fall she will be in residence at GEDOK in Lübeck, Germany to prepare a new recording project. In the meantime we have this beautiful album Canadiana, which features the music of iconic Canadian songwriters. It was recorded with Kirk Starkey at Central Presbyterian Church here in Hamilton. Emma is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Guitar Hamilton concert series that includes the Hamilton International Guitar Festival.

The Foreign Films – “The Sun Will Shine Again” [Listen]
A little bit of love in your heart for me
A little bit of love and
Prolific local musician Bill Majoros began an ambitious new project – a triple vinyl concept LP which has been a lifelong dream for the artist. The Record Collector | Side 1 was released back in December, and the triple vinyl is set to come out on March 23rd. Bill says of the music, “It’s a musical time machine, interwoven with psychedelic mythology; it’s the technicolor soundtrack to my life; simultaneously an imaginary fable. The songs on Side 1 musically echo and reimagine the vintage records, cassettes and radio of my childhood.”

The Foreign Films - The Record Collector | Side 1
The Foreign Films – The Record Collector | Side 1
Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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