Gareth Inkster – “Lost” [Listen]
I feel you right before I sleep
Right before the floor below sinks deep
This month marks a year since Hamilton singer-songwriter Gareth Inkster’s debut album Last Year, one of my favourite local releases of 2018. Since then we have been treated to more singles and great live shows from Gareth and his band. His latest has been a standout track for me during those shows. As it turns out, I wasn’t alone in that! Gareth says of the song: “It’s funny how these things go, but I wasn’t convinced it was a keeper for a little while. It became clear to me that that was an unpopular opinion, and this has become one of the highlights of our live set. “
The Rumblings Of Spring – “Tidal Waves” [Listen]
She’s got a broken heart
That rhymes with mine
New Canadian indie rock ensemble The Rumblings Of Spring is full of familiar faces: Hamilton singer-songwriter Matt Paxton backed by members of Apostle of Hustle, Feist, Cuff the Duke, Ellevator, and more. Their self-titled EP was revealed last month and it’s a delightful listen to kick back to this summer. The collection of songs was produced by Michael Keire at a fave spot of mine, Threshold Studio in Hamilton. Check out the animated music video for the lead single.
Slow Healer – “Businessman”(feat. Devon Sproule) [Listen]
Wanna talk to ya
But you’re making it impossible
Wanna talk to ya
But the you I used to know is gone
Having dedicated a decade of work to filming other musicians with the awesome Southern Souls, Mitch Fillion reconnects with his own music. And I’m so glad he has – now we get to enjoy the fruits of that labour! The new EP Always Trippin’ is his first as Slow Healer. A lovely laidback listen throughout, the final track and first single “Businessman” kicks things up a notch and brings it all home.
Charlie Mauve – “I Always Lose My Lighter” [Listen]
I need sugar more than I do water
And I’m ok with that because it keeps me sweet
Local artist Charlie Mauve has been on my radar for quite some time, and she should be on yours, too! The dynamic vocalist has dropped two singles this year so far under this new moniker – both equally intriguing, self-assured, and feels like an artist who is fully stepping into her own (and gearing up for more). Next show: August 25 at Mills Hardware for a free, all ages, all-local showcase alongside LifeandtheTribe, Brutus Begins, and Motëm.
Neon Dreams – “Sweet Dreams till Sunbeams” [Listen]
It’s not about where you are
It’s about where you’re gonna be
I caught the Neon Dreams wave after seeing them perform at this year’s Because Beer festival. Diamond DJ Collective were stoked to kick off the Friday night of the fest before this killer Halifax duo took the stage. Drawing on pop, dance, electronic, and reggae, their tunes are irresistibly melodic and catchy, as heard on their freshly dropped LP Sweet Dreams till Sunbeams. But what struck me most about the band was the energetic live set. See it for yourself when they’re back in town on August 22 at Mills Hardware.
Wildlife – “Wasted” [Listen]
That’s just time that I’m not wasting anymore
Wildlife is back, baby! It has been a while since we’ve heard from the Toronto band, whose live show has always been a fave of mine on the Canadian indie rock circuit. Their almost decade-long discography has been a part of the soundtrack to the I Heart Hamilton journey. If this new song is any indication, the band is still in fine form! A new record, Take The Light With You, is due out this fall. Dean Povinsky of the band says this new song is “about trying to look at life differently when things basically suck. It’s so easy to be negative. Sometimes you’ve got to do a little mental karate to get back on track, and actually be productive or helpful to another person. When there are outside forces acting upon you that you don’t like, simply acknowledging them can drain their power.”
The Dirty Nil – “Astro Ever After” [Listen]
I wanna leave the earth
Thank the rock’n’roll heavens (or hells) for blessing us with a new track from The Dirty Nil. The standout track was a favourite of the band’s Master Volume (one of the best local releases of 2018) sessions. They say: “For anyone with a space lust, and for those who appreciate the beauty and brevity of life, the majesty of the sky, and the sludge of stoner metal: this one’s for you.”
Another Crush – “Hope You’re Happy” [Listen]
I hope you never slow down
Hamilton band Another Crush hit the ground running since they first formed in 2018. With a polished 90’s alternative rock inspired sound, the band members have drawn from tragedies and twists and turns in their lives to go all in, channeling their energy into this project. They say this latest single is “a wish for the people you have loved, a prayer that they stay true to themselves and a nod to the truth that we’re often our own worst enemies.” The band’s third single and first EP will be released in October. Watch the video for this one.
Girlfriend Material – “Stay In Touch” [Listen]
And I know I always say ‘let’s stay in touch’
But this time let’s really stay in touch
Nothing says summer like some garage rock jams. Girlfriend Material is here to deliver. Featuring members of Tokyo Police Club and Hollerado, I would expect nothing less. But it wasn’t that easy; leading into the project, Graham Wright of TPC expresses: “I hadn’t written a song in years and I didn’t think I would care if I never wrote another one.” Forming this band, Graham says “I fell in love with music again. I fell in love with Tokyo Police Club again. I fell in love with the world again. Nothing I’ve ever done has meant more to me.” You can feel that love, rejuvenation, freedom & good vibes throughout the band’s debut, Cool Car.
Daphni – “Sizzling” [Listen]
Feel your love burning deep inside of me
I thought this far there’s no returning
‘Cause your love won’t set me free
The perfect midsummer’s jam, right here. Dundas native Dan Snaith (Caribou) does it again with his new EP, Sizzling. The title track is a remix of 1981’s deliciously disco “Sizzlin Hot” by Paradise. A Pitchfork review nails it: “‘Sizzling’ encapsulates what every DJ/producer should aspire to: a dancefloor firestarter that might open listeners to music they never knew they needed.” Now I have not only one, but two new summer jams after digging into the original track as well. Crank this up!
David Disher – “The Electric Palm Tree” [Listen]
I just binged season three of Stranger Things while on a mini vacation, and I could imagine the electronic vibes from David Disher’s new EP Night City fitting in quite nicely. I’ve been a big fan of this local musician’s projects over the years including releases from Scarlett & Disher, so it’s exciting to get some new soundscapes here. The artist describes the EP as being “set in a fictional district of Los Angeles in 1986. The city is drenched in the neon light of seedy nightclubs and bars. Abandoned by police, Night City is controlled by a gang of violent thugs known as The Neon Shadows.” Press play and be swept away by the wild ride.