Luckystickz – “Strangers” [Listen]
You can text my number
You can ring my line
We’ve got some serious local bops this month! Singer, songwriter and steelpan aficionado Luckystickz brings the party with a new summer jam. It’s a smooth, groovy, Afro-pop tune with the musician’s signature steelpan flourishes. The single leads the way for Luckystickz’s new EP, House Warming Party. Check out the vibrant music video!
Julianna Jones – “Can’t Help It” [Listen]
I dove right in
I’m treading water
I’m here for all of the great pop/R&B tunes coming from the next generation of local musicians! Julianna Jones delivers another another bop with “Can’t Help It.” Together with producer Garrett LaJoie, the musicians tell a relatable tale that warns about playing with fire in a toxic relationship, because you’re most likely going to get burned. With her work, Julianna seeks to break barriers for women in the industry and set an example for young women. Look out for her EP to come.
ParkfromCC – “I Got You” [Listen]
Beam me up like Scotty
ParkfromCC is another fresh artist and producer coming out of the city. His melodic new track was created in collaboration with producers DeltoidTheNEW and goneboy. The project has been in the making for some time, and they’re excited to bring it to your summer playlists. Released with ZYX Records, the collective is home to a lot of underground talent in Hamilton to watch out for.
Ryan Sykes – “Love Yourself” [Listen]
If there’s one thing you should know
It is to always
Love yourself first
More local bops for this summer mix! Ryan Sykes has been hard at work honing his sound, and shares another stellar single. He says the song is “a story about losing someone but finding your own personal self love and confidence. It shows myself taking a big step, accepting the pain, and allowing myself to be honest with who I am. My ultimate goal is to spread love and that is how I feel with this song. When you listen to it I just hope it radiates happiness, makes you smile and ultimately gain that self-love that we all truly need.” Check out the music video!
Paulo Leon – “Chicken Little” [Listen]
The world is burning
Huge fan of the work coming out of local artistic collective andthenyoudie. The team says: “We are a diverse one of a kind Hamilton based creative collective focused on creating quality, ingenious, art and content that matches our powerful artistry which not only engages, but reflects the communities and world around us. Our voices last forever.” Hip hop artist Paulo Leon continues to impress with his flow and thoughtful lyrics. Read more about andthenyoudie in my latest blog for 93.3 CFMU.
Haviah Mighty – “Avocado” [Listen]
I be taking one step, you right on my heel
Did you fall in love yet, do you want the real?
Toronto-based rapper Haviah Mighty has already brought us stellar singles this year. Especially for our pandemic playlists – “Antisocial” (feat. Old Man Saxon) and “Good On My Own Tonight” (feat. TOBi) have been part of my socially-distanced soundtrack. Haviah also gave us the incredibly impactful track, “Protest” (feat. Yizzy). Now, a summer banger, “Avocado.” Haviah says: “Finding that true inner confidence has come with a lot of introspection over the past year. Unlike before when I appeared confident on the outside but had many insecurities, I feel my confidence is now much more rooted to my internal core. While we’re always a work in progress as humans, I feel much more stable now that I’m more comfortable with myself and what I have to offer. This is a reminder that if you’re not confident in your own strides, you’ll end up following somebody who is!”
Devin Bateson – “Blue Mausoleum” [Listen]
Beatmaker and experimental hip hop artist Devin Bateson dropped his new album BLORF this spring. Now with his new release, Heart FROLB, we get to hear more tracks which didn’t make the cut. This isn’t Devin’s first B-side release, and if you’re familiar, you’ll know many gems can be found among the songs that didn’t make the previous release. It’s the perfect companion to complete the Devin experience!
TOMPA – “Never Tried” [Listen]
As we get older
We dream a little less, I guess
TOMPA is an accomplished producer, songwriter, and classically trained instrumentalist with over 20+ years experience on violin, double bass, cello, guitar, bass, piano, and synth. He is also a global touring musician with Silverstein. From the GTHA, and currently residing in Hamilton, he takes the spotlight now with the release of his first two EPs, titled 01 and 02. Describing the debut: “Musings of destruction and rebirth were fruitful themes for inspiration throughout, having been written over the course of the global pandemic. The socially distant void in place allowed him to pursue his art in its purest form, literally calling it ‘what the inside of my brain sounds like’.” The soundscapes are gorgeous and cinematic.
nina joon – “moonlight rings” [Listen]
I’ve got my sights on bigger things
It’s lovely to hear a new tune from nina joon. After recent DIY indie pop singles “so long <3” and “old friend” caught my attention, nina continues her streak. “moonlight rings” is another great addition to her growing repertoire; a chill track for summer evening stroll.
Scott Orr – “Disappear” [Listen]
And now you’re so far away
Like an angel on high
Canadian folk/electronic/nu-jazz songwriter Scott Orr described his latest release, “Disappear,” as one of his favourite songs that he has ever written. With such a glorious discography already, you know we’re in for a treat! Gorgeous features are also on the track, including Gareth Inkster (piano), Murray Heaton (saxophone), Allison Geleynse (vocals), Spence Newell (keys), Kelly Bennett (violin), and Jason Bhattacharya (congas). Scott has an album due out this fall, and I can’t wait.
Alex Whorms – “Insensitive” [Listen]
How do you block the sound
Of a voice you’d know anywhere?
Singer-songwriter, pianist, and composer Alex Whorms continues to expand her glowing discography. 2019’s EP Burgundy was a stand out in the Hamilton scene and elevated her career to new heights. Like so many musicians, the pandemic brought about many challenges, but also opportunities to create. One of those musical projects was this stunning cover of a Canadian classic, Jann Arden’s “Insensitive.” Watch the music video that accompanies the song.
Ellis – “hell” feat. Chastity [Listen]
In the morning we’ll be fine
I’ve seen hell and I’m not afraid to die
After tour plans for her fantastic debut album, Born Again, were halted due to the pandemic, Linnea Siggelkow of Ellis channeled her energy into new material. The result is the gorgeous new EP, nothing is sacred anymore. It’s self-released, and co-produced with Charlie Spencer of Dizzy. Each of the four tracks is a complete standout and anthemic on its own; it’s a beautiful release all around. The album’s closer, “Hell,” features her Linnea’s partner, Brandon Williams of Chastity. The pair’s vocals are so wonderful together. Speaking with Indie88, Linnea says: “Hell exists on earth, we see it all the time. I like to think that death isn’t the gateway to hell, it’s some kind of freedom from it.” Watch the music video for the single.
Magic Duck – “Half A Magic Duck” [Listen]
I’ve been chasing a high
That I’m never going to find
Following their catchy 2020 album Body Heat, quirky duo Magic Duck continued to release even more music throughout the year and into 2021. Core members Andrew Gair (guitars, bass, lead/backing vocals) and Kyle Kitchen (keyboards, drums, lead/backing vocals) blend elements of rock, funk, hip hop, folk, and unique studio production for a sound all their own. They just released a new album, Watch My Movie (with local label Wel-Pel Records) which was heavily inspired by the Grease soundtrack and other musical theatre productions. They say, “Our previous record Body Heat had the grit and charm of the sixties while the new one has the gloss and glam of the seventies. This is also our most conceptual record to date.”
OHIP – “Locust Moon” [Listen]
One of my favourite things about exploring Hamilton’s music scene is watching projects evolve over time, catching up with musicians, and watching new collaborations and projects emerge. Redanda was one of the bands I connected with early on in my local travels. Now, Corey Wright from the band brings us a solo release with the Locust Moon EP. Corey brings his instantly recognizable vocals and chilled back vibe to these new tracks. He shares on Instagram that the tracks were “mostly recorded on a 4 track over a year or so, just messing around but they have a soothing, drifty sound to them.” Look out for another project to come with fellow Redanda bandmate, Chris.
Flower Eater – “Inside Out Side” [Listen]
Even when I stay inside
I want to stay inside
On the outside
I could never be that person
To tell you to come inside
From the outside
Local musicians Michael Wickens and Allie Torrance team up for a new project, Flower Eater. New tune, “Inside Out Side” features Evelyn Charlotte Joe (who is also the drummer of Allie’s band Back Teeth) and was mastered by Jonathan Ronson Armstrong (of Golden Feather, The Reason and, Michael’s other project Pineapple Girls/Major Neutral). It’s a song perfectly suited for the times, as we navigate the back-and-forth anxieties of the being inside/outside.
Yoney – “Let Me In” [Listen]
Baby I told you I’m no good
Yoney is an R&B/neo-soul group based in Paris, Ontario. I always want to learn more about neighbouring local musicians just up the road in the Paris and Brantford scenes! Yoney’s debut single makes a splash with its groovy rhythms and jazzy vocals. You just can’t help but shimmy when you hear it. The band shares a playlist of favourite tracks on Spotify, and you can clearly hear their stellar references and inspirations.
Dave Monks – “Wild Like Me” [Listen]
Oh my love
It’s been so long I don’t know what to say
Yeah my love
One of these nights I’m just gonna slip away
Dave Monks of Tokyo Police Club lets loose with his new jam, “Wild Like Me.” Dave has always had such a knack for a catchy song, but this is something different than we’ve heard from him recently. And it is a surefire bop! Watch the music video for the track, and pick up some of these sweet dance moves while you’re at it. Dave is also now on Patreon where you can sign up for tons of bonus goodies. (Plus he is also one of my favourite musicians on TikTok – come join the fun over there!)
The Ruddy Ruckus – “Boston Lager” [Listen]
Place your hand in mine
You’re always on my mind
Hamilton rockers The Ruddy Ruckus brilliantly released a limited run lager inspired by their latest single’s namesake (or maybe it was the other way around? Either way, cheers!!). The new track, which was produced by by Luke Bentham of The Dirty Nil, is described by the band as “a call to remember to sing your song in the key of ‘carpe diem’ and to enjoy the good times while there are still good times to be had.” The band’s new album, Wentworth and Main, is out September 10.
CODA FACTO – “Rock ‘N’ Roll Sounds” [Listen]
In the here and now
You may be familiar already with new Hamilton band CODA FACTO – musicians Alex DeRoo and Jon Harley were founding members of local band ALEXR, which later became Strathcona. Now with this new project, they are fusing melodic Brit-Rock and Americana with modern vocals and lyrical stories. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Sounds” is the lead single from their forthcoming album, Jamesville, out this fall. The band says: “This song is intended to define a perspective that people may overlook. It is a reflection of the self-sacrifice, internal struggle, and gratification that comes with being an artist.”
Sean Bienhaus – “Pretty Thing” [Listen]
I know you
So what about that
Singer-songwriter Sean Bienhaus is an 18-year-old musician Hamilton/Binbrook, who writes, records, performs, produces, and masters all of his own material. He’s also a multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, piano, bass, and mandolin. Following his self-released single, “Would,” Sean now shares “Pretty Thing.” The tracks show different sides of Sean’s music, and we’ll get to hear even more with Sean’s debut full-length release on the way.