Math Club – “I Always Let You In” [Listen]
So fragile, paper thin
It’s not what I intended this time
But I always let you in
This is the perfect local artist to come through with an autumn release. What a welcomed return, to get a brand new album from Math Club, the follow up to his wonderful 2016 debut, There’s A Light On Upstairs (Math Club also released great EPs, 2013’s Hunter and 2020’s Major Arcana). This is the best work yet from Wade Morrison. The artist can tap into that nostalgic, emo rock sensibility so well, and it’s a beautiful blend of melodies that get stuck in your head paired with a steady, dependable emo rock instrumentation. One of my favourite local releases this year.
The Dirty Nil – “Bye Bye Big Bear” [Listen]
If I had some clarity
Wouldn’t that suffice?
The boys are back! Our favourite Dundas trio has been working on new material to follow up 2021’s amazing offering, Fuck Art. “Bye Bye Big Bear” is an ode to what once was, a memorable time in the band’s career and friendship. The band describes: “For five years we lived together at a house in downtown Hamilton. For five years we were sustained by the Big Bear convenience store, located directly across the street. There we were nurtured with sparkling water, protein bars and cigarettes. There we witnessed an untold number of human dramas play out in the parking lot, ranging from the hilarious to the hopelessly sad. For five years it was our clubhouse, our pirate ship, our prison. So we say farewell, thank you for everything: Bye Bye Big Bear.”
Ellis In Transit – “On The Run” [Listen]
Mercy at my feet
I finally got to catch Hamilton band Ellis In Transit’s live show this past summer, when they delivered a great set outside The Gasworks as part of the music series Eclectic Local. The band has a smooth throwback sound, harkening back to classic rock (the band have been likened to a wide variety of musical artists including Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, and Jefferson Airplane), with singer Alexandria’s impressive vocals front and centre. This track stood out to me during their set, and I’m pleased to hear it released as the next single.
Linebeck – “Waste My Time” [Listen]
Good lines in trying times are easily re-wrote
I’m no stranger when it comes to dancing with a ghost
Dream pop/indie pop band Linebeck have been churning out some awesome new singles in this new era of their musical project. Their third single, “Waste My Time,” was written before the band ever came together in this iteration. Chrys and Momo wrote the track while performing as an acoustic ukulele-guitar duo (back when I first met them in 2019). From there, Momo started collecting guitar pedals, Chrys bought an analogue synth, and “Waste My Time” was the first song they wrote with new sounds in mind.
Gareth Inkster – “Link” [Listen]
Oh but it’s hard giving your heart
And it gets harder every time
Local singer-songwriter and musician Gareth Inkster has been delivering great new tunes as part of the band Golden Feather, and now returns to his solo project to share another gem in his repertoire. The artist describes the song’s themes on his Instagram, something I know that I can relate to as well: “Loss has become something of a theme in my life. I haven’t nailed it yet, and tend to flounder and grasp a bit when I encounter an ending. There’s a tranquility that some of my friends seem to possess with which they can let things come and go with a sort of grateful detachment, and I want to learn from them, but it’s never come naturally to me.”
Athanase and Alex Whorms – “Life” [Listen]
Either way it’s all the same
Sail away with me
Always love to hear a local collab! Athanase and Alex Whorms come together on “Life,” a lovely, introspective new song. Athanase shares: “This project was so fun to put together. It’s a very different style for me and yet it still feels familiar. Alex Whorms makes this tune what it is, her keys and vocal performance give me chills.”
Melissa Marchese – “Sirens” [Listen]
And if anyone knows how to make it better
Call me now
Melissa Marchese has been such an active member of Hamilton’s music community for many years (we go way back to the blog’s beginning in 2011!). It was always a pleasure to catch Melissa performing live in a variety of musical projects, but now she re-introduces herself with her own solo material. Melissa shares her debut album, MAD LOVE, a collection of songs that personifies this talented, soulful artist. She describes “Sirens” as a song that “reflects on climate change and how deprioritized this existential threat is,” and adds, “The wrath we are already beginning to experience from humans’ destruction of the planet does not discriminate, and we should wake up and do something while we still can.” Check out the music video.
Roslyn Witter – “Chasing Fireflies” [Listen]
It was then, it was there that I knew
I’d be happy the rest of my days
Chasing fireflies with you
Hamilton-born singer-songwriter Roslyn Witter is a new artist on my radar, who just shared her debut single, “Chasing Fireflies.” Roslyn is the daughter of award-winning country star Jim Witter, and steps into her own musical identity with this release. “Chasing Fireflies” is a delicate and heartfelt song which was inspired by a hike with her husband, and she says, “it’s about spreading love and enjoying the little things in life with your partner.” Check out the enchanting music video.
Ben Somer – “Shipwreck” [Listen]
You were the golden one
That I could never choose
Taking my first listen of Hamilton singer-songwriter Ben Somer’s new album, I was transported right back to the beginnings of this blog in 2011; Ben was one of the first musicians I connected with. Settling in for a cozy acoustic show at Casbah Lounge, Homegrown Hamilton, or Absinthe’s King Street location, I would have heard some of the tracks that are reworked here on Ben Somer and the Cold Winter, released with local label Down By The Point Records. Ben was always a standout to me with his unique vocals and emotive lyrics. It’s beautiful folk storytelling, and I’m so happy to hear this new release, and for everyone to discover and re-discover this homegrown talent.
Ryan Sykes – “this is me trying” (Taylor Swift cover) [Listen]
I didn’t know if you’d care if I came back
I have a lot of regrets about that
Local pop/R&B artist Ryan Sykes takes another go at Taylor Swift’s ever-growing discography, this time delivering his take on “this is me trying,” off of Folklore. Ryan shared his debut album, Grateful, earlier this year, and his rendition of this track completely fits into his sonic world, demonstrating how much he knows himself as an artist.
Whitness – “Let It Go” [Listen]
I don’t put a full stop by your name
Need you to do the same
Whitness is a Hamilton artist with Nigerian roots. Further exploring and honing in on her own distinct R&B and Afro-Fusion sound, Whitness shares a gorgeous, brand new single, “Let It Go.” This track is the follow up to “Why,” released earlier this year. Whitness was just part Fresh Up R&B Festival, hosted by Sonic Unyon, the first edition of this new Hamilton event. I also love keeping up with what local artists are up to on TikTok – give Whitness a follow!
Junior Boys – “Night Walk” [Listen]
Now how am I supposed to feel?
I was barely ever seen until
It all went down the hill
Maybe I was just out of the loop, but I was pleasantly surprised to see a new Junior Boys album drop. Didn’t even see it coming! The electronic pop group, founded in 1999 here in Hamilton, just shared Waiting Game, their sixth full length record. It’s an atmospheric, ambient, immersive adventure that I can’t wait to give a spin with headphones on. The band is gearing up for a North American tour next year.
Buddah Abusah – “Indefinite” [Listen]
My time coming sooner than later
Producer, rapper, songwriter and audio engineer Buddah Abusah, a.k.a. Elijah Grant, delivers a brand new track, “Indefinite.” Buddah is always about spreading the good vibes and dubs himself the “Modern Day Hippie.” Honing his skills as a recording artist since 2008, he persists to elevate himself through continual self-teaching and aims to put Hamilton on the map and make his mark in Canadian hip hop.
Devin Bateson – “Hard Descriptives” [Listen]
You can never not exist
You have always been real
Hamilton-based musician, comedian, and artist Devin Bateson is back with another beat drop. Go Figure is his latest collection and sees the artist returning to sharing lyrics over his experimental beats, in comparison to his last few releases which were all instrumental. Devin’s way with words is always just as great as his beats to delve into so I was glad to have some more thoughts to chew on. The four tracks were recorded at different times and without the intention of becoming one cohesive release, but yet they work so well together. He says that this track was “in the folder for my next album but thought ‘screw it let the world have this lil’ weirdo.'” And I’m thankful for that!