D’LUXE – “Where You Going To?” [Listen]
If you make time for me
Then I’ll make time for you
D’LUXE is the solo project of Aron D’Alesio, lead singer of Young Rival. He describes his sound as “David Lynch soundtrack music (songs to murder to). Weird 50’s guitar washout pop,” while listing rockabilly musicians, The Strokes, and the aforementioned Twin Peaks creator as influences. Spot on. And intriguing. I can eerily hear this song scoring a scene in the Double R Diner as Special Agent Dale Cooper sips a damn fine cuppa Joe. I’m getting lost in the surreal town just thinking about it. But I digress. It’s an exciting time for Young Rival, with their new album Stay Young out this month. Now we also get treated to Aron’s solo material as well. Until we hear more, you can listen to the song on D’LUXE’s Facebook page and watch his performance on Southern Souls (which also includes the tune “Sunday Morning”).
Ellie Goulding – “Anything Could Happen” [Listen]
But now I’ve seen it through
And now I know the truth
That anything could happen
I’m spinning the British artist’s sophomore album Halcyon as I write this, to see what my first impressions are. The album is darker than her debut and seems like a natural progression for Ellie. As I listen to it, so many lyrics are hitting me hard. Ellie is a fantastic songwriter and fully lays her heart on the line with this album. The message of the first single, accompanied by a futuristic yet ethereal music video, got me. The repetition of the title hammers it home and the song serves as a reminder to live in the moment.
Luke Lalonde – “Undone” [Listen]
Baby, I would call you that if you let me
I would be the only one
Another frontman venturing out with a solo project on my Playlist – Born Ruffians’ singer Luke Lalonde releases Rhythymnals this month lead by this first single. Of course, he charmed us already by joining The Elwins for a cover of Beyonce’s “Countdown” on Southern Souls. Still a gem! With this tune, from the vocals that begin immediately at the top of the song, followed by the first few strums, I expected the track to continue on that way and was surprised to hear the beat kick in. By the first chorus, I was groovin’. Catch Born Ruffians on November 2nd at Casbah!
Matthew de Zoete – “Who Do You Think You Are?” [Listen]
I don’t know you anymore
You’re a stranger
So who were you before you changed?
Listening to the latest album by this Dundas singer-songwriter right through, Matthew has cultivated a signature sound all his own. The songs on Colour Film flow together nicely and are quite dream-like. (The track “Good Life” is even featured on the annual compilation Everybody Dance Now: Volume 7, which is released annually, featuring the best of Hamilton’s music scene.) I chose this song for my Playlist because it stood out to me; being an uptempo track, it caught my attention. In a recent email, Matthew described to me that he spent three months this past winter touring in Germany. As a sort of tourist myself, the life of a touring musician always interests me, and I was impressed to learn that this was Matthew’s fourth tour there in four years, and he booked all 55 shows himself. This month, he hits the road again to tour across Canada – all 45 he shows he once again booked himself. I look forward to catching Matthew live when he returns for a hometown show.
Pete Van Dyk & The Second Hand Band – “Telephone” [Listen]
You just can’t win no matter how hard you try
A new band on my radar thanks to the magic of Twitter, Pete and the band have had a packed few years. The lead singer already has 3 solo EPs and a tour across Canada under his belt! That experience shows – Pete has a cool, blues-country-rock twang to his voice and together with the band, they’re produce a cool, blusey rock’n’roll sound. They just released a music video for this track, perhaps the catchiest tune off the new EP of the same name. The song kick-starts with a reggae-sounding rhythm that’s hard not to bob along to and maintains a steady pace throughout.
The Dirty Nil – “Little Metal Baby Fist” [Listen]
They keep putting out tunes, I keep putting them on my Playlists! This track, like any Dirty Nil ditty, is a sonic a kick in the pants! You have to experience The Dirty Nil live to really get the raw, visceral energy of this band. But they capture their live sound really well with the recordings they’ve been churning out with Michael Keire at Threshold Studio. That’s not always easy for a band – there can often by a disconnect between seeing a band live and hearing their recordings, for better or for worse. This track, maybe moreso than any of theirs so far, really encompasses who this band is. A video for it is on the way. I can’t wait to see the shenanigans!
Passion Pit – “Carried Away” [Listen]
Who says we have cold hearts
Acting out our old parts
Let’s perform our favourite little scene
I was a big fan of the band’s previous singles, “The Reeling,” “Moth’s Wings”, and “Sleepyhead,” off their album Manners from 2009. With “Take A Walk” from their newest album Gossamer getting steady airplay, I didn’t hear this track until Passion Pit’s performance on SNL. I think it’s even catchier than the first single; it’s impossible for me to stay still when I hear the chorus! It’s a fun, peppy tune that I needed to add to this mix.
Redanda – “Ace-High” [Listen]
Don’t mind me here just soaking the rays
I’d much rather not get caught up in the craze
I can’t get over the young crop of bands that are popping up in Hamilton lately. I’m thinking New Hands, The Dirty Nil, Greg Preston and the Great Machine, Illitry, and my newest find, Redanda! It’s so exciting to watch all of these young musicians develop, and it’s also no coincidence that they’ve all worked with Michael Keire at Threshold – Mike is killing it over there! Redanda’s newest EP Christian, released this fall, is my first introduction to the band. It’s the follow-up to their last EP Carl (I see a ‘C’ motif continuing – all four members’ names also begin with C.) and the 4 songs are really solid. I had trouble choosing just one but settled with the opening track because of its energy. Redanda have cultivated a cool garage rock sound with some blues and reggae influences in there too. I have yet to see them live but I can already tell they would have a fun, raw energy and stage presence. I hope to meet up with the guys soon and learn more about the band!
Basia Bulat – “Heart Of My Own” [Listen]
There are the roses that come without seeking
There are the ones that I have to sow
I am so grateful to have been introduced to the music of Basia Bulat. I got to see the incredible multi-instrumentalist perform live with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra this month and write about it as a guest blogger for the McMaster Alumni Blog. Read it here! Her songs were beautifully arranged for the orchestra by Owen Pallett; it was so moving. We were also treated to some brand new songs from Basia’s upcoming album, slated for release this spring. In the meantime, I’ve included this single off her sophomore album of the same title. I can’t wait to follow what I know will be an amazing career for this Canadian talent.
Mumford & Sons – “I Will Wait” [Listen]
Now I’ll be bold
As well as strong
And use my head alongside my heart
The warm music of Marcus Mumford and co. just lends itself to a cozy fall soundtrack for my October Playlist. They’re also another band on this mix who have made appearances as musical guests on this season of SNL. The banjo is a tricky instrument (as I once learned in studio with Ghosts of Memphis) and is just irresistible on this song. Combined with the guys’ rich harmonies and lyrics, the song is so uplifting and makes me feel better with every listen.