Rich Aucoin – “Are You Experiencing?” [Listen]
This heart is all that keeps us up, this heart is beating
Ah, Rich Aucoin! His music just makes me so happy. Back with his second album, Ephemeral, Rich is in full force and the record is even better than the last. It comes closer to representing his live show, which is something that absolutely must be experienced. After entering Rich’s world two years ago when he played in town, I couldn’t wait until he came back. Rich’s return to Hamilton coincided with the official launch of Supercrawl with a party at This Ain’t Hollywood. Making the night even more exciting for me, I got to open for Rich with my first DJ set. It will go down as one of the most memorable nights for me!
Lowell – “The Bells” [Listen]
Would you give me a beat?
Lowell was the first act to kick off music in the streets at this year’s Supercrawl, performing Friday evening before the sun went down. I was really excited to see her perform and have since delved more into her music. Her album We Loved Her Dearly was released in September on Arts & Crafts; it’s an impressive debut and I can’t stop listening to this single.
Dizzy Spells – “Sugar Mine” [Listen]
I’ve been hearing so much about Dizzy Spells, I feel like I’m familiar with their live show, but I haven’t even seen them yet! Based on the strength of hearing such good things, they were one of my picks to play the rooftop of Dr. Disc for the last Raise the Roof of the season, coming up on October 10th. You can also catch them right after at The Casbah on October 15th for an Exhale event with Billy Moon, Pet Sun, and Secret Colours.
Pet Sun – “Feel Like I’m Going Away” [Listen]
Hometown fellas Pet Sun are ones to watch. Continuing on the strength of their previous demos and buzz around their live shows, the band just signed with Toronto independent label Sleepless Records (also included in their roster is another favourite of mine, July Talk). Pet Sun’s first official release, the EP Feel Like I’m Going Away, came out September 27th, timed nicely with Burger Records’ Cassette Tape Day. Check out the video for the title track and celebrate the EP’s release this Saturday, October 4th at Spice Factory.
Pony Girl – “Better Days” [Listen]
No need to remind me how
How come we tried?
Clever disguise in your eyes
It is time for me to let go
I first learned of Ottawa-based band Pony Girl when they reached out to me about hooking up a Hamilton show. Knowing Baltimore House would be a good fit, I sent them their way, and I’m glad this resulted in an solid, interesting lineup at the venue this Friday, October 3rd (with Beta Frontiers, Ken Park, Rhythm Church, and DJ Ben Muñoz of New Hands). After listening to Pony Girl’s dreamy album Show Me Your Fears, I really look forward to their live show.
Tongue Fu – “James Street North” [Listen]
Art is the new steel, after all
Two more nights before Supercrawl
Tongue Fu is a local supergroup to end all Hamilton supergroups! You’ve got This Ain’t Hollywood’s Lou Molinaro, Greg Brisco (Dinner Belles), Gord Lewis (Teenage Head), Gene Champagne (The Killjoys), Dave Elley (Orphans), and Rob Sweeney (Durango 95). The video for “James Street North,” featuring so many Hamilton personalities, puts a smile on my face every time. I can’t wait to catch Tongue Fu live.
Aukland – “Fat Arms” [Listen]
I can’t find the words to say
That I love you
Don’t go away
I discovered Aukland when I saw them opening for Hollerado and Tokyo Police Club at McMaster (members of Aukland are students) back in January. I’ve seen the band’s name pop up since as they continue to win over fans with their live show. Very excited to have them be part of I Heart Hamilton’s next show – October 17th at Baltimore House alongside Stella Ella Ola (members of Hollerado), Ascot Royals, and Marrakech. Don’t miss this – it’s going to be a fun night!
Laura Cole – “The Only One” [Listen]
As I walk away
I think about what I could have said
Local singer Laura Cole is a remarkable talent. With the release of her debut album Dirty Cheat, executive produced by Daniel Lanois, Laura has found her voice as an artist and this album will push her into the spotlight. Her soulful voice gives me chills! Her performance live in studio at CFMU was one of my favourites so far (she sang this track live). Catch Laura and band on October 10th performing on the rooftop of Dr. Disc for Raise the Roof before catching them later that night at This Ain’t Hollywood. You can also see her at Porcelain Records’ Halloween show (with Jonny Debt, The Vaudevillian, and King Clancy) where the album was recorded.
Matt Paxton – “Hummingbird” [Listen]
Hummingbird, what you thinking?
Is there something I should know?
Proud Hamilton native Matt Paxton recently relocated to Vancouver, but I’m sure the traveling troubadour will be back for frequent visits. Matt just released his new EP Mountain Eyes on Other Songs Music, which you can always count on for lovely listens (Scott Orr; Best Wishes; Timid, The Brave; The Good Hunters). This first single is short and sweet and another highlight for me is Matt’s cover of The National’s “Pink Rabbits.” The EP is just perfect for the fall season.
WHOOP-Szo – “Jan. 3rd” [Listen]
Guelph band WHOOP-Szo released Niizhwaaswo back in May. The collection, as they put it, is the “third and final document of our adventures in Arctic Canada.” They describe it: “It melds elements of sound collage, disjointed parts, complex arrangements, and supreme momentum to weave sonic stories, all at once disorienting and enjoyable.” No stranger to Hamilton, Adam Sturgeon of the band recorded and mixed the latest by WTCHS, It’s Not A Cross, It’s a Curse. WHOOP-Szo has played in town before, and I hope to catch them next time they do.
The Foreign Films – “Teardrop Towns” [Listen]
Yes two hearts are better than one
But in Teardrop Town you’re better off to run
The Foreign Films is the project of local musician Bill Majoros. This single is a smooth, psychedelia-infused number off his newest EP The Record Collector (side 2), released in September. Check out the video for it and look out for a new double album to come in 2015. You can also catch The Foreign Films next Friday, October 10th at the last Raise the Roof session of the season at Dr. Disc.
Mark Lenover – “All Mine” [Listen]
Thanks for the mirrors and the bottomless pit
Thanks for taking as much as you can get
Local musician Mark Lenover is a prolific artist, releasing his 8th full-length album in July, We’re In Motion Pictures. The album is an intriguing listen and takes multiple plays to process. As stated in his official bio, thematically, Mark’s music “critically examines pop culture’s ubiquitous influence, its moral philosophy and the potentially devastating effects of drug abuse and mental illness.” I highly recommended tuning into Paul Leslie‘s in-depth interview with Mark which gives great insight into the reclusive artist. He’s truly one of a kind.