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LTtheMonk – “Four Seasons” [Listen]
July done done him
August unplugged
You said you over Summer
But now you looking to fall

A fitting track as we round the corner into autumn. London, UK-born, Hamilton-based emcee LTtheMonk has spent this year dropping singles, gearing up for the release of his new album, On The Wall, just released at the end of August. The whole project is so well put together; the album is cohesive and immersive from start to finish. With everything he does, LT keeps getting better and better, and this album is his latest tour de force. Check out the music video for this track.

LTtheMonk. Photo by Stephanie Montani.

Myla – “Come Over” [Listen]
Going over all the ways you could choose me
But I don’t want to have to lie
And you’re not making it easy
To shut this door and let me cry

Jennifer Budd made a huge impression on the local music scene with the release of her debut album, Lip Service, released in 2015. An incredible vocalist paired with groovy instrumentation, her music has always been so captivating. Jennifer now returns under a new moniker, Myla, reflecting the romantic nature of the music she creates. Look out for the music video for this beautiful re-introduction to the artist, debuting on September 24.

Myla. Photo by Dorothy May.

Avery Raquel – “Helpless” [Listen]
It’s bringing me down
Cause you’re in my heart and on my mind
Originally from Hamilton, Avery Raquel has already achieved great success at a young age, having released three albums and impressing audiences far and wide with her soulful vocals. Now at age 20, Avery gets set to release a new collection of alternative R&B/soul, kicking it off with the first single, “Helpless.” The artist shares: “When someone has a hold on you mentally, it’s hard to let them go, even if you know they aren’t meant for you. I explain through the course of ‘Helpless’ that it’s just little things keeping us together, but that can’t be the only glue holding the relationship.”

Avery Raquel

Luckystickz – “Home” [Listen]
Yes I’m coming home
To a place I love
This past season, Luckystickz shared a memorable summer bop, “Strangers,” which led the way to his brand new EP, Housewarming Party, available now. He says his first true love was the beat of the drum and later the majestic tinkling of the Steel Drums. With this release, Luckystickz showcases his musicality, enjoying the best of both worlds as a recording artist and percussionist.

Luckystickz

JR Bebble – “King” [Listen]
I’m Mr. Rogers
With a real bad attitude
Based in Hamilton, JR Bebble is a Jamaican-Canadian hip-hop performer, singer, songwriter, and producer. JR started writing and creating at the age of 14, crediting his musical epiphany to grade school breakdance crews, piano classes at age 15, and a deep lyrical study of hip hop classic “The Rockwilder” by Redman & Method Man. With a recent performance at Barton Street’s Open Streets event this month, here’s hoping we can catch him live again soon!

JR Bebble. Photo by @sd_visions @cinemakhuong

AVRY – “Deserve You” [Listen]
And I don’t want to confuse you
These are just my feelings
What are yours

New artist on my radar, AVRY is “fresh off curating and re-building his catalog the last few years” and newly signed to Daydream Records, an independent record label partnered with Universal Music. Drawing influences from R&B, dance, and indie rock, the artist says is he “is looking to continue to push sonic boundaries and genres with his upcoming releases.”

AVRY

Basement Revolver – “Transatlantic” [Listen]
Driving in your car
The music on
Always felt like home

Hamilton indie dream pop band Basement Revolver share another single from their upcoming album, Embody, due out in early 2022. You know I love a bop, and Basement Revolver add another gem to their growing discography with this one. The band shared that when tour plans were paused in 2020 due to the pandemic, the musicians found time to wrestle with questions about identity, faith, mental illness, and sexuality. They explore all of these on the new album, and I can’t wait for them to share more of themselves with this release. Check out the DIY music video for the track.

Basement Revolver. Photo by Stephanie Montani.

Capitol – “Manos” [Listen]
The devil’s in the valley
The sky is a monster
We’re patrons in a crowd
Of silver smooth talkers

Hamilton indie band Capitol are ones to watch. The band has been carefully crafting their sound over the last couple of years, really honing in on their identity as a band (after making the switch from UK Cinema to Capitol). Their 2019 debut album Dream Noise was one of the best local releases of that year, and they take the next step with new EP, All The Rest Of My Heads. And no surprise here that it was created at one of my favourite Hamilton studios, Threshold Studios, where it was produced by Michael Keire and recorded and mixed by Michael Keire and Cohen Wylie. Along with a digital release, you can also add it to your collections by picking up the special 12” vinyl release through Meritorio Records.

Capitol

Chastity – “Pummeling” [Listen]
I’m up to my eyes
In my usual misery
Originally from Whitby (although I very much consider him one of our own now!) Brandon Williams aka Chastity just announced a new album called Suffer Summer will be released in January 2022 with Dine Alone Records and Deathwish Inc. This is the second track we’ve heard from the upcoming release (following the great “Dying To Live”). Chastity just nails it every time, and I can’t wait to get another record! It’s the perfect music to blast and captures what so many of us are feeling. Check out the music video for the track.

Chastity

The Ruddy Ruckus – “It’s A Shithole That We Call Home” [Listen]
I thought you’d remember me
Well I guess you forgot
What originally started as the acoustic guitar-driven project of Hamilton musician Rob Brown, The Ruddy Ruckus has evolved into a full fledged band. They just dropped Wentworth And Main, an album described as “a gritty sonic representation of living in Hamilton.” It was produced by Luke Bentham (The Dirty Nil), engineered by Vince Soliveri (The Redhill Valleys), mixed by Dave Schiffman (PUP, Vampire Weekend, The OBGMs) and mastered by Harry Hess (Big Wreck, Monster Truck). The record captures the gritty garage rock and live energy of the band, making me want to get back to a sweaty dive bar show asap!

The Ruddy Ruckus

Dave Monks – “Can’t Put My Fire Out” [Listen]
You can’t rain on my parade
‘Cause I stand on the edge of razor blade
And I know what I’m about
You can’t put my fire out
I am loving this era of Dave Monks! The Tokyo Police Club band member has been cranking out great solo tracks lately, following his 2019 full-length album, On A Wave. The musician has been experimenting with different sounds this time around, from the beats of “Wild Like Me” to the hypnotic “Don’t Get Pushed Around” featuring Shad. Now we get that classic, catchy indie rock sound that Dave does so well with the energetic and uplifting track, “Can’t Put My Fire Out.” The range we’ve heard so far makes me super excited for this new album, out next month!

Dave Monks

Kirty – “You Ripped My Heart Out” [Listen]
Wake me up when it’s over
Toronto-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kirty, who you also may know from the band Fast Romantics, has just shared her second official solo album with Postwar Records, We Are All On Fire. Kirty describes the newest single as “a raw, unfiltered, and to-the-point explosion of emotion from my gut to yours.” Watch the music video!

Kirty. Photo by Jen Squires.

Chris Altmann – “Chance” [Listen]
Hearts beat faster now
Knowing that the planets will collide
Hamilton-based musician Chris Altmann (originally from Adelaide Hills, South Australia) creates music inspired by the sounds of early 1970s Americana music mixed with country and rock & roll. He is also an in-demand session player, appearing on dozens of recordings, and a touring musician performing with Tim Hicks, Blue Rodeo, Henry Wagons, Michelle McAdorey and Ginger St. James, among many others. He has been nominated twice by the Canadian Country Music Association for Pedal Steel Guitar Player of the Year. Romantic new track, “Chance,” completes Chris’ new three-song EP. Check out the lyric video for the track!

Chris Altmann

Jade Hilton – “Evelyn” [Listen]
Was it a broken heart
That put you into the dark
Singer-songwriter based in Oakville, Jade Hilton, found inspiration from an unlikely Hamilton location for her recent single. She says: “I was inspired to write ‘Evelyn’ after visiting an old mansion [now turned into apartments] in Hamilton, Ontario. I learned that Evelyn Dick once lived in one of the apartments. While living there, she would often court men outside of her marriage. She was later found guilty of brutally murdering her husband and baby. I really tried to understand what triggered her to commit these crimes. It was rumoured that her parents abused her when she was young. Perhaps she was incapable of any compassion because she was never shown any during her upbringing. With memorable gothic architecture, and a dark story behind the mansion, I couldn’t help but let my imagination run wild. As a result, ‘Evelyn’ was born.”

Jade Hilton

Elissa Mielke – “Trying” [Listen]
I run away from the ones that I love
Hope that they’ll stay and confirm what I was
Something better than this
I first came across Toronto-based musician, actor, and model Elissa Mielke around 2013 when she opened for Hamilton act Illitry (I love that it’s logged in my blog post from 2015!). And I’m not alone – this Pitchfork reviewer articulated the same – how a small club performance from Elissa stayed with them for years. From there, I really enjoyed her EP Mieke, released in 2015 (this was wonderfully nostalgic to revisit). Elissa returns with a stunning new collection of songs, an EP titled Finally, which was released this past June. Watch the gorgeous collection of music videos that accompany each track.

Elissa Mielke
kristin
ihearthamiltontour@gmail.com
Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing an influential social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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