Mumblr

By: Brandon Benguaich

Genre: Fuzz Punk

Looks like we got more than just music from them!

Full of snakes album.

Now this is a band with a unique sound. Introducing Mumblr, a “Fuzz Punk” band based in Philadelphia. Capturing the pure essence of the emotional trials and tribulations of being a youth growing up in Philly. Combining different elements of rock and punk giving a feeling of ‘fuzzy punk’ (which is also because of their use of distortion). Mumblr contains Nick Morrison, Ian Amidon, Sean Reilly, and Scott Stitzer, these guys give a nod to famous rock and punk bands, and indie artists alike. Their new album Full of Snakes comes out September 16th but I’m talking about them now!

One track is available on soundcloud titled “Got It.” Off the bat, I get a kind of The Shins vibe even if its unintentional. As I’m sitting here and listening more this feeling of Weezer comes in (more Pinkerton, not really their later stuff). Their vocals are quite good and it seems as if they effortlessly combine their drums, bass, and guitar into this ever building containment of music which eventually explodes in your face much like a spasm of joy, but don’t tell them I said that. Their bass especially sticks out to me. “I’ll invite you to my room, all the time, cause I got if you want it.” These are very good lyrics, they’re suggestive and get you thinking. And they’ve got what we want, and what we crave.

Check them out below!
Song:

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mumblr/118742918263778?sk=timeline

http://mumblr.bandcamp.com/

Also check out fleeting youth records: http://www.fleetingyouthrecords.com/

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Steel Toed Slippers

By: Brandon Benguaich

Genre: Rock

With a new EP recently released titled Stolen Words, now is the perfect time to check out rock and or roll band Steel Toed Slippers. A band with a name that fits their music, something heavy combined with something light which creates a style of music that is gentle and tough at the same time, like a steel toed slipper. Steel Toed Slippers hails from Humboldt County, California and consists mainly of highschool chums Matt Moss and Will Nicoll and a bunch of bass players. So far they have done quite well, with tons of tour dates coming up.

After listening through the EP a couple of times, I have formed a solid opinion on it. It’s very mellow and lighthearted but with an edge. The first track on the EP “Forever Born” feels very laid back but with tons of movement. This track has direction, especially in the guitar line which drives the song forward in cohesion with this rock style type of singing. Steel Toed Slippers has a distinct style that is even poetic in a sense without being cheesy which is something I have often come across when faced with this style. Their drum lines do quite well in adding to this concept of motion, the music has a point and is a like a well oiled car driving along, with a destination in mind.

So check them out below!

Music:

http://steeltoedslippers.bandcamp.com/

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/steeltoedslippers/timeline

http://www.steeltoedslippers.com/home

United Ghosts

By: Brandon Benguaich

Genre: Electro/Rock

From Facebook photo by Dylan Gordon

United Ghosts came to me in an email, and with the release of their new EP titled Dear Electric Sun I have finally gotten around to writing about them. It is difficult to arbitrarily assign a genre to them but they flawlessly combine a mix of styles with tastes of electro and rock with psychedelic, as well as killer vocals on top. Simply beginning with Sha Sabi and Axel Steuerwald, United Ghosts released their first track in 2011, and so it began. From California, United Ghosts embraces an LA sort of sound, with a twist which is very different from what I’m used to hearing in the East. They have received much positive praise from many publications from the US and the UK, but now they can add Canada to their list.

Specifically, I listened to “out of love” which is the highlight of their EP, and encompasses it as a whole from what I think. Their combination of voices work well together on top of the pulsating beats and repetitive synth sounds. The track sounds familiar to me but not in a bad way, as United Ghosts employs techniques that work and sound good to listeners but without being too cliche or boring. Despite being new, this track already feels like a classic to me and I can’t stop listening to it again and again. I really reccomend you check out the rest of your stuff if you like this track, and why not take a listen to their EP as well.

Check out United Ghosts below!

Video:

Links:

http://unitedghosts.com/

https://www.facebook.com/unitedghosts/timeline

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Calle 13

By: Brandon Benguaich
Genre: Rap/Hip-hop

Calle 13 is by no means underground, in fact they are one of the most popular bands from the Latin-American musicsphere. But, they are relatively unknown to the majority of our readers (Canadian). Calle 13 are a band from Puerto Rico which mainly consists of Residente (René Pérez Joglar) and Visitante (Eduardo José Cabra Martínez), as well as PG-13 (Cabra Joglar). They became really popular in Puerto Rico, especially after the release of their first album in 2005. Calle 13 is currently signed to El Abismo but were first signed to White Lion Records in 2005.

Calle 13 is mostly known for their unique sound combining different styles of music including rap, latin, reggaeton, rock, and more, although they do try to distance themselves from reggaeton. Many people consider reggaeton to be a wishy washy over saturated pop genre, but whatever attempts Calle 13 try at it are considered successful.They are also known for their lyrical content and social commentary on Latin America. Below is the track titled “El Aguante.” This track is a great example of their diversity as performers and musicians. There is an interesting sample at the beginning, a good beat and many different electric sounds. Translated, the title of this track means stamina. I think the track represents hard work and human resilience. Calle 13 speaks the truth, and if you’re looking for different music thats popular in other places outside of the traditional rap we hear in the english speaking world, check them out.

Video:

Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calle_13_(band)

https://www.facebook.com/calle13oficial

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Dana Swarbrick

Genre: Folk/Jazz/Blues

Photo courtesy of Sabrina Sibbald of Chases the Sun Photography

“I’m outgoing and confident. I try to be funny. And I love music.” As we were sitting at the front window of My Dog Joe, Dana Swarbrick began making faces at the adorable golden retriever outside. Perhaps this was where the true magic began, as I started to interview the local Hamilton singer – songwriter. I had first seen her perform at the very same café not too long before, where I had witnessed her eccentric hallmark – what I call: the mouth trumpet.

Every bit as unique as the personality that faced me, my jaw literally dropped as Swarbrick pursed her lips together to weave the bridge of Fireflies and Starlight, a song about her best friend. A technique taught to her by a fellow member of her vocal jazz group, Swarbrick has now held workshops of her own on the creation of the perfect brass instrument sound.

Swarbrick’s personal favourite is her recent single, Waterfall “It’s about a woman falling in love with a waterfall. The word waterfall itself is never mentioned in the song. It’s very poetic. It flows like a waterfall – I wanted something that would ascend quickly and flow down a bit slower. I wanted to write a song in ¾ as well.” Then as a quick cheerful addition – “In the city of waterfalls!”

In addition to the well-versed musical knowledge, mouth trumpet, and burgeoning joy, Swarbrick also possesses one of the purest voices with, what I would describe as, a vintage overtone. It’s homely and calming and perfect for tracks like my personal favourite, L’Art, a song about artistic passion which encourages listeners “…de t’exprimer, de t’exprimer”. Having done french immersion, Swarbrick and I initially began our conversation in French… quelque chose que j’ai apprecié beaucoup!

Her passion is something that translates beautifully into her performance and her appreciation for her fans is extraordinarily humble. In fact, Swarbrick dedicates the time and effort to create her EP covers with her fans’ favourite colours.

Photo courtesy of Dana Swarbrick - A sample EP created for her friend Cam

Photo courtesy of Dana Swarbrick

“My dad was always really into music… He’s always been a big influence to the genres I listen to.” Swarbrick’s musical journey continued in school as a part of the community choir and band (she also plays baritone sax!). Musical influences include Norah Jones, an icon of whom Swarbrick’s folk-jazz-blues has been wonderfully compared to. Personal favourites include Fleet Foxes, Beirut, and Grizzly Bear.

Having opened for Hannah Georgas at Casbah, Swarbrick is also a local ambassador for the local Hamilton music scene. She’s began Ham Tams, a local initiative rooted from Montreal’s Tam Tams, that celebrates the spirit of the local creative community, with activities like slacklining, a drum circle, and of course, jam sessions.

“I want to write a jazz song that makes people feel the blues. I want to write a song that makes people fall in love again.” And here is an artist who does just that.

P.S. Come see Swarbrick perform at the YPNHOI sponsored show at Homegrown Hamilton August 23rd! (She’s on at 9:25pm! Email us for more information.)

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How Green

By: Kuzie Musiyiwa

Genre: Electronic | Experimental | Psychedelic

Oh Verdure EP  Artwork

Oh Verdure EP Artwork

Nowadays it is hard to find musicians that take a purely artistic approach to composing and putting together pieces of music. Music has always been for me a collection of sounds or ideas that a musician has combined in order to paint a mental picture, or provoke a mood or feeling. This is even harder to do if the music is mostly instrumental and the artist has to rely on just the sound to capture the listener. I stumbled upon Jesse Schuppan’s (aka How Green) music whilst on my Soundcloud a few months ago and I have steadily been appreciating his music with each new release. He describes his sound as “colourful, psychedelic and unpredictable,” which is definitely what his “Oh Verdure EP” is. “Oh Verdure” is a collage of different styles of music and Dj-ing techniques. I particularly enjoy the way he chops up samples in “Mundane Days” & “The Romance”. How Green is an Experimental Electronic musician based in Adelaide, Australia. He has supported some artists you might know such as- Nosaj Thing, Knxledge, Mo kolours, Galapagoose, fLako, Seekae and Willow beats, just to name a few.

I had the opportunity of exchanging a few emails with the artist to talk about “Oh Vendure” and his artistic journey so far.

You’ve Probably Never Heard Of It : When/How did you start Dj-ing & producing ?

How Green : I started Dj-ing and tinkering with music when I was about 16, I used to sneak into my older brothers room and use his turntables when he wasn’t home, I think that was the point when I knew that music was it for me. So i’ve always been involved in music but i’ve been producing my own sounds and performing live as How Green for the last 4 years or so.

YPNHOI: Where are you currently based ?

HG: I’m currently in Adelaide Australia, there’s a really solid and beautiful music community here.. but I like to move around.

YPNHOI: What does your project Oh Verdure EP mean to you.?

HG : Oh verdure came together really organically with the guys at Avantroots records (Barcelona). The title “oh verdure” is a feeling of lust for nature, and an observation on how we think we are separate from it, yet have the urge to be apart of it. but we forget that we ARE nature. And the songs are based around that idea

YPNHOI: One of the most important lessons, you’ve learnt so far during your artistic journey ?

HG: Don’t rush. Which is hard because there’s not enough hours in a day sometimes, let alone enough time on this planet to fully discover yourself artistically- but when I sign off on projects too soon just for the sake of finishing, then it’s lost all purpose of even being created in the first place. So I guess the lesson is to let each endeavour reach it’s potential naturally.

YPNHOI: Any luck of seeing you perform in Toronto ?

HG: Most definitely

You can stream and download “Oh Verdure EP” here:

https://soundcloud.com/how_green/sets/how-greens-oh-verdure-ep

You can also purchase the EP on iTunes :

https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/oh-verdure/id842572816

Oh yeah by the way my favourite tracks off of “Oh Verdure EP” are:

“Mundane Days”, “Catack”, “All I Can Say” and “The Romance”

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Sonny & the Sunsets

By: Brandon Benguaich
Genre: Pop/Folk/Indie

Picture from Facebook

Sonny & the Sunsets first began with Sonny, and Sonny first began his musical exploits at the age of 18, playing piano at little clubs in small towns located in Colorado. Eventually he moved on to playing in Denver and even Central America. Besides music, Sonny has explored many other artistic areas including writing, film, and multimedia art. A recent project titled 100 Records which has been displayed in San Francisco and Brooklyn. This exhibit consists of 100 bands made up by Smith, where he then wrote and recorded 200 songs. He then displayed all original artwork to accompany the made up bands and played the music with a jukebox. Soon enough, his band Sonny & the Sunsets released their debut album titled Tomorrow Is Alright was released. This band consists of members Sonny Smith, Tahlia Harbour, Kelley Stoltz, Ryan Browne, and Zack Ehrlich. They are currently singed to Polyvinyl Record Co.

I listened to their track “Too Young To Burn.” This track has that very familiar indie folk sound complete with the repeated acoustic guitar and clapping. But it is really catchy and this band does produce really great music which there is no doubt about. Their music has a really laid back feel, especially because of the relaxed vocals. It is the perfect music to listen to while you’re relaxing, or perhaps on a road trip of sorts. Or even, during a sunset. Sonny & the Sunsets also reminds me of the Shins, especially their earlier stuff. Overall, their a great band and I would recommend checking them out.

Video:

Links:

http://www.last.fm/music/Sonny+&+The+Sunsets

https://www.facebook.com/sonnysunsets/timeline

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Ben Kramer

By: Brandon Benguaich
Genre: Alternative Folk

From benkramer.bandcamp.com, by Peter Garbi

In the world of independent folk on the internet, there is tons to choose from and it takes the right musician to create something meaningful. Singer songwriter Ben Kramer does just that. Ben is 19 years old from Chicago, Illinois and is currently a student at Depaul University where he studies mathematical sciences. A guitarist for years, Ben Kramer began singing and songwriting just two years ago, and what a leap it has been. He states his focus is layering acoustic guitar and banjo to create an acoustic soundscape. From my professional opinion (or lack thereof) I believe he accomplishes that. He has now released his first EP, Let Go and hopefully we can jump start his career a bit.

Here are my thoughts on his EP, overall, its great. Theres contrast between each of the four tracks, as to not get boring which sometimes happens in this genre. The opening track “Let Go” is particularly interesting, although a familiar sound, that is not a bad thing. It is rhythmically and harmonically sound with just enough layers as to not overcomplicated anything. The chorus is also catchy as he does a good job harmonizing with himself. A somewhat typical song form, but still enjoyable to listen to. I would have to say “I’d Never Say” is my favourite track, maybe because I wish I had his voice. Ben also seems to be telling a story, which is after all the point of folk music, to me anyways. As a first EP, this is a fantastic beginning and I cannot wait to see what he produces later on.

Check him out below!

Links:

http://benkramer.bandcamp.com/

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Andy Wilkinson

By: Brandon Benguaich
Genre: Contemporary Classical/Electronic

Discord

Andy Wilkinson (real name Andrew) has been playing piano and guitar for a while but has recently taken the plunge and shifted into producing, and what a shift he has made! Andy seeks to create new and interesting music, piano and various electronic-ee-ness are his tools. Andy is from Chelmsford, UK and is currently a University of Brighton student. Andy is new to this whole producing thing, but he is doing well and is creating something new and unique I enjoy listening to. On his bandcamp, Andy has two releases, Signals and Discord.

I decided to listen to Andy Wilkinson’s latest track on his soundcloud titled “Simulation: MRTX.” This particular track is very full and synthy, and features an interesting configuration of drum sampling. The piano is slightly repetitive, which reminds me of that whole minimalist movement which is something I’m into. Before you know it a guitar kicks in, and that completely shakes things up. Andy really does bend genres in such a way I cannot define. There is a good contrast from the beginning to the end of a song that creates a nice contrast, and showing some complex themes, but still very enjoyable and approachable as a listener with not an as developed ear.

Check him out below:

http://andywilkinson.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AndyWilkinsonMusic/timeline

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HILROY

By: Cissy Suen
Genre: Rap

Photo courtesy of: Reuben Gazer

Photo courtesy of: Reuben Gazer

Rap, Race, and Revolution. Welcome the magician who enchants the lyrics from the pages of a pink hilroy notebook. Hamilton’s very own rapper and poet, Reuben Gazer’s alter ego, HILROY creates witty backboned lyrics to an ingenious sampling of tracks. From the jazzy piano powered, The Way (ft. Goodzilla/prod. Polysonics), to beat-centered Magic Cypher (ft. Goodzilla, Eli Brass/prod. Polysonics), and the oh-so-familiar sounds of Love Club (ft. AshKlash/prod. Polysonics), HILROY’s debut mixtape H.Y.P.E. only shows off his talented musicality and the stellar work of his producers.

What stands out about HILROY and his music, is the truth to his lyrics. In each track much of the rap is based off of Gazer’s personal life experience. (In fact, the cover of H.Y.P.E features his older brother.) From his family to his full-time status as a physics student, you’ll hear everything about when “Gary lost his marbles…” to how “…dilation of the time is affecting [his] inner core.”

Gazer states, “I’m currently working on an EP which samples tracks from Teddy Pendergrass. My main producer – Little Vision put in work making these tracks, and they’re some of the most unique tracks I’ve come across. Look out for some undercover projects dropping this summer too.” Perhaps there will also be some future creations inspired by the Icelandic Compilation I lent HILROY the other day, as well as a list of bands including Youth Lagoon, Alt-J, and XXYYXX.

For now, get H.Y.P.E.d because there’s more where this came from – including the brand new video release of Dirty Dozen (ft. Goodzilla/prod. Polysonics):

P.S. If you pay close attention you’ll find that HILROY’s partner in crime – Goodzilla – is also his producer, Little Vision. Give this a spin at http://littlevision.bandcamp.com

Links:

https://twitter.com/HILROYmusic

https://www.facebook.com/hilroymusicofficial?fref=ts

 

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