The most ambitious and creative seasonally scary synth album we’ve heard this year comes from a trio of Hamilton musicians: Laura Scarlett and David Disher, who usually work together as a duo, and atmospheric lo-fi pop songwriter Mark Lenover. The three of them have united as Scarlett/Disher/Lenover and created a sinister synthpop odyssey called Nightmare House. If you dare to listen, you’ll hear a wonderfully crafted and surprisingly catchy pop suite in the record’s first half, featuring highlights like “Black Eyed Spider,” which sounds a bit like the alternate-universe ABBA of your nightmares, or like a less minimal Ladytron. The record’s second half is inspired by classic synth horror soundtracks and is an excellent complement to the paranoid pop jams on side A. We feel like we’ve got a future holiday classic on our hands here. Hamilton knows from Halloween!
Nightmare House is available now from Bandcamp. Enjoy listening at this weekend’s séances and other festivities.
There’s something so strange, and wonderfully special about Hamilton’s Motëm. We’ve been covering this project for a long time, and the lyrics of “Pioneer” make sense since he HAS created a new style unintentionally and we DON’T know what to do with him. He’s a complete original and that will always draw our fingers back to the play button with each new song.
From the utterly demented universe created by the brain of Hamilton’s Nick Persons, in collaboration with Silent Shout’s favourite bodily fluid-named sibling, Bile Sister, we’re pleased (and somewhat frightened) to present the premiere of “Fries Without A Dog.” The electro-pop and hip-hop deconstructor has put together a wonderfully imploded hip-hop jam that alternates between syrupy-slow synth-heavy grooves and stretches of beatless ooze. There are definitely similarities to Hamilton hometown hero Motem, but instead of smooth and uplifting, Persons keeps things shifting and unsettling. But it’s the kind of chaos we love!
Ontario’s reigning electronic pop artist might be none other than Hamilton’s Jessy Lanza, and she’s been plenty busy since 2013’s top 10-ranking album Pull My Hair Back. But the single that dropped this week could be the best of her post-LP releases. She’s collaborating with none other than Morgan freaking Geist in a new project called The Galleria, and my goodness does “Calling Card” hit hard. More in your face than Lanza’s more subtle solo work, that aggressive bass synth makes us move! This should tide us over quite nicely until Lanza’s surely-brilliant next album.
Legendary Hamilton-based slacker-poet B.A. Johnston has just released his tenth album, Shit Sucks, and on it – hark! – a straight-up electropop tune! The endlessly listenable “What A Wonderfully Mediocre Day” features all the mainstays of a classic Johnston composition – compact song structure, descriptions of life’s simple lazy pleasures, deeply Canadian references – and one of the catchiest choruses in recent memory.
This song is pop perfection that pays proper respect to a perfectly executed lazy day featuring precious couchtime, chips & dip, garlic bread, and Star Trek TNG. Johnston wisely tells us that we can elevate the most mediocre day into the extraordinary by upholding some basic standards and being relentless yet discerning in our pursuit of happiness. Don’t skimp on that dip! No Q episodes! If done right, there is decidedly no place like home: “If I had a holodeck, make it look like my living room, watch Next Gen all day”.
Listen to that bleepy hook! We think he should go electro more often. Shit Sucks is available now from Bandcamp.
Some days, there’s nothing more smile-inducing than the laid-back drawl of an understated yet uplifting Motëm hook. Hamilton’s electro-rap poet loves bringing things back to basics and his philosophy of being up-front about being conscientious and kind seems, well, rather punk. Not ironic or putting on airs, definitely not preachy. He’s just chilling in an arboretum, rhyming about Atlantis and asking you about how you’ve been. Ten years from now, he’ll be seen as a visionary. And what a beat from Sweden’s Lil Ocean!
Check out Motëm along with a bevy of Silent Shout faves in Hamilton this Saturday at a fundraiser for CFMU at This Ain’t Hollywood.
Hamilton’s New Hands reentered our orbit with the relaxed and lovely “Swimming,” but this is nothing like that song. “Strange Attractor” begins in layers: first radar blips, then groups of arpeggios, and then full percussion. Once Spence Newell’s vocals kick in, it’s clear that this is one powerhouse of a dance single.
They’ll be releasing “way too much” music in 2015, according to their Facebook page. We can’t wait!
Motëm, how we’ve missed ya. Well it hasn’t been that long since last year’s Insider/Outsider and Caveman in Japan but we’re always hungering for more Motëm. Hamilton’s hazy motivational electro-rap guru has put out the Einzelgänger mixtape and it’s on a whole other level. Single “Truth be Knownst” is probably the highlight, a deep grooving production that’s very direct in its message. Be yourself! Do it today!
Holy crap. So assuming that you’re in the same boat as us, that Caribou’s masterful Swim has not left your metaphorical tapedeck since its release, this is the day you’ve been waiting for. The very first song from the new Caribou album, Our Love, out in October. It’s a mostly instrumental affair, using a repeated vocal loop and building to a big crescendo. In terms of catchy singly-ness it’s certainly no “Odessa”, but it’s pretty damn cool. I think it’s safe to assume that this album will have MUCH to offer. October is too far away!
It has been two years since we’ve heard anything from Hamilton’s New Hands, and from the title and grainy imagery of this new single and its accompanying video, you’d think they had spent the time being tossed about by gentle pool waves. Instead they’ve been refining and paring down their sound, leaving Spence Newell’s hypnotizing tenor front and centre. We approve immensely.