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In the Mix

Editor Marc Skulnick’s buzzworthy beats, top tunes and awesome albums – Hamilton style!

“Charlie IO” by Ellevator

Indie alt-rock darlings Ellevator need no introduction and have been a mainstay in the local music scene since their inception back in 2018. The Hamilton-based band, which comprises Nabi Sue Bersche, Tyler Bersche and Elliot Gwynne, are set to release their debut album later this spring – they are signed to Toronto’s Arts & Crafts music label – but in the meantime have released the stellar “Charlie IO” as the newest single. Sure, it’s been out since late October, but it’s so damn good that it deserves to be an inaugural “In The Mix” pick. Produced by Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie), “Charlie IO” is a delightfully downtempo mix of dreamy piano riffs and atmospheric beats set against Nabi Sue’s ethereal vocals. Civic boosters will enjoy spotting the decidedly-Hamilton locations featured in Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles” inspired video. The band is touring this spring, so head on over to their website to watch the video and bask in the glow of a band on the verge of big things. www.ellevatormusic.com
Official Video

“The HP Trot (Blow Maceo)” by The HP’s

If you’re going to invoke the name of one of soul music’s biggest legends in the title of your debut single, you better be able to deliver the goods and that’s exactly what The HP’s do on this track. The HP's are the musical brainchild of Mike Renaud (aka Parkside), the man behind local label Hidden Pony Records. After years of toiling behind the scenes, Renaud has stepped up, and stepped out, as the front man for a groove collective consisting of some of Hamilton’s most-talented musicians. “The HP Trot (Blow Maceo)” tips its hat to the legendary likes of James Brown, Sharon Jones and yes, Maceo Parker. Featuring the Northern Soul Horns, “The HP Trot” is a horn-soaked soul-funk excursion that boasts one of the tightest – and nastiest – grooves this town has ever heard. Even better, it’s the precursor to the group’s debut long player, Gritty City Soul Vol. 1, which is due to drop any day now. And as for Mr. Parker, I think he’d approve of this groove. Thehpsband.com
Offical Video

Stone Cold Groovers by The Lowdown Dirty Mojos

Paul Wootton and Stephen Foster are the driving force behind The Lowdown Dirty Mojos, a Hamilton-based band that’s been together since 2018.The duo boasts a musical pedigree that stretches back decades and has seen them share the stage with the likes of The Tragically Hip, Barenaked Ladies, Mick Taylor (ex-Rolling Stones), George Thorogood, Ronnie Hawkins and tons of others. As The Mojos, they have just released their second album, Stone Cold Groovers, and once again they’ve delivered a hard-driving collection of 60s-inspired R’n’B – think rollicking organs, searing guitar and cryptic lyrics that conjure up everything from muddy water and mystic highways to hoodoos and jujus – all written by Wootton and Foster themselves. Testament to the quality of the record, and the band, is the fact that the Mojos are nominated for New Artist of the Year at this year’s Maple Blues Awards. Watch for festival dates this summer. www.lowdowndirtymojos.com 

“17 Again” by The Emsee

The Emsee is the musical nom de plume of Hamilton's Mathew Barker, whose rap career got off to an auspicious start a decade ago when the then-21-year-old factory worker narrowly missed being a top-three finalist on Canada’s Got Talent. Buoyed by the national exposure, he would go on to release a number of well-received albums, including 2013’s Empty Promises, which was nominated for Rap/Hip-Hop Recording of the Year at the Hamilton Music Awards, and collaborate with Moka Only, Joey Turner and a host of talented others. After a number of years away from the spotlight, which included becoming a dad and getting married to his highschool sweetheart, Barker is back and in a rather nostalgic mood. His latest single, “17 Again,” finds the hip-hop artist in fine musical fettle and his trademark delivery remains unchanged as he reminisces about simpler days gone by against a fierce beat-laden backdrop. It’s a welcome return for one of the city’s brightest rap talents. Watch for more tracks to be released in the coming months. https://www.instagram.com/the_emsee ​
Official Video

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