Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"Believe" by Kristen Karma ft. Kazz

“Believe” is the current single of now Toronto-based (previously Vancouver) artist, Kristen Karma. If that’s a name you think you recognize, you’re probably right! Kristen Karma had performed locally for numerous years, garnering success throughout Vancouver and gaining opportunities such as opening for DJ Lady Starlight at the official Lady Gaga Afterparty during the 2013 Born This Way Ball Tour,  before relocating to Toronto, Ontario to further her musical career. Karma also has a dedicated following online, world-wide. 

“Believe” is a heart-felt, positive, pop ballad. Written in connection to the Canadian Cancer Society, lyrically, this song has the ability to reach just about everyone, young and old, on an emotional level. Cancer is no stranger in the lives of many, and this song helps to bring about a positive outlook on a potentially sad situation. It teaches one to believe, and that standing together, there are no sad moments, simply just moments to remember and cherish forever.

Throughout the song, there are delicate harmonies and melodies placed strategically which keeps the song moving and the ear entertained. The addition of a feature vocalist (Toronto artist, Kazz), adds a lot of depth to the over all sound of the track, as does the addition of extra piano and string accompaniment by the talented, Kate Unrau.

The over all mix of the song, technically, was well done. The levels of the instrumentation paired well with that of Karma’s vocals. However, I wish I could have heard Kazz a little higher, or at least, clearer in the mix when it came to the additional background vocals and harmonies in the first minute and thirty seconds of the song. The latter half showcases that there are two separate voices much more clearly than the first half. When Kazz joined in for the feature vocal, you could hear clearly that he has a beautiful voice. One which carried the melodies of the song whimsically. Pairing Kristen Karma and Kazz together to create this acoustic rendition of “Believe” was a great choice. The song is strong messaged, beautifully written, and will touch the hearts of many.

To accompany the single for “Believe,” Kristen Karma released a music video, now with over 23,000 views on YouTube. The video was shot artfully, in black and white, focusing mainly around Karma in varying shots from singing to playing the piano, as well as features from Kazz and Kate Unrau. It also showcased a beautiful storyline in the b-roll of the video that I’ll let you watch for yourself.

The team behind the production of this single and music video did a really good job of capturing the essence of what Kristen Karma wrote. The credits are as follows:

Music and Lyrics: Kristen Karma
Vocals and additional lyrics: Kazz (FACEBOOK)
Strings and additional piano: Kate Unrau
Audio Engineer: Scotty Komer
Videographer: Deighton Goode
Make-up Artist: Ashley Fernandes
Executive Producers: Jordan (Xander) King, Kristen Karma, Scotty Komer
Production Company: The Kommunity Inc.
In Association With: The Canadian Cancer Society ( WEBSITE / FACEBOOK )

You can find this single on ITunes : Buy NOW on iTunes!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Joseph Arthur - You Keep Hanging On

Joseph Arthur has such a classic voice. Like the kind of voice you would have heard at Woodstock. This video is just so organic. The simplicity of it and the depth of colour of that piano just makes seem so warm.

Joseph Arthur has released the video for his latest single ‘You Keep Hanging On’, taken from the forthcoming album The Family, which will be released through Real World Records on June 3rd and available on vinyl in late June.

The video was premiered on Q and perfectly captures the dreamscape moods and beautiful melodies of the new album and sees Joseph in his creative element, at the hands of his recently acquired 1912 Steinway Vertegrande piano, which he wrote the whole of The Family on - a first for Joseph who for the most part writes songs from guitar, and who single-handedly took on vocals, drums, drum programming, pianos, guitars and synths for the recording of the new album.
The album was mixed by Tchad Blake, whose previous collaborations with Joseph include the well-loved songs ‘Honey and the Moon’ and ‘In The Sun’, the latter which has been covered by Michael Stipe and Peter Gabriel.
Originally discovered by Peter Gabriel, and subsequently signed to his Real World record label in 1997, Joseph quickly established a reputation as a formidable and creative talent with his experimental folk-rock style, diverse instrumentation and eclectic electronic production elements. An accomplished painter, he’s displayed his works in galleries around the world, and his online-only Museum of Modern Arthur (museumofmodernarthur.com) serves as a repository for his creations. He is also a prolific writer, principally of poetry but has also written a children's book.
With 20+ albums under his belt, Joseph is as known for his solo records as his collaborations with acclaimed performers including Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, T-Bone Burnett, Dhani Harrison and Ben Harper of Fistful of Mercy and RNDM with Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament.

Stealth - Judgement Day

Reminding me of Hozier, Sam Smith, and Bruno Mars all mixed together. Stealth puts such soul in each line he delivers. The video is artistically interesting and keeps you interested. Sia has almost coined the "modern dancing girl" in any video, so it just doesn't seem like an original idea when watching this video, but it really works with the song. Has to be watched in high definition though to really feel the video.

Check out the video and his Facebook page HERE.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

#CMW Artist Showcase - The Glazzies

New Yorker's The Glazzies are coming to Toronto! We had a quick chat with them about their upcoming performance at Canadian Music Week.

Hammer Records: Tell us what you think of when you think Canadian Music?
The Glazzies: Neil Young.

Hammer Records: How did you get involved in Canadian Music Week?
The Glazzies: We first got involved with CMW during last year's festival and played some of our best shows. Toronto has always been a favorite city of ours and are really psyched to be coming back!

Hammer Records: What do you have planned for Canadian Music Week?
The Glazzies: Well, our first showcase happens to be on our drummer Dave's birthday, so I imagine there will be some beers involved. We have been working on some new songs and will probably test some of them out at the shows.

Hammer Records: What message do you want to send to Canadians listening to your music?
The Glazzies: At the end of the day, it just boils down to the songs. We try and write the best songs we can and play the hardest we can each show. Hopefully they are walking away from one of our shows saying that they had a good time.

Hammer Records: Whats coming up for you?

The Glazzies: This year we are releasing our new record Kill Me Kindly, and are currently setting up a tour for it's release. It has been a long time in the making and will be announcing a release date very soon!

Instagram & Twitter - @theglazzies

#CMW Artist Showcase - Pif Paf Hangover

Montreal based group Pif Paf Hangover will be performing at Canadian Music Week. We had a great chat with them about their upcoming performance. 

Hammer Records: Tell us what you think of when you think Canadian Music?
Pif Paf Hangover: Nothing in particular. This is hard..... I thought about it for a while, kept that question for last. I don't want to get too academic and trace the influences throughout history, BORING!
All I can think of is the word organic for some reason. I feel canadians have been making awesome music across all genres but the one thing that strikes me as being true is we make organic music. We are a really chill people (in general), in tune with nature. It's insane how the land influences the themes and sounds of music. I love brazilian music for instance, it's very warm with sounds reminiscent of the jungle, waves, water, sunshine. 
So I wouldn't say our music is cold, I'd say it's cyclic, it's about rebirth, contemplation of vast lands, an appreciation of the grandeur and strength we can't conquer, the reflections of hibernation and the all out madness of the warm days. If that means anything...

Hammer Records: How did you get involved in Canadian Music Week?
Pif Paf Hangover: We were supposed to play last year after we released our first album but the timing wasn't right. We ended up playing Lee's palace later on anyway and had a blast! Met some awesome Toronto folks and here we are. We are super grateful for the opportunity to be a part of CMW this year and we can't wait to play and hear other bands.

Hammer Records: What do you have planned for Canadian Music Week?
Pif Paf Hangover: We've been practicing every day for months now... We put an awesome rig together so the show is a cross between a dj set and a live performance. It's like a little lab, we're always touching something different, drum pads, effect processors, keyboards, whatnots! It got us making very interesting tones and sounds. It's very entertaining (I believe) to see us create these sounds with all these mediums, it makes for an intricate choreography where all the pieces of the puzzle fit together in a groovy mix of genres. Some kind of electronic-post-funk-sophisticated-blue-eyed-soul two men juggling routine. But don't get mislead, it's a live show, we sing all the parts and play guitar and keys. We're special ;)

Hammer Records: What message do you want to send to Canadians listening to your music?
Pif Paf Hangover: It's definitely happy music to dance to in general. If there is a recurring theme it's definitely the glory of women. We are big fans! It's an ode to strong, independent, autonomous, travelling women. So the message would be respect and love the women that surround you, take life lightly, breathe, dance and don't be an asshole. Pretty simple but complete.

Hammer Records: Whats coming up for you?

Pif Paf Hangover: We're putting the finishing touches on a new record, with maybe a couple weeks of mixing and mastering left. We're already getting a lot of shows booked for summer and fall 2016 but I'm guessing we'll be much busier when the record drops. 
You can listen to our previous album Curry Love on bandcamp , there's also a remix EP and our very first EP available on the same site. 
If you want all the latest like us on FB. You can also follow us on instagram @pifpafhangover.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

#CMW Artist Showcase - Overhead, The Albatross

Amazing, just amazing. These musicians are all so talented, and together just create magic. Don't miss Overhead, The Albatross at Canadian Music Week. We had a quick chat with them about their upcoming performance. 

Hammer Records: Tell us what you think of when you think Canadian Music?
Overhead, The Albatross: I think the first thing that pops into my head is how diverse the music is in Canada. People seem to really have an open mind and are really open to new types of music and new ideas. That's what really makes a scene thrive. Also you gave us Godspeed... I mean COME ON! As well as that

Hammer Records: How did you get involved in Canadian Music Week?
Overhead, The Albatross: So this year there's a focus on Ireland and Irish bands, and we were lucky enough to get the invite almost out of the blue a few months ago and we jumped at the opportunity.

Hammer Records: What do you have planned for Canadian Music Week?
Overhead, The Albatross: Yes! We're actually bringing our entire full show production over with us. I think a lot of times when bands travel things get a bit stripped back for obvious reasons but we're pulling no punches for CMW. We're bringing a violinist, backline tech, lighting designer and sound engineer to replicate our full show, so we can't wait for people to see it.

Hammer Records: What message do you want to send to Canadians listening to your music?
Overhead, The Albatross: I think the same message we'd like to send anyone listening to our music: just listen with an open ear and an open heart and if you like it, keep it with you. If you don't, that's okay too.

Hammer Records: Whats coming up for you?

Overhead, The Albatross: Our debut album "Learning To Growl" is coming out on May 13th and we'll be playing a bunch of Irish festivals this Summer so we can't wait for that. We've been making this record for a long time and we're very excited for people to hear it.

#CMW Artist Showcase - Meltybrains?

We had a quick chat with Meltybrains? regarding their upcoming performance at Canadian Music Week. 

Hammer Records: Tell us what you think of when you think Canadian Music?
Meltybrains?: Music that tastes sweet like Maple Syrup, made deep in a forest somewhere.

Hammer Records: How did you get involved in Canadian Music Week?
Meltybrains?: The organisers asked us to play, quite simply.

Hammer Records: What do you have planned for Canadian Music Week?
Meltybrains?: Oh yes we do, but we can't say, that would be giving it away...

Hammer Records: What message do you want to send to Canadians listening to your music?
Meltybrains?: It's ok, don't worry, we don't know what the hell is going on either.

Hammer Records: Whats coming up for you?

Meltybrains?: We have big plans to release music at the end of 2016, plus lots of tour dates and festivals. You can find our music on spotify, soundclound, bandcamp, just search meltybrainsmusic - we're also on facebook, twitter and instagram.