Pass the Aux, a series dedicated to amplifying new and upcoming musicians. We will get you up-to-date in discovering new music monthly to the point where your friends will ask you to “pass the aux!” The first Thursday of every month will consist of some of the members of dayfour choosing musicians to highlight. We will give you our thoughts, our feelings and our theories on those musicians (strictly from a consumer standpoint).
*Have you got new music you want people to hear? Or perhaps you know someone that you think makes great music and just hasn’t had their big break? Make sure to follow us on IG and email links/information on new music to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be reviewing all submissions and deciding to focus on someone new each month.
This month I want to pick things up right where I left them last month and highlight another artist from the live show I saw in Kensington Market. I really need to get the actual details on this show so I can give everyone that was part of it their flowers (figuratively speaking). It’s still the only live show I’ve been to since I moved but what a show! Anyways, this show put me on* to another special talent. His bio on Spotify would tell you that the is a “producer, musician and collaborator” but I’m here to tell you this man is more than that, this man is a true artist yo. Whether you’re in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) or not, one person to lookout for is HMLT (pronounced Hamlet). If you haven’t been listening to his work, I’m about to give you three reasons to change your mind.
He might not be the lead vocalist on this song but he sure as hell knew what he was doing with the production. From the drums to the guitar rifts, HMLT seems to find a way to do everything necessary to bring this song together. It all compliments Kei-Li’s vocals really well. It’s not a surprise to me that these two have worked so frequently together. If you haven’t heard it, check out their latest collaboration album titled “Drifters”.
So I’m a sucker for any production that starts with what I call “the underwater filter” and this songs starts with just that. To me, this is HMLT in his bag*! The production on this record is slow, sensual and captivating. It makes you want to close your eyes and really listen to the lyrics. There’s a lot more emphasis on various string instruments here and it really makes me want to pick HMLT’s brain on how he decides the perfect time to utilize guitar vs what sounds like the violin throughout the song. If you’ve tried to play an instrument, things like this don’t just come naturally to everybody. Orchestrating production is a true talent and HMLT has figured it out. This song and many more can be found on his album titled “Need You“.
If you guys thought I wasn’t going to try my best to highlight some fire from HMLT and Joyia together you are mistaken. This right here man?! To me, the production on this record shows HMLT’s versatility. There’s trumpets, synths, drums and keys throughout the song that I feel create something that I didn’t highlight in the previous two songs. This right here ladies and gents is magic. Hearing Joyia sing over this kind of production like this can only be described as magic. Like what you’re hearing? Well check out their collaboration EP titled ” Purple“.
Shoutout to HMLT man. I met you for probably 2 minutes just to shake your hand after the show and thank you for putting on such a great performance. My only hope is that whoever decides to read this, will take the time to really dig into his discography and appreciate his artistry the way that I have. Be sure to follow him on Instagram @hmltlive.
Following blkcory’s suit, I wanted to highlight an incredible artist I had the pleasure of watching live recently. About two weeks ago, I went to a folk music show which is typically not my scene, but my friends were friends with the opener and I was game. Steph Irene had her first show as a solo artist and colored me impressed. She entered the stage nervously with her band, but her voice was hauntingly beautiful the moment she started singing. With every note she hit the crowd felt warmth, smoothness and calm. Steph was folk music with a sprinkle of pop and a whole lot of talent. Steph announced that most of the songs she performed that night she wrote within the last week and each one was better or as good as the previous. Unfortunately, as a new solo artist, Steph only has one song on Spotify, which I will highlight below in a second.
On a different note, Steph also has a band with her partner (in love and in music), Paul, called Post Script. Post Script is an embodiment of a proper Canadian musical group singing their music in both French and English. Something about a married couple signing love songs together just puts a smile on my face. Here are some tracks by both Steph and her band Post Script.
Make It up to You – Steph Irene
Make It up to You is a song that’s so smooth and easy to follow. After the first chorus I’m caught singing along emotionally to the made up partner I have and the troubles we have that can’t be undone. Steph was in her emotions writing this one and I felt it with every instrument note and every word sung. It is an easy song that packs a punch. Being her first solo track I’m both impressed and excited for a possible future EP.
Dear Marie – Post Script
Dear Marie is a Post Script song on their album If Not for You an album that helms songs in both English and French. Dear Marie is a lovely love song that incapsulates a beautiful love that may or may not be a hallucinatory dream-like love.. or not. It’s slow but haunting and beautiful and might be my favourite Post Script song.
Put me on – to introduce you to something/ someone
In Your Bag – to do something you excel at