steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Megan Hamilton

"See your Midnight Breath in the Shipyard" CD

Familiar Music

Genre: folk-rock, singer / songwriter

Toronto, ON

June 12, 2009

Megan Hamilton plays folk-rock that doesn't enthral me, but certainly leaves a nice taste in my mouth/ears. This record is little more than Megan's vocals over guitars and a rhythm section (as well as some piano), but the product is well-polished and melodic. Megan's voice is delightfully unspectacular, perfect for the matter-of-factly compositions on tap.

The thing about a record like this is that it leaves me flatly underwhelmed. I certainly have no objections to putting See Your Midnight Breath in the Shipyard on the stereo; heck, I'll even hum along to some of the more infectious songs (fantastic "Figure It Out," Nedelle-esque "From Here to Vancouver"). But the straightforwardness of this album can also lead to it becoming a lurker -- one of those records that slinks around in the back of your music collection, gathering more layers of dust than rotations in your CD player.

But this is often the case with singer/songwriter folk enterprises. At least Hamilton has a quirky personality, and wisely imbues several of Midnight Breath's songs with a welcome country tinge (Tarnation-esque "I <3 Computers," "Why Do We Cry?"). As well, at this record's defining moments, Hamilton's voice meshes sublimely with the production to create several thoroughly impressive songs. See Your Midnight Breath in the Shipyard is not going to change the world, or even the music scene, but it's tough to lob complaints at a record this competent and pleasant, even if it's a tad too straightforward.

Megan Hamilton will be playing on June 20 at Bread and Circus as part of Toronto's 2009 North by Northeast festival.

Fun Fact: Megan herself explains: "Mark Vogelsang placed all of the sounds on the album as though they were on a ship - he drew a cross-section of a ship (it's in the EPK) and applied mathematical equations to the over 300 sounds."

megan's myspace



Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by Scratch Records, released 2008]