Halifax Pop Explosion:: Featured Artist - Dammien Alexander

I have to say, I was a little surprised when we were sent Dammien Alexander's new album Beautifully and told he was from Halifax. I say that because Dammien's brand of hip hop mixed with acoustic funk and rock is kind of unique for the Halifax scene. Certainly other folks are doing similar things, including a friend of mine, but I was surprised that someone was doing it here and this was the first I was hearing of it. Why do I think I should hear about all developments in the Halifax music scene? I have no idea, and it kind of makes me sound like a douche, so I'm going to move on.

Originally from Philly, it seems Dammien made his way up to Halifax to play some university hoops and stuck around afterwards to work on a career in the biz. Like many talented Haligonians, Dammien now spends the majority of his time in Toronto, but he's playing plenty of shows around the Martimes this fall, one of those being October 20th at Ginger's for the Pop Explosion.

The Philly roots certainly help explain the authentic soul feeling Dammien puts into the eclectic music he makes. Beautifully opens with Proper, a very funky, uptempo acoustic number with guitar, bass and handclaps backing Dammien's hip hop inspired vocals. It really is a catchy, sing-along type jam, but it's followed by Eveready which, despite Dammien's soulful vocals, is structured more like a rock song with some heavy guitars and pounding drums on the chorus. Just to ensure that he isn't fitting into anyone's box, the third song, Satellite is a lovely, sparse song which features Dammien breaking out plenty of milky way metaphors over a simple heartbeat and keys melody. It doesn't stop there as Dammien continues to mix things up with bluesy, old school R&B; flavours (Love Of A Lifetime), straight up hip hop over live instruments (The Heater), and straight-forward acoustic rock (Carry me).

That's just a quick overview, but Dammien really does change his style up in a Son Of Bazerk like manner. While, in my opinion, Beautifully isn't classic from start to finish, when Dammien is on, the results are impressive. That being said, it's obvious that he's a talented and charismatic guy, and it wouldn't surprise me if we heard big things from him in the future. So if you're intrigued by any of my ramblings, check out Beautifully for yourself, or catch Dammien live at a venue near you.

MP3:: Dammien Alexander - EverReady

MP3:: Dammien Alexander - Satellite

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