Based in Toronto, Coleman Hell has developed a unique, crisp new sound that stands out on the radio. Hell performed at Bestival earlier this summer and will be at TD Echo Beach in August performing with Mother Mother and Kongos as part of Edgefest 3. With a relatively low internet profile, meaning there isn’t very much online about WHO Coleman Hell is; his latest single 2 Heads has been popping up on the airwaves, reaching listeners – and it’s really good. Recently catching the new single playing on 102.1, I decided to listen to some of the other tracks he has released. Admittedly, his songs and music videos can be a little strange, but it’s in a good way, and his multi-genre musical fusion is not really like anything else on the radio right now; vocally, at times, he sounds a little like Sting (particularly in his latest single).
Beer Cans, Glow, Take Me Up, and Preylude vary so much in style and delivery, that they clearly demonstrate Coleman’s refreshing diversity as an artist. All The Monsters is accompanied by an odd music video following the strange saga of three monsters and a curious furry briefcase, notably, one monster is outfitted in an acid wash denim jacket and bowling shoes whilst another sports Chuck Taylors and a University of Saskatchewan Law School jacket and the last wears a pinstripe suit jacket with a skinny tie. Fortress is my favourite – a song that can’t really be confined to any particular genre to describe it, you really just have to hear it – the lyric video makes no secret of the song’s subject matter (it’s not obscene, but it does include animated singing women’s undergarments).
Hell’s latest song, 2 Heads, is one of those songs that sort of calls you out – almost challenging you NOT to catch on, ultimately leaving you to walk away repeating the lyrics or humming the tune – hooked. The catch is, since this music is something new and fresh, I had to listen more than once before I really got the brilliance of it, so if you find that on the first play you’re not entirely convinced that we’ll be hearing a lot more of Coleman Hell, listen twice.