Molly Hanmer & The Midnight Tokers
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Molly Hanmer & The Midnight Tokers

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
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"Molly Hanmer and the Midnight Tokers - Fools Run (single)"

If you’re looking for sizzling summer blues with a touch of Americana and rock n’ roll harmonies, Molly Hanmer and the Midnight Tokers have you covered in their single “Fool’s Run,” the first from their highly anticipated album Stuck in a Daydream. The Los Angeles based indie band have already captured the hearts of critics with their stunningly organic approach to making richly textured melodies, and now they’ve set their sights on international chart domination and produced a single that is more than capable of generating a segue. I’ve always said that first impressions are everything, and even though I had never listened to Molly Hanmer or her Midnight Tokers prior to “Fool’s Run,” you can bet that I’ll be listening to everything they release in the future.

2018 has been a pretty unconventional year for pop music. We’ve seen a major spike in surrealism’s influence over pop, rock and hip-hop, and we’ve seen a steady migration of country fans over to the folkie/Americana scene at a pace that is starting to make Nashville really worried. Molly Hanmer and the Midnight Tokers are a part of a pretty recent trend within indie rock that fuses the ethics of punk rock and DIY with the sonic experimentalism of psychedelia and the stripped down song structures of folk and traditional blues. “Fool’s Run” is one of the more exciting songs I’ve heard out of what many of my contemporaries are calling the neo-Americana movement, and I could actually see Molly Hanmer being a good ambassador of its style.

Stringing together poignant lyrics with an elegantly restrained vocal from Hanmer, “Fool’s Run” does one thing better than any other song I’ve reviewed this year; it doesn’t try to be something it’s not. There isn’t any ridiculous added vibrato or manipulated walls of sound to prop up the song more than its actual chords do. There’s an earnest quality to its arrangement, almost as if to suggest that we’re listening to a backyard jam somewhere rather than to a studio album, and rather than coming off as amateurish, we feel like we’re being treated to an intimate performance where there’s nothing between us and the band themselves. It’s a transcendent, refreshing listening experience in contrast to anything that their closest competitors have come up with lately.

There’s still plenty of room for this band to grow into their sound a little more and define their identity a little more clearly, but judging from the tenacity and self-control that Moller Hanmer and the Midnight Tokers demonstrate in “Fool’s Run,” I think that it’s safe for us to assume that this is just the beginning of what is certain to be a very successful, accomplished career. At this stage of the game virtually anything is possible for them, and the fact that they’re already cutting tracks that are as vividly stylized and attractively produced as this one speaks volumes about where they stand to go over the course of the next five or ten years. I’ll be keeping an eye on them, and I’m positive that I won’t be the only one.

"Watch the Video for Fool's Run" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCeu2kJMkis

Photo credit: Dave Clancy.

Mindy McCall - No Depression - Mindy McCall


"MOLLY HANMER AND THE MIDNIGHT TOKERS – STUCK IN A DAYDREAM"

November 11, 2018
Americana, Music, Reviews
MOLLY HANMER AND THE MIDNIGHT TOKERS – STUCK IN A DAYDREAM



Based out of Los Angeles, Molly Hanmer’s new recording with The Midnight Tokers in tow solidifies her reputation as one of the best singers/interpreters working the indie scene today. Stuck in a Daydream features a dozen songs of superior skill and quality and never panders for listener’s attention. Instead, stylishness and gravitas combine with immense musicality to bring this release together and it easily rates as one of the most satisfying releases I’ve heard in 2018.

The romping opener “Take a Walk With Me” practically has a punk rock edginess to it and the juxtaposition of Hanmer’s emotional voice against The Midnight Toker’s relentless energy is quite a thing to hear. Producer Marvin Etzioni does an exceptional job balancing the competing sonic elements of the song without ever favoring one facet over the other, but yet Hanmer’s voice draws you in from the first. “Real Love”, the album’s second track, is much more laid back in comparison and its earnest sentiments shine through in every line. The loose, relaxed groove hit on by The Midnight Tokers makes this one a keeper as well.

We explore much bluesier territory with the third cut “Fool’s Run (Different Song)”. Hanmer’s voice doesn’t hint at potential grit in the aforementioned tracks but, here, she unleashes – and it satisfies while still conforming to the same sensitivity we heard from those first two numbers. The guitar work is particularly tasty and the harmonica entering into the track during its second half more than hits the right note. The album’s title song, “Stuck in a Daydream”, has a much more acoustic bent than we’ve heard from the first three songs mentioned, but the melodic shift is welcome and sounds part and parcel with everything we’ve heard so far. The electric guitar flourishes along the way are particularly effective.

The Hammond organ fueled shuffle of “Come Back” links up quite well with Keith Palmer’s drumming and a strong acoustic jangle. It’s another energetic charger and holds up well under multiple listens. The opener’s punky energy returns for “Outlaw Blues” and it’s difficult, if not impossible, to ignore the first take charisma behind this number. It’s an unlikely Dylan cover hailing from his halcyon sixties work, but Hanmer never treats it too reverentially. “Drag You Along” isn’t the cheeriest tune, but the understated near jazz inflections of it lure you in and never weigh on listeners.

The muted finale, “Mama’s In the Spirit World Now”, is equally chilling, yet considered. The plain spoken language of its lyrical content will make you take notice, but it never strains for effect. Molly Hanmer and the Midnight Tokers have successfully collaborated to produce one of the year’s best releases, any genre – Stuck in a Daydream has immense melodic merits, but the intelligence underlying the writing is undeniable as well. It also shows more than a capability to rock out with abandon while still never failing to impress listeners with its musicianship. Highly recommended and not a dud in the lot. - Too Much Love Magazine - John McCall


"MOLLY HANMER & THE MIDNIGHT TOKERS -STUCK IN A DAYDREAM"

Molly Hanmer and The Midnight Tokers offer a lively, rich take on the Americana tradition with the release Stuck in a Daydream while avoiding any hints of imitation or filler. The dozen songs included on the release range from surprisingly punky minimalist arrangements into outright blues and singer/songwriter fare pared down to the essentials and never chancing self indulgence. Hanmer has experienced a number of personal struggles in her recent history and we hear some of that invested in these songs, but her melodic gifts work exceptionally well with the Midnight Tokers and never risk dragging down a listener’s mood.

The aforementioned rugged punk energy is apparent with the album’s first tune. “Take a Walk With Me” fits in well with the album’s overarching Americana vibe, but it also rampages more than you’d expect and has the added bonus of bringing that musical energy together with a singer who can more than carry a tune. One of my personal favorites on the release, “Fool’s Run (Different Song)” has some knowing bitterness running through its lyrics, but the music is quite soulful and melodic and you can’t help but be impressed by how thoroughly Hanmer inhabits the lyric.

BANDCAMP: https://mollyhanmertokers.bandcamp.com/album/stuck-in-a-daydream

The authoritative drumming bringing “Old Number Seven” to life is soon joined with some jagged electric guitar, but John Bird’s keyboard work is very effective as well. The straight forward charge of the material contrasts well with the upper register qualities of Hanmer’s voice and her relish tackling the words is palpable. The starkly titled “Love Song” promises delicacy and delivers. The melody present in the guitar is quite nice, but Hanmer punctuates it with a deeply felt vocal enveloped with just enough smoke to lend it added atmosphere. It makes for quite a moment on the release and proves she and The Midnight Tokers are aiming for a broad based stylistic plate with this release.

The trio of tracks beginning with the album’s title song, rolling through the blues drenched “Come Back”, and concluding with an improbable Dylan cover of “Outlaw Blues” is another highlight on the release. The title song is cut from similar acoustic cloth as the earlier “Love Son”, albeit spiked with some other elements, while “Come Back” introduces some fiery organ playing from Bird and “Outlaw Blues” sounds gloriously off the cuff. “Dead Happy”, the album’s second to last track, revisits the organ with spectacular results and the musical playfulness emanating from the track will win over many. Stuck in a Daydream is an unusually vibrant work, never treating retro elements like butterflies pinned under glass but, instead, refurbishing these sounds for a new day and generation. Hanmer is more than just a good singer; she lives the drama and fun of these songs for us vividly and the band more than complements her inspired take on the album’s twelve songs. If you love Americana and blues with its own identity, you will find yourself revisiting this album on a regular basis without any measurable disappointment. It’s a real winner. - Gashouse Radio - Sebastian Cole


"Molly Hanmer and The Midnight Tokers are Stuck in a Daydream"

I don’t care much for albums with an inordinate amount of polish. Too often musicians working in the Americana vein will opt for glossy over authentic, but you don’t get any of that with Molly Hanmer. Her vocal and musical skills are unquestionable, but she also clearly pushes herself to dig as deep into a song as she can and isn’t afraid to put herself on the line. The opener to her Stuck in a Daydream album with the Midnight Tokers, “Take a Walk with Me”, has an unexpectedly rugged edge, but it’s mucho convincing. You can hear Hanmer’s passion boiling over in every line and the interplay between her and the band is fantastic.



That earlier mentioned authenticity comes through most strongly in the album’s third song “Fool’s Run (Different Song)”, but she expands its possibilities hitting a note of heartache any listener will appreciate. The payoff lines for this tune are just dandy and she never overplays them, just stressing the right emotional key to bring listeners deeper into the experience. “Old Number Seven” returns to territory she attacked so successfully with the album opener and she brings an additional amount of kick ass to this verging on rock. She pulls back the reins with the tender track “Love Song”, but dismiss any leanings towards cliché out of your mind – this is first class adult material with a hard won perspective and the musical acumen to back it up.



TWITTER: https://twitter.com/mollyhanmer?lang=en



John Bird’s organ work really sets the track “Come Back” on fire and the near blues shuffle push engages you physically while the lyrics are equally potent. She conjures up a strong Dylan cover with the little known “Outlaw Blues” from his Bringing It All Back Home album and deserves major props for renovating it to her style rather than lapsing into a tired Dylan imitation. The production is a particular strong suit here as well. “Drag You Along” affected me deeply – her unflinching look at life’s hardest questions is accompanied by first class musical backing and she gives herself totally over to the lyric.



“Worker’s Lament” has a lovely retro sound thanks to its accordion, but never sounds too removed from our modern experience. The lyrics have a number of surprising turns, as well, and Hanmer embraces them from the first line, throwing herself unreservedly into even the harmony vocal parts. It’s a great track to precede the clear musical fun of “Dead Happy” and the staccato guitar work counterpoints her melodic strengths very well. We are treated to a final surprise with the last song “Mama’s in the Spirit World Now”, a song that alternates between regret and truth, and has a lean arrangement clearly fitting her emotive talents as a singer. Molly Hanmer ends Stuck in a Daydream on a graceful, challenging note and it makes for one of the more involving listening experiences I’ve enjoyed this year. Let’s hope she collaborates more with The Midnight Tokers in the near future because I’m sure they could produce more works on par or bettering this outstanding full length album.

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/album/1zvyro62d18wEUrckaR2UA

YANDEX: https://music.yandex.ru/album/5931325 - NeuFutur - Kim Muncie


"Molly Hanmer and The Midnight Tokers Release “Stuck in a Daydream”"

Molly Hanmer is a survivor; LA’s up and coming singer-songwriter has been through some of the highest highs and lowest lows over the years, including the passing of her mother, who tragically died. I’m always amazed by the willpower it takes to triumph such horrible events. Hanmer channels all of these powerful emotions into her music, as she and her band The Midnight Tokers’ roll out a varied, powerful rock/country/blues/folk LP in Stuck in a Daydream.
SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4LfEA4gKJYTuB2fQVnleJA?si=GBZ6sv-5SHWeKs5_0cllhw
Rough and tumble opener “Take a Walk with Me” sees Molly ripping into Joplin’s snarl but finding grace where Janis would have roared out every word. There’s a perfect balance between aggression and smooth, fluid grooving here with rockabilly bass lines, Keith Palmer’s cracking snare drums and a dueling acoustic/electric guitar bravado blaring throughout. Some beatnik organ melodies only further the 60s charm of the music, though Hanmer and the Tokers are more attack than psyche-out on this tune. “Real Love” crawls into existence on a growly bass guitar riff with countrified/blues licks coming into play alongside a smattering of piano twinkles. The mood here is playful and teasing with a swirling 70s sense felt in every flickering lead guitar sting and Molly’s breathy, crooning vocals. Kicking up a similar dust-storm “Fool’s Run (Different Song)” relies on smoldering, sizzling amplified fuzz that supports a stream of conscious like vocalizing and stomping dirt road madness.
FACEBOOK: https://b-m.facebook.com/MollyHanmerMusic/
“Old Number Seven” lays into a cabaret sort of rock n’ roll blues with a waltzing tempo getting some slick treatment by the organ and the glistening, melody-intensive vocals. Everything keeps to this nice mid-pace that allows each hook to ebb and breathe within the structure of the song. “Love Song” and the title track make for an engrossing, largely acoustic pair; the former being a cascading, skyward-bent folk tune while the latter sinks into some meatier country n’ blues vibes, all the while Hanmer’s voice reaches for and hits every highest crescendo peak. Whether she’s burning down into a huskier lower register or going up the note, she sounds great doing it.
Ripping into a punchy electric guitar lick, a few Manzarek-tinged keyboard leads and a jangly rhythmic grind, “Come Back” is a low key, affectionately pleasing rocker that’s one of the album’s best cuts. It’s a far cry (and proof positive that this is an eclectic album) from the immediately following mariachi horns and Dodge City swing of “Outlaw Blues.” I daresay there’s a hint of Marty Robbins to be found here. Elsewhere, “Drag You Along” is dark n’ jazzy and has a hint of lounging jazz in its confines, “Worker’s Lament” piles on authentic acoustic country flavors, “Dead Happy” oddly and wonderfully sounds like a combination of funk rock with a touch of the first 3 Deep Purple’s (the funky organ bringing that thought to mind) and closer “Mama’s in the Spirit World Now” is an appropriate finale full of distant organ howls, plaintive melodic vocals, and tender acoustic guitar.
Stuck in a Daydream jettisons Molly Hanmer out into the public eye, placing her gorgeous, unique rock n’ roll for all of the world to see. There’s not one bad song here and her and her band’s focus combining together so many different styles of music is immaculate. Anyone that has a taste for the blues, country music up to the late 70s stuff, wandering old school folks and beyond should find a great album to enjoy with Stuck in a Daydream.
BANDCAMP: https://mollyhanmertokers.bandcamp.com/album/stuck-in-a-daydream
by Lori Reynolds
*A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Molly Hanmer was herself, a cancer survivor. - Vents Magazine


"Molly Hanmer & The Midnight Tokers releases debut LP - Mindy McCall"

Stuck in a Daydream, by LA based Molly Hanmer & The Midnight Tokers, is a well-crafted and exuberant debut album featuring the excellent Molly Hanmer herself. It takes you through 12 tracks that don’t exactly stick to the Americana script, if there even is one. Hanmer has a way of putting her own stamp on whatever style she’s playing, and the band playing along just the same, but it’s mostly Americana, Roots and Blues music with a strong folk swagger which leaves room for all kinds of possibilities in the songs which deliver a lighthearted track list of catchy stories and lovely tunes.

BANDCAMP: https://mollyhanmertokers.bandcamp.com/album/stuck-in-a-daydream

They kick off with “Take A Walk With Me” to get things grooving and it’s both a mid-tempo and occasionally rocking track. Hanmer’s playful vocals are what carry most of the charm, but the players tend to follow in the same fashion for a cohesively good opener. The band really-back her up well and that continues throughout the album. These are all excellent musicians, including Keith Palmer – Drums, Percussion, Vocals

John Bird – Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer, Vocals, Bryce Abood – Bass Guitar, Upright Bass, Vocals. With Guest Musicians: Marvin Etzioni, David Ralicke, Ashley Jarmack and James Fearnley on various instruments.

“Real Love” is one of my favorites from the album, not only is it one of the catchiest tracks, it comes off as honest as good music gets. A song you can’t find anything about isn’t easy to come by, but this is a little slice of perfection if you’ve ever heard it. Just a contagiously brilliant song, nothing more and nothing less, but the whole album does follow the same charm, it’s just an early stand out number in the set for me. I could use a stack up album’s worth of such magic, and that is putting it lightly. If it were up to me, this could be an obvious choice for a radio-ready single.

The album is full of excellent tracks as they just keeping coming on strong with stuff like “Fools Run (Different Song), which is one of the epic moments with so much going on it’s not easy to describe other than to say it’s more of the same but completely different, as the title suggests. Hanmer doesn’t hesitate to draw you in and simply keep you there for the duration with everything from her great skills to her sense of humor being all she needs. This track also includes some very gritty harmonica fills that help keep it loose, but otherwise it is a masterstroke altogether.

PRIMARY URL: http://www.mollyhanmer.com/

Other moments include “Old Number Seven” with quite the drinking song appeal to it, and another one of the stand out tracks “Love Song” which runs an entire 7 minutes. Hanmer and CO also get playful with tracks like “Outlaw Blues” with its vintage sound and great storytelling style lyrics. And there’s “Dead Happy” which is remarkably contagious in-its own right, with way more positive vibes in the subject matter than not. They even manage break pop barriers in the process of this fantastic release which closes with the beauty of “Mama’s In The Spirit World Now.” Top marks to Molly Hanmer and everyone involved.

Mindy McCall - IndiePulse Magazine


"Radio Charts"

Here is a google drive link with our top of the chart ratings for our newly released tracks "Come Back", and "Dead Happy". -


Discography

On My Way EP (2015)

Stuck in a Daydream LP (November 2, 2018)

Photos

Bio

Molly Hanmer and the Midnight Tokers are a psychedelic folk-rock band based out of Los Angeles. Since their inception in 2015 they've been pleasing crowds at L.A. clubs like Hotel Cafe, The Escondite, The Mint, The Original Farmers Market, Cinema Bar, Casey's Irish Pub and more. 

MHMT spent 2017 recording their debut album Stuck in a Daydream with producer Marvin Etzioni (co-founder of Lone Justice) and engineer-mixer Sheldon Gomberg, a two-time Grammy winner. The dream team was complete when legendary engineer Joe Gastwirt agreed to master the album. It was released November 2018. 
The Tokers began working on their second album with Gomberg May 2019 and played to a full house when they opened for Strawberry Alarm Clock at The Whisky a Go Go on July 13. The band also played to a packed Pappy & Harriet's in January 2020.

MHMT are: Band founder Molly Hanmer: Lead Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Chief Songwriter; John Bird: Organ, Wurlitzer, Piano, Backwards Piano, Vocals; Alex U'ren: Bass Guitar, Vocals; Keith Palmer: Drums, Percussion, Vocals; Claudia Miles: Management.

When asked to describe Molly, as an artist, producer Marvin Etzioni said this:

"Molly Hanmer has a voice of her own. As a singer-songwriter she’s in the league of Harry Nilsson. And in the words of Chuck Berry, she can play a guitar just like a ringin’ a bell. Go go, go, Molly, go. She wears her influences on her sleeve well, from Dylan to Shakey Graves. Her debut album is something you don’t want to miss.”


Band Members