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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF | AFM

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF | AFM
Band Alternative EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Future Groove Music"

Here's an unexpected delight. Canadian multi-instrumentalist Hamish Thomson, aka The Hermit, might be holed up indoors, but obviously it's time well spent. Like the work of compatriot Ryan Moore (Twilight Circus Dub Sound System), Flying Out Of Solitude emits none of that clinical hospital odor a lot of one-man-band recordings do. In fact, the grooves are so deep; it's hard to believe this is simply the result of extensive overdubbing. A mix of ambient, dub, and Tortoise-ian post-rock, Hermit music works as ultra-cool chill-out sounds, but holds up to analysis. My guess is that Thomson is a drummer first and a composer second; he plays quite well, and the songs are love slaves to the rhythm. This is future groove music real players can dig.

- Modern Drummer Magazine

"The Hermit - Flying Out of Solitude"

The Hermit is basically the one-man project of Hamish Thomson who was assisted by a few friends in the creation of Flying Out of Solitude. As has been the case with all Nutone releases thus far, there was no publicity photo or press release accompanying this release. We like this idea, as it forces lazy reviewers to actually pay attention and focus on the music rather than extraneous variables. Fortunately for artists like The Hermit, there really is no need for a sales pitch in the first the music easily sells itself. This CD is chock full of wonderfully esoteric recordings...and despite the fact that you never know what will come next, the album has a nice overall sense of continuity. Don't quote us on this, but we are relatively certain these tracks feature live drums (a rarity in the world of one-man recording). The album is mostly instrumental, but vocals do manage to creep in and out of a few tunes. Mr. Thomson's music ranges from dub to ambient to mood music to dance to world music to electronic experimentation. And in every genre that he explores, this man does it up right. Our own particular favorites here are the swirling "Driving In Solitude," the R&B influenced "Trap 9," and the strange gravitation of "Sunset Trail." This album will most likely mean a great many things to a great many people because it covers so much territory. A superb release that will stand the test of time... - babysue

"The Hermit - Flying Out of Solitude"

Hamish Thomson (aka The Hermit) had to have produced Flying Out of Solitude with a certain sense of humor, given his juxtaposition of title and moniker, and that sense of humor is threaded through the song titles and sounds he presents to the listener. The ambient sound Thomson creates leaves you feeling as if you've been suspended in a high saline solution... warm and without gravity, easily able to let the jokes sink in and daydream. All of the songs, in fact, create instant images; like music for an opera, when a song is played, the scene is set.

The beat of 'Driving in Solitude' is happy but unchanging, the synth key high and echoey. It suggests the counting of tiles in a long underwater highway tunnel, or roadstops on a state turnpike. Percussion and synth dominate, but special effects are used throughout the album. "Ohio" features the recorded sound of running trains, and ends with a train whistling in the distance; the drumbeats mimic the noise of a locomotive engine. Anyone who has spent time in Ohio will become nostalgic listening to this sound; with CSX headquartered in Cincy for so long, and a real lack of trees out by Toledo to insulate sound, train engines and whistles permeate the landscape so thoroughly that their sound is inseparable from the land's geography. In "Second Wave", a toaster oven and a vintage air organ are used to create crashing sounds that resemble the second coming. The effects pedal used in "Swallow the Stars" allows the Hermit to create sounds like shooting stars and, well, swallows. Some of the music was created live, with each sound played by a real musician, which is a more intellectual concept for this genre; other tunes are studio-created loops of found sound and synth-created noise. This music is intelligent, playful, and always has a great beat.

While The Hermit experiments and has fun with the music he's creating, he never creates unlistenable art for art's sake -- every song has a melody. Impenetrable intellectual posturing is more of a cruel musical joke at the expense of cash customers, and all too common among his peers, which makes The Hermit's music that much more enjoyable. None of this stuff is really suitable for dancing, but that's not so rare for IDM; the "dance" in that acronym is usually a misnomer. After listening to half of the Nutone catalog, I can confidently say that almost anything you buy from them will be a happy purchase. Flying Out of Solitude is no exception. - Splendid

"The Hermit Digs Into Electronica Turf"

"I want to be put out to people who are inspired to daydream" ...The Hermit, aka Hamish Thomson

Hamish Thomson suffers from a fear of flying that has nothing to do with the events of Sept. 11. The irony is that he named his debut album Flying Out of Solitude. It was kind of an in-joke, kind of subconscious, says the North Vancouverite about the album title, an apt description for its in-flight tones. Thomson is The Hermit, a project that has created a buzz with ambient-electronica explorations for Nettwerk's slick Nutone imprint, launched last February. The company's slightly goofy ad campaign has marketed his music as essential listening for stay-at-home couch potatoes, but Thomson seems okay with that. "I want to be put out to people who are inspired to daydream, and create an atmosphere for people to create visuals in their own mind" he says, sounding all New Age-y. Born and raised up the coast in Powell River, Thomson learned to play drums in a pipe band. By the late-80s he'd packed his bags for the two-ferry, six-hour trip south to North Van for music classes at Cap College.

The mostly instrumental music of The Hermit has been a revelation for Thomson, who had previously toiled as a hired-gun drummer. He worked with Big Tall Garden, The Simples and other local bands before driving the Brian Eno ambient highway. "I just wasn't getting my fix for being a melodic player" says Thomson. "I had lots of ideas and wanted to get into the electronic thing, which is where my heart is at - not that my music is purely electronica, however." Thomson's first show as The Hermit was a knockout performance in November 2000 at the Planetarium, a venue perfectly suited to the mood-altering music of Flying Out of Solitude. Somebody within the Nettwerk camp attended the show and before long, a deal got done to touch up and re-release the record, originally an indie effort.

Recently, he signed a publishing deal with Nettwerk and is busy recording soundtrack music for a local indie film. "I'm in a pretty heavy writing phase and building a home studio right now soundproofing the garage, that sort of stuff." Over the summer Thomson flew to London to work with drummer/producer Mark Roberts, who has crafted music with DJ Rap, Massive Attack and Neneh Cherry. "He's really amazing - kicks my ass" says Thomson of Roberts. "We worked on hand-drumming techniques and different stuff to relate electronic music to an acoustic player's point of view." It's all good practice for The Hermit which, as an expanded seven-member crew, takes residence at Davie Street's DV8 restaurant/bar this month (Wednesdays through to Halloween). Thomson's aim is to get the live show with visuals, vocalists and band up and running before some U.S. exposure early next year. Luckily, he has an understanding boss at the PNE-area commercial lighting company where he works. "It's one of those situations where I take a day off from work every week now, to do music", he says. "I'm slowly trying to do this full time, but I've got to be smart about it. It's not something you can rush." - The Westender

"Flying Out of Solitude"

Here's one recent CD-release party I'm sorry I missed: "Flying out of Solitude" happening at the HR MacMillan Space Centre. Reclining under the stars was a perfect way to enjoy this suite of mostly instrumental, spacey electronica from The Hermit, aka producer-drummer Hamish Thomson. "Flying" opens with "Ohio", which begins with proggish (i.e. Supertramp, Manfred Mann) keyboards before slipping into a rueful ambiance, then builds, peaks, and drifts off into blissful chill-out land. Along the way, "Swallow the Stars" glides on a bass line that sounds like New Order's Peter Hook playing the James Bond theme music, then introduces floaty female vocals and the perfect chord change. "Trap 9" brings the big guitars and distorted voice samples, and "Pulse" is an ominous assemblage of piano and thudding beats. Dare I say it? I do: The Hermit should come out of hiding more often.
- The Georgia Straight

"The HERMIT are finally getting their due."

22 March 2006

The Hermit Emerge With Indie Award And #1 Video
Wednesday March 22, 2006 @ 05:30 PM
By: Staff

Electronica is making a comeback, my friends. While high-profile indie bands like Caribou, Holy Fuck and Junior Boys make waves all over the scene, Vancouver's The Hermit are finally getting their due.
The band beat out fierce competition to bag the coveted favourite electronica artist honour at the Canadian Independent Music Awards last month in Toronto. Now the video for their "Sir Real" single has hit the top spot on Bravo's top 30 countdown.
"I was happy when it made the top 10, but it just kept going," says drummer Hamish Thomson.
That's not too shabby for a group that Thomson claims got very little support from Nettwerk sub-label Nutone for last year's Wonderment album. While the label gave the record a limited release, the band did pretty much everything else on their own. They booked a tour, hired a publicist and promoted the album as much as they could, which included the shooting of the "Sir Real" video.
The Hermit are currently working on a new EP that be released sometime this summer.
Catch Thomson, keyboardist Robb Mitchell, bassist Jon Frederiksen and singer Paula Toledo at the following shows:

• March 23 Duncan, BC @ Garage Showroom
• March 24 Lasqueti Island, BC @ Lasqueti Island Hotel
• March 25 Cumberland, BC @ The Abbey
• March 26 Nanaimo, BC @ Queen's Hotel
• April 8 Vancouver, BC @ Media Club
• April 14 Whistler, BC @ Garibaldi Lift Company
• April 15 Whistler, BC @ Whistler Ski & Snowboard Festival
• April 28 Vancouver, BC @ Crush Lounge

—Allegra Shepherd


"Creamy electro pop"

Vol. 19 No. 13 • March 10-16, 2005


The Hermit Wonderment Hamish Thomson’s—how’s that for a solid Scottish name?—latest release and big label debut does not disappoint in the least. Wonderment is a creamy electro pop collection of tracks that is often as comforting as a mug of warm milk and as unexpected as a dash of paprika skimming the top. Not sound like an inviting and tasty combo? Thomson makes sure it works alongside his various band mates over his previously solo efforts. Songs like “Flutterbye” with Allison Shevernoha and “Won’t Fall Apart” with C.R. Avery and Frazey Ford are destined for the ‘Repeat’ button, rendering Wonderment to be well used for any chilled, electro fan. Wonderment is unpredictable and scattered, but in the most inviting and seamless of ways. By far the best on our desks this week. (Nettwerk)
- Pulse Niagara

"Electro-pop for the people"

The Hermit - Wonderment
from Dustin Michael
Electro-pop for the people

Harmish Thompson began his early professional career as a drummer for various independent bands, and was inevitably influenced by an assortment of progressive artists such as The Police, U2, Eno, Bob Marley, among others. His imagination eventually led him to create the first Hermit album entitled Flying out of Solitude. The album was impressive enough to grab the attention of Nettwerk, and now Thompson is preparing for the release of his sophomore works.
Listening to Hamish Thompson's new album Wonderment for the first time is much like seeing Pink Floyd perform live - you never know what to expect. Unlike the first album, which was a pure solo effort by Thompson, Wonderment is performed with Hermit bandmates and guests wielding an array of vocalization and instruments, often times taking on unusual items such as triangles and toaster ovens. The mostly electric/eclectic sound of the album is held together by the creative tone of the compositions, the variety of instruments utilized, and remarkably accented by all of the guest vocalists involved (Martina Sorbara, Shelly Campbell, among others).

The album begins with the title track Wonderment, which is a subtly beautiful and melodic work comparable to a child's downtempo lullaby. Although the works are filled with expert harmonious precision and splendor, the collection of compositions can range anywhere from soaring Floydish tones to Eno and Orbital-reminiscent electro darkness.
The lyrics are catchy (Wonderment, Sir Real), the production is inventive, and overall, the album should be well accepted by even the electroskeptical.

"The HERMIT makes you feel music"

POP REVIEWS @ Canada's Media and Pop Culture Magazine Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Hermit, Wonderment


The Hermit is keyboardist and percussionist Hamish Thomson, but on his sophomore disc, Wonderment, he brings his touring band along to fill out his electronic soundscapes. Even with all the lush textures in Wonderment, it never sounds cluttered, in fact all the instruments have breathing room in the final mix — including piano, electric/acoustic and pedal steel guitar, banjo, live strings, and even an oil can — giving the record a cool, laid back appeal. Keeping with tradition in the electronic genre, Hermit collaborates with many different vocalists including Martina Sorbara, Allison Shevernoha of Paper Moon and C.R. Avery and Frazey Ford of the The Be Good Tanyas. Each artist works with songs that compliment their unique talents, mixing Hermit's sound with hard rock beats and even country raps. The Hermit makes you feel music, but one word of advice, wear headphones to fully enjoy the sounds of Wonderment. (Nettwerk)


ONELIGHT debut album



Onelight is an indie electronica duo from Vancouver, Canada featuring singer Amy Usher and drummer/producer Hamish Thomson.

Onelight was born when shared spirit and a shared love for music came together on a rainy Vancouver night in 2011. Call it intuition. Call it intention. At their first meeting they shared with each other what it is to live a musical life. There was a connection. A seed was planted. This was the beginning of a new direction in their creative journey.

With a shared love of folk, indie rock and ambient electronica, Onelight’s music explores the urban landscape while sharing a universal message of love and light. Their self-titled debut album is emotionally rich with vocal harmonies and tripped out ambient textures. The blend of Hamish’s layered percussive beats and Amy’s smooth vocals, has created a unique sound that is reminiscent of Morecheeba, Massive Attack and Beth Orton.

Originally from Toronto, Ontario Amy has lived a life traveling the world, chronicling her journey through poetry and song. Her voice and lyrics are grounded in imagery, emotion and spirit.

Hamish is a west coast daydreamer, multi-instrumentalist and producer who created three albums under the moniker The Hermit (Nettwerk Records). Over the course of a decade Hamish has collaborated with a diverse pool of musicians and producers including Martina Sorbara (Dragonette), Frazey Ford (the Be Good Tanyas), CR Avery and Allison Shevernoha. In this time he collected awards for “Favourite Electronica Artist” at Canadian Music Week and a #1 chart placing on Bravo TV’s Video Countdown.

2012 saw onelight complete their debut record and play some great shows. The year culminated in a tour of India where they played clubs in various cities and performed at the International Ragasthan Festival. Live they are armed with keyboards, drums, samplers, and loopers to create a unique, textured sound.

Currently the band is preparing for the release of their album in the spring of 2013. Videos are in the works, and remixes are being swapped with various artists and producers from around the world. 2013 is shaping up to be a busy and creative year for onelight.

Inspired and fueled by their mutual dreams, onelight is here to create and share conscious music just for the love of it.