Kingston’s Erika Lamon, fresh off the premiere of her full-length debut record Hues, will celebrate the recording with a special album release event set for Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, at BluMartini. According to Lamon, Hues would not have been possible without financial support from organizations like the Kingston Arts Council.
“[The support] means so much because you need that to have a vital artistic community… I think that’s a big part of where community starts. I think the city [through the Kingston Arts Council] really does value the arts,” she shared.
Artistically speaking, Hues is, in large part, a response to the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the government shutdowns which kept people indoors for months, with Lamon’s 11 original songs tapping into the feelings of uncertainty that dominated the period. “We were making the album during the pandemic… This was a very tumultuous time for everyone. As you know, a lot of people were sort of losing that common ground during the pandemic that normally kept us together and reminded us that we’re all humans going through this,” said Lamon.
“So as I was sort of putting this old and new work together and living through the pandemic, I was thinking a lot about how we’re all tainted by the hue; the lens that we look through… That’s sort of where the main concept of Hues came from, the idea that we all have our own lens based off of our past experience, [the] present, what we think of our future.”
Experiences, such as the end of a relationship, are explored through Lamon’s familiar folk-rock blend. With her roaring instrumentals and thoughtful lyrics, songs like ‘Yellow Sundress’ play into the artist’s internal sense of suspense and uncertainty. However, the album also puts forward notions of togetherness, as Lamon taps into the “common ground” we all share as fellow human beings through the commonality of our own lived experiences. “Those vines that we have… they’re all different, but the common ground that we share… those hard things are identical,” said Lamon.
The recording process took Lamon several years, as the she allowed herself to venture into new territories as an artist. “In the beginning… we really went with a mentality that nothing is off limits. So, I literally have piles of song lyrics everywhere… The beginning was such a fun time, playing with different sounds.” It was during that time when Lamon applied to organizations like the Kingston Arts Council for funding, with the project also securing support from FACTOR, the Ontario Arts Council, and Canada Council for the Arts.
Making her way in a city known for its vibrant musical community, Lamon noted the “potential” that exists for musicians in Kingston to break through and make a name for themselves.
“I think it’s a great place to sort of find your footing, to find the people that you want to collaborate with… There’s so many people working in different styles [and] disciplines,” she expressed.
“I definitely think it’s a great place to like to get your footing to [figure out] where you want to go with your artistic vision and what [kind of music] you want to make.”
Hues is available now on streaming services, with the artist set to perform the bulk of the record for the very first time this coming Saturday at BluMartini, located at 178 Ontario Street.
“We’re going to have the full band for this. I’m very excited about it. These are the guys that came into the studio with me, as well, so it’s nice to be bringing that energy to stage,” Lamon shared, noting the duo opening the show is “just incredible.”
“I think it will be a really good night of music.”
For more information on Erika Lamon, or to have a listen to her debut album, visit the artist’s website.