Poison IV performs delicious sounds next week in Great Falls, Missoula, Bozeman and Billings
If musical styles were recipe ingredients, Poison IV would be the Julia Child of musical mixtures.
Her broad range of styles and influences are designed to satiate your hunger for head-bobbing beats, lavishly lush lyrics and foot-shuffling rhythms that beg you to get up and dance.
Whether it’s hip hop, funk, soul, pop, jazz, electronica, dance tunes and/or almost anything else, Poison IV possesses a vast collection of concoctions that fill her musical cookbook.
She might be the most diverse musician/producer to have come from Great Falls.
Poison IV, real name Megan Hamilton, returns home on July 29 for a show at Machinery Row. It starts at 10 p.m. She also plays in Billings at The Railyard on July 30, at the Filling Station in Bozeman on July 31 and again on Aug. 1 at Dat Music Conference in Missoula. Performing with her are Cherry Darling and PCP. Opening for her in Great Falls are local acts Peanut Butter Cartel and Young Lotus.
And while on her newest EP titled “Neofunk,”Hamilton has in some ways embraced more of pop sounds, she’s not ready to start calling herself a pop star.
“I don’t know,” she said, “I’d say I’m a producer or artist over (pop star) … since I make so much different music.”
Plus while many artists claim to have the ability to perform a wide range of musical styles, Hamilton has the proof to back it up.
Hamilton’s solo EP’s have seen her singing, rapping, playing multiple instruments and multiple styles. Perhaps one of the only things that have remained consistent are her upbeat attitude, her instrumental backing tracks and her ability to throw down music that’s fun to hear.
She said one thing that she’s made sure of is that her ability to use her instrumental background remains in place.
“There’s something about performing with only a backing track that bothers me,” she said. “I need something else going on. I want to believe the artist is truly talented, I want to be wowed, and so that’s what I want to give to my audience.”
On this latest album, Hamilton said she’s been pleasantly surprised at how easily everything fell into place.
“I love how cohesive all the elements became,” she said. “I’m really proud of how much my work has evolved from past and recent projects and feel like it’s the epitome of sound our generation is looking for today.”
She said she had some trepidation going in at first because it started as a compilation of her recent inspirations, which she said were, “all over the board.”
Those doubts, however, disappeared as soon as she went to start laying the tracks down.
“It was concerning at first and I was hesitant because I wasn’t sure that the songs would be cohesive, but in the end everything came together,” she said.
She’s also banking on the fact that the neo-funk sound, think Jamiroquai fused with Janelle Monet, has seen a bit of a resurgence of late, as well. Part of that renewed interest is partly because of such artists as Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke putting out much more soul-based records as of late, but also because of independent artists such as Hamilton, Deirdre Gaddis or Nujabes from Japan.
Hamilton said she feels that her new album is a unique experience that does a better job of meshing organic elements with live music in a way that translates well in person just as much as it does in the studio.
“I’m excited to play out this new project because it was targeted for live performances, meaning I get to play multiple instruments throughout the project and I’ll get to do that live as well.”
Finally Hamilton, a Great Falls High School graduate, said for this tour she’s looking forward to coming back to Montana and reconnect with old friends and make some new ones.
“I’m really excited to be back in Montana, and especially to be in Great Falls. I don’t think I’ve performed in Great Falls since like 2008,” she said. “I’m stoked for old friends to see what I’ve been up to and for the opportunity to find out what they’ve been up to as well.”