The Balconies – “Kill Count” [Listen]
Push down and up, it’s not that hard
It doesn’t matter who you are
Push down and up, can’t be that hard

This video is right up my alley – sequins, confetti, glitter, and the infectious “Wooooo…” It’s the perfect track to get me pumped up to hit the town. Plus, Jacquie is one of the most energetic (and best dressed) frontwomen I’ve ever seen. I first saw the Ottawa/Toronto band play here in May 2010, and they are easily one of my favourite bands to see live. They are a must-see live act!

Jessie J – “Domino” [Listen]
Rock my world into the sunlight
Make this dream the best I’ve ever known

One of my current feel-good songs to dance around to – I will always bust a move when I hear it. I can’t resist a catchy Brit-pop tune.

Canadian Winter – “Get The Show On The Road” [Listen]
Nothing left to do but get the show on the road
When I saw the title of this song, I knew right away that it would make my Playlist. I first met Canadian Winter, appropriately, this month (their debut album is titled Just Wait Til February) and had a blast at their show. It was my first foray into Hamilton’s hip hop scene and I was blown away by this Hamilton band’s live set. Making the track even more special, it was produced at Boxcar Sound by my friend Matt Montour.

Canadian Winter. Photo from URBNET.

Walk off the Earth – “Somebody That I Used to Know” (Gotye cover) [Listen]
But I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say

This Gotye song hit me immediately when I heard it and thankfully introduced me to more of his music, but I’m going with the cover by local band Walk off the Earth. They’ve had unbelievable success with their innovative video for it, which spawned video spoofs, a trip to visit Ellen, and a record deal. Not too shabby.

Arkells – “Michigan Left” [Listen]
Can we meet in the middle?
Can I turn you around?
Let’s talk a little
And we can go downtown

What a year these hometown boys (and my fellow Mac alumni) are having! I was lucky enough to catch a solo acoustic performance by lead singer Max Kerman in December at Absinthe, before it closed and moved to a new location. That made it a special night, because it was my last time in the King Street location of one of my favourite Hamilton haunts. This whole album is fantastic, but as the title track and current single, “Michigan Left” is making the cut.

Young Rival – “Authentic” [Listen]
Well I’ve seen the sun go down in towns that I don’t even know the names of
Another local band I got to see play and chat with this month at Casbah. I love their sound; it’s pure rock’n’roll. These guys are so much fun and put on an incredibly energetic live show. This track is one of my favourites of theirs and is perfectly suited to a soundtrack of road trippin’ and travelling around the city.

Gavin Slate – “Life As A Salesman” [Listen]
But I just can’t wait for all these left hand turns
I was introduced to Gavin’s music last year through the boys at Boxcar Sound. I was so impressed with his tunes right away and had to get a copy of his EP, Life as a Salesman, which is already on regular rotation. This song instantly became a favourite of his, and I really look forward to hearing more from Gavin.

BOY – “Little Numbers” [Listen]
All the pretty things that we could be
I feel you in every heartbeat

I just discovered this German girl duo thanks to my new favourite website, You Me & Charlie. This track is the ultimate toe-tapper, hand-clapper, head-bobber; I can’t get enough. Seriously. Annnnd repeat.

Robyn Dell’Unto – “Astronaut” [Listen]
You’re so small, you’re just a polka dot
I first heard this song when it appeared on the local compilation, Everybody Dance Now, Vol. 6. I completely fell in love with it and have since delved into more of Robyn’s music, her debut I’m Here Every Night quickly becoming a favourite of mine.

San Sebastian – “Say I’m Alright” [Listen]
I couldn’t be the way you wanted me
I couldn’t see they way I need to see
Say I’m alright, say I’m staying

The Hamilton band just released a video for the third single off their much-anticipated debut album. I’m so proud of these guys, I always gush every time I talk about them and their success. I’ve been going to their shows since 2008 (two band names ago!) and I’m so thrilled for them and all that’s to come. Their CD Release for Relations back in October was a real homecoming for the band, and you can always guarantee a party when they’re around.

Glee Cast – “We Found Love” (Rihanna cover) [Listen]
It’s the way I’m feeling, I just can’t deny
But I’ve gotta let it go

If you know me, you know I’m an unapologetic Gleek. There was a bit of a cover explosion with this song and I’ve listened to so many different versions. I just can’t help myself. Such a catchy tune.

– Kristin

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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