Metric – “Youth Without Youth” [Listen]
Can you read my mind? Read my mind?
Follow along to the end of the song

I’ve always been sort of a casual Metric fan, but I do really like their stuff; they never fail to grab my attention with the energy of their music. Pure rock’n’roll! And Canadian, to boot. I love a strong frontwoman, and Emily Haines is a fierce performer and has such a cool vibe about her. As the first single off their fifth album, Synthetica, I can’t get enough of this one, especially the driving drum beat.

The Dirty Nil – “Fuckin’ Up Young” [Listen]
There ain’t nothing you can’t do
Another tune about the recklessness of youth – I thought would be a good transition. The gritty, distorted rock’n’roll of this Dundas trio has been on my radar for a while, but I have yet to see them play. I can just imagine the energy, though! In an epic battle for the ages, the band’s “Twitter feud,” as I’ve been calling it, with New Hands has resulted in some hilarious tweets.

Juliana Riolino – “Lone Ranger” (Southern Souls session) [Listen]
Got a picture of you in my head
I get a picture that I just regret

I first caught wind of Julianna Riolino (the band is now called The Red Birds) when I saw her open for our very own Ascot Royals in May, and I was impressed by her striking vocals. She has a rough-around-the-edges sound and she sings with a lot of soul. Hailing from Welland, the singer, accompanied by a full band, doesn’t have many songs available just yet (I’ve been listening to “Sunset Song” over and over on her Bandcamp page) but this track was recorded by local video site extraordinaire Southern Souls and made available for download, along with “So I Can See”. She is a promising talent and I’m looking forward to hearing more from Julianna.

Drake ft. Lil Wayne and Tyga – “The Motto” [Listen]
You only live once, that’s the motto
Ok, questionable lyrics aside, I do enjoy this beat. This is the second Drake track on one of my Playlists, and fitting, since Take Care just made the prestigious Polaris Long List. But maybe I’m not so hip; I had to Google the meaning of “yolo,” so, make of that what you will.

The Elwins – “Stuck in the Middle” [Listen]
Take me off your test now, you know I passed with a ninety one
You’re making a mistake; how do you do this and call it fun

As I say in my entry about Casbah’s Brews N Bands, I had a “Where have you been all my life?!” moment with this band from Keswick, Ontario when I first saw them play at that event. They have such a fun, playful sound and I really hope they venture back this way again. Honourable mention to their cover of Beyonce’s “Countdown” with Luke Lalonde of Born Ruffians. Classic.

Cowlick – “Wires” [Listen]
You can tell me anything you want
Yet another Hamilton band that I’ve gotten to sink my teeth (or my ears?) into more through exploring the City, and I really should have sooner! Better late than never. I met musician Dylan Hudecki in my travels and soon got to recognize that whenever the lighting at a show at Casbah all of sudden got really cool, Dylan was behind it! Digging into Cowlick’s second album, Wires, it grabbed me right away and I look forward to catching a show. The catchy title track had to be included on my Playlist – I love the change in tempo and how rocks out at the end.

Kanye West – “Paranoid” [Listen]
Anyone who don’t know you like I do
Will never know you

What do you do when you’ve already put every released New Hands tune on your Playlists? Include a song that they’ve covered! So, this one’s going out to new my bffs of New Hands. I was lucky enough to witness the first time they covered this Kanye tune, a top favourite of Evan’s, he said, last month at This Ain’t Hollywood. I always loved the track too, so it was another moment of clicking with New Hands! I was hanging out with them on the patio when inspiration struck and they decided to include the cover in their set. They did an amazing job of it – from those first few notes, the crowd was on edge, ready for the song to kick in. Spence’s vocals totally lent themselves to the track and they all looked like they were having so much fun with the song. I’ll say it again, guys – I’m requesting it at our Playlist 1.0 on July 28th!!

Fiona Apple – “Every Single Night” [Listen]
Every single night I endure the flight
Of little wings of white-flamed butterflies in my brain

I’m such a huge Fiona Apple fan and am so excited to hear new material – seven years was a long wait! I remember writing a review of her last album, Extraordinary Machine, for one of my last classes in high school, which was part of a huge project on the artist, and it was one of my favourite school assignments I’ve ever had. I don’t know where my love for Fiona started; somewhere around the time I sneaked a watch of the “Criminal” video when I may have been too young to see it. To this day, I’m enamored by her voice, lyrics, and what a true, original artist she is. Listening to the new album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, I had to keep stopping, being struck by so many of the lyrics. I cannot wait to delve into it deeper.

The Rest. Photo from Tumblr.

The Rest – “Young and Innocent” [Listen]
There’s no reason to be overjoyed
The Hamilton band are celebrating the release of their album Seesaw this month, so I had to include a track! I first saw lead singer Adam Bentley play at Threshold Studios’ grand opening on St. Patrick’s Day, then saw the full band play in May, as they opened for Eight and a Half at Casbah. I’m so thoroughly impressed with The Rest (sorry, had to – I enjoy rhyming) and they’re another band I’m happy to discover through the Tour. There are so many different sounds to this impressive 7-piece band that it’s hard to pin down. Check out their CD Release June 30th at Christ’s Church Cathedral with New Hands – sure to be spectacular show!

San Sebastian – “In Or Out” [Listen]
So you, you wait, you hesitate
And I’m just fine, cause there’s only time

Oh, San Sebastian. This one’s a late addition to my Playlist, and certainly not a new song to me; I’ve been hearing them playing it since they were Pumps. The band included this older track of theirs on their debut full length, Relations, only slowing down the tempo. The acoustic version suits the song perfectly, letting the emotion in Mike’s voice really come through. Pair that with a beautifully nostalgic video of the band’s history, and you’ve got yourself a hit. I can’t wait for what’s next for these guys!

Dan Griffin – “Stars and Satellites” [Listen]
25 years old and I worry that I might never take the time I need
’Cause my head has always been so much older than my shoulders can believe
And it won’t be long before I’m on my own
And I’m hoping that the stars and the satellites will always bring me home

One of the founding members of hometown band Arkells, Dan Griffin released a solo album last year, and it is really something special. I attended the belated CD Release for Leave Your Love in May, where Dan played pretty much the whole thing, plus a cover, being joined by Julie Fader, and duet with his father on the violin. As the opener of the disc, this song really stands out to me amongst what is a solid album from start to finish; the lyrics are just beautiful. The album is available for a free download on Dan’s website. Hop to it! It has been in my regular rotation.

– 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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