Allosaurus – “Emma-Jane” [Listen]
Cause when I’m lying in bed at night
You’re on the inside of my mind
And I just can’t shake the feeling that everything about this is right

I was introduced to this fun electro-pop duo in April when they played alongside fellow Hamilton band and new friends of mine, New Hands. I couldn’t get over their light-up blazers and pants; I love any kind of flair like that. Depicting the excitement of a new love interest, this track was a standout for me during their super-fun set. Sweet moves too, fellas! I’m bringing glow sticks next time!

Matt Paxton – “Harbour Town” [Listen]
I’ll try and I’ll try and I hope to someday escape
These ghosts that remind me of those moves you once made
‘Cause all I really wish to do
Is be happy when I’m thinking of you

This is Matt Paxton’s second appearance on one of my Playlists, and rightfully so! I had been listening to How the Land Lies, which features this song, but it wasn’t until recently that the song just hit me. The power of songwriting is an amazing thing, when we’re able to relate to a song that began with whatever prompted the songwriter to create it. I got to meet and see Matt play at the beginning of the month and look forward to future shows of his. He is a special talent on the Hamilton music scene that more people need to know about.

Lindsey Pavao – “Skinny Love” (Bon Iver cover) [Listen]
And I told you to be patient
And I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind

Say what you want about reality singing competitions, but The Voice wipes the floor with all of them. In its second season, the talent was undeniable. I loved the diversity of the contestants, the coaches, and, of course, Cee Lo’s cat is reason enough to watch. Really. On Team Christina, Lindsey Pavao was one of my favourites, and this Bon Iver cover was her last performance on the show before being eliminated in the semi-final rounds. I’m fairly new to Bon Iver (I giggle every time, saying Bonny Bear in my head) and I did not know this song before the show. It grabbed me immediately and I absolutely love Lindsey’s voice on it. The track has been on repeat for quite some time!

The Carps – “Bo Jackson” [Listen]
I’m the best thing you ever had
If only I had this blog when I first discovered The Carps back in 2007 – I would have championed them to even greater heights than I did! Having the privilege of seeing them live a bunch of times and getting to know they guys, they are truly something special and still remain one of my favourite bands I’ve come across in recent years. On an indefinite break right now as members Jahmal and Neil have jet-setted to different parts of the globe – this track is one of their most recent releases when they put out a few singles last year. This song does it for me every time! Jahmal’s vocals just cut right through to you. Shout outs to J and Neil!

Wildlife – “Stand in the Water” [Listen]
I can be a good friend
And I can be a good lover
I can be a good lover
But I can’t do both of them
No I can’t do both

Another band I was happy to be introduced to on our Tour, I caught Wildlife in April, on what was already a stacked bill. The Toronto band tore up the stage – I was so impressed! They have a hard-hitting sound but also very melodic, which always grabs me. The band name suits them perfectly – simple, yet totally sums them up and their sound. They are a party!

Christian Hansen – “Jessica” [Listen]
I’m feeling guilty ’cause I’m pretty sure I ruined your life
Formerly Christian Hansen and the Autistics, this song was on constant play when I first checked them out. This month I went to see Illitry play at Homegrown Hamilton, and who happened to be opening? Christian Hansen! I was pleasantly surprised to hear they were on the bill and so happy to have heard this top-tapper of a jam live. They were so much fun to watch. Oooh bop bop, bop bop!

Glee Cast – “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” (Whitney Houston cover) [Listen]
So when the night falls
My lonely heart calls

Oh, Brittana. How I love you. With Glee finishing up its third season this month, perhaps I’ll ease up on the Glee in future Playlists. Maybe. Don’t count on it. In an 80s-style video, inspired by the actual video, this number was a fun one during Glee’s Whitney Houston tribute episode. Heather Morris and Naya Rivera are always so much fun to watch and are two of my favourites on the show. But who are we kidding; I love them all!

Young Rival. Photo by me, February 11, 2012 at Casbah.

Young Rival – “Black Is Good”
Don’t know what to do
Still in love with you

Another one of my local favourites, I’m so excited for a new release from Young Rival this fall. This month I had the chance to visit their label, Sonic Unyon, and sit down for a chat with co-owner Tim Potocic to learn more about the label and everything they do. Tim is also behind the incredible Supercrawl, and I came away from our meeting being even more excited for the event (coming this September) than I already was! Tim was nice enough to give me a sampler of some tunes from the label, and this Young Rival exclusive had to be included on my Playlist. I remember hearing this one live when I saw them last. It has such a fun, 50s-inspired, rock’n’roll sound, and I can’t sit still when I listen to it! I can’t wait to hear more.

New Hands – “Tulips” [Listen]
Shake your head and hold my hand, say I’m still important
What better song for one of my spring Playlists than one titled “Tulips”! This is New Hands’ second feature on one of my Playlists. Definitely one of my favourite new local bands, I’m super excited for everything that is to come from these guys. I love the feel of this song – how it steadily moves along and then kicks into that chorus. It required an immediate second (and third, and fourth…) listen when I first heard it, just to take it all in; there is so much going on. Can’t get enough!

Bruce Peninsula – “In Your Light” [Listen]
What am I if not just dust, just dust?
A Canadian band that I’m so happy to have been properly introduced to – I delved into all of Bruce Peninsula’s material when I had the opportunity to interview Neil Haverty for my second Rendezvous. I then checked out their show this month and absolutely loved their live show. They have such a unique, authentic sound; I love the collective of musicians and what everyone brings to the band, including the blend of Neil’s gruff vocals and Misha’s delicate yet rich vocals interchanging throughout the track.

– 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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