Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX – “I Love It” [Listen]
You’re on a different road
I’m in the milky way
You want me down on earth
But I am up in space

Is it too soon to call song of the summer? This may be one of the pop gems of the season. I just discovered the Swedish duo and have been digging their Iconic EP. The Swedes know what’s up; I’ve said it before!

Melville – “Kiddo” [Listen]
It was Pat O’Brien of New Hands who first mentioned Melville (a.k.a. Liam Sawyers) to me, and the name stuck before I even heard any of his stuff. I caught his set opening for Shout Out Out Out Out alongside Illitry at The Casbah last month. Electronic acts are popping up more and more in the city, and it’s a genre I’m really impressed by, because I can’t even imagine going about starting. Another track I’m digging is “Had Babbits.” Be on the lookout for Liam and his stellar beats and be sure to catch him live.

The Box Tiger – “Knives” [Listen]
I tried, I tried to find
A little hope, a little light of mine

The Box Tiger are about to hit the road for a string of shows across Ontario and into the US in support of their debut album (catch them at The Casbah on the 25th with our own Gdansk and Quails In The Nest, also featured in this mix). This single is a great followup to “Set Fire To Your Friends,” indicating the direction they’re headed and what we can expect from the album. When I interviewed them in January, I remember them telling me about the video they had just shot for it, which they froze their tails off to make!

Quails In The Nest – “This Is This” [Listen]
I would tell you something
That would fly right above your head
And I would tell you something
That would keep this from moving on

I’ve been into the mellow tunes of this duo since I discovered them a few months ago – I’m always drawn to acoustic music and I also really like a solid two-piece setup of guitar and drums. It was so much fun having Mikey and Nicholas be part of my birthday fundraiser show this month and I look forward to catching up with them again. Next up, they will be recording some tracks for a live EP, due out this summer. Until then, catch them live on the 25th at The Casbah.

Lee Reed – “Written Large” [Listen]
Man-made laws
Made in the name of God

One of the city’s most vocal and passionate artists, Lee is back with a new release – Lee Reed & John P: Written Large EP, available now for free download. It was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Scott Peacock at over at Catherine North Studios, which I visited last year. I love the piano and beat on this track, the lead single off the EP. Lee just embarked on a tour for three weeks out West and it sounds like the shows were a blast. Hit Casbah on the 20th to see Lee in action – he’ll be playing two sets, with Mother Tareka in between.

WTCHS – “Mr. Hands” [Listen]
WTCHS are local band gaining a lot of momentum with the release of their new split 7″ with Thoughts On Air. My musical tastes are getting more tuned into their grungy, distorted sound. Check them out at The Brain on the 20th for the 7″ release party and grab a limited edition vinyl.

Jonny Debt – “Bronze” [Listen]
All the girls in the movies
All the girls in the movies
All the girls in the winter movie matinee

When I met lead singer Jonny at The Casbah, the night of my birthday show in the Lounge, he offered me one of the band’s buttons. I happened to choose the one that has “Bronze” on it. (Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to watch their whole set, being busy in the Lounge, but I’m looking forward to next time.) Jonny Debt are a new band on my radar, but Jonny was born here in Hamilton and has been steadily touring North America for a few years. Back Hamilton now, the band has a new lineup with Sid Lundy on drums and Adam Neumann on bass – two friends of mine and musicians I have seen play locally countless times. The trio couldn’t be a better fit. With the release of Prince of The Golden Horseshoe earlier this year, Jonny Debt is ready to rock your socks off with their sexy rock’n’roll style.

Jonny Debt. Photo from official site.
Jonny Debt. Photo from official site.

Redanda – “Grind Away” [Listen]
Because everyone’s in their fighting stance
When they’ve too long done the old lonely dance

Redanda have quickly become one of my favourite local bands and dudes to hang with. They’ve been working away with Michael Keire at Threshold and just released three new tracks. I couldn’t decide which to include, between their stellar cover of Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain” and the other tune off this release, “Foosball.” I’m excited for them – I think they’ve really hit their stride with these tracks. It was a blast having them be part of my birthday fundraiser show this month and I look forward to some foosball matches in our future!

Big Deal – “In Your Car” [Listen]
Driving in your car
I wanna be wherever you are
Asleep in the backseat
There’s nothing more that I’ll ever need

This UK boy-girl duo have been on my radar since I became obsessed with their song “Chair” off their 2011 album Lights Out. And I still am – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to it. I love rawness of that album, in both the music and lyrics. It’s really bare bones, just guitar, but with this new single, they kick things up a few notches with a fuller sound. It’s accompanied by a freaky video with people in animal masks, so, naturally, I’m a fan.

Gdansk – “Atlas” [Listen]
Never wanted to get lost in the middle of your life
You thought this road you’re on would lead you straight to the end
But look ahead, all that you can see is darkness
You never know where it leads
You need a direction

Gdansk’s EP, out a year ago, took me by surprise when I stumbled upon it early this year. I was impressed right away with the quality of it – and knowing the band is right in my own backyard, so to speak. They’ve continued on the strength of that EP with this new single. I’m excited to see what they’ll do next. In the meantime, catch their live set alongside The Box Tiger and Quails In The Nest at The Casbah on the 25th.

– Kristin

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), 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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