Nick Cordero – “Live Your Life” [Listen]
You’ve got your plans
I’ve got mine
Who understands how stars align

This Playlist is dedicated to Nick Cordero. Let’s all crank this song up and send him the most positive, healing energy! Having contracted coronavirus, Nick was placed in a medically induced coma, recently had a leg amputation, and continues to fight. Friends and family are rallying to show their love, and Nick’s wife Amanda Kloots has asked everyone to sing and dance on social media in support of Cordero, using the hashtag #WakeUpNick. The Hamilton-native is a Tony Award-nominated Broadway actor for his role in Bullets Over Broadway and has also been apart of Waitress on Broadway, and most recently, Rock Of Ages in Los Angeles.

Ellis – “Saturn Return” [Listen]
I guess it’s time that I start again
I’ll be spilling all my guts
I’ll be making my amends

These are unusual circumstances for the launch of an album cycle, for all artists right now. That won’t stop us from enjoying the debut full length album from Hamilton’s Ellis (the musical project of Linnea Siggelkow). It’s an absolutely beautiful listen, and an early contender for one of the best local releases of the year. Every single track is so strong – vulnerable, honest, and heartbreakingly relatable. Born Again needs to be on your playlists right now. Watch the video for “Saturn Return” and listen back to my chat with Linnea on 93.3 CFMU.

Ellis – Born Again

Jaunt – “All In One” [Listen]
Certain things delight 
While others try and others might deny it 
Others might deny us

Jaunt is just so continually dreamy and wonderful. Their debut full length album has been hotly anticipated, and so worth the wait. All In One is out now, for your listening pleasure. The band has come a long way since their 2016 EP Chat, and every single has led up beautifully to this release. The band says on their Facebook page: “Despite the strange moment we’re currently collectively experiencing, it feels important for us to release this music now. It was a labour of love, and I feel the music reflects a sense of optimism and positivity that’s good for all of us!” I concur! Watch the visual album that accompanies the release.

The Crowleys – “Simple Reflection” [Listen]
When you try to kill the time 
All those years will pass you by

We may be in self-isolation but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy this groovy new tune from The Crowleys in the sunshine! Crank this one up as you open up your windows or have a chill outside. Have a simple reflection, if you will, of the things to be grateful for! The Crowleys continue to be one of my favourite Hamilton bands and I can’t wait to see what else they have cooked up.

The Crowleys

Donovan Woods – “Grew Apart” [Listen]
I won’t tell ’em how you broke my heart
I’ll just tell ’em that we grew apart

Singer-songwriter Donovan Woods has been a big part of this blog’s soundtrack (in turn, my own personal soundtrack) since 2012. We get another expertly crafted song where Donovan seems to always effortlessly cut right to the heart of something that’s so relatable, with every line. My first listen left me shaking my head in awe like, “Man, he’s done it again!” It’s just a perfect song. Watch the video for the track.

Donovan Woods

Kadeema – “Good Lies” [Listen]
I’m getting tired of guessing who you really are
What ‘chu hiding behind bad memories and scars

Kadeema is the dynamic duo of Jimmy and Tal – formerly of Ascot Royals, who I was a big fan of. This new project (where they now work with Hamilton’s Hidden Pony) has boasted some killer upbeat singles so far, with this new, anthemic bop as no exception. The band also recently treated us to a cover of The Beatles’ irresistible “I’ve Just Seen A Face”, describing the process as wanting to “capture a dramatic, slower-paced marching band kind of feel in our interpretation, creating a more exaggerated dynamic.” Watch the video for “Good Lies” and watch out for their debut EP, Napoleon Tornapart.


Concavity – “Eyes That Wander” [Listen]
And now that you know
Vainly absorbed words that they feed
Harmless charms against my chest

Concavity is Hamilton-based darkwave/post-punk duo. Formed in 2018 by Beth de Jong and Graham Bucci, the pair has released two stellar collections of songs so far with their EPs Castle (2018) and Eyes Never Know (2019). The band was set to play the annual 93.3 CFMU fundraiser which is now postponed – but I’ll catch you front row when we are able to rock again!

Bad Crush – “Average Joe” [Listen]
Give me a break 
You stupid boys 
What a shame 
You treat women with such disrespect

Hearing the first few notes of Bad Crush’s eponymous EP, it immediately made me miss live music. To think that I ever took for granted being able to venture out to a local show! Soon enough though, friends, we’ll be back in action! And this is one local band I will be very stoked to see. What I love most about this surfy punk rock band is the Riot Grrrl edge and seeing women make up half of the band. Lyrics running through the EP like “I’m not a toy / you damn boy” and “Why do we make so many excuses / for the men who just don’t give a shit?” are just as timely, and necessary, as ever.

Bad Crush

Dirty Rick – “Doomsday” [Listen]
You can tell that she don’t care
About nothing
The title of this one seemed appropriate for these unprecedented times! Hamilton-based four-piece rock ’n rollers Dirty Rick have dropped a few new singles since 2018’s EP Post-Candid, including this bop. Describing their live show, the band says: “you’ll be left staggering out afterwards with your dancing feet sore and your face thoroughly melted.” That’s an experience I surely miss right about now! Until then, crank this one up.

Silvertone Hills – “Reaction” [Listen]
No one call tell us different
No one can make it stop
Pop rock indie outfit from Hamilton, Silvertone Hills, drop us a brand new groovy single. The band says the song is about “staying true to yourself.” They expand: “The central theme to the track plays on the us against the world mentality that you feel when your choices go against what is considered morally righteous.” Citing Oasis, Queens of the Stone Age, and The Strokes as influences, the band nicely finds their groove, and it will be fun to hear more from them to come.

Royal Seas – “New Light” [Listen]
You’re gonna see
New light
Time flies! It’s crazy that the last time I chatted with Royal Seas was almost two years ago, exactly, on 93.3 CFMU. (And they brought me a band tee, which is always such a treat!). The Hamilton band, in keeping with their signature blend of new wave, rock, and synth pop, returns with a new, self-titled album. This release follows their EP Line Of Sight (2015) and album A Future (2014). There’s a lovely familiarity to that 80’s new wave sound which makes for a comforting listen, especially right now!

Royal Seas

SoCal Hunnies – “Bend” [Listen]
I don’t wanna wait
I just gotta move
I’m just gonna wait around the bend for you

SoCal Hunnies is a groovy three-piece band from Toronto (and 1/3 from Hamilton, to be exact!). They offer up smooth vibes and soul-inspired melodies. To celebrate their second anniversary as a band, the trio serves up two groovy singles, including this track and “Cape Town Daydream”. As they say, “Day and night, yin and yang, these 2 go together like tacos and Tuesdays!” The catchy singles are sunny bops, which are needed all the more right now!

Cory Mercer – “Steal Your Heart” [Listen]
I’ve been kicking through the tumbleweeds
Just trying to find the peace I need

But I still can’t get you off of my mind
Last year, Hamilton-based singer-songwriter Cory Mercer had the opportunity to attend Folk Alliance International in Montreal and take part in a showcase with fellow local musicians, aptly named “The Hammer Comes Down”. The traveling troubadour now brings us his debut EP, Five One Nine. Cory worked on the record at two of my favourite local music spots: the EP was recorded and mixed by Matt Montour at Boxcar Sound Recording, with additional mixing and mastering by Glen Marshall at The Mule Spinner.

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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