Arkells – “You Can Get It” feat. K.Flay [Listen]
Hold up
Coming out of me, lightning bolt electricity
Blow up
It’s tearing at the seams yeah I see it unraveling

Arkells burst into the spring season with a new banger for us to enjoy during lockdown. “You Can Get It” is a feisty anthem for going after what you want. Chicago-born artist K.Flay jumps on the track, and describes the song as being “about finding your momentum, the potential energy that’s inside of you. So often, the future doesn’t just feel unknowable – it feels impossible. We wanted this song to feel like possibility. Like the world is opening up. Like you are powerful.” Check out the colourful music video for the track. Arkells also announced a (second) re-scheduled date for their epic Hamilton concert event at Tim Hortons Field, The Rally. Fingers crossed now for June 25, 2022!

Arkells and K.Flay. Photo by Caitlin Cronenberg.

Julianna Jones – “Bad For Me” [Listen]
Can’t seem to get you off my mind
Soulful R&B/pop artist Julianna Jones, based in Hamilton, shares a brand new single to bop to this spring season. The singer has been honing her skills and crafting her own sound for many years now, including training in vocals, dance and musical theatre. With each new release, you can really hear her coming into her own as artist. Julianna also shares her talents by being a vocal coach (check out Julianna Jones Studios for more).

Julianna Jones. Photo by Robbi Mcleod.

Mean Streaks – “Bad Behaviour” [Listen]
Do me a favour
Lookin’ for some bad behaviour
A new musical project to the Hamilton scene, Mean Streaks is the brainchild of Omar Saab, whose roots are in garage rock with touches of synth pop. His first EP Bad Behaviour is a collection of singles he made at home this year. He plays most of the instruments, with the help of Graeme Moffatt on bass (Buster Crabtree, Dan Edmonds, Kirty, A Hutchie). The songs were all mastered by Aaron Hutchinson (aka A Hutchie) at Fort Rose here in Hamilton.

Mean Streaks

Delta Days – “R.N.R.” [Listen]
So here we are tonight, my love
Dance to the rhythm of my music
Local rockers Delta Days have been busy cranking out great new tunes. Their latest, “R.N.R.,” is a subtle surf-rock track and a tongue-and-cheek number that plays on the idea that Rock n’ Roll is dead, which the band says is a conversation they have overheard too many times while standing at the bar waiting to play their set. The song was co-produced by Wayne Petti (Cuff The Duke), Michael Keire and Delta Days at Threshold Studios in Hamilton, and mastered by Steve Pitkin (Elliot Brood) at Modest Heights Music.

Delta Days. Photo by Stephanie Montani.

Maya Malkin – “Congratulations” [Listen]
And you’re always in a bad mood
Thinking everybody’s always out to get you
But no one’s out to get you
You think you’re such a cool dude

Originally from Montreal, Maya Malkin is an indie pop artist based in Toronto. After a successful debut single, “Hostage,” Maya shares her brand new single, “Congratulations.” The track follows up with another delightful helping of Maya’s glossy pop production, catchy melodies, and honest lyrics. Maya is also a recent recipient of Canada’s Walk of Fame x RBC Emerging Musician Program.

Maya Malkin

Devan – “Real Shot” [Listen]
Just remembered it’s your birthday
Is it too personal if I just call?

One of my favourite spring releases has been the EP Pink Noise, from singer-songwriter Devan. It’s the debut solo release from Devan, who you may also know as 1/3 of folk pop band Wild Rivers. The EP is such a lovely showcase of her songwriting and vocal abilities; all six tracks are standouts to me and it’s hard to choose a favourite. Devan says the EP is “about insecurity, but it’s also about being able to breathe out and feel a sense of relief towards my revelation that my reality is formed by my own perceptions.”

Devan. Photo by Aika Lau.

Granny Smith – “Salva” [Listen]
Multi-instrumentalist Granny Smith, aka Jason Bhattacharya, is back with a new track. “Salva” is a free-form instrumental based on a drum loop created by Nathan Vanderwielen (Bart). Jason shares the process: “I overdubbed drums, piano, acoustic & electric guitars, bass, sitar & autoharp using a AW4416 Yamaha Recording Console.” The result is a dreamy trip from start to finish.

Granny Smith “Salva”

Hilda – “Grand Rising” [Listen]
Are you someone nobody knows?
Do you feel safer on your own?
Hilda is the musical project of local creative Sarah Smith (also a super talented makeup artist). As Hilda, the singer and producer has released a string of intriguing electro pop tracks, including “Grand Rising.” If you dig the vibe, she also shares an interactive collaborative version on Soundcloud, and wants to hear what you make with it! Looking forward to hearing more from this project.

Hilda. Photo by Calyssa Lorraine.

Ellis – “Hospital” [Listen]
Well it’s been a while since the last time I saw you
And it’s been a while since I have even thought of you
Feels so far away now but you know it’s true
That I can’t erase it even if i wanted to

Hamilton-based musician Ellis just celebrated the one-year anniversary of her great album, born again, one of my favourite local releases of 2020. The artist now announces a new EP called nothing is sacred anymore, out on June 25. She shares on Instagram that this is her favourite work yet and that she is releasing it completely independently this time around.

Ellis – “March 13 – Zoon Remix” [Listen]
Another great album last year with a Hamilton connection was Zoon‘s Bleached Waves. Two great artists come together for a collaboration, with Daniel Monkman of Zoon creating a gorgeous, immersive remix of Ellis’ beautiful song, “March 13.”

Ellis. Photo by Ariel Bader-Shamai.

A Hutchie & NPNP – “Coco – NPNP dance mix” [Listen]
A Hutchie (Aaron Hutchinson, based in Hamilton) and NPNP (Jackson Darby, based in Montreal) come together for the creation of split EP COCO / TOMO. The two have roots in DIY/experimental music scenes, with Aaron being a founder of HAVNrecords and Jackson founding Personal Records. And together, they just launched Cold Cache, a boutique, hand-cut dance label, to release COCO / TOMO. They describe this release as “springtime dance anthems to shake the dust out your dance hole and ripple through your imaginations.” It consists of two mirrored images: two original mixes, one by each artist, along with reimagined versions by the other.

A Hutchie & NPNP – COCO / TOMO

Buddah Abusah – “Best Of The Best” [Listen]
I’m like half the Bee Gees brothers
Tryin’ to stay alive

I’ve been a big fan of the #hippiegang vibes coming from Hamilton emcee Buddah Abusah since I met him. He has a laid back flow, with a high energy stage presence as well. You can’t help but rock with him when seeing him perform. Buddah drops a new jam, “Best Of The Best,” featuring the smooth sounds of Hamilton/Niagara musician Colin Wilson on saxophone.

Buddah Abusah performing at The Mule Spinner. Photo by Brandon Harding.

Further The Lion – “It’s So Good” [Listen]
I can’t wait anymore
I guess this is what it feels like

Hamilton rockers Further The Lion deliver a positive new tune with “It’s So Good.” The band says: “You know that feeling deep down, when you recognize something is good? You thought you felt it before, but now you’re truly experiencing it. Without a doubt, what you knew all along was right – this person was made for you.” It’s the first single from their upcoming second EP, inspired by past relationships and signifying hope after tough times.

Further The Lion

Vinny Vinny – “Shadow” [Listen]
I get a little spooked
When I’m in your arms
Get a little bruised
When I’m in your heart

Local music aficionados will know Vincent Tompa from musical projects like the band Holiday and his solo work, Rhythm Church. Under the moniker Vinny Vinny, the musician has been pumping out some new material since late last year, and it all rocks! His latest, “Shadow,” may just be his best yet. Crank it up!

Vinny Vinny

Silverstein – “Bankrupt” [Listen]
Take it all ’til there’s nothing left
Never believed a word that you said
Destroyer, you are become death
Sell out, cash in, but you’ll always be

Formed in Burlington, Silverstein has been a mainstay in the rock scene impressively for the past 20 years. The pandemic halted a 20th anniversary worldwide tour, but the band channeled their energy into new material, and “Bankrupt” is the first to be released. Guitarist and songwriter Paul Marc Rousseau says: “Two-faced leaders and greedy elected officials line their pockets while stripping funding for the programs that we actually need. What are we supposed to do now? Looking out for one another on a community level is good, but changing a crooked system is better.” The band also recently picked up a JUNO nomination for Rock Album Of The Year.

Silverstein. Photo by Juan Angel.

Mikey Molnar – “Lost My Way (Demo)” [Listen]
Trapped in an abyss
Running ’round feeling aimless
I love watching the evolution of local musicians through my adventures with the blog over the years. Mikey Molnar is one who I met very early on, back in 2013, through his duo Quails In The Nest. I was always a fan of their acoustic stylings, and Mikey continues that laid back and passionate singer-songwriter style with a couple of new demos.

Mikey Molnar

Heather Valley – “If It Makes You Happy” (Sheryl Crow cover) [Listen]
I’m not the kind of girl you take home
I’ve been looking forward to hearing this one! Hamilton-based musician Heather Valley takes on a 90’s classic, giving her soft Americana feel to Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy.” The song features Mike Brenner on steel and Nim Agalawatte on bass. Heather fully gives it her own spin, making it a lovely addition to her growing discography.

Heather Valley
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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