Alvvays – “Adult Diversion” [Listen]
Is it a good time, or is it highly inappropriate?
I still can’t get enough of this song. It will go down as one of the songs of Summer 2014, without a doubt. Alvvays’ self-titled debut follows through on the strength of this single and does not disappoint. The Toronto-based band has completely taken off, with two sold out shows at Horseshoe Tavern (I was thrilled to be at one!) before jet-setting to Europe for a tour, followed by dates in the U.S.
Stella Ella Ola – “Summerette” [Listen]
From the first few notes of Stella Ella Ola’s debut album, I Think We Should Hang Out All The Time, I was hooked. It’s a burst of sunshine, and just what I was anticipating from the band’s first album after enjoying their previous EP so much. In fact, their first appearance on IHH’s Playlist was two years ago, in July 2012! This album is so much fun and I can’t wait to see them live.
Michael Rault – “Too Bad So Sad” [Listen]
When I think about
All the things we did
I can’t keep it hid
I discovered Edmonton-born, Toronto-based artist Michael Rault through Exhale Events‘ monthly party Divergence at The Casbah (always the second Wednesday of the month, all ages, and PWYC). The artist’s sound made me think Mac Demarco, his fellow Edmonton native. Digging his newest singles such as this one, I ventured back into 2012’s Whirlpool.
Aron D’Alesio – “A Long Time” [Listen]
You’re looking for blue sky
But expect the rain
Young Rival frontman Aron D’Alesio achieves this nostalgic, lo-fi sound so effortlessly. He’s back with another single, and I’m kicking myself that I still haven’t seen a solo show of his yet! Aron must have a bunch of songs stored up at this rate, and I’m very curious to hear more. This song is the perfect fit for a late summer soundtrack.
Jaunt – “Intimate Sunset” [Listen]
This is a smooth, dreamy summer tune. Jaunt are a new band featuring members of New Hands, Sandman Viper Command, and San Marina. I hit their very first show back in April at The Casbah and was sold. In the months that followed they’ve played shows in Toronto, The Baltimore House, and the rooftop of Dr. Disc in July. I look forward to hearing more from this project.
Rhythm Church – “Kick My Feet” [Listen]
That song reminds me of a time
I couldn’t find me anywhere
This is one of my favourite tunes from Vincent Tompa’s project Rhythm Church. Vince has been on a roll with his recordings, releasing many singles so far online. At his performance at this year’s It’s Your Festival, I grabbed one of his first CDs, each cover and back carefully painted. It’s always fun to see Vince live; he plays with so much passion and conviction and I always appreciate his theatricality and elaborate stage set up. It really is a Rhythm Church! Catch him this Saturday at A Midsummer’s Dream in Gage Park.
City And The Sea – “Venture” [Listen]
When what you’re living for is gone
Now venture home alone
City And The Sea are back with a bang and this is my favourite tune from them yet. See them this Saturday at the festival of the summer, A Midsummer’s Dream. After that, I’m excited to have the band be part of the next I Heart Hamilton show, next Thursday, August 21st at The Baltimore House alongside Hands & Teeth, The Medicine Hat, Gdansk, and DJ Michael Keire.
No King For Countrymen – “Unrehearsed” [Listen]
If you could believe me now
It’s not what I wanted but I don’t mind if you don’t mind
It’s just easier
This pop-punk trio from Stoney Creek are new on my radar, but have been steadily building their band for three years. Their latest EP Sick & Tired is a solid release with a polished, energetic sound. Check out the slick video for this tune.
High Kites – “Lazy River” [Listen]
Local band High Kites are a psych, garage, indie super group consisting of Steve McKay, Dylan Hudecki, Andy Richardson, and Dan Empringham (between them, they have been part of bands Cowlick, Bruce Peninsula, Circuit Breaker & the Deviance). They have a distinctive sound; as they put it, “In the tradition of the much loved Hamilton garage-punk scene (Simply Saucer, Teenage Head, Forgotten Rebels) arrives a psyched out tribute to the favourite Steel City pastime soaked in plate reverb.” Look out for their album this fall. In the meantime, check out the video for this one.
First Aid Kit – “My Silver Lining” [Listen]
Gotta keep on going
Looking straight out on the road
Can’t worry ’bout what’s behind you
Or what’s coming for you further up the road
This Swedish sister duo have been a part of my summer soundtrack with their most recent album Stay Gold. Their shimmering visuals match their sound; the album is a magical listen.
Katie Bulley – “Up & In” [Listen]
One, two, three, four
I was down and out, but
Five, six, seven, eight
Now things are really great
Katie Bulley’s anxiously awaited debut solo album Sun Wolf is out now. It’s folk, rockabilly, blues, and perfectly sums up Katie as an artist. The album was impressively recorded at legendary Sun Studios in Memphis during her musical pilgrimage to Nashville, Mississippi, and New Orleans. It’s very cool to know a native Hamilton gal who made the trek to make her musical dreams come to true, but who is still true to her hometown roots. Katie is one to watch.
Fitness Club Fiasco – “Hades” [Listen]
Don’t you know it’s forward
It’s forward from here
These guys won me over with the band name, alone! I’ve only caught Fitness Club Fiasco live once before, at The Baltimore House, and after hearing this new single, I especially can’t wait to again. I had to hit play again after listening to this lovely synth-pop tune, which the band celebrated with a release show at Sneaky Dee’s in June.
Psychic Teens – “Come” [Listen]
One of my summer highlights was a detour to Buffalo to attend Buffablog‘s first music festival, Herd Fest. I tried to catch as many bands as I could while exploring Allentown. Psychic Teens, from Philadelphia, were one of the standout acts. It was by far the loudest set I heard during my night at venue Allen Street Hardware, and during the fest as a whole. The band would fit in well with shows of this genre in Hamilton. This track is off their second album Come (August 2013), the follow up to Teen (October 2011).