Illitry – “Kingdom Perverted” [Listen]
And we’ve got to move on
Got to move on now

I was stoked to hear new material from one of my favourite local bands. I can’t wait to hear their debut full length which was recorded with Michael Keire at Threshold Studio. This single does not disappoint and I had to hit repeat when it was done to process it again, which is my typical reaction to an Illitry track. There are so many intricacies to take in. I was honoured to give it its inaugural radio spin on I Heart Hamilton! I caught them play at Homegrown in November and it was probably the most dance-filled Illitry show I’ve seen yet! They just released a live version captured on Southern Souls and it’s just as dreamy as I anticipated it would be.

Dear Rouge – “I Had Heard” [Listen]
I have a little bit of doubt
That this would really be worth it all

Vancouver’s “alt-electro-dance-rock duo” Dear Rouge made for a fun addition to the #HamOnt Blog Fair I helped organize and host at The Casbah last month. I hadn’t heard of them before and quickly became a fan. Although it must have been a bit strange to perform for a room full of bloggers, I hope we gave them a warm welcome to Hamilton!

July Talk – “Summer Dress” [Listen]
Yeah but this is life we’re livin’
Life ain’t always about forgivin’

I’m still on such a July Talk kick after seeing them live in September for the first time. I was excited to see they are returning to Hamilton on December 5th to headline a show at The Casbah. Their live show is stellar and they’re so much fun to watch. The band just re-released their debut self-titled album with four new tracks, including this sexy number. It may be winter, but that’s not stopping me from rocking out to this jam. Peter and Leah recently performed and were interviewed on NPR – a huge deal! They’re a band on the rise and I keep saying it – catch them live now before they really take off.

Redanda – “She’s In My Car” [Listen]
But that’s where it ends
When things suspend

Another tune that I got to give its radio debut – I’m a big fan of Redanda and it has been fun to hear them evolve this year. I remember hearing this for the first time at one of their shows and it grabbed me right away. This is one of five tunes off their upcoming EP to be released in January-February. No surprise that they’re working with Michael Keire at Threshold who is producing for some of my favourite acts in this city.

Pet Sun – “Serpent Buzz” [Listen]
I serve my own heart on a plate
Getting stale, you should’ve ate

Dubbing themselves “Pulled Pork Garage Rock,” this psychedelic quartet from Hamilton just made it onto my radar and I’m glad they did. I’m digging the fuzzy, surfy grooves of their Serpent Buzz EP which was released in September. Catch them during Art Crawl (December 13th) at The Baltimore House with Eschaton, Invasions, and Fitness Club Fiasco.

The Almighty Rhombus – “Blank” [Listen]
I don’t know anything about you
I’ll never know, so walk out the door

This Sudbury band got in touch with me to share their debut EP Lucid Living and I was greeted to a really catchy and energetic record, which, as they put it, ranges “from howling garage to glassy pop tunes and even a couple psychedelic jams. It’s the rainbow pack of true pop records!” The video for this tune makes me giggle; they seem like my kind of dudes. To quote the song, I don’t know anything about you, Almighty Rhombus, but I hope to learn more!

December 2013 from ihearthamilton on 8tracks Radio.

White Cowbell Oklahoma – “Get Back To The Grove” [Listen]
WCO have already completed two European tours and they return to Hamilton on December 5th for a show at This Ain’t Hollywood. The band describes Hamilton as “their favourite and the most ecstatically understanding town of all.” Their album Buenas Nachas has just been re-released as a deluxe edition and includes some new material.

Skynet – “To The Hounds” [Listen]
Hometown boys Skynet just dropped their EP The Wild, in November on Underground Operations and Transcend Music. It’s the follow-up to last year’s self-titled album. The four-piece hardcore band celebrated with a release show at their stomping ground Club Absinthe – a fitting place to rip through their new material.

The Vertigo Hallucination – “Highway 8” [Listen]
Thoughts racing in our heads
That we wouldn’t say out loud

I’m always impressed with what just a two-piece band can do. The Vertigo Hallucination are a guy/girl, guitarist/drummer combo from the Stoney Creek and Beamsville area. Forming in early 2012, Gabe and Kamber churn out a punk rock sound and cite bands like The Gaslight Anthem, Brand New, and Blink 182 as influences. The duo just released an EP in October.

Katie Bulley – “Chasing” [Listen]
I thought I’d have to go back in time to meet somebody like you
I thought I’d go outta my mind, get knocked off my rocker

I first encountered the charming Katie Bulley when she was a member of The Barettas for four years. She knew it was time for a change and ventured into a solo career. As Katie puts it, “I think once you figure out who you truly are in the pit of your spirit, there is no more fear. Keep in mind, there is a difference between loneliness and solitude. I’m more of a ‘Solitude Wolf’ but I’m going to call the album ‘Lone Wolf’ because it sounds snappier!” I’m with you on that, Katie! I look forward to hearing the rest of the record.

STACEY – “Worst Part” [Listen]
‘Cause the worst part’s wanting more
When you’re walking out the door

Singer-songwriter Stacey just released her debut EP and it’s a beautiful introduction to the Toronto artist. From the first listen, it didn’t take long to get pulled in. The collection of five songs was produced by Alex Bonenfant (Crystal Castles, Metz) and they are minimalistic, stripped down, and intimate. Stacey performs on December 6th at The Casbah Lounge alongside local talents Max Wray (his birthday show!) and Brielle Melle.

Ash & Bloom – “Let The Storm Come” [Listen]
I’ve been here before
I know what to do
I’ve got an anchor worth holding onto

This melodic-folk duo hopped onto my radar when they tweeted me a link to their video for “Heaven Is A Ghost Town” off their self-titled EP which was just released last month. The four songs are such a lovely listen. It was a nice surprise when I got to meet Matt and James when they were part of the Mountain edition of Dishcrawl Hamilton in November. Strolling into the last stop of the night – new coffee bar E23 on Concession Street – there they were, greeting us with their sweet music. They couldn’t be nicer guys and I look forward to catching a show.

– Kristin

Ash & Bloom
Ash & Bloom
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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