Mount Farewell – “Way She Moves” [Listen]
I’m hanging up on the way she moves
I’m finding out all the things that you said weren’t true
It’s always really tough to say farewell (pun intended) to a band, especially one with so much promise. I was such a big fan of the young local band’s debut EP Love Letter Home in 2017. It still blows my mind how polished their sound is and how much they remind me of The 1975. Before they go, however, they leave us with one more gem.

From the band: “Way She Moves” is one of Mount Farewell’s most personal songs and the final single they have decided to release as a band. As a thank you to their fans, they wanted to create something special as a parting gift.  They were excited to work with up-and-coming directors Ashlee Bishop and Sarah Gonyea to create a music video with a story that captures the mood of “Way She Moves.” Thank you, Mount Farewell, for the wonderful music!

Jared Both – “Up and Down” [Listen]
We are up and down
All the time
I want to stand on solid ground

Local folk songwriter Jared Both draws inspiration from his local community with his latest, “Up and Down.” Jared Both is guitar and vocals, Rodney Barnes is electric guitar, Pat Piper is drums, Paul Schimdt is trombone, Jeanette Eby is bass guitar and background vocals and Nina Franchoncheta is also background vocals. Nimal Agalawatte of Basement Revolver recorded and mixed the song. Watch the video to see some familiar Hamilton sights along with Fort Elgin’s Matt Thompson. Look out for an EP Jared Both and the Secret Hymns to come in early spring 2020. 

Miles From Nowhere – “High” [Listen]
What really drew you to me? 
What kind of guy could I be?

Local indie soul artist Miles From Nowhere a.k.a. Miles Evans-Branagh has been on my radar since releasing the terrific single “Brotherhood” in 2017.​ Being a freelance keyboardist and singer for various groups in Southern Ontario, Miles is now ready to shine with more original music all his own, and just released a self-titled EP. The release was created at Hamilton studio Fort Rosie with Jason Bhattacharya (Granny Smith) & Aaron Hutchinson (Haolin Munk). It’s impossible not to smile and find yourself tapping your toe when you press play on this one!

Miles From Nowhere. Photo by Ariel Bader-Shamai.

Mayten (feat. Miteh) – “No Other Way” [Listen]
Those eyes
Those telling eyes of yours
Local electronic artist Miteh (multi-instrumentalist and composer Josh Skerritt) collaborates on Seattle-based ambient techno producer Mayten’s new album Martingale. Tracks are being released weekly with “No Other Way” being the first single. On it we hear Miteh’s vocals combined with a beautifully produced electronic track that Mayten created while staying at a pasture in the landscapes of Iceland. The video for the track reflects that setting, featuring stunning waterfall landscapes.

Robin Hatch – “Elegy” [Listen]
Prolific composer from Toronto, Robin Hatch has played with a ton of bands and impressively released three albums this year in her own right – Works For Solo Piano, experimental synth album Hatch, and this self-titled offering (a follow up to Works For Solo Piano). Some well-deserved accolades came along this year including a four-star review in The Guardian, a performance on CBC’s Q, and Apple Music hailing her a “versatile genius.” It was also a thrill to have Robin at a Cinquefoil show back in May that I had the opportunity to curate.

Robin Hatch. Photo by Brendan George Ko.

Garrett Lajoie – “Why Can’t I?” [Listen]
Time seems to be against me
The days keep flying by
Originally from Sarnia and now Hamilton-based, Mohawk College alum Garrett Lajoie just released his third self-produced EP, Morning People. Garrett wrote, produced, and mixed this personal project himself, and it’s a great introduction to the singer-songwriter. Garrett celebrates with an EP Release show Friday, December 20 at Corktown Pub.

Sweet Virginias – “Uncle Sam” [Listen]
The right whisky
Keeps my bones from shivering
So many new local releases this year, so little time! Hamilton band Sweet Virginias released a self-titled album this past spring, the follow-up to their 2018 EP Everything Until Now. It was recorded locally at one of my favourite local spots, with Michael Keire at Threshold Recording Studio. For indie rock fans (for local references, think a mix of The Bandicoots and Delta Days), you’re going to dig this one.

Jackie – “Lifetime In A Touch” [Listen]
Turn the radio up
There’s a moment in this sound
Toronto band (originally from Winnipeg) Jackie was one of my favourite new indie music discoveries this year after I caught them supporting Taylor Knox last month at Mills Hardware. They come out guns ablaze with this irresistible, Hawksley Workman-produced single they say is “essentially about heartbreak, but it’s told through a positive outlook. The lyrics in the verses represent the past lover that engulfed and controlled you, while the chorus reminds you that there is more to life than lovers. The song was inspired by a few magnums of red wine – that and Tom Petty.” Have a listen to our interview on 93.3 CFMU plus a live acoustic performance in studio! I really loved the song, “Unspun,” and I can’t wait to hear the recorded version!

Jackie. Photo by Dom Monicka.

Wildlife – “Follower (La La)” [Listen]
If only we had something to care about
Long live Wildlife! With their warm, anthemic rock, the Toronto band has always been a favourite of mine on the Canadian indie rock circuit. This fall they delivered a new album, Take The Light With You, and it does not disappoint. Speaking of the much-anticipated new album, band member Dean Povinsky says: The more I think about it, this album is about the truth and beauty of friendship: it’s about glimmers of hope and seeing light in other people, and urging them not to let that get snuffed out by the weight of what we are told daily is a dying world. It’s about asking the best of others and yourself, and trying to feel connected as much as possible when you see that spark. The title says it all however: go forward, be kind, and don’t let the light go out.

I can’t think of a better sentiment to go into 2020 with. Thanks for reading/listening, and stay tuned for I Heart Hamilton’s Best of 2019 Playlist to come!

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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