By Kristin Archer

Robyn Dell’Unto – “Little Lines” [Listen]
It’s never the right time
It’s always a little sloppy
But if this is love
Well there you go

I am so excited to have Robyn Dell’Unto as part of I Heart Hamilton’s next show, February 27th at Baltimore House, alongside Dana & The Monsters Under The Bed, Wildwood, and Quails in the Nest. I’m such a huge fan of Robyn’s music and her sophomore album Little Lines, released last spring, is still on steady play for me. It was also a pleasure to chat with her about the album on 93.3 CFMU last year. Check out the video for the title track. Ponies!

Dana Swarbrick – “Turn It On” [Listen]
I turn on the radio
And they were playing my favourite show
CFMU with I Heart Hamilton
Kristin sure knows how to turn it on

Of course I had to choose those lyrics! I was beyond surprised to hear Dana Swarbrick’s new song and hear my name – that was a first! This is so cool. I first met McMaster student Dana by attending events at The Baltimore House and soon after heard her perform at the venue’s Open Mic night. Hearing her perform some covers, including City and Colour and Florence and the Machine, I was blown away by her voice. Dana has been popping up on more bills lately, showcasing her original material and forming a band, Dana & The Monsters Under The Bed. I’m so happy to have them as part of I Heart Hamilton’s next show, February 27th at Baltimore House.

Dana Swarbrick. Photo from official Facebook page.
Dana Swarbrick. Photo from official Facebook page.

You+Me – “You And Me” [Listen]
You and me were always with each other
Before we knew the other was ever there
You and me, we belong together
Just like a breath needs the air

This new duo is comprised of two familiar voices, Alecia Moore (P!nk) and Dallas Green (City and Colour). The musicians teamed up for this new project and released their first album Rose Ave. this past fall. Their voices blend so nicely together, with Alecia’s lower register and Dallas’ signature higher range. The duo is nominated for Group of the Year and Fan Choice Award at this year’s JUNO Awards. It’s awesome to see that the Canadian half of this band made them qualified for our awards!

Donovan Woods – “That Hotel” [Listen]
How many times do I gotta say I’m sorry
How many days do I gotta stay in here

Donovan Woods is one of my favourite singer-songwriters and I absolutely love everything he releases. His album The Widowmaker (2011) is one of my favourites and the follow-up Don’t Get Too Grand (2013) is equally amazing. Donovan’s music comes off as so effortless and familiar, and always really resonates. A song he wrote, “Portland, Maine” is featured on Tim McGraw’s latest album, which was really exciting to see. You can hear Donovan’s signature sound. I hope to see Donovan back in Hamilton for a show soon. And I’ve said this before, but if you’re not already following him on Twitter, you’re missing out.

Bahamas – “Stronger Than That” [Listen]
And I know
You’re afraid of falling flat
And I know
Those walls are up against your back

Bahamas’ third album Bahamas Is Afie was released in August but I’m only properly digging into it now. And I’m so glad I am; it’s fantastic. It was just nominated at the JUNOs for Adult Alternative Album of the Year and he also picked up a nomination for Songwriter of the Year. I can’t get over how good he sounds on JUNO TV’s Vault Sessions. We’ll also be treated to a set by Bahamas later on at this year’s Greenbelt Harvest Picnic which takes place August 29th at Christie Lake Conservation Area.

February 2015 from ihearthamilton on 8tracks Radio.

Thomas St. Clair – “Little Wooden Train” [Listen]
And I’m losing my mind
But I sure don’t know why
I go, I go against the grain

A new Hamilton country-folk artist on my radar, Thomas St. Clair just released this first single which was recorded at Sheepdog Studios. He’s a McMaster student and the release has been doing really well on campus radio at 93.3 CFMU. Thomas recently played with fellow local folk act, Timid, The Brave, and you can see him next on February 13th at Homegrown Hamilton with The Medicine Hat and Alanna Gurr & The Greatest State, and Run Coyote.

Marcio Novelli – “This Song Is Not For You” [Listen]
I know not what to say
Or how to say it
But these words keep falling out

I had the pleasure of interviewing Hamilton artist Marcio Novelli on 93.3 CFMU and got to know more about him. Marcio’s first full length album, It’s Not An Excuse, It’s A Reason, was released in October 2012 and that was followed by the release of his first documentary, Walking Proof, about the making of that album. Over the years, Marcio has earned a huge fan base all over the world who resonate with his honesty and candour. Some of those fans are featured in the video for this song. He also recently began a podcast called Bridge The Atlantic.

The Monarch Project – “Troubled Mind” [Listen]
Even I mistake
The expression on your face
The only one that I remember

Hamilton band The Monarch Project have cut their teeth playing many shows around town since I first saw them back in 2012. They’re back with a new release, their 7″ vinyl Troubled Mind. It was pressed by 41st Street Records and released independently. I spoke with lead vocalist and guitarist Jo Boudreau on 93.3 CFMU about the band’s evolution and their musical influences. They celebrate the new release this Saturday, February 7th at The Casbah with The Kents and Kirby.

The Monarch Project. Photo from the band's Facebook page.
The Monarch Project. Photo from the band’s Facebook page.

The Mackinaws – “Stargazing” [Listen]
Why can’t you be like the moon tonight?
It’s been a year exactly since The Mackinaws released their self-titled debut album (and first appeared on an I Heart Hamilton Playlist!). The album was recorded at Porcelain Records in here in Hamilton with Grammy-Award winning producer Steve Bigas. Since then, the guys have been playing a bunch of shows around town. They just released a video for this track.

DREAMERS – “I’m Not In Love” [Listen]
Let’s go all the way til the end
The end of where we can go

DREAMERS is a side project featuring half of Hamilton band Boy With An Atlas, R.A. Ducharme and Indie Ana Jones. Their second EP Get Your Dancing Shoes, out last month, was a quick follow up to their first, In The End And From The Start, which was released just a month before. In that short time, the duo switched up their sound, taking a more rock approach to their second EP, rather than the folk sound of their first. Boy With An Atlas is set to record and release new material with a revamped sound as well this year – keep an ear out for that.

ttwwrrss – “The Crash” [Listen]
Sean Thompson, a.k.a ttwwrrss, is one of the best electronic artists in the city. He’s back with his a new album ttwwrrss_2, just released on January 27th. It features four fully remastered tracks from his last, self-titled album plus seven brand new tracks. I recently hung out with ttwwrrss on 93.3 CFMU and got his thoughts on the evolution of his music. Along with creating original songs, ttwwrrss often remixes other artists including a cool collaboration with fellow Maisonneuve Music mate Old Kid, taking a sample from one of his tracks and making it completely his own.

Kiesza – “Bad Thing” feat. Joey Bada$$ [Listen]
I don’t want to ever choose
Keep it jumping like a trampoline
No matter what you put me through
You always make it worth it

I’m sure everyone on the planet has heard Kiesza’s breakout hit “Hideaway” at this point. The Calgary native made an incredible splash worldwide with the release of her album Sound Of A Woman in October 2014. I admit, I judged the artist based on the first single alone, but after digging into the album, there are so many good tracks on here and a real diversity in sound, like this slower jam featuring much buzzed about artist Joey Bada$$. Kiesza is nominated for Single of the Year, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Dance Recording of the Year, Video of the Year, and will be performing at the JUNOs on March 15th right here in Hamilton. It’s Kiesza’s world right now, and we’re just living in it.

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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