Scissor Sisters – “Let’s Have A Kiki” [Listen]
And though the sun is rising
Few may choose to leave
So shade that lid
And we’ll all bid adieu to your ennui

Just in case my eclectic taste in music wasn’t already obvious, this month’s Playlist should do it. I needed a silly jam to help dance my way into 2013. The video has some inspiring new moves for me to try out and I’m smitten with the fellow on the right with the tambourine. This track also reminds me of an idea I have for a future blog outing. Weeerk!

Walk Off The Earth – “Red Hands” [Listen]
I’ve seen it all before
You back out and everything’s changing
I needed something more
You stepped down, so what are you chasing?

WOTE have been putting their spin on popular tunes with their successful cover videos and always manage to make the song sound like their own. I was curious to hear some new, original material from the band and I’m feeling this track off their latest EP R.E.V.O. I love the stomping, rhythmical chorus with its group vocals.

Arkells ft. Lights – “Book Club (Acoustic)” [Listen]
You’re my library
Always open for business

How funny that I already had this song lined up to include this month, and it turns out that beginning this year, I’m in my first book club! I don’t do resolutions, but burning through my book list is something I want to do this year. This is a countrified version of the Arkells tune, bringing in their tourmate Lights on vocals. The memorable melody is even more apparent with this stripped down version with piano. It’s also a befitting inclusion for my Playlist because it mentions the hometown that I’m proud to share with the band.

Weekend Riot Club – “Again and Again” [Listen]
I’m running out cause I’ve had enough
Not givin’ up but I’ve given enough
It’s over now, no time for love like this

I’ve interacted with the band before on Twitter and finally got to meet them at the Hamilton Music Awards last year. They performed both nights that I attended and it showcased two sides of the band – a slower song the first night showed off lead singer Melissa’s softer side and the second she really let ‘er rip with a hard-hitting rock performance. Either way, her voice is undeniably powerful, and I always appreciate a strong frontwoman and some girl power.

BEARD – “Down and Out Blues” [Listen]
One thing’s up
The rest is comin’ on down
Like a king on a throne
But someone stole the crown

Speaking of the HMA’s, I also met these dudes, the self-proclaimed “Dirty Sleazy Slide Blues Gumbo” band, that weekend. I then caught their live show for the first time when they opened for Young Rival’s annual Boxing Day bash. I braved the elements to be at that show, and boy, was it ever worth it! I’m still blown away that this gritty, Black Keys-esque blues even comes out of Kevin and Nigel. They are are so nice and mild mannered but when they hit the stage, watch out! Kevin’s gruff vocals were unexpected, and jumping onto his stool and flinging his fedora into the audience only a couple of songs into their set, it was game on! I was so impressed by the sound they produce, being just a two-piece. They’re a band you need to see.

BEARD. Photo from the band's Facebook page.
BEARD. Photo from the band’s Facebook page.

The Greasemarks – “Watcher” [Listen]
I’m watching you baby
I can’t get you out of my mind

Oh, Greasemarks. Based on my previous interactions with the band (most recently at kitestring’s Christmas Spectacular) I consider myself an honourary member. Come to think of it, I joined them onstage at the annual event the previous year, too. These guys rock. Their rockabilly sound is an irresistible throwback to the 50’s. Check out their EP Griddle Greasin’ Daddies and catch a live show if they come your way.

WTCHS – “Adult Crimes” [Listen]
I’ve only caught one show so far from this Hamilton band (where I found out I took some classes at university with the drummer) and finally got around to digging into some of their recordings. There’s a mystique surrounding this band that makes them really interesting. I still haven’t quite grasped their sound, but maybe that’s the point. The vocals are distant and the music is heavy and raw. This track is off their EP Wet Weapons, released late last year, and was followed by a new 7″ this month. With a ton of blog buzz already, keep watch for WTCHS this year.

METZ – “Headache” [Listen]
I’m late to the party with METZ and sadly missed them at Baltimore House back in October with the last band on this mix, WTCHS. That would have been a show to see. I finally listened them when MTV Canada charted their first full length release on Sub Pop as one of the best of 2012. The three-piece grunge/punk rock outfit from Toronto are now off touring Europe for next several months and I can only hope they swing this way again sometime.

The Dirty Nil – “Zombie Eyed” [Listen]
The grunge theme of the last couple tunes continues with this one. The singles that my pals The Dirty Nil put out just keep getting better and better. This track comes as a split 7″ with Welland’s Northern Primitive. The bands collided on record and on film – to help promote the release, they brought the songs to life on Southern Souls. And if this interview doesn’t make you fall in love with these fellas, I don’t know what will. The Nil are going to keep killing it this year – watch out for them!

NORTHERN PRIMITIVE / THE DIRTY NIL – “Positive Bondar” / “Zombie Eyed” from Southern Souls on Vimeo.

Gdansk – “Outside Your Window” [Listen]
I know it’s time
It’s time to put my childish ways behind
And let you in

I discovered Gdansk this month at The Brain and am so glad I did. I love their self-titled EP (available for free download) and this song was my immediate favourite among 5 artful and well put together tracks. Citing influences such as Arcade Fire and Radiohead, they’re going for something really big. There is a real weight and substance to what they do, both instrumentally and lyrically. I look forward to hearing more from them.

Frank Ocean – “Wiseman” [Listen]
Maybe hearts were made to pump blood
Maybe lungs were made for flood

I’m still spinning his impressive Channel Orange – one of the best releases of 2012 and just the beginning of an incredible career for Frank Ocean. This haunting single was originally written for Django Unchained but didn’t end up being used in the film. Frank’s soulful vocals and suberb songwriting are front and centre, and I can’t get enough of it.

– Kristin

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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