Sam Smith – “Money On My Mind” [Listen]
I don’t have
Money on my mind
Money on my mind
I do it for
I do it for the love

Sam Smith has to be my most recent musical obsession, with this stellar debut In The Lonely Hour. Every so often an album comes along that I can really sink into, and Sam’s vocals came along like a breath of fresh air. His vocals are unreal in his ballads (“Latch” is incredible – so many feels) but I had to choose this uptempo single to kick off my first summer Playlist.

Arkells – “Come To Light” [Listen]
If we can make to the morning
We can get things right

Just when I got excited with a new Arkells tune on the last Playlist, they’ve got another one already. “Come To Light” is the first official single for the band’s third album High Noon, out August 5th. Big things in the works for Arkells – Dine Alone Records will be releasing the album internationally, there is a limited edition clear vinyl available for pre-order now, and they’re hitting the road all summer. Their next appearance in the area will be at St. Catharines’ annual SCENE music fest June 28-29 (check schedule for day/set time). Watch the spiffy video for this one.

The Crimson Permanent – “Swoon” [Listen]
Wait through the fire
Wait for the pouring rain

This Burlington band is new on my radar and their self-titled EP came as a pleasant surprise. It was released in October 2012 and produced by Roman Marcone of local studio Porcelain Records. The Crimson Permanent get expansive with instrumentals on this EP, each song getting to be six or seven minutes each, and it makes for a wonderful listen. True to its namesake, this track lulls you into a swoon! See the band this Friday, June 20th at The Baltimore House. The show also features local electronic act Huren (this is also his official cassette release) and all the way from Brooklyn, Dead Leaf Echo.

June 2014 from ihearthamilton on 8tracks Radio.

New Hands – “Swimming” [Listen]
You can’t even understand
What I’d do for you

You heard the remix to this one in my last Playlist, but nothing beats the original. We’re nearing almost a year since New Hands’ last show and Ben venturing off to Leeds, and I’m getting antsy! We need you, New Hands! The team needs you! In the meantime, the band is rolling out a few gems like this stellar single (I’ve heard it so many times and still can’t get enough) and the dreamy music video for it, made by drummer Gord Bond.

DIANA – “New House” [Listen]
What do I gotta say to make you wanna stick around?
Is it coming on too strong
To let you know I loved you right away?

I was so busy, I missed May’s Playlist, but this would have been on it. I saw DIANA during my first time attending Canadian Music Week. They played two unique sets, two nights in a row, at The Drake Underground (a venue I’m always happy to see – bang bang!). Each night showcased different sides of the band, one ambient and experimental, one dance and uptempo. I prefer the meeting of the two, as heard on their album Perpetual Surrender, but it was a fun time nonetheless, getting to see the band front row in the intimate setting.

DIANA at The Drake Underground
DIANA at The Drake Underground

Best Wishes – “Youth” [Listen]
I’ll never say goodbye to my youth
Since finishing his last solo record, Scott Orr began working on Best Wishes, a side project in collaboration with Eric Fusilier (The City Harmonic) and Matt Henderson (Fitness Club Fiasco, Old English). They released their debut EP in May, lead by the first single, the dreamy “Clouds.” I had to choose the record’s first track for this mix. Released on Scott’s label, Other Songs Music, the label broke its usual black and white aesthetic with the colourful confetti album art for this EP. It’s so lovely, I would hang it on my wall.

Gdansk – “Chests of Men” [Listen]
I’ve been searching for you
I’ve been waiting on you
I can’t wait

Gdansk impressed me so much with their self-titled debut EP, released in April 2012. I couldn’t get over the quality of their sound and videos. It was so cool to think that something so big and expansive came from local guys right in my own city. Their second release, the single “Atlas,” was also stellar. When I heard they would be working with producer Michael Keire at Threshold for the next, I was so excited, knowing it would elevate the band even more. Just as predicted, EP 1 sounds amazing. With each song clocking in at about 5 minutes, each is a journey in itself. And can we talk about the album art? Just gorgeous! Another one I would hang on my wall!

Gdansk EP 1
Gdansk EP 1

moon:and:6 feat. ttwwrrss – “Janguru City” [Listen]
Producer moon:and:6 gives his take on the ttwwrrss track “Jungle” with this really cool adaptation. When I interviewed ttwwrrss at CFMU, I learned he began as an intern at studio Catherine North, where he first worked alongside Michael Chambers (moon:and:6). This brings things full circle, with moon:and:6 taking on a track from ttwwrrss’ own EP. I’m always blown away by people’s ability to craft and manipulate electronic beats. This is track is awesome.

DB Cooper – “The World” [Listen]
You can have your scene
Where you can be seen
When you’re coming clean
But I know where you’re gonna go

DB Cooper are a new band on the scene, but its members certainly aren’t new to making music, having played in several local bands. After coming together they released their first EP Catherine North in April and it was recorded at (where else!) Catherine North with producer Dan Hosh. Check out the lyric video for this track and catch them in town next on July 25th at The Casbah with Wild Night and Xprime.

Wild Night – “Indian Summer” [Listen]
The moment passed
They never last
She walked away
Never looked back

Wild Night are on a roll lately. I’ve been hearing their name pop up more and more and they even caught the attention of CBC Radio 3, charting well on the R3-30 countdown. The band released their EP in March (cute album cover alert!) and aim for a full length in 2015. It was awesome having them be part of Dr. Disc’s Raise the Roof concert series – unfortunately they got rained out in May, but more than made up for it in June!

The Tallest Tree – “Boat”
She’s got me
She’s got me good

My new musical obsession locally has got to be The Tallest Tree. If you haven’t heard, it’s the new incarnation of Dawn and Marra. The duo, joined by Armando Vega, is now a trio. I was honoured to get their first interview talking about the project in a recent episode on 93.3 CFMU along with a first listen – they played two songs acoustically in studio (listen here!). Hearing this song for the first time, it was instantly stuck in my head all the way up to I Heart Hamilton’s Playlist 3.0 (Fundraiser for Food4Kids). With a couple Canadian Music Week showcases and some open mics at Democracy under the belt, The Playlist 3.0 was their official debut, and I was so excited to have them. So stoked about this band!

The Tallest Tree
The Tallest Tree

Ash & Bloom – “This Town (Hamilton)”
Here in this town
There’s a feeling
Deep in the ground
Hear it breathing

Ash & Bloom (Matt McKenna and James Bloemendal) are the most delightful duo. I was impressed with their four-song EP and their new album Let The Storm Come includes those songs and more that they’ve honed and crafted over the years. They’ve found their signature sound and their harmonies are just lovely. I feel so peaceful with every listen. The official hometown Album Release takes place June 25th at The Casbah and also features JoJo Worthington. Of course I had to choose this ode to Hamilton for this mix.

– 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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