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The Dirty Nil – “Celebration” [Listen]
Tell me what you want in the whole wide world
I’ll do it

Huge year for Dundas’ own The Dirty Nil, as they bless us with their fourth record, Free Reign To Passions. Super stoked for this next batch of tunes; it’s my favourite from them yet. Luke Bentham says: “We had the best time pulling these songs together. It made me feel like a teenager in my parents’ basement again.” Check out the music videos for “Nicer Guy” – “Celebration” – “Blowing Up Things In The Woods” (the last one featuring another Hamilton classic, B.A. Johnston).

The Dirty Nil. Photo by Stephanie Montani.

Ellis In Transit – “Kill Your Creator” [Listen]
I see you’ve been indecisive
Trying to taste what you can

British-Canadian indie rockers based in Hamilton, Ellis In Transit, just dropped another rock’n’roll ripper. The band delivers their signature classic rock sound so well, with Alexandria’s standout vocals front and centre. Definitely a band to experience live too – the band just played during Canadian Music Week and NXNE in Toronto, and you can catch them next at The Corktown on July 28.

Ellis In Transit

Joys – “Shaking” [Listen]
I’ll just toss and turn tonight

Hamilton post-pop/new wave band, Joys, made a splash with their debut single, “Gloria,” in 2021, and have been ones to watch ever since. This spring, they shared their debut EP, including another shimmery jam, “Shaking,” to add to their repertoire. Instantly catchy and a toe-tapper, they continue to deliver!


Fast Brake – “I Want To See You Go” [Listen]
My mind is racing through a jungle of thoughts
Swinging from vines but I’m just tangled up

Hamilton indie band Fast Brake just dropped their debut EP, Spain For Lunch. It was recorded at the rad Catherine North Studios. The band first came together when Steve and Dean crossed paths in Hamilton after attending the same program together at Western University. Later bringing in Fady and Francesco, the band took shape, and now they are eager to get this debut release out into the world. Fast Brake just celebrated with a release party at The Casbah – be on the lookout for more!

Fast Brake

Family Of Things – “Ready To Love” [Listen]
I think I’m ready to love again
Pick my heart back up off the shelf

Indie pop duo Family Of Things have ventured out of Hamilton, but I still very much consider them part of the local family (pun intended). The pair have dropped a series of jams already this year at lightning speed, and I am here for them all! Dare you to sit still while cranking up this sparkling track.

Family Of Things

Jessy Lanza – “Don’t Let Me Now” [Listen]
Already know
Don’t make me say

Another expat of Hamilton, it’s a pleasure to see Jessy Lanza continue to make waves in her career. Jessy has a new album on the way – Love Hallucination is out July 28. Sharing sonically what we are in for: “From club-ready songs to more downbeat and sultry works, Love Hallucination reminds us of falling into depths of love but being self-assured enough to trust one’s instincts. […] Building upon that last release, Love Hallucination sounds like the work of an artist in bloom. This is an album of big emotions and big songs, with direct and personal lyrics that run the gauntlet of raw feeling.” Based on that description and the singles we’ve heard so far, I cannot wait. Check out the music video for this bop!

Jessy Lanza

Onglish – “Wav Length Remix” feat. S.O.A.P. [Listen]
Wanna get on your wavelength

Just in time for that summer playlist, Onglish and Scribe join forces again for a remix of “Wav Length” from Onglish’s debut album, Wav Pocket. The musicians describe the process as “reimagining the song over futuristic instrumentation; Scribe’s spacey vocals float over dynamic synths, before a rap verse capturing a summer love affair surges as the chord progression opens up.”


iskwē – “I Get High” ft. Nina Hagan [Listen]
From all these people I just slip away
And let the clouds unwind me at the end of the day

This is iskwē’s first new release since the fall of 2019, and it’s a perfect laid-back track for those hazy days of summer. The artist shares: “I grew up smoking weed, listening to Nina Hagen, and singing loudly when I knew no one was listening; always self-conscious, always self-aware. Inspired by the freedom of letting go of what others think, ‘I Get High’ isn’t just a song to spark up to. This piece was written in response to a painful experience of mine, where I wanted to remind people of the power of love and the importance of supporting each other in this lifetime.” Check out the music video!

iskwē. Photo by Lili Peper.

AOIFE – “White Noise” [Listen]
I’m getting restless
Testing your patience

After an impressive debut single, “SID,” in 2021, AOIFE is back! The Irish-born, Hamilton-based, indie singer-songwriter shares a new single from her upcoming debut release, when all is said and done, out June 30. The artist shares: “This song serves to answer questions posed in ‘SID’ about the denial of a honeymoon phase’s demise. ‘White Noise’ reflects on the end of a relationship and the complexities that may follow. I wrote this song to document a breakup as a means of sacrifice to let a friendship bloom.”

AOIFE. Photo by Stephanie Montani.

Jesse Adams – “Gravity” [Listen]
But what goes up, it must come down
I think I’m floating then I start to drown

Local singer-songwriter Jesse Adams shares a new single, but it has been 16 years in the making. She shares that she started writing this song when she was seven years old with her friend Sara Bandkohal, and finished it later in adulthood after rewriting some lyrics and melodies. Jesse explains her inspiration for the sultry song: “Life isn’t stagnant. Just when you think you’re winning, you lose and vice versa. It’s unpredictable. It’s out of our control like gravity.”

Jesse Adams

Isabella Chiarini – “All Alone” [Listen]
I need to think of myself
And let you go so I can heal

Emerging pop artist from Hamilton, Isabella Chiarini, shares a new single, “All Alone.” The beats instantly gets you hooked and it’s my favourite release yet from the young singer-songwriter. Isabella shares: “This song is about being in a toxic relationship and finally realizing what you want and leaving.”

Isabella Chiarini

LTtheMonk – “2 & A Half” [Listen]
Are we never gonna speak again like?

Hamilton-via-London, UK hip hop artist LTtheMonk dropped a reflective track this spring. The song reflects on the end of a long term relationship. The artist shares: “Though you might look in the mirror after a period of being single and say ‘Okay, I’ve grown, I’m a completely emotionally healthy person now!’ that is not necessarily true. True self-growth is a lifelong process.” Stay tuned for another new track on the way this month.

LTtheMonk. Photo by Stephanie Montani.

Naked House – “You” [Listen]
If I don’t seem effervescent
Everything’s fine, yeah, I’m okay
I’m okay

Local musician Naked House, a.k.a. Damon Guyett, just shared a brand new track and accompanying music video. The artist shares that moniker Naked House “is meant to convey comfort in one’s own skin, abnormalities and all.” He shares an array of skills through being a multi-instrumentalist – piano, keyboards, ukulele, guitar, percussion, harmonica, trumpet, glockenspiel, bass guitar, sampling, and the list goes on! Damon always finds new ways to channel his self-expression, and this is another excellent track from him.

Naked House

Andrew Shier – “Foreign Fixtures” [Listen]
And maybe
I’ve been living in the lonely light of a daydream

You may know musician Andrew Shier from the Hamilton-based band Ten Minute Detour. The band released the enjoyable Golden Tapestry album last year, and now Andrew is sharing some tracks from his solo project. Andrew grew up classically trained in piano, followed up picking up more instruments, and began recording his own original songs at age 13. Speaking about “Foreign Fixtures,” the musician shares: “I’ve had this song for about a year and when it finally came together I was so excited. It’s one of those songs that I knew had something, but took a little longer than usual to figure out what that something was. I decided to record it a day after being super ill and was still feeling a little dazed. Turns out being a little hazy can work in your favour, as I found it incredibly easy to just let ideas come and go and work their way into the mix.”

Andrew Shier

Roslyn Witter – “Letting Her Go” [Listen]
Yeah I’ll never forgive you
But I think you should know
I’ll never stop loving you for letting her go

Country pop singer-songwriter, Roslyn Witter, shares a heartfelt track about a dear friend, called “Letting Her Go.” The Hamilton musician shares that she was inspired to write this song after watching her best friend struggle through an emotionally abusive relationship. Now on the other side of that, the song is about Roslyn looking back, now grateful that the relationship is over, allowing her friend to move on and find love. Bonus track: check out Roslyn’s summer jam, “Good Vibes“!

Roslyn Witter

Alex Whorms & Aaron John – “Where Did We Go Wrong?” [Listen]
I can’t keep holding on
When you’re already gone

Alex Whorms and Aaron John are childhood friends with a musical history – they first met ten years ago at a youth talent contest in Oshawa, where they both performed original songs and tied for the first place title. From there, they bonded over their mutual musical influences, and went on to write music and perform together. It’s a full circle moment as they team up for this original duet, “Where Did We Go Wrong?”. Check out the lyric video.

Alex Whorms & Aaron John
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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