Iskwé. Photo by Cass K M Rudolph

By Kristin Archer

Ellevator – “Hounds” [Listen]
Calling, calling for, calling for somebody to heal me
Calling, calling for, calling somebody to fix me
Things are only looking up for Ellevator – formerly called The Medicine Hat, the band revamped and picked up speed, signing with the incredible roster of acts at Arts & Crafts. They’re headed on tour with Canadian mainstays Our Lady Peace and Matthew Good (along with another band local to the area who are having their own long-awaited due – Ascot Royals). As if that wasn’t enough, Ellevator will also hit the stage with Arkells at Tim Hortons Field on June 23rd. This latest single is on steady play around here and we’ll get the full EP on April 20th.

Ellevator. Official photo.
Ellevator. Official photo.

Iskwé – “The Unforgotten” feat. Tanya Tagaq [Listen]
We are the one that’s forgotten
We stand up tall against the other side

Sometimes it’s all the more impactful to hear a song live for the first time – that was the case for me with this new single by Iskwé. Iskwé’s latest album The Fight Within was released in November and she shared a taste of this song at her powerful album release show at the The Casbah. The audience responded right away, singing along with the driving melody, which is just the experience Iskwé was going for.

Iskwé said of the song: This is a community song that’s meant to be shared by all people – a round dance where everyone holds the hand of the person next to them, forming a circle that connects us with our ancestors, as one. The current climate of events for Indigenous people is not lost on me, and makes me feel that much stronger releasing this bad boy now.

Iskwé. Photo by Cass K M Rudolph
Iskwé. Photo by Cass K M Rudolph

Sam Holladay – “Ainslie” [Listen]
I’ve been wasting all my time 
But years go by, the years go by 
Where’s the sense in all of this 
Momentary bliss? 
I first encountered Sam Holladay when judging the McMaster Battle of the Bands last year at The Casbah. (They’re also in the running again this year and I’ll be back at the judges’ table!) I love full circle moments – since that first major show as a band last year, they recorded an EP and return to The Casbah for their Release Party tonight, March 9th (with Post Romance, Blue Mantra, and stand up comedy by Simon Owens also on the bill). Listen to our chat on their air at CFMU.

Adelaide – “Can’t Lose” [Listen]
I can’t lose when I have you
Be mine til the end of time

Members of Burlington band Adelaide have been jamming together in various forms since their middle school days, but their first proper gig was at Mount Farewell’s EP Release show last year. Their debut EP Where You Go just dropped this month and they celebrate with a release show this Saturday, March 10th at Absinthe, fittingly with friends Mount Farewell as well as Mermaids Exist. Listen to our chat and a live acoustic performance in studio on

Adelaide. Official photo.
Adelaide. Official photo.

Easy Lemon – “Whose Fault Is That” [Listen]
Soul/jazz/funk trio Easy Lemon quickly earned a solid reputation for themselves over the past year with their bi-weekly residency at the cozy and hip Zyla’s (299 James St. N). They’re so at home in the space that they recorded their EP Whose Fault Is That live off the floor with Nick Zyla, himself. Watch for more music to come as they hone even more original tunes and head into the studio to record. Hear our interview on 93.3 CFMU.

Reiki Share – “Art Attack” [Listen]
If I could
You know I would
Turn everything into one big art attack
Reiki Share a.k.a Benjamin Theodore is a member of one of my favourite local bands Dizzy Spells, as well as backing Twin Within, and he’s also one of my fave creatives as a solo act. He releases a new limited edition cassette, A Big Download, this month on HAVNrecords. Ben says of the release: “This project was not just my own; these songs are what I could usher in through many ‘universal downloads.’ Bless all the guiding spirits that unlocked these puzzles before me.” We’ll see Reiki Share live at The Casbah on April 5th with FAITH Healer, The Ferns, and Beamer, which will also celebrate the album’s release.

Reiki Share
Reiki Share. Official album art.

Sinister Bodies Of Water – “When The Knife Calls” [Listen]
This band is an offshoot of Hamilton band WTCHS. If you’re into WTCHS, you’ll be into When The Knife Calls, released this past December on Out Of Sound Records . Sinister Bodies Of Water is a fitting name for what the music sounds like – you get consumed by the sounds. In the words from Sinister Bodies of Water & WTCHS’ own Jag: “This is a song about fear, fear of oneself, fear of thoughts, fear of loss, fear of the knife and fear of everything.”

I Killed Laura Palmer – “The Prophecy” [Listen]
I have everything I need
I have everything that I believe 

The universe is conspiring to help me
With this Alchemy
We’ve seen this gang of musicians in various musical projects over the years and it’s a dreamy combo to hear them come together as I Killed Laura Palmer. As the name suggests, they have a David Lynchian vibe to them. They preface: “Although the band name causes the occasional concern, we assure you there is no active homicidal ideation, only melodic and lyrical assaults on your cerebral cortex.” Their solid debut was released a year ago exactly, so I’m late to the party, but happy to be here.

I Killed Laura Palmer official album art
I Killed Laura Palmer official album art

Band Aid (film) – “Love Is A Drip” [Listen]
If the fix is quick
It’s gonna need a new fix

I 100% recommend the wonderful indie film Band Aid (now on Netflix). Written by and starring Zoe Lister-Jones, it’s also Zoe’s directorial debut. She and Adam Pally play a married couple who are nearly constantly fighting – the mundane tasks of life giving way to a bigger unresolved issue. Their plan to work out their aggression? Start a band. Adding oddball neighbour Dave to the mix as their drummer (played by the always on-point Fred Armisen, who’s also a fantastic musician), The Dirty Dishes is formed. It’s emotional, real, heartwarming, funny, and has some badass tunes. As if I didn’t respect Zoe enough already for the ambitious project, she also enlisted an all-female crew to work on the film. You can find the soundtrack to the fictional band streaming now.

SLEEPYCATT – “Teedra Moses – Be Your Girl (SLEEPYCATT Remix)” [Listen]
Don’t know if you got a girl 
Don’t mean to disrespect but
Thoughts of you rule my world
I even dream of you, I swear
Visions of you and I
SLEEPYCATT a.k.a Max is a Hamilton-based electronica artist and DJ who plays with a variety of styles, being inspired by all sorts of genres. He is also a multi-instrumentalist who plays piano, bass, and ukulele. Catch SLEEYPCATT igniting the dance floor at Sous Bas (145 Main St. E) on March 31st with his signature mix of house/garage/club/future beats.

Noah Reid (Schitt’s Creek) – “Simply The Best” [Listen]
Each time you leave me
I start losing control
Like you’re walking away with my heart and my soul
I can feel you, babe, even when I’m alone
If you’re not watching the CBC comedy Schitt’s Creek, what are you doing with your life?! It’s the best. Recent episode “Open Mic” featured one of the sweetest scenes I have ever seen on television. Patrick, played by Noah Reid, dedicated this Tina Turner cover to his beau, David Rose, played by Dan Levy, who also co-writes and co-creates the series. It was emotional and heartwarming, and just perfect. Even more touching, proceeds from iTunes downloads of Noah’s arrangement/rendition of the song go to LGBT Youth Line in Canada and The Trevor Project in the U.S.

Manolis Zontanos
– “Dad’s Voicemail” [Listen]

Something a little different for these Playlists – a comedy album. Girl Penis is the latest from Hamilton-based comedian Manolis Zontanos, the original OG on the local comedy scene. Manolis has toured the world and made appearances on The Comedy Network, Just For Laughs, and MTV Canada to name a few. To meet him or see him live, you know he’s such a loveable personality, no matter how crass things sometimes get onstage! This recording captures Manolis’ signature in-the-moment crowd work in a comedy club plus material you will be familiar with if you’ve seen his sets. Catch him on my show this Friday 2pm on 93.3 CFMU!

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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