Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky” [Listen]
We’re up all night ’til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky

I definitely called it too soon in my last Playlist – THIS is may very well be my song of the summer. I’ve been dancing nonstop since I first heard it. It’s officially my jam. And man, I’ve missed Pharrell!

Rhythm Church – “March” [Listen]
You can’t leave today
I need another day
I need to see your face
I need it everyday

Local musician Vincent Tompa has been in several local bands, including Holiday and Mercy, and has dabbled in many different genres. Now with Rhythm Church, Vince is back with an experimental sound. I’m digging both tracks that are up right now and I look forward to catching a live set. He has been on a roll lately, with shows at Absinthe, and out of town in Oakville and Toronto’s legendary Rivoli. Watch his session on Southern Souls – another awesome video from Mitch Fillion.

Dawn & Marra – “Wicked Little Girl” [Listen]
I know, I know
She ain’t goin’ nowhere

I’ve seen Dawn and Marra perform this one live several times now and was excited to hear the studio version. The song starts with acapella slaps, snaps, and stomps, and builds with the layers of instruments and rich harmonies. It took a few listens to take it all in. Earlier this year, the duo were in Vancouver to record their new album Teaspoons and Tablespoons, to be released next month. The girls must have had so much fun working on all of the little intricacies of their new songs. They’re so talented – I’m excited for what’s to come! Catch them at the first annual Hamilton Blues & Roots Festival in Westdale on June 1st.

Dawn and Marra. Photo from official Facebook page.
Dawn and Marra. Photo from official Facebook page.

Young Rival – “Time” [Listen]
Time, you drag me down
But I’ve come too far to turn it around

Aron, John, and Noah have jetted off on a summer UK/European tour and I could not be more pumped for them! So proud that they’re taking their music across the world and I can’t wait to follow their travels. Before leaving, the trio treated us to this previously unreleased B-Side from their latest, Stay Young. It’s amazing, as usual, and totally could have fit the album. I can’t get enough of their laid back groove.

PUP – “Lionheart” [Listen]
All that you said
But you always lie
Oh, lionheart

Topanga, who? The band name is no more, but the boys are stronger than ever with a new moniker – PUP. Along with the name change they released a new version of this single and it’s punchier and has a harder edge than the former. I’ve seen the band live a few times now and they’re usually attached to a great bill, like Hollerado and Born Ruffians. This month was no exception, when I saw them for the first time as PUP at Casbah with The Dirty Nil and Single Mothers. Their music has gotten harder with the new identity and they played a solid set; I was impressed. It was also great to finally meet lead singer Stefan. I’ll be on the lookout for what’s next from them.

Pete Van Dyk & the Second Hand Band – “Rise The Falling Sun” [Listen]
Pete & the boys are back with a new single and it’s true to their signature cool, groovy, rock’n’roll sound. The track is accompanied by a stellar music video shot with the help of CoBALT Connects. Part of it was filmed at The Baltimore House and includes a cameo by probably the most dapper bartender in town, Kevin Delaney (also of the band BEARD). Additional scenes were filmed at Porcelain Records, which is on my list to visit. Catch the band next on May 16th at This Ain’t Hollywood and May 18th at The Casbah.

She & Him – “Never Wanted Your Love” [Listen]
I can’t help it
I can’t win
I don’t want to let you in
And then you do it again

I’ve been smitten with Zooey Deschanel for years, and now with the hit show New Girl (I’m head over heels in love with Nick Miller!), she has found an even bigger fanbase and perhaps that translates into more people discovering her band with M. Ward. For me, their new album Volume 3 is their best yet. Just in time for the warm weather, it’s perfectly suited for a summer day; it’s simply delightful. The duo will be in the area on July 4th for the Toronto Urban Roots Festival.

Phoenix – “Drakkar Noir” [Listen]
How I wish I knew
How I wish I knew you from before

French phenoms Phoenix are back with their new album Bankrupt! and it’s proving to be a fun addition to my spring/summer mixes. It’s difficult to top 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (“Lisztomania” and “1901” have yet to get old – the latter in particular always makes me think of my pals Rockstars For Hire who will be DJing the upcoming Playlist 2.0!) but it’s a fantastic followup. This track is an early favourite.

Language Arts – “Wonderkind” [Listen]
Enabling me, you enabler
With the slight scent of wine on you
I give my greatest thanks
And wonder what am I to do?

Currently based in Toronto, Language Arts describes their roster as “Kristen Cudmore and a rotating cast of others.” Upon my first listen of this brand new single, I was treated to a dark and whimsical tune, featuring Kristen’s dainty and playful vocals and unique phrasing. The band’s unicorn emblem suits the sound perfectly – it’s very visual and evokes images in my mind when I listen. Be sure to watch the adorable video for the song. It’s a terrific followup to 2009’s Where Were You in the Wild? and an intriguing gateway into the upcoming Wonderkind album.

Florence and the Machine – “Over The Love” [Listen]
‘Cause you’re a hard soul to save with an ocean in the way
But I’ll get around it
I’ll get around it

It’s Gatsby fever up in here! I’m pumped to see Baz Luhrmann’s take on one of my favourite books; I’m rereading it now to freshen up my memory. With Baz involved, The Great Gatsby soundtrack was bound to be amazing (if you’re a fan of his work and you know what to expect). I can’t say I’m a fan of the “Back To Black” cover (you can’t touch Amy!) but the score suits the film just right. This haunting new song from Florence, filled with imagery from the text, is a favourite among the collection of songs.

– Kristin

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), 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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