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Arkells & Cold War Kids – “Past Life” [Listen]
I’m sick of running from a past life
I don’t care about the next one
Am I running from the moment?

Or the city where I come from?

First off, huge congrats to Arkells – the band just took home the JUNO Award for Group Of The Year for an incredible fifth time, and performed live at the show. Now, a new banger! Taken from their forthcoming album, Blink Twice, “Past Life” is now my favourite modern era Arkells tune. It’s also rad to see Arkells collab with Cold War Kids, who previously performed with Arkells at their hometown show, The Rally, in 2018. Speaking of which, the band brings that event back to Tim Hortons Field on June 25. Watch the music video for this new single, featuring a cameo from the one and only Will Forte!


Allegories – “Funny Way” [Listen]
I’ve got no answers
So why did I stop

It’s so fun to have been running around Hamilton’s music scene for over a decade now, and see projects come and go, and evolve. To have that longevity can be a rare thing. Electronic pop duo Allegories have been playing the long game, and just shared their sophomore album, Endless, their first album in 14 years. It’s good to have them back. They call “Funny Way” the album’s “beating heart,” as the song holds a unique place in their catalogue as an ever-evolving ballad. If you were fortunate to catch them in those early days, you’ll remember this one. Endless already ranks high on my list of best local releases so far this year.


Ellevator – “The City” [Listen]
And maybe I was scared
That I couldn’t be all that you want from me

This song is another amazing example of first hearing a track live and hearing musicians develop their music over time. Ellevator has been honing their sound and live performance for years, and now the band gifts us with their first full-length album, The Words You Spoke Still Move Me. I got so excited hearing certain tracks kick in, recalling the band’s live sets. “The City” is one of those dynamic songs; it builds to an exhilarating outro, and the track more than delivers in its recorded version as well. Catch the band at Bridgeworks in Hamilton on May 27.

Ellevator. Photo by Stephanie Montani.

iskwē and Tom Wilson – “Long Way Down” [Listen]
You’re coming in hot
I’m gonna make this right
Cuz it’s a long way down tonight

JUNO-winning artists iskwē | ᐃᐢᑫᐧᐤ (Cree Métis) and Tom Wilson | Tehoh’ahake (Mohawk) continue their exciting collaboration. The pair of talented musicians have announced they will release their first album together, Mother Love, on July 20. They share that they have “created an album that’s as powerful as it is personal, a set of songs on which their disparate vocal styles fuse seamlessly and, in doing so, result in a sound uniquely their own.” New single, “Long Way Down,” is a rootsy, rhythmic Americana track, produced by Serena Ryder. Check out the lyric video!

iskwē and Tom Wilson. Photo by Heather Pollock.

The Redhill Valleys – “Travel Well” [Listen]
This old heart
Don’t travel well
It’s been torn apart
And it’s been through hell

Hamilton-based Americana, country, and roots rockers The Redhill Valleys share a new, laid-back jam, “Travel Well.” It’s the title track from their upcoming two-part EP – the first part drops on June 3. The band is excited to embark on this next chapter, and shares that this single is a very special one for them. Take a look at the music video!

The Redhill Valleys

Tsuga – “Scream” [Listen]
I wanna bring you up into the clouds along with me

A new local artist on my radar – Tsuga shares the sultry new single, “Scream.” Making genre-bending music, the artist fuses elements from new wave, pop, progressive rock, country, reggae and more. Basically, as he says, “whatever feels good.” Having previously released the EP Storm Lantern, this new single introduces what’s to come from the upcoming full-length LP, and I’m looking forward to hearing more.

Tsuga – “Scream”

Fake Shape – “‘Nother Thought” [Listen]
I’m sick of all this stuff
I wanna give it up
And find some new truth

Hamilton-based project Fake Shape returns with a new track. Between all of the members’ tastes, aesthetics, and skillsets, they find a great blend of sounds including funk, indie rock, pop and ambient electronic. They have been writing and recording at Fort Rose in Hamilton and are getting ready to release their debut EP, Night Swim. The band says that this new track is about “the feeling of trivializing your moods and emotions, instead of fully accepting them. In the end, the song ends positively about overcoming the dark creatures in your mind.”

Fake Shape

Père Lapin – “Cutting Ties” [Listen]
And I can change anytime I want
Doesn’t matter to me

A favourite local project of mine in recent years was the band Dizzy Spells, who has since disbanded. Now we get another great musician from the band venturing into solo material. Père Lapin is the project from multi-instrumentalist David Appleyard, who just shared his debut album, Golden Firmament. Super fun listen from start to finish. Another standout is the groovy instrumental track, “At The Gates”!

Père Lapin – Golden Firmanent

Burn The Louvre – “Driving In The Rain” [Listen]
I can feel it coming down
Everything is turning grey
The storm ain’t coming now

But the sky says it’s on its way

Hamilton rockers Burn The Louvre are gearing up to release their debut album, Silhouettes, later this year. The duo shares another sneak peek, with the indie folk rock tune, “Driving In The Rain.” Musician and songwriter Jordan Speare shares, “I love the metaphor that comes from comparing driving in inclement weather to that of weathering a storm.”

Burn The Louvre

The Fledge – “Harm & Correction” [Listen]
Crown a new king and build him a throne
I am the witness, you are the tone

Ending this Playlist on a grungy note is new Hamilton band, The Fledge. The band is comprised of musicians you know from various local projects – Adrian Murchison, Marco Bressette, Kevin O’Connor, and Rob Singh. New EP, Hunter, was recorded and mixed by Marco Bressette at local Deadquarters Studio. The Fledge recently hit the stage at The Casbah – keep an eye out for more shows to come.

The Fledge
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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