Young Rival

By Kristin Archer

The Elwins – “Bubble” [Listen]
I could be anything you need
Everything I gotta be
And I don’t see what you see in them
And you don’t see that in me

The Elwins are just so darn delightful! They played the main stage at Supercrawl this year – a milestone for any band. Their brand new album Play For Keeps, out now on local label Hidden Pony, has been on steady play around here. Every song is so solid and catchy. This tune is my favourite and I had a cool moment seeing Jed the Dancing Guy bust a move to it recently at Carmen’s Banquet Centre during their rebranding launch party. A week later, they hit The Casbah with Hey Rocco and The Bandicoots.

Grey Lands – “Another Lie” [Listen]
Maybe I can learn how to fight for myself
Maybe I’ll just learn how to lie to myself

Grey Lands are one of the biggest breakout local bands of the year. It has been awesome getting to know them and hearing about the making of Right Arm, out now on Paper Bag Records. Really digging this one. Fronted by Cuff the Duke’s Wayne Petti, the three-piece is also a dynamic live band. They attack the stage with amazing energy every time. Don’t miss them next time they come through!

Young Rival
Young Rival. Photo from official site.

Young Rival – “Interior Light” [Listen]
Everybody’s waiting in the dark
Wondering what’s next
And how they can get it

I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview listen of Young Rival’s newest, Interior Light, courtesy of their label Paper Bag. They’re one of my favourite Hamilton bands and everything they put out is stellar. This album has a bit of a different edge to it, but you still always know Young Rival when hear them. The band is currently on a tour across Canada and the U.S. and will break their Boxing Day bash tradition this year, but don’t fret, only by a week! They’ll rock The Casbah, still – on December 18th with special guests. And they always produce the best videos – be sure to watch “Interior Light.”

Pet Sun – “Dark Planet” [Listen]
Pet Sun are a newish local band that are ones to watch. They hit a milestone this year playing Supercrawl and dare I say, another milestone, when they were part of my 100th episode at 93.3 CFMU! The band is eager to release the follow up to last year’s Feel Like I’m Going Away. Look out for their new EP Shade Driver to come. In the meantime, we get this slow burner of a jam to tide us over.

Pet Sun. Photo by Lisa Vuyk
Pet Sun. Photo by Lisa Vuyk

Redanda – “Whatever You Get Up To, Just Enjoy” [Listen]
You see, the philosophical principle that he’s employed
Is: whatever you get up to, just enjoy

I’ve missed my Redanda dudes, so I was very please to see their new EP Mood For Thought pop up last month. It was recorded on a 1/2” 8-track reel to reel, with Wolfshirt Records’ Evan Sidawi, in Toronto and Hamilton. The title of this track is a life mantra, if ever I heard one. They say of the tune: “If you are going to act like a whiny ass, then expect your surroundings to reflect you.” Wise words, fellas.

The Bandicoots – “Overnight Innovator” [Listen]
He couldn’t help but make up the fibs
And if he aims to impress
He’s a bit off to the left
And tracing the wrong lines

The Bandicoots have come a long way since the first time I saw them at Dawn & Marra’s album release party back in the summer of 2013. I’ve watched them really flourish and now they’re tighter than ever. They dropped their most recent EP This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things back in February. It was recorded with Michael Keire at Threshold – no surprise there, Keire is always behind some of my favourite stuff. We were treated to this brand new single last month and the band debuted another during a recent live performance on my show at 93.3 CFMU. Keep an eye on these dudes.

Naked House – “Crybaby Crisis (I Don’t Care)” [Listen]
Leave me to my own devices
My pals in Dizzy Spells have been taking a little break but there has been no shortage of tunes from that camp. We got Benjamin Theodore’s debut album as Reiki Share, and David Appleyard has been playing with a favourite new band of mine, Twin Within. Now Damon Guyett, aka Naked House, has released an album called Maw Maw. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the new tunes that Damon has been working on. “Crybaby Crisis (I Don’t Care)” is super catchy – I’ll be singing to myself, “I don’t care! Woo!” the next time someone complains to me about something!

Fitness Club Fiasco
Fitness Club Fiasco. Photo from official site.

Fitness Club Fiasco – “Ghost Dance” [Listen]
And if only you were a ghost
Here in my home
I wouldn’t go anywhere

Modern Thought marks the first full length release for Fitness Club Fiasco, and it’s one of my favourites that has come my way this year. The band has really tapped into their signature sound and it’s a dreamy, catchy, shimmering album from start to finish. The band is based in Toronto but they cut their teeth in the UK, having two Brits as founding members. I had the chance to chat with newer band member Matt Henderson in a recent episode at 93.3 CFMU to learn more about the band. Catch them playing with The Dears this Saturday, November 28th at The Casbah.

James Hoffman – “To Hear You Again” [Listen]
I hear the birds singin’
And I just keep thinkin’
That it could be nice to hear you one more time

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – everything that comes from the Other Songs Music camp is just so lovely. It’s always a treat to hear a new release from them. James Hoffman’s Fault Lines was just released last month. It’s the artist’s second album, which follows 2011’s The Union, which was nominated for four Hamilton Music Awards. James is originally from Portland and linked up with Other Songs after only two months of living in Canada. It’s a match made in musical heaven.

Mieke – “Sleeping Alone” [Listen]
But let’s be honest
There’s more we wanted

I first saw singer/songwriter/model/actor Elissa Mielke when she opened for Illitry, almost two years ago now. I was drawn to her songs and kept her on my radar as one to watch. This summer, under the moniker Mieke, she released the absolutely stunning and captivating Mieke EP. Having worked with producers and labels in the past, it wasn’t easy to express her own unique voice. With these four tracks, Mieke has found her sound. She says of the four tracks: “When I wrote my debut EP I thought I wrote these songs about someone else. It turns out I needed to hear them most of all.”

Mieke. Photo from official site
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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