Northwest Sounds

Northwest Sounds

Mackned

Born Rich

"West Seattle native and rising rapper Mackned had a banner year, selling out local venues like the Crocodile and Neumos. He reached a significant peak of local fame touring and working with Key Nyata, former co-leader of the Thraxxhouse collective. In 2015, it seemed as if each month Thraxxhouse would bless the web with another banger. Ned and Key sculpted a unique dark sound that served especially well as a soundtrack to the dreary Seattle winter. Key’s airy, cosmic synths and understated, hypnotizing style fused with Ned’s bassy, hard-hitting trap drums and sharp delivery, creating a series of hits that played like spiritual ballads for the lonely. Mackned’s brand-new album, Born Rich, is a major shift from that previous work. In collaboration with talented electro/soul trio The Flavr Blue, Ned experiments with a variety of subgenres on this nine-track LP. He veers away from the confines of the rap genre toward alternative music and synth pop. ... With his continually evolving and expanding artistic personas, Mackned has created a sonic palette that can encompass a range of moods and tones. One of the things that keep him interesting is guessing which part of that spectrum comes next. " Seattle Weekly

 

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The Posies

Solid States

The iconic band from the Pacific Northwest is now nearing thirty years of making intelligent, hard-to-classify music since releasing a home recorded album, Failure initially as a self-released cassette, in 1988. From their early 60s-tinged retro pop, to their latest work, Solid States, the Posies have always been pushing the boundaries. Folky long before deerskin vests and beards became the standard costume of Seattle; bookish and sensitive long before Death Cab For Cutie had driver's licenses...the Posies have pursued their craft with an unwavering commitment to excellence and experimentation. Following such major life changes as a move to France for founding members Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, and the tragic loss of drummer Darius Minwalla last year, the band has reinvented their sound again with swirling programmed beats & dark synth tones, while still representing their uncanny ability to harmonize and pluck heart strings. Think Kings of Convenience backed by the Books and you have a taste of what this album is about.

 

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The Navins

Not Yourself Today

The Navins are 100% guitar rock dudes. From Seattle. They favor vintage amps and vintage guitars. You might say they are somewhat vintage themselves. They have a teensy bit of organ, but sometimes that’s just what guitar-band dudes do. Tain’t nuthin weird or freaky here - just one tight band with great songs living at the crossroads of indie, alternative, garage, jangle, twang and power pop, where absurd pop notions tinged with chemical longing meet the psychedelic, late-night creakings of the devil present in our every nature. Whew.

 

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Acapulco Lips

Acapulco Lips

This trio is bound together by a studied adoration towards the loud, reckless, rebellious sonic traditions of psych, garage, soul, and surf rock. What comes out of these obsessions is the interpretation of the band's favorite Sixties sounds, from transporting guitar jangles, assertively revved up percussion, boogie-friendly bass breakdowns, topped with disarmingly charming coos and aahs. This is good times music that will get you out of your blahs, though what's often addressed in these songs are precise moments of romantic disintegration, disappointment, and dread. Whatever—it's rock 'n' roll!

 

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Tacocat

Lost Time

"Tacocat love to be silly. From music videos with dancing lobsters and gumball-covered album art, to their space-age fashion and candy floss hair, being a goofball is practically in their job description. Their latest release, Lost Time, fits the bill, embracing the ridiculous with open arms. Don’t let the antics fool you, though, as a method is revealed in the madness over the course of the album. Tacocat have some things to say, and they chose this pop punk vehicle because they don’t want to be ignored." Consequence Of Sound

 

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Deep Sea Diver

Secrets

In late 2013, Jessica Dobson put in her notice to former Shins boss, James Mercer, in order to give full attention to her own musical vision. Mercer agreed, saying “I’ll miss you, but I give you my full support. You’ve gotta pursue Deep Sea Diver”. In their desire to explore dualities, Deep Sea Diver urgently and deliberately move you from rock experimentation to dreamy soundscapes, Kraut-esque drum and bass grooves to angular danciness, and full fledged orchestration to bare bones simplicity. Dobson has the voice and authority to tie it all together, and turn it into a cohesive unit that soars yet remains beautifully delicate and intimate. Live, the band has received acclaim for their festival-ready power and presence, Jessica’s larger than life guitar hooks, and their cascading layers that build upon each other until they reach their explosive peak.

 

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Gazebos

Die Alone

Gazebos rages against the forces of post-millennial, pre-midlife anxiety and Die Alone is the soundtrack. Given the band's collision of interests, Die Alone's manic diversity makes perfect sense. These songs are patchworks of parts conceived individually as demos and woven together collectively during sessions in guitarist T.V. Coahran's basement—which is also where the album was recorded on 8-track with Seattle garage-rock guru Kurt Bloch as engineer. No song sounds like another and yet the album sustains a dizzying, alluring vibe. It hits you right from the start: Is that vocalist Shannon Perry singing backwards on opener "Just Get High"? Her vocal delivery is bewitchingly unpredictable, the band stretching the song around her like bubblegum. "I Don't Wanna Be Here" is the album's punchiest track, clocking in at two minutes thirty seconds, Perry venting some serious girl-power angst; dig the woozy flange on TV Coahran's guitar throughout.

 

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Night Beats

Who Sold My Generation

"Their talent for brash, riffy psych-rock with plenty of attitude remains their greatest strength, and their marriage of Nuggets-era sounds with the contemporary lo-fi aesthetic of 21st century garage revivalists puts them in league with other prominent West Coast acts like Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall." - All Music

 

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Wimps

Suitcase

Seattle's punk rock slackers-in-chief Wimps are a Seattle-based three-piece comprised of scene veterans Rachel Ratner (Butts) on guitar and lead vocals, Matt Nyce (Meth Teeth) on bass and backing vocals, and Dave Ramm (The Intelligence) on drums. Wimps serve their own brand of rapid-fire punk with a smattering of lo-fi post punk guitar work to create an angular, slightly off-kilter blast. Ratner lyrically twists otherwise common day-to-day woes into relatable tales of struggle shout-sung call and response stabs that champion boredom, laziness and social anxieties with wiry riffs and punchy bass lines, propelled by the measured rhythms of drummer David Ramm.

 

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Grace Love & The True Loves

Grace Love & The True Loves

Grace Love and the True Loves is an original 9-piece soul sensation from Seattle, WA. Following in the footsteps of Stax, Motown, King and Daptone artists, but with a sound all their own, Grace Love and the True Loves are setting a course as the next hot soul and funk number ready to sweep the nation with true cross-over appeal. On vocals, Grace Love is Seattle’s shining jewel of grit, beauty and power – think Etta James and Betty Wright meet Mahalia Jackson. Backed by the True Loves, her vocals float effortlessly over kickin’ back beats, smart horns, syncopated rhythms and sweet B-3 color. It’s the hip swinging, booty shaking, heart freeing sound you crave to hear live, but rarely do.

 

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Childbirth

Women's Rights

Childbirth is a "supergroup" in the sense its members are all in other hit bands (Julia Shapiro of Chastity Belt, Bree McKenna of Tacocat, Stacy Peck of Pony Time) and also that they do good for the world while in costume. Women's Rights is piss-your-pants funny - subject matter includes a trashy friend bringing coke to a baby shower ("Baby Bump") characteristics that warrant an instant "swipe left" on Tinder ("Siri, Open Tinder") and dating vapid IT douches ("Tech Bro."). Like the majority of effective political art, Women's Rights shows rather than telling. The songs describe what is fucked up in the world so evocatively that it needs no commentary, and always with a biting sense of humor.

 

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The Decemberists

Florasongs EP

Florasongs is a collection of rare and unreleased tracks from the sessions that produced their acclaimed seventh studio album, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, which came out in January.

 

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The Fuzz

Best Kept Secret

THE FUZZ are total West Seattle Rock. Two guitars, bass and drums. Old enough to know better, but that just don’t matter. With Best Kept Secret, their 3rd album, they are planning to expand the hood. From the opening primal guitar turmoil of “Can’t Wait” to their rumbling tribute to Wilt Chamberlain and his 10,000 girls, the country-sleaze of “Charley Horse,” all the way to their epic closer, ”Call The Cops,” The Fuzz get it done. 100%.

 

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Blitzen Trapper

All Across This Land

"Across seven previous albums, [Blitzen Trapper] have been cosmic tricksters, calm folkies, twang-funk wildmen, ragged psychedelic jammers, and to-the-bone rock ‘n’ rollers. All Across This Land steers away from much of the variety in the band’s catalog, settling into Blitzen Trapper’s tightest, most focused rock ‘n’ roll groove. It’s a throttle-up, open-highway sort of album, full of easygoing melodies and fist-pumping guitar hooks." - Paste

 

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Various Artists

You Can't Kill Rock 'N' Roll: A Benefit Compilation For Eddie Spaghetti

You Can't Kill Rock 'N Roll is a fund-raising compilation for Supersuckers' frontman Eddie Spaghetti's fight against cancer. It features unreleased tracks from Mudhoney, ZEKE, Jack Endino, John McBain, the first track that The Derelicts have recorded in 25 years and many more!

 

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Mad Season/Seattle Symphony

Sonic Evolution

Recorded Live at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA, Mad Season performed a special show with the Seattle Symphony. The Mad Season lineup for this performance included surviving members: Mike McCready and Barrett Martin and featured vocalists: Chris Cornell, Jeff Angell, Kim Virant and bassist Duff McKagan. Special guests included: Temple Of The Dog: Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard, and Jeff Ament and saxophonist Skerik and Alice in Chains member Sean Kinney.

 

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Danny Newcomb & The Sugarmakers

Masterwish

Danny Newcomb and the Sugarmakers are a power pop/rock band based in Seattle. They are songwriting oriented, and the focus on Masterwish is on song craft. That being said, it is an album in the vinyl sense, and has a narrative that encompasses these themes: time passing, love, doing whatever the hell you should be doing according to you. John Goodmanson (of most recent Sleater-Kinney fame), produced and mixed the record, giving a crisp feel to the guitars, awesome hugeness to the drums, and a tight vocal sound. Masterwish sounds a little like your favorite 1970's pop record, with good melodies, hooks in the choruses, and almost always a tasty guitar solo. Think Big Star meets Bad Company, meets Lou Reed, meets Tom Petty.

 

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Telekinesis

Ad Infinitum

"Michael Benjamin Lerner spent two years learning about vintage synthesizers and forgetting about guitars and drums, but the resulting Ad Infinitum sounds surprisingly like classic Telekinesis. Lerner's flirtation with synths and machinery began on his 2013 album Dormarion, hinting that that he might someday trade indie pop for synthpop. Detailing his transformation in a piece for Medium, he says he spent much of the past two years amassing and learning how to use a collection of vintage synths, as well as hook them up with newer technology to make new music. 'This proved to be incredibly time-consuming and, at times, a ridiculously difficult task,' he writes. All of that ridiculous difficulty was time well spent: he has made some beautifully textured music with moods that recall the original '80s heyday of synthpop.” - Pitchfork.com

 

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Caspar Babypants

Beatles Baby!

"Beatles Baby! is actually the second Caspar Babypants Beatles album, following up to his Baby Beatles! album from 2013. Caspar Babypants has done it again, taking some of the Beatles most well-known songs and re-imagining them. These are not just straight-up covers of songs and that is really key as to why these songs are so great. These songs have been changed into all-ages, kid-friendly, and accessible music. I’ve said this before, but Caspar Babypants is so good that I even listen to it when I’m alone!.” - GeekDad.com

 

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Destroyer

Poison Season

"Dan Bejar's intellect is so formidable it feels like an event, and Destroyer has, for 12 years or so, been indie rock's most rewarding intellectual project. You listen to Destroyer to hear the smartest person at a party mutter funny and erudite things in your ear. His mind, and the music he's made exploring its contours, is a minor zip code in independent rock music. Poison Season retains the sumptuous melancholy of [2011's] Kaputt, leavening it with the elegant swoon of Nelson Riddle-era Frank Sinatra. There are string arrangements all over Poison Season, and they are gorgeously recorded: the orchestra on Girl in a Sling' sounds like 180-gram vinyl even while in earbuds. Destroyer has always partly been a nostalgia project, even when Bejar's nostalgia was decidedly ersatz—his records aim to stir the feelings that classic recordings arouse in us. Streethawk hearkened back to glam-rock Bowie even if the resemblance was off, and the magic of Kaputt was partly that of a peculiar and gnomic figure like Bejar conjuring the jaded romanticism of Bryan Ferry. On Poison Season, he visits a different section of his record collection, one that predates rock'n'roll, and he applies all the studied love and imagination to the endeavor we've come to expect from him.” - Pitchfork.com

 

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