While 2011 was the Year of the Rabbit to some, it was the Year of Northwest Bands to me. What made me fall in love with the below list of bands is not only their music they have created but the their personalities as well. While I have not personally met every single artist below (make that my 2012 goal), I have listened to their music or witnessed them live and saw first-hand their energy. Here are my top 10 Seattle bands (in no particular order) varying between folk, blues, rock, and pop that I have fallen head over heels with and I believe you should give them a listen if you haven’t already.
The Southern dirty blues rock of My Goodness can make any good girl swoon. The guys have the right amount and balance of everything: shouting vocals, distorted guitar, sexy lyrics. My Goodness can do no wrong.
St Paul de Vence is a band I have personally written about numerous times on SSG Music and for good reason; these guys are talented. A good chunk of their songs are based on lead singer Benjamin Doerr’s grandfather’s stories from his time in France during World War II and his life afterwards as well. The lyrics are as interesting as they are catchy and St Paul de Vence does nostalgia-folk right with the banjo, ukulele, accordion, acoustic guitars and even an auto-harp. Because, why not. They have a debut full-length album in the making that is due out in 2012.
If you never heard of Ben Fisher before (which would be surprising considering how many times SSG Music has mentioned him) then you are missing the Bob Dylan of Generation Y. The guy is a lyrical genius for being as young as he is and is one of the rising singer/songwriters in the area. Ben Fisher is the face of the new wave folk revival.
The Head & The Heart seems to be ubiquitous nowadays and with due reason, the band has extremely catchy songs that you can’t help but stomp your feet to or sing along with. The energy they emit during a live show is high enough to be bottled up and used as a natural resource and power the Doe Bay festival next year (think about it, Joe).
The trio has been featured on SSG Music for a variety of reasons and the common link is how incredibly talented they are. Ravenna Woods makes not just music but thought-provoking music. They have some of the most in-depth and introspective lyrics you will hear all paired up with tribal drums, acoustic guitar, and even a xylophone.
One of the most amazing things about the Northwest is the beautiful scenery and Lemolo catches it poetically in their songs including “Whale Song.” The duo has their debut full-length album set for release next year.
Kaylee Cole’s vocals are mesmerizing. She fascinated everyone at Bumbershoot this year and her next album is due out next year and is very highly-anticipated.
Portland-based The Builders & The Butchers are a mixed bag of genres that encompass folk, southern grit, and rock all wrapped up in one flannel-printed package. With their dark vocals and unique vocals pairing with folk instruments like mandolins and banjos, the band has created not just an interesting sound but a fantastic experience as well. If you go to a concert of theirs be prepared to use toy instruments and smile immensely.
Pickwick is name that just about every Washington resident under the age of 52 knows of. The creators of baby-making neo-soul music are known for their live shows and if you have yet to catch any of their (sold-out) shows in 2011 then make it a top priority in 2012, especially after they release their debut full-length album.
If you happen to have heard that The Pica Beats moved to Portland, never fear it was only 25% of the band that moved. They’ll still be making that fine indie pop-rock that has been pumping through my speakers these past few months. Their latest release is Better In Color and has been getting fantastic reviews all over the internet and print so be sure to see what the fuss is about.