Dylan Stark “Shelter”
Six years in the making, Dylan Stark’s debut album Heartland plays like a road trip through a fireworks finale, one climactic moment rushing into the next. “Shelter” is the most unabashedly ecstatic of all, reminiscent of Seattle hitmakers Odesza’s feel-good-tronica cranked to 11. Is the Northwest electronic scene developing a signature sound?
Naked Giants “Easy Eating”
This rip-roaring number by finalists from this year’s EMP Sound Off! packs an unruly amount of garage-rocking noise into three short, sweet minutes. From a shouted chorus and demolition-site drums, singer/guitarist Grant Mullen’s buzzsaw riffage erupts like a volcano. Catch the young trio at Timber! Fest next month.
Fauna Shade “Marzipan”
We dip again into the roster of Sound Off! finalists to pluck Fauna Shade, a trio from Everett whose debut album, Baton Rouge, is a fully formed gem. Indebted equally to psych rock vintage and modern, “Marzipan” covers a lot of ground, with bandleader Scotty Smith’s inimitable voice beaming through the darkness like a cracked headlight.
Aeon Fux “Exuvium”
Sometimes national media gets there first: Vice wrote about Olympia’s Aeon Fux in November of last year. Fux has played Seattle a lot recently, opening for the likes of Erik Blood and Katie Kate and headlining at Hollow Earth Radio. Her minute-long electro-soul solo sketches are drawn in sultry vocals and drum-machine beats.
Shana Cleveland & the Sandcastles “Itching Around”
La Luz frontwoman Shana Cleveland takes her solo project in a decidedly mellower direction than her main gig, but “Itching Around” establishes an ominous tension in its minor-key acoustic meditation. The quiet setting illuminates Cleveland’s bewitching vocals, casual but commanding: “Oh by the way/You’re gonna go.”