Five can't-miss songs from the Pacific Northwest.
Indian Agent, “Road Soda Reggae”
First of all, that title. Second, that sound: left-field lo-fi soul wrought from sung-spoken vocals and kitchen-sink percussion, bathed in ambient effects and disorienting reverb. Indian Agent is the new project of once-and-future Seattleite OCnotes, Renaissance mountain man Nick Galanin and Sitka, Alaska-based singer-producer-fisherman Zak Dylan Wass.
Odesza ft. Leon Bridges, “Across the Room”
Yes, Odesza’s music is nice but their songs are EDM Xanax, so it’s no surprise Leon Bridges provides their new album’s standout. And though he isn’t really saying much—lyrically, “Across the Room” hews to Odesza’s usual wistful, youthful romance—he sounds like gold when he says it.
Sporty Lee, “So Jung”
These unrepentant Tacoma yacht-rockers update the genre’s easygoing template with shoegazey guitars, glittery synths and soaring choruses like this one. Their just-released debut album was produced by NW icon Phil Ek (of Fleet Foxes and Built to Spill fame) and bears his panoramic imprimatur. The title? Modern Sailing, of course.
Wolves in the Throne Room, “Angrboda”
This pair of brothers operating from an off-the-grid farm outside Olympia is the Lorax of black metal—they speak for the trees, albeit with jackhammer-heavy double kick drums and a voice only Mother Earth could love. Outside certain druidic rituals, they’re best in moderate doses, like this torrential 10-minute ride off their new album.
Moon Palace, “Canyon”
Arriving just in time for blanket season, Seattle supergroup Moon Palace’s eponymous debut evokes a twilit dream world, windswept-clean of angst and ugliness. Even in its dual-harmony, cello-smoothed serenity, a wild ember smolders within this album-closing micro-epic. Cuddle up, folks.