The Sound of Spring

Only three months in and 2014 is already a banner year for Seattle music. Here’s a handful of releases to look forward to.  

Chimurenga Renaissance riZe vadZimu riZe (Brick Lane Records)
The long-awaited solo album of Tendai Maraire, the percussive half of Shabazz Palaces, is a dense, thrumming network of maximalized rhythms and martial vocals. As lead MC, Maraire booms with pathos and authority, leveraged by the familial, familiar voices of Ishmael Butler and THEESatisfaction and with production by Erik Blood. The next iteration of NW Afro-futurism arrives. Out March 25.

Big Phone ;) EP (Knightriders Recordings)
Whether earbudded in your office chair or cross-eyed at the after-hours, you will dance to Big Phone. Producer Kenric McDowell unravels three sinuous minimal techno tracks that are equally sinister and playful, like an auditory come-hither finger wielded by a beautiful woman with powerful drugs. Live at Re-Bar March 7.

Posse Soft Opening (Beat a Dead Horse Records)
We fell in love with Posse because Posse sounds like falling in love. The trio’s second album is effortlessly elevating, bending from fragile and vulnerable to insistent and intense. Guitars murmur then soar; boy-girl vocals are too wry for pillow talk but caress the ear with similar intimacy. Release party March 4 at Spin Cycle.

Kithkin Rituals, Trances & Ecstasies for Humans in the Face of the Collapse (Pesanta Urfolk)
With a surfeit of feral energy, Kithkin is overly shouty on-stage (imagine Modest Mouse with three Isaac Brocks—yikes). Their first studio recording rightly constrains the young foursome and shapes its chaotic “treepunk” stomp without sapping its desperate, wild-eyed chi. Play loud at your next deep-forest rave. Release party April 11 at Neumos.

Low Hums Charm (Fin Records)
Classic cinema lurks in Low Hums’ music: the quixotic desert sojourn, the sunrise peyote ritual, the lonesome campfire lament. Texture, too: chapped leather, windblown dust, heat, vapor and starlight. With their second LP, Jonas Haskins and his four-man crew crystalize a netherworld of vision-questing psych rock. Live at the Tractor March 5.

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See more in the March 2014 issue   →