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Fences and Shabazz Palaces Listed

Finally, some good news for Seattle music on the year-end best-of list front. Two artists were just recently pegged by national outlets as worth your precious time.

Spin recognized the self-titled debut from local folk-pop outfit Fences, led by angsty crooner Chris Mansfield, as one of the best overlooked albums of the last year.

The rag quotes the album's producer Sara Quin as saying, "Everything that Chris writes, melodically and lyrically, has that rare balance of patience and urgency that I love in honest, haunting pop songs," and then they agree. Follow the link to read the rest and to see a recent press shot featuring Mansfield with some new face-tattoo work. Very symmetrical.

Speaking of faces, the Los Angeles Times looked forward to a new year of music for its Faces to Watch feature and heard what critic Ann Powers calls the "deep and thorny sounds" of Shabazz Palaces, the experimental hip-hop outfit featuring Ishmael Butler (Digable Planets) that recently signed to Sub Pop (which the Times identifies as "Sup Pop" -- likely a typo, but perhaps its the label's new hip-hop arm). Shabazz also pops up on our look at the year ahead. Just sayin'.