OK, yeah. We get it. You’re mad that you’re favorite band isn’t on this list. We’re sure they deserve it. In fact, we acknowledge that the very existence of this list implies omissions; there are a lot of great bands in Seattle. But before you get your panties in a bundle, let us explain what we’ve got here.
What we’ve got here is a list of emerging artists in the greater Seattle area that NadaMucho.com is keeping a close eye on in 2015. They are bands that have caught our interest and seem like they are destined for bigger things in 2015 and beyond. We picked primarily artists that have yet to break through the overwhelming musical clutter in the Puget Sound area – these are the bands that haven’t necessarily caught the ear of The Stranger or made it in to regular rotation on KEXP yet, but deserve to in 2015. They are the bands we hope to see playing Sasquatch in 2016 or 2017. (That’s why you don’t see many of the amazing local and regional bands we’ve already championed… No Constant Lovers. No Helms Alee. No La Luz. No Shaprece. Because for God’s sake you should already know about those bands.)
Additionally, due to the vast pool of musical talent in Seattle and surrounding area we focused our attention there. No offense to Olympia, Tacoma or Bellingham – towns which regularly produce great bands – we just don’t have as much exposure to new bands in those cities as we do in Seattle.
For each band we’ve included a short explanation of why we included them, a picture or video and some links to check them out yourselves. You can listen to our favorite track from each band in one handy playlist over at The Seasick, a Seattle music blog that regularly shares playlists curated by bands and other people connected to the music industry.
As a final note, our insatiable appetite for interesting and compelling music implores us to resort to crowd sourcing as well. Please post links to any additional bands you think we should pay attention to in the comments section below.
So, the reason we chose these bands is…
… Because Airport (Jayson Kochan) makes dead-cool, futuristic disco with largely analog instruments that makes our butts want to blast off on the dance floor.
… Because we love putting on a pair of headphones and washing away in the dark listening to Kirsten Thom’s lovely, atmospheric compositions. Decibel: please book Bardo: Basho this year.
… Because she makes immaculately-constructed electronic Indie pop and has a lovely voice with the same kind of gravitas as PJ Harvey or Stevie Nicks.
Ben von Wildenhaus
… Because we claim all former members of beloved Estrus Records band Federation X as the region’s own, even when the BandCamp page for their spectacular solo project says “New York, New York.”
… Because we love this band’s first song, “Lowest,” which appeared on the 2014 Good To Die Records’ Cha Cha Lounge compilation, and assume that they’ll eventually stop playing hard to get and let us hear a second song. And because they were nice enough to send us a picture of themselves with a cat prior to Capitol Hill Block Party last year.
… Because these guys crept on to our radar last year with a great set at Big BLDG Fest and just put out an excellent debut album of sunny dream pop.
… Because this artist is gonna set the pace for “dreamy electronic pop with an edge” in 2015, along with Charms.
…Because Charms were a pretty fantastic Indie rock band last year and have already re-invented themselves into something noisier an more textured with their new song “Separator.”
…Because, in a city known for churning out excellent folk, alt-country and Americana bands and all derivations thereof, we’re not sure how or why one of the city’s best has managed to float just below the radar. Cloud Person is scheduled to release a new, more rockin’ album in 2015 and hopefully others take note. And also because they do a dive cover of Devo’s “Gut Feeling / Slap Your Baby Down that just slays.”
…Because at this point in their career their elaborate piano-driven songs are complimented with fuzzy guitar and feedback. It’s like Quasi with more guitar or how you always wished Ben Folds Five would sound. The two songs on their BandCamp are excellent, which means they will likely get in to a proper studio soon and some asshole producer will smooth out the edges and turn them in to another boring, over-produced crossover Indie rock success. But until then I’m on board.
…Because they play dead cool jangly guitar rock with boy/girl vocal harmonies and they are totally adorable and I want them to go on tour with the Strokes.
… Because tons of people we know are excited about their forthcoming debut and because they finally shared one song with us and it’s cool. And because they have a sweet van, as this picture will attest to.
…Because we totally missed them in 2014 and their song “Animal” is rad. Also because it features former members of The Lights, one of our favorite Seattle bands of all time.
… Because they sound like amped-up John Cougar Mellencamp with cooler songs, which is OK in our book. And because they seem like they’d drink all our beer and steal our girlfriends, an endearing quality in a young band.
Ever So Android
… Because we like explosive electro rock. And because Hope Simpson sings awesome. And because they are recording with Bill Rieflin and he seems like a good partner.
… Because this young Everett band plays just the kind of melodic, guitar-riven Indie rock we grew up with and they hold their own with some of the greats.
… Because even though we aren’t sure what Future Shock are doing is good, we know that it’s not like anything else going on in town. And they get big points for wearing those A Clockwork Orange-meets-Eyes Wide Shut style masks. Also, any band that takes time out of their busy day to do a pretty straight cover of Men Without Hat’s “Safety Dance” is worth paying attention to.
Glaciers on the Moon
… Because, and I’m showing my colors a bit here, I just love their debut 5-song Indie rock EP Make Make.
… Because their debut EP is like a warm, soft perfect blanket of electro-pop and I listened to it every night for two months last year.
Jaimie Aaron Aux
…Because we’ve loved her since H is for Hellgate and we think her new stuff is A for Auxwesome!
The Hoot Hoots
… Because The Hoot Hoots play great fuzzy power pop in the vein of Weezer and the Rentals. And because they organize great things like Big Ass Boom Box.
Hounds of the Wild Hunt
… Because they write good songs and play amped-up, good-time barroom rock ‘n roll. And because their first recording since their debut EP (2011) is due out this year.
…Because we will never tire of great bands with a sound and songs deserving of the Nuggets compilations. H/T to Marco Collins on this one.
… Because her song “Secrets” is totally, totally beautiful. And because the only picture she has on her Facebook artist page is this one of her holding a snake.
… Because they make dusty Indie rock with a stoner vibe, have a great band name and were a highlight of last year’s Big BLDG Bash.
Marmot vs. Mammoth
…Because when I saw this band a few years ago they had kind of a prog-rocky type deal and now they got Michael Serpe out front and he’s doing like an evil punk Faith No More Black Flag Jesus Lizard thing. Most Improved.
… Because, according to esteemed local music curator Chris Estey, Park Terrace are “a mysterious duo that plays an orchestrated song cycle about the building after that name with connections in both the punk world and the classical. Next level adult music.” And he’s right. And because the notion that they are a “mysterious duo” suckered us right in immediately. Because we are gullible. #NextLevelAOR
… Because it’s a joy watching this family make music together and because their song “The Tar Trap” is legitimately awesome. You don’t even need to tag on “for a couple of kids.” It’s just a great song with a huge chorus that gives me the same feeling as Polyphonic Spree at their best.
…Because any band called “Pukesnake” deserves to be paid attention to. And because their album is called Escape from Barf Island. Seriously you guys, this is why the Internet was invented. They even had the good sense to start their only YouTube video with a cat.
Ricky and Mark
…Because these cats haven’t even put out a full album yet and they already wrote one of our favorite Seattle hip-hop songs ever. Also because they are fantastic performers, pulling off the “live guitar and instrumentation mixed with MCs and samples” thing better than most.
… Because these guys make lovely, space-age bachelor pad music with a drummer who can sing like Prince. And because their Mulholland Drive parody is the greatest DIY show preview I’ve ever seen. Also, some of us have been listening to their song “Machine” up to 25 times a day. So there’s that.
… Because at any second he could be Nick Drake or Jeff Buckley or Elliott Smith.
The Spider Ferns
… Because this husband and wife duo make elegant electronic compositions with addictive vocals in their barn in the middle of nowhere. It’s somehow earthy and organic while remaining decidedly electronic, a musical anomaly I adore. (Full disclosure, I like this band so much I became their publicist.)
… Mostly because they sent me their excellent (and expertly-named) rock ‘n roll record Cave Dwellers of Tomorrow on vinyl.
… Because their 2014 record Just Say Ya Hate It is 11 songs of noisy, grizzled rock ‘n roll that mirrors the emotional power of the references on its Facebook band page: “”Clash, Dead Kennedys (sic), Nirvana, Stones, G-n-R, White Stripes.” And because head Spirit Jason James has a new band together and we want to see if he can pull it off live.
… Because we claimed him in 2004 and have been riding his coattails ever since.
The No Good Hearts
… Because these dudes operate at the direct center of our Indie rock wheelhouse, recalling 90s greats like Archers of Loaf and Modest Mouse. And also because they picked a fantastic band name. I still can’t believe it wasn’t already taken.
Tinfoil and Tape
… Because we hate it when bands tell us their music “recalls 2000s-era Radiohead.” It never does. Conversely, Tinfoil and Tape did NOT tell us they sound like Radiohead, but the lovely “Echo Talk” on their BandCamp page kind of does. And because we can’t wait to see them live.
…Because Wes put out a great album in 2014, a lovely EP in January 2015 and has another full length due later this year. He’s also working on a series of covers this year for the Throw Back Thursday’s series, which should be great fun. (Wes: I suggest “Female Jesus” by Jack Logan. Let me know if you’ll do it.) And also because he makes cool videos.
Because their new album We Used To Be Hunters is chock full of gorgeous, organic desert-psych rock.
- The Seasick’s playlist featuring one song by all 41 artists on this list
- Our Flickr photo album featuring artists on this list
- Our YouTube playlist featuring songs and other digital debris from the #41for2015