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41 Seattle Bands We’re Watching in 2016

Posted by April 12th, 2016 34 Comments »


For the second straight year, your friends here at spent the first quarter sorting through more than 200 underground-ish local music acts. We listened. We watched. We discussed. We debated. And ultimately we made some tough choices.

We won’t lay claim to have found the 41 most interesting new bands from Seattle, but we will be paying close attention this list of up-and-comers who haven’t quite broken through yet, because that’s our move.

As has become our custom, we’ll be curating content about this set of Seattle bands throughout 2016 on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, YouTube and here on the old fashioned WordPress blog with hashtag #41for2016.

Further, we’ll continue to keep tabs on the 41 bands we watched in 2015.  Artists including Ever So Android, Fauna Shade, Airport, Bado: Basho, Duke Evers, Wind Burial, The Spider Ferns, and Pig Snout did great things in 2015 and no longer require the heavy illumination of the 2016 list, because repetition is for squares, baby.

For each artist we’ve shared some thoughts, selected a single song or video we like – an entry point for our readers – and shared a bunch of links in case you want to check out more. Where we have connections with the artists outside of their music we’ve tried to note those for context. If you have other ideas for bands to keep an eye on in 2016 please post them in the comments or share via social media and we will respond to them with all the enthusiasm of a fresh Sasquatch sighting.

Zen Mother

The composition called “Mantra” on Zen Mother’s SoundCloud page is one of the most amazing things I’ve heard in a long time. Chanting. Atmosphere. Intermittent blasts of electric guitar. Thick dark beats. A winding melody that weaves in and out. This sounds like a Kubrick movie. Eno. What’s better is that the debut record from the two piece is due out in 2016…and they’re also scheduled to perform at our favorite DIY festival in June, Big BLDG Bash. – MA


Wiscon @ Macefield Music Festival 2015 by Jim Toohey for Nada Mucho

Wiscon @ Macefield Music Festival 2015. Photo by Jim Toohey.

Wiscon’s Taryn Renee Dorsey is the shit. A major force to be reckoned with and a wonderfully talented being. I LOVE Wiscon shows.  – FR

Agreed. She’s the high empress of Seattle punk and she’s flanked by a great live band. – The Zim

Check out “Double Brother” 

Got pictures of ’em at Macefield

Wild Powwers 

Wild Powwers @ Macefield 2015 by Jim Toohey.

Wild Powwers @ Macefield 2015 by Jim Toohey.

The debut album from this rising Seattle rock band, Hugs and Kisses and Other Things, came out March 2016. – MA

I love Wild Powwers. Undying love for them. They are writing worthy rock ‘n roll songs.  – FR

Yep. I am going to watch the shit out of this band. – The Zim

Check out “Wet ‘N Wild”

They play Big BLDG Bash 

We got pictures of ’em at Macefield

Visceral Candy

Visceral Candy @ Substation. Photo by Tim Basaraba.

Visceral Candy @ Substation. Photo by Tim Basaraba.

This Visceral Candy record sounds like Dark Electronic Love Machine Music making love to me. – The Zim

I dig this too. Gary Numan style keyboards with the vocalist from Mountain Goats? No, actually a bit lower pitched and with more vibrato, sorta like Roy Orbison. Intriguing stuff. – GS

Check out “The Whole Place”

Full disclosure: Nada Contributor TBASA drew the album art for the Visceral Candy album. 

Virgin of the Birds 

Virgin of the Birds make me feel like an old man with curmudgeonly tastes. From what I hear, main bird Jon Rooney seems like a hermit introvert who’s holed up somewhere on the outskirts of Seattle writing highly literate pop. This is mature, wonderful stuff. RIYL Magnetic Fields or Luna. – MA


Versing. Also: cats.

Versing. Also: cats.

Versing have a great sound and good direction with the drums and guitar together…”angular,” I believe it’s called. Bit of a Velvet Underground thing going on under that indie stuff too. Full, lush guitars. Love the reverb. Sonic Youth feel. Yum. – GS

Check out “Voight Kampff”

The Screaming Multitudes

The Screaming Multitudes

Love the garage rock feel from these guys. Mudhoney silliness. Weezer craftsmanship. – GS

My favorite band on this list so far. All four songs on the demo are great – “A Lesson in Aural History” is my favorite – and the self-titled EP they released in February sounds cool too. Can’t wait to see them live. – MA

The Holy Broke

The Holy Broke @ Big BLDG Bash 2015 by Jim Toohey

The Holy Broke @ Big BLDG Bash 2015. Photo by Jim Toohey.

It’s rare that I get excited about a guy and a guitar these days, but The Holy Broke is a terrific storyteller with great presence. – MA

Fuck yes. He blew me away at Big BLDG Bash last year. – JT

Check out “Doctor Doctor”

Got pictures of him at Big BLDG Bash last year

Sun Dummy

Sun Dummy

I first saw Liz perform when her band Special Explosion played our “4 on the Floor” concert series at the High Dive. She and her bandmates were in their late teens but already you could tell they were going places. I like Sun Dummy even better than that band. “Moon” just destroys. – MA

Sun Dmmy is like a warm fuzzy blanket that I hide in on a gray wet day where once in a while I peek out of to see if the day has brightened up. – JT

Snuff Redux 

Snuff Redux @ CHBP 2015

Snuff Redux @ CHBP 2015

I’m gonna do that thing they tell you not to do as a music writer where you compare the band in question to other bands but this is warm, fuzzy familiar territory done well. Snuff Redux write great, sophisticated pop songs with an edge and they have cool sounding guitars. “How Could it Be” is like a tougher Matthew Sweet song. “Anyway” bangs a little harder. And “I’m losing” is like a “Head On”-era J&MC meets the Strokes. I’m in. – MA

Yep. Make a lot of other bands feel not list-worthy. – JT

Check out “I’m Losing” 

Got pictures of them at CHBP 2015

SSDD (Steal Shit Do Drugs)

SSDD @ CHBP 2015 by Jim Toohey.

SSDD @ CHBP 2015 by Jim Toohey.

SSDD look great. They sound great. Their band name is perfect. The name of their EP (First Comes Money) is perfect. They have the same nervous energy as the Dead Kennedies without sounding too much like them. Please watch this band. – MA

If they are not on this year’s list, Nada Mucho is dead. – JT

Check out “Brain Dead”

We got pictures of them at the Crocodile earlier this year

And we got pictures of them at CHBP 2015

Sick Sad World

Sick Sad World @ Summit Block Party 2015 by AJ Dent for Nada Mucho

Sick Sad World. Photo by AJ Dent.

I can’t tell, but I think they’re named after the TV show within the show Daria: “And now, on SickSadWorld!” I like the sound. Beach Boys-ish. Singer sounds like Brian Wilson too. Plus skateboarding. “Nobody wants my skateboarding girl, but I want to make her part of my world / I just want to be part of your dream.” Those are beautiful lyrics. I like this a lot. – GS

Check out “Skateboarding Girl”

We got pictures of them at Summit Block Party

Richie Dagger’s Crime

Richie Dagger. Photo by Charles Peterson.

Richie Dagger. Photo by Charles Peterson.

It took me a moment to shift gears to Richie having a full band.  I do miss the intimacy of his former incarnation as a solo, looping artist, but have fallen in love with this new band and direction.  This music is beautiful and worthy. – FR

Anyone who names their solo project after a 1979 Germs song seems like they are looking in the right place for inspiration. We premiered their remix of the Real Don Music’s “Smoke by Day” on Nada. – MA



I really like Nightspace. The music is very visual. Simple, yet dark and imaginative. It slows me down, lets me breathe a breath from deep inside. It’s dark pop that touches me the way a band called Swallow use to. – JT

Check out “Mean Kids”



Newaxeyes will take over the world. – FR

Mommy Long Legs

Mommy Long Legs. Photo by Allyce Andrew.

Mommy Long Legs. Photo by Allyce Andrew.

Oh fuck yeah. Fast, catchy punk. Into it. – GS

Big yes on Mommy Long Legs. – The Zim

Check out “Assholes”

Mirror Ferrari

Mirror Ferrari

Saying “the vocals are like another instrument” is a cool thing to say when describing a band; with Mirror Ferrari it’s true. They could be singing mindless gibberish but as long as the cool breaths and vocal patterns are there the songs seem like an orchestrated masterpiece. Add that to some reverb-y guitar and these guys are one to watch. Also, any band that has a song about their band name is OK in my book. – MA

Check out “Mirror Ferrari” 


Maszer @ Macefield 2015 by Jim Toohey for Nada Mucho

Maszer @ Macefield 2015 by Jim Toohey for Nada Mucho

Cool desert rock, middle-eastern-American rock sound. Like the vibe. – GS

I like Maszer too. Saw them at Macefield last year they were good live. – JT

Check out: “California Sees You”

Jesse Solomon  

Jessie Solomon

The song RR is super epic magnificent terrific and haunting and all that. Also: Jesse Solomon (Formerly Sci-Fi Fantasy Horror) gets points for having a Yahoo email address. – MA

I like the vocals and the lyrics a lot. “RR” is especially good…“Cut em uuuuup, into perfectly even pieces, pieces.” – GS

We wrote about Jesse in #PromoteThis

Hell Mary   

Hell Mary. Photo by Jim Toohey.

Hell Mary. Photo by Jim Toohey.

Hell Mary received lots of votes in our 2015 year-end contributor poll for local bands based on her frequent performances last year. She’s got a lovely, husky voice that give her songs a lot of character and I’m excited to see what she does in 2016. – MA

I saw Hell Mary’s first show and love how she just keeps getting better.– JT

Check out “Caged” 

Got photos of her at the Skylark for the Edge Novel release

Great Spiders

Great Spiders

Very expressive voice, and I don’t like singer/songwriter stuff as much anymore these days. Love the song “Bailey”… really, really good stuff. – MA

Play Big BLDG Bash

Greet the Sea 

Greet the Sea @ Substation by Jim Toohey for Nada Mucho

I really like how the first song on their SoundCloud starts out: big emo sound without being corny. I like big, beautiful, human sadness laid bare like this. Really pretty, really earnest stuff.  – GS

Greet the Sea seem like they came out of nowhere late last year…I love the sound. – JT

Check out “A Knock at the Door”

We got pictures of them at Substation

Great Grandpa 

Great Grandpa 2 @ The Crocodile by Tori Dickson for Nada Mucho

Great Grandpa @ The Crocodile. Photo by Tori Dickson. interviewed. My band crush. – MA

Their debut video got some Stereogum love

They play Big BLDG Bash again

We took pictures of them recently at the Crocodile

And last year at Substation



Awesome punk. – MA

Been hearing good things about G.L.O.S.S. and now I know why, any other band on this list that has “punk” in their description needs to take a note… – Zim

Fuck yeah, badass punk. Fast as fuck. – GS

The music is great, best punk energy I’ve seen in a long time, and I feel like America is ready for G.L.O.S.S. to take over the world in 2016. – MA

Check out “Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit” live 


Gibraltar by Brittney Bush Bollay.

Gibraltar by Brittney Bush Bollay.

Gibraltar have been consistently good at making our favorite type of loud/quiet/loud guitar music for a few years now. With the addition of Lesli Wood (The Redwood Plan, Ms. Led) they might be great. New album due in 2016. – MA

Freeway Park 

Freeway Park

Yes. Got a Shellac vibe on the vocals. A little off-putting and weird. This is a good thing. – GS

I’m glad you endorse, GS, I always allow for things to be just OK if they are at least a little weird and these guys get the job done and have potential. Full disclosure: that lunatic talking in their songs is Nada contributor Graham Isaac, who didn’t tell me he was in a band for two years. – MA

Check out “Beers from Alaska” 

Evening Bell 

Evening Bell

Good old-school country with great vocals. – GS

Sometimes I connect with a little sliver of the NPR wheelhouse and these guys made it in. I’m a sucker for good female singers. See also First Aid Kit. See also Angel Olsen. See also Neko Case. – MA

Check out “Restless Angel”


Downtown at Substation by TBASA

Downtown at Substation by TBASA

The Sacha Baron Cohen of Seattle. Sleezy electro punk. – MA

Holy shit this is great stuff. At the top of the list! Like Devo meets Mudhoney – JT

This guy make me a little uncomfortable for that I have to give him a put him on the list endorsement. – The Zim

Embrace the glory that is “Gonna Puke:



He’s old and jaded and sees like 75 bands a month so when TBASA told us DoNormaal was about to blow up after she played Substation in January we paid attention. She is gonna blow up. – MA

Plays Big BLDG Bash

Watch our iPhone video of DoNormaal live at Substation 

Or watch her new video

Dex Amora 

Dex Amora

Dex Amora’s got a cool sound. Flashes of Tribe with some Snoop and a little Dre. Young dude with style and good lyrics too. “Who I Be” on YouTube kicks ass. Great video. Great song. – G.

Seattle’s got several different and equally interesting hip-hop styles that we admittedly don’t know enough about. If you wanna help us watch the scene in 2016 drop us a line.

Critte and the Borzoi 

Critte and the Borzoi

Sometimes I start raving about a new band that only has two songs on SoundCloud so far, like Critte and the Borzoi. Then when they don’t pan out my colleagues call me stupid and overzealous. This will not be one of those times. – MA

Check out “Stuart’s Cove” 

Bring on the Drugs


This artist/band/project? sent me a note with a link to four songs on BandCamp. I like that they have no social media profile and when I wrote to ask some questions they just said “each song is the chemical number for a drug I took.”– MA

I like it. Chill, dirty, distorted, trippy, 90s style beats. – GS

Briana Marela 

Briana Marela by Eleanor Petry

Briana Marela by Eleanor Petry

Knew someone who knew Sigur Ros. Gave them her tape. They flew her over to record first album. Can that even be real? – MA

Perfection… Briana did work with Sigur Ros on this last album. Jeebus!!  – FR

Check out “Surrender”

Brad Yaeger & The Night Terrors 

Brad Yaeger by Jim Toohey

Brad Yaeger by Jim Toohey

What if Mark Lanegan wasn’t successful? Brad is a great storyteller. Old-school and I’m completely OK with that. –PB

Big points to Brad for having a Netscape e-mail address. No shit. – MA

Check out “Old Tree”



Silly and stupid but I think people will care. – PB

Fast, without being punk, so I like that. It’s kind of genre-bending, definitely a youthful Seattle feel. Got a good vibe as far as “boys in the band that are all your boyfriend.” – GS

Check out “Get Away”


Bod @ MAGMAFEST 2015 at The Cockpit in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Sydney Root.

Bod @ MAGMAFEST 2015 at The Cockpit in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Sydney Root.

I believe in bod. They take me back to the Seattle of yore. They have the energy of Nirvana without being so fucked up. They put on such a mesmerizing show. It’s nuts. They shine in a DIY venue, rallying masses and masses of twenty somethings. They are full of power and will rise in our scene. Definitely worthy of being a band to watch. – FR

Their profile picture on the BandCamp is a tribute to Slint’s “Spiderland” = way too awesome. Good guitar work, fun vibe, got a modern feel. Into it. Fast on thefret-boards, without being hurried. Good vocals. Love where the song “Blue Highway” goes, especially at the 2-minute mark. – GS

Check out “Blue Highway”

Bell Witch 

Bell Witch

Seems like doom metal is what all the kids are doing these days. I can get behind this. – The Zim

Love these guys. Long, doomy songs, with melody. Bassist plays crazy bass guitar, with two hands onfret-board. – FR

As you can probably tell if you follow our blog, we’re sometimes a bit late to the best metal bands but everybody seems to like Bell Witch. – MA

Check out “Judgement, In Fire I – Garden (Of Blooming Ash)” 


Bardot 2

Bardot is a confident, stylish name. This big band definitely look stylish and I think I might love their sexy party song “Daemelo,” the only one available on BandCamp so far. Also, it’s neat that she she sings “if we don’t leave we might miss Tennis Pro” about our old friends. – MA

BA the Scribe 

BA the Scribe
Love this track “The Rack” from BA the Scribe. Straight Eric B & Rakim type vibe. – MA

Plays Big BLDG Bash

Check out “The Rack” live on MHTV’s “Reel Takes”

Aeon Fux

Aeon Fux 2

Cool throwback sound. Extremely talented and lot of personality. Excited to see her live. – PB

Check out “Don’t You Dare Fucking Call Me You Fucking Fuck”

Aaron Semer  

Aaron Semer @ TBFLAS. Photo by Jim Toohey.

Aaron Semer @ TBFLAS. Photo by Jim Toohey.

Aaron Semer released excellent debut solo album on Knick Knack Records late last year that features songs from his last great album as the primary songwriter for the Plains as well as new material. The album is about the collapse of Western Civilization which is a fun theme. We must also divulge that after covering Aaron and his music for almost a decade we finally talked him in to contributing to as well. – MA

It appears that Aaron is right on trend as the US falls apart into hatred and decay. I am excited to see him at a big anti-government music festival or a President Sanders celebration concert in the near future. – JT

(List curated by Contributors. Lead image by Tim Basaraba. Comments by Andrew Zimmerman, Frida Ray, Glenn Smith, Jim Toohey, Matt Ashworth, and Paul Broderson.) 

Related content:

41 Seattle Bands We’re Watching in 2015

34 thoughts on “41 Seattle Bands We’re Watching in 2016

  1. says:


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  3. CJ Kinton says:

    Glad to see Hell Mary and Aaron Semer on this list! 🙂
    Looking forward to checking out some of the others.

  4. TBASA says:

    Where is Madness Blooms? I quit!
    I like the cat jumping out of the bag image

  5. Juan Sranson says:

    Oh, I thought Nada Mucho was a band. Ha, BA the Scribe kicked it at NPCC one night and we all got down. Yah Tacoma!

  6. greg says:


  7. Andrew Brooks says:

    Mister Master, dire fire, lust punch, waking things, grand arson

    1. Congrats on suggesting five bands we haven’t ever even seen the name of, Andrew. That’ perfect.

  8. Steve says:

    Mandamus is a metal band that has great music, great stage show and fun to watch

  9. Rob Brennan says:

    Great list of bands to keep an eye on. I’d love to have you all check out our music (full disclosure – I’m the drummer) at and let us know what you think. Big things are in store this year ?

  10. Gary Delgado says:

    Two suggestions for this list. I recommend Trannysaurus Rox and also Mississippi Jones. Two very different acts, but worth watching for sure!

  11. Renata Fontana says:

    Hey Folks! Have you guys ever heard of Blue Helix?

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