Posts Tagged ‘Seattle’

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Seattle rock outfit Thunderpussy teamed up with Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith for a thunderous new rock & roll ode to moms, “Powerhouse.” The track appeared on Thunderpussy’s EP, “Milk It”, “Powerhouse” opens with with a prickly mix of bass and guitar, anchored by a strong and steady drum beat from Smith. The song soon builds to a roar, with Thunderpussy frontwoman Molly Sides bellowing during the chorus, “She’s a lady, she’s a powerhouse/ She’s a storm with wings and she’ll take you out!”

“‘Powerhouse’ is a song for my mother,” Sides said. “It is an ode, an anthem to those who have been dealt a difficult hand in life but continue to persevere and push through. It’s a reminder that there are no limits, no boundaries for the strength and resilience of the feminine spirit. A spirit, a superpower that lives within us all. Pussy is Power.”

Milk It follows Thunderpussy’s 2018 self-titled debut, which was notably produced by Pearl Jam guitarist and avowed fan, Mike McCready (McCready also played guitar on album cut “Velvet Noose”). Following the release of Milk It, Thunderpussy will continue to work on their second album.

Naming Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, and Aerosmith among their many musical influences, the all-female band Thunderpussy counted Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready among their early fans.

Their single “Speed Queen” (2018), which appropriately chugs throughout before kicking up to a heart-attack tempo at the end, was written as a quasi-love story between singer Molly Sides and guitarist Whitney Petty. Its echoey, ethereal vocals and crashing instrumentation give the song the big-spectacle feel of ’80s rock classics.

Along with their musical endeavors, Thunderpussy’s efforts to trademark their name got a boost from the Supreme Court this summer when it ruled that a federal ban on trademarking immoral or scandalous words was unconstitutional and violated the First Amendment (the case specifically involved the clothing brand Fuct). Thunderpussy are still awaiting approval from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and they have acknowledged that their copyright could be denied on other grounds.

A few years ago after reviewing Elizabeth Gundersen’s project Le Wrens. It was genuinely became one of my favourite albums from such a promising new songwriter. It was sad to hear that Le Wrens project was discontinued, but then I found out this new solo album had came out recently, Of course Gundersen’s song writing does not disappoint. 

The opening track “Falling For You” is a love song that shows the complications of a new relationship. It’s that feeling of wondering if the other person is as into you as you are into them. There’s some really great modern country styles on the guitar here, but it’s a wonderful way to start the album as Gundersen’s powerful lead vocal is able to show off a bit. One consistent theme on the album that you hear immediately is her ability to articulate dynamics from soft spoken words to big powerful ballad proclamations.

“Walls” is a quintessential Americana track, mixing elements of what we might call country music with a nice Tom Petty kind of folk rock vibe. The storytelling elements in the lyrics make for a comfortable track, even if it’s about the feeling of being unsettled. It seems like the kind of track that could come from someone who has spent time on the road performing music. The line “I’m sorry that I’m broken, but these days most girls are”. Stylistically, “Farewell William” is one of my favourites tracks on the album. The soft, articulate piano work accents Gundersen’s vocal extremely well. The phrasing on this song is the kind of thing that you just can’t teach. She’s reciting poetic lyrics layered over some deceptively complex melody lines. This is the work of an accomplished songwriter. The authenticity drips from her lips on this one. I wish I had more technical terms to say that I just really, really like listening to it. What a beautiful way to say goodbye.

“Elephant Heart” was the first song from this album that I ever heard.  There’s a version of it on YouTube that I listen to it on regular rotation because it’s just SO good. This studio version is paced a bit differently, but still holds that magic of Gundersen’s lead vocal. Her brother Noah Gundersen appears on this track, providing his characteristic vocal brilliance in harmonies. The vibrant imagery from Elizabeth Gundersen as a songwriter, though, steals the show on this one. She gives all these incredible details about the interaction with this lover, then says “you were not there.” 

“Precious Wine” might be my other favourite track on the album. There’s a real dark aggression to the song that is deeply pleasing. The sense of bitterness and frustration is palpable, but at the same time the composition is still really nice to listen to. It’s got the right kind of “edge” to it that cuts through the tension of the situation the lyrics describe.

The final track “My Side” is a delightful, almost hymn-like song. The poetic delivery again transcends easy genre conventions, giving a thoughtful and emotional track. Duo vocals from Seattle artist Chris Rovik really make the song stand out. The minimalist aesthetic of the beginning plays perfectly into the orchestral bloom that comes later in the track. Cinematic and soothing, it’s a song with auspicious ambitions that come to fruition when the strings and vocals blend to perfection.

This is an exceptionally good album from an incredible songwriter. Gundersen’s work with Le Wrens, but this album shows a major step forward in development. 

Nathan Yaccino: Drums (1, 5) Bass (1, 2, 5) Piano (1, 3) Guitar (1, 2, 5) Synth (3)
Jacob Nevaro: Guitar (1)
Jonathan Gundersen: Drums (2) Vocals (2, 4, 5)
Elizabeth Gundersen: Guitar (6)
Noah Gundersen: Piano (4) Vocals (4)
Abby Gundersen: All Strings
Michael Porter: Guitar (2)
Chris Rovik: Vocals (6)
Andy Park: Synth (4)

I wrote most of the songs on this album during the transition from late teens to early twenties. “Elephant Heart” tells a story of that transition. Feeling that I was losing control and going back and forth between diving in and fighting back. Elizabeth

Released January 11th, 2018

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Fences (aka Seattle musician Christopher Mansfield) is releasing a new EP, “Wide Eyed Elk Ensemble”, on April 30th via ENCI. He recently released lead single “Boot Height,” and we’re now premiering second single “Fake Snow.” Fences has made a few different types of music over the years, and these songs are both breezy, rustic, big-hearted indie folk songs that should appeal to fans of Lord Huron, Manchester Orchestra, and other stuff of that ilk.

Speaking about “Fake Snow,” Christopher said to us, “‘Father’ to me is such a large word. In the name of the father, the father the son and the Holy Ghost. It’s an almost non gender based energy that looms above and guides us.

When I say ‘you’ve killed me’ it’s me almost saying father took the guardian angels off pay roll. In this way perhaps the song is me cursing out this vague heavy energy I felt rejected by at times. All the same, I’m also apologizing because we can never truly hate our father because then we would hate ourselves. The cold river cannot hate the mountain it melted from. The video was difficult to consider because the concept to me remains vague. I just stood and lived and we made angelic art around me. Putting halos where they don’t belong. In a larger sense I think my job is putting halos where they don’t belong.

Speaking previously about “Boot Height” and the EP overall, he said, “Clearly animals are a great analogy for love and death and the middle part of human experience. The EP feels like this. It was made quickly and with no intention other than to fill the room with something beautiful. It was myself and Dru and Adam. I remember laughter after tracking certain parts. It was a joy, truly.

The EP is the middle part and the steam. The elk. ‘Boot Height’ however is the beginning before the beginning. The past life. A love so bold that it transfers. Like when your grandmother comes back as a hummingbird.”

Deep Sea Diver is Jessica Dobson, Peter Mansen, Garrett Gue & Elliot Jackson. Emotions abound; inarticulable. We understand fully that we are releasing an album at a time when a lot of people are experiencing economic hardship. So many people have lost their jobs, can’t pay rent, and are not in a place to buy anything other than what is essential for living. This album, so far, sounds very personal and reflective. Lots of intricate sounds and meticulous effort was put into the sound!
Dobson, who was signed to Atlantic Records at 19-years-old, has experienced just about every high and low when it comes to the music business in the years since. And in an era when bands, venues, tours and everything else are experiencing atrophy, Deep Sea Diver is fairing – knock on wood – pretty well. In some ways, better than ever. Ever since their solo single release in April to their new LP out on the famed ATO record label, things have oddly, paradoxically fallen into place for the band.

The new 10-track album has been finished for a year. But it can take a while for a record to find the right placement. With ATO, Deep Sea Diver has found that home. “Impossible Weight” is stellar. Each track sticks out, impresses. “Eyes Are Red (Don’t Be Afraid)” feels like a rush of energy after running a race through New York City. “Shattering the Hourglass” inspires, saying forget the construct of time. “Wishing” pulls at the heart. And “Impossible Weight,” which features Sharon Van Etten, is a blistering eruption of rock. The LP pops with tight rhythms, bright guitars and Dobson’s clearest, crispest vocal performance to date.

“Everything has always been backwards for Deep Sea Diver,” Dobson says. “It’s been an uphill battle. Self-releasing records is really hard and we’ve done that so many times. But with quarantine, we took the approach of saying ‘screw the music business.’”


Jessica Dobson, frontwoman and principle songwriter for the Seattle-based band, Deep Sea Diver, was adopted. While this is indeed a very personal bit of information it is also pertinent to the story of the band’s new LP. Any work of art takes a lifetime to create. While, in truth, from first note to final mix, a song may take, say, a year or two, the work is, in actuality, a culmination of a person’s entire existence. It wasn’t until recently that Dobson met her birth mother, which was both monumental and fascinating for the expert musician. The encounter is one of several recent marvelous moments for Dobson and her percolating, neon-electric-sounding group, which is set to release its latest LP, Impossible Weight .

Released October 16th, 2020.

We are incredibly, Incredibly pleased to announce to you this morning, our new single, “Impossible Weight” is out. I could not be prouder to present this song that means the world to me— and features one of my favourite artists in the world, Sharon Van Etten. It was such an absolute pleasure to work with someone that has been a true inspiration to me and specifically while writing and recording this song.

Along with it, we are releasing a music video that is one of my proudest moments as an artist. A moment where we can present visuals that speak to this season—a time of loneliness, of desolation, but also of beauty. I wanted to create something very triumphant and beautiful in a year that has been the opposite of those things.

I want to ask you, if you are willing, to come alongside of us today. This is a terribly difficult season for musicians. Without touring, it is almost impossible to get our music out into the world. Like all bands, shows have always been the way in which we sell the majority of records and promote our albums. Right now, that is simply not an option for us. SO.. we humbly ask of you…. If you would like to help us succeed and you believe in us—SPREAD THE WORD. Post about our song / music video today. Word of mouth is Always the best way forward for us. Follow us on Spotify, Youtube, etc.. Like our comments and comment yourself on our posts—as that alters the algorithm that can enable our music to get out to more and more people. The more people that hear and enjoy our music, the more sustainable this can be for us.

We love you and have been excited about this day for so long. This song is one of my favourites, and the video is so badass. Hope you enjoy it and we truly hope to see you soon. XO

Jessica and Deep Sea Diver

Dobson’s Deep Sea Diver bandmates include her husband Peter Mansen (drums), Garrett Gue (bass), and Elliot Jackson (guitar, synth). Impossible Weight is the band’s third album. The band entered the studio not long after the touring cycle for their sophomore album, 2016’s Secrets.

“We went into the studio pretty quickly after the tour ended, and I sort of hit a wall where I was feeling very detached from making music, and unable to find joy in it,” Dobson reveals. “I realized I had to try to rediscover my voice as a songwriter, and figure out the vocabulary for what I needed to say on this album.”

Deep Sea Diver is Jessica Dobson Peter Mansen Garrett Gue & Elliot Jackson. Just when I thought I couldn’t love this band any more than I do, they totally proved me wrong.

Releases October 16th, 2020

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From its evocative, unhurried introduction, an ear-catching blend of jangle and fuzz, “Stop Pretending” is an immediate success, a song so crafty and well-crafted that its origins—written and recorded in two days this April, under lockdown conditions—seem all but miraculous. The end result sounds to me like the pandemic’s first true classic, a song at once languid and incisive, both musically and lyrically: We recorded this song, “Stop Pretending”, this week, as we were continuing to stay at home. The song was written using a collaboration exercise that we had given to our fans as an outlet to create and find connection in a time of duress & isolation (we called it the “Stay Home Stems” series) —and it ended up also working for us— this song was written, recorded, mixed and mastered in two days at our house, & this what we have to show for it.

If often write apocalyptic songs as way to enter a new world that juxtaposes despair with hope.. I hope it can bring a little bit of light in a dark season.

This life is dangerous, There’s no need to build those walls
Our love is all we have, Who knows where we’re heading

The song offers no solutions but the notion that we must make the effort to be present with what actually is, and tap into our basic goodness, even when the bad people are being awful. The music feels like a balm to the soul, with Jessica Dobson’s guitar noise and distortion churning below a soothing melody and heartfelt vocals. The instrumental break at 2:39, all growl and gristle, is weirdly lovely. Guitars get the job done. Oh and don’t miss the dog at the very end.

Deep Sea Diver is the Seattle-based duo of Dobson and husband Peter Mansen. Dobson played all the instruments but the drums and the “noise synth”; she engineered and mixed the track as well. Deep Sea Diver has released two albums and two EPs to date. Dobson has played with Beck, Spoon, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, among other artists, and was a member of the Shins for a while in the early ’10s.

Support the band via Bandcamp; while there you can also explore the rest of their catalogue.

The Band:
Drums- Peter Mansen
Noise synth- Elliot Jackson
All other instruments & vocals- Jessica Dobson
Additional harmonies – Natalie Schepman

Stop Pretending by Deep Sea Diver, all rights reserved to them released April 1st, 2020

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First digital release of long out of print limited-edition vinyl-only release from 2007. Mudhoney live from Mexico City, recorded December. 10th, 2005 by Brett Ellason at Patacio de los Deportes. It opens with “Mudride” and ends with “Hate the Police”. The merits of this alone are worth the purchase. In between you get a blast of Mudhoney adrenaline directly to your cold, dead heart. Audio quality and band energy are both excellent.


Released June 5th, 2020

Smokeys are all sorts of excited to release our newest single today ‘Save Us Sarah’ in anticipation of our upcoming third full length record “I Love You But Damn” (July 10th on Freakout Records babyyyyy!) This one is a rock and roll powerhouse.

We wrote Save Us Sarah as we were getting involved with the Save Our Showbox campaign here in Seattle. With the rallying cry to save one of our most beloved music venues ringing in our ears, we thought a lot about our music community and the people and places that make it come alive. The folks that do it for the passion, the joy, and the belief in rock and roll. The old punks that dole out guidance to the younger generation, sneer at the stuffy transplants, and might kick your beer over in the name of a sweet guitar solo.

This song has taken on a different meaning during COVID as a lot of the music venues we hold dear may not make it through. For us, it’s now a rally song to save what brings life to Seattle and to any city worth its salt: the music.

Stay safe, stay strong. We’re with you in spirit, and in song. Xoxo-

“Save Us Sarah” is the fourth single from Smokey Brights new record “I Love You But Damn.” Out summer 2020 via Freakout Records.

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The “Seattle” EP was created in (you guessed it) Seattle; the city without a doubt most synonymous with the 90s; the era undeniably pulsating through Bloods’ DNA. Pouring through rock mags and staying up late watching music videos on Rage, trying to catch a glimpse of her flannel-clad rock heroes, it would’ve seemed unthinkable to teenage MC that one day she’d be standing in a studio in Seattle about to record with her own band.

But here is where MC and her bandmates Dirk Jonker (drums) and Mike Morgan (guitar, bass and backing vocals) found themselves – recording at Jack Endino’s Sound House (y’know just the guy who recorded Nirvana’s Bleach, no biggie), with Steve Fisk on production and mixing duties (yep, the dude who’s worked with Soundgarden and Mudhoney) and using the very amp Kurt Cobain played through on his band’s debut record.

Bloodsh have dedicated their free-spirited new EP to that very place – Seattle is out May 15. Along with the infectious lead track “U & M E” (premiered recently by FLOOD Magazine), Seattle also boasts the middle finger waving kiss-off of “The New Guy”, the buzzsaw sugar rush of “Waste Of Time”, and the Ten Things I Hate About You (set in Seattle btw) homage “I Hate It”, to the EP’s biggest blow “Girls Are Just Fucking Cool Like That”, Seattle’s six tracks are dripping in a wry, couldn’t-care-less attitude that would have been right at home in the Seattle of the 90s.

Releases May 15th, 2020

All songs performed by Marihuzka Cornelius, Dirk Jonker and Mike Morgan

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Portage is one of those indie bands that will hit you in the head, but slowly and gently, in the soulfully, independently thoughtful kind of way. The spirits of these songs capture many of life’s real essences, and throughout this album, simply cannot be contained. Bands like this just don’t exist every day.

Native to the cold, northern shores of Minnesota, Portage bellows a sound reminiscent of the rootsy-folk music that runs as deep in the region as Lake Superior itself, the inspiration behind their attic-recorded debut album, The Unsalted Sea. Since their move to Minneapolis, Portage can be found howling their intimate lyrics at full volume from stages and living rooms alike. With the release of their sophomore album, Landings, these four young men put on memorable shows that can make even the bitterest Midwestern night feel warmer. Here’s a New Song that I wrote seven years ago. Sometimes it’s good to give things the time they need. “Inside Out” is part of my project to release a new song for you all every month.