Beyond Grunge: 15 Artists Redefining Seattle Music

In 1989, Seattle song become coming near its breaking point — the factor at which it’d journey beyond the marine layer soaring above our grey waters and thrust itself into the public awareness. You know the names: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains. Grunge wasn’t just a cultural second; it defined the sound of a whole region for generations to come.

Thirty years later, Seattle’s wealthy musical history remains compelling, but it’s also now not absolutely reflective of where the scene is now. Once once more, although, the town reveals itself at a breaking point. In the last 3 a long time, the Northwest has produced countless artists who have driven the area’s sonic barriers. There’s the infectious rock and dad of Death Cab for Cutie, Tacocat, Car Seat Headrest and Telekinesis; hip-hop from Shabazz Palaces to Macklemore; and the soulful sounds of the True Loves and The Dip, amongst many others.

While tons of the sector nonetheless friends Seattle with the enduring dirges of grunge, the scene of today is an eclectic combo of genre and spirit. Roots rockers, experimental beatmakers and thoughts-bending rappers coexist and proportion degrees on a everyday basis. The Emerald City has been notoriously hard to define for the reason that heyday of grunge, which is likewise what facilitates make the track here so first rate.


Seattle is not possible to pin down. The bands and artists beneath constitute an array of scenes in the scene, and reveal that the subsequent wave of Seattle music goes to be splendidly unpredictable and exquisite. –Dusty Henry

Deep within the vintage stomping grounds of Jimi Hendrix, it is handiest appropriate that The Black Tones’ contributors play rock and roll tune as it changed into at the beginning intended: rooted in blues and blackness. On their debut full-duration Cobain and Cornbread (a succinct and accurate description in their aesthetic), the band recorded a stirring version of the African-American religious “Rivers of Jordan.” “The Key of Black (They Want Us Dead)” is a call-and-response anthem in protest of anti-black violence, whole with a weeping guitar. Also suitable for a band composed of twin siblings, circle of relatives isn’t always too a long way away from The Black Tones’ difficulty matter, as “Mama! There’s a Spider in My Room!” is a humorous tune about arachnophobia and “Hello Mr. Pink” discusses their father, who served time in jail after robbing banks. –Martin Douglas

Chong the Nomad is giving producers a new call and new desires. Utilizing the entirety from ukuleles to harmonicas in her sets, the revolutionary manufacturer is thought for kicking off her shoes to bounce on degree. Chong (the pseudonym of Alda Augustiano) energizes her crowds together with her degree antics and has grow to be a festival mainstay. Her historical past reading score compositions for movie, as well as composing chamber song, approach she’s a grasp at constructing cinematic soundscapes and making dynamic, infectious songs that set gratifying pop hooks against continuously form-shifting and intricately layered backgrounds. It’s dance tune for the thinker, the lover and those who are looking for the fine night time of their lives. –Jasmine Albertson

Like a blacksmith, Dark Smith masterfully pounds and grinds out bleak sonic textures with excessive precision. See the band live and you’re a fan for life. Danny Denial’s low croon is absolutely intoxicating, even as drummer Nozomi Momo tends to become stealing the show, throwing her long locks round while building complicated interlocked rhythms. Unlike most of the whitewashed industrial dream-punk of days past, Dark Smith tells stories of the real-lifestyles fear and paranoia that comes from dwelling in America even as trans, gay, a person of shade and/or a girl. –Jasmine Albertson

Seattle rapper DoNormaal says sure to every show she can, once in a while gambling more than one gigs in a night time. Even with her seeming omnipresence, her inclusion is usually welcome on a invoice because, nicely, she’s just that precise. DoNormaal’s particular laissez-faire vocal transport, her penchant for finding and operating with the best manufacturers within the Seattle scene, and her potential to flow over anything thrown her way (even horn-based marching fanfare) add up to a super expertise, that is announcing not anything of her outstanding character fashion and type, compassionate demeanor. Look no in addition than her 2017 album Third Daughter for proof of her adventurous waft and ear for catchy, off-kilter beats. –Jasmine Albertson

Born Gabrielle Kadushin in Seattle’s Central District, Gifted Gab grew as much as grow to be one of the region’s most reliable MCs. After losing her mom to most cancers, a thirteen-12 months-antique Kadushin determined solace in song. By sixteen, she started out using YouTube to proportion her work and changed into speedy welcomed into the Seattle hip-hop scene, eventually turning into the primary woman member of the rap organization Moor Gang. (Imagine the Wu-Tang Clan, however in Seattle.)

As a solo artist, Gifted Gab has proven herself to be an impressive pressure. Her debut EP changed into titled Queen La’Chiefah — a nod to her idol, Queen Latifah — and Kadushin boasts a similar command of language and float to go together with her insightful lyrics. As KEXP’s Dusty Henry said after seeing her carry out in 2017, “Gab calls herself the Queen of Seattle, and after a set like that, it is definitely tough to argue with her.” –Janice Headley

With every launch, J’Von ornaments his artwork with a vibrant new cool animated film caricature of himself. The pastel colorations of his album covers are ideal reflections of the music. A rapper, producer, image fashion designer, animator and a lot extra, J’Von draws on the whole thing from video games to Adventure Time. His song is a ray of light and bliss in our invariably grey metropolis. –Dusty Henry

Duane Simpson

Internet fan. Zombie aficionado. Infuriatingly humble problem solver. Alcohol enthusiast. Spent several months exporting UFOs in Jacksonville, FL. A real dynamo when it comes to exporting gravy in Tampa, FL. Spent 2001-2004 implementing saliva in Edison, NJ. Had moderate success getting my feet wet with junk food on Wall Street. Practiced in the art of building Virgin Mary figurines in Tampa, FL. Practiced in the art of marketing Roombas in Phoenix, AZ.

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