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Three NW artists on our radar

Photo: Avi Loud

Photo: Avi Loud

Local folks who are ‘in the know’ regarding Isabella Du Graf have been low-key fiending for a full-length release from her for a few years now. That anticipation was made ever more insistent when she dropped her debut single, ‘”So Beautiful,” in November, 2015. This is a song that seeks to crystallize that moment when lovers drift awake, wrapped in a chrysalis of embrace and shared pheromone. The declarative coos, deft phrasing and layered harmonies Ms. Du Graf performs go down smooth as cognac poured over honeycomb. It would be easy to lounge in the beautifully languid production until she sings, “Can you blame me for wanting so much more?” which cuts through the gauzy textures with an openhearted vulnerability reminiscent of “Bravebird”-era Amel Larrieux.

*UPDATE* Since the time of the article’s writing, Ms. Du Graf released another fantastic single, “Calling My Name,” which can be found here.


 

Photo courtesy of The Great Um

Photo courtesy of The Great Um

The Great Um‘s Caleb Thompson channels his inner Lou Reed on vocals in “Loud,” a barn-burner that explores the quiet + loud dynamic with vigor. Psych-rock amp textures and Thompson’s wails dominate the Zeppelin-esque hook with some tasty little drum fills sprinkled in between. I want this song playing in the background of my life during the obligatory dolley shot, slow-motion scene of me about to lose my sh*t (thankfully, this movie will never get made, as I’m not that interesting). It should be noted that the bad-assery of this jam pairs quite nicely with a pint of Manny’s after work.

To hear the band’s newest release, “Never Been There,” go here.


 

Photo courtesy of New Cardinals

Photo courtesy of New Cardinals

Shades of Roxy Music and Animal Collective are present in this single by New Cardinals, a promising new band from Snoqualmie, Washington. Fans of Fleet Foxes will also appreciate Peter Tilson‘s verbed vox which cascade over synths that feel New Wave-yet-updated, ala Phoenix.  They show a lot of ambition on their debut ep, which can be found here.

Carradin Michel is a Seattle native who spent his youth constantly stealing his older brother's Maxell cassettes, all dubbed with rap music from LA and New York. Those early tapes, along with a weekly soundtrack provided by Nasty Ness's Rap Attack radio show, caused him to fall hard for Hip Hop music and it's culture. He believes the Pacific Northwest has one of the freshest hiphop scenes in the world and wants to shine a brighter spotlight on it by documenting it's rich talent.
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