Five can’t-miss songs from the PNW
Sera Cahoone, “Up to Me”
In a time of ugliness, standing steadfast in beauty is an act of courage. With this gentle confession of romantic surrender, Sera Cahoone articulates a love so pure and sharply defined it seems to emerge from the speakers and stride into the world with open arms. Cahoone releases her long-awaited new album, From Where I Started, this month.
This West Seattle-raised MC rides with both of the city’s street-hardened nihilist rap crews, Moor Gang and Thraxxhouse. But he opens his new EP, Oblivious Indigo Child, with a chilled-out statement of inner peace, and it hits with a bang: “You see me loving myself/I know it’s hard to relate.”
Otieno Terry, “Love16”
Dancer/curator Jessica Hu coordinated this would-be hit with roots in Seattle’s fertile hip-hop underground and sights set at commercial radio. The ever-versatile Otieno Terry starts out singing and ends up toasting, dancehall style, over glossy synths and electronic drums in a song that’s half baller braggadocio, half sweet sincerity and all fire.
Lusine feat. Benoît Pioulard, “Witness”
With his fourth album on Ann Arbor’s renowned Ghostly International label, Lusine, aka Jeff McIlwain, continues to widen the frontiers of electronic music. Here McIlwain enlists Seattle ambient experimentalist Benoît Pioulard to burnish a low-key but insistent groove with warm, ethereal vocals—which he then fractures into beatific sound sculpture.
Allred & Broderick, “The Ways”
A case of simplicity begetting profundity: Portland polymath Peter Broderick and vocalist David Allred recorded this a capella duet in one take, just two voices singing in oscillating harmony. The song is about the power of empathy—in making music and in living life.