Five can’t-miss songs from the PNW
Select Level, “Valentine”
Herein every human pleasure receptor is tickled, teased and triggered. Andy Sells, groove-conjuring drummer of Afrocop and Cascadia ’10, enlists members of those bands and Constant Lovers’ Joel Cuplin in a syrup-smooth rollup of slinky vintage disco, bouncy punk funk and breezy downtempo electro.
Neek, “Soul Searching”
Fingers crossed we didn’t lose Neek to the other coast. The enigmatic, charismatic singer-songwriter recently changed his Bandcamp location from Seattle to New York—but at least the songs remain in place. “Soul Searching” is quintessential goth-pop, Neek’s voice ripe with longing and his synth-and-sequencer production propulsive and skeletal. Slot this would-be ’80s anthem on The Lost Boys soundtrack or Kremwerk’s darkened dance floor.
Chastity Belt, “Different Now”
The first single from CBelt’s upcoming I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone is an emotional sneak attack: Lydia Lund’s guitar floats like a breeze-blown feather, pushing Julia Shapiro’s rumination on resignation: “Yeah it’s different now, yeah it’s different now/You’re old.” Bittersweet—and delicious.
“I’ve been fooled once or twice/I’m done being nice/My body, my choice,” sings Crater’s Ceci Gomez on this standalone single. With all proceeds of every online sale going to Planned Parenthood, Crater weaponizes their vocal-driven minimal techno and aims squarely at rape culture.
The Bug vs. Earth, “Snakes vs. Rats”
I like to imagine the collaborative process between Seattle-rock stalwart Dylan Carlson and English industrial-electronic producer the Bug, aka Kevin Martin, as seismically loud and emotionally disturbing; in truth it probably happened over email. Either way, two reclusive Lords of Heaviness have made an entire album of genre-melting ambient metal and its first single is this tactile, erosive dirge.
Chastity Belt photo by Conner Lyons