Ben Zaidi, “Hollowed By You”
After studying music and creative writing at Harvard, Ben Zaidi returned home to Seattle and self-released a record of soulful, ghostly digi-folk last summer. In its asymmetrical groove and spacious synths, “Hollowed by You” plays like a passionate ode to toxic romance.
Invisible Hand, “Sweet Action”
Another late pass, please: Invisible Hand’s third album, I’m Here Right Now, came out last July but we’re only now falling under its spell. “Sweet Action” finds the quartet balancing its power-pop and psych-rock sensibilities in an urgent, elevated jam that’s equally tight and expansive.
“A Coward Reachin’ (for a Hero’s Gun)”
Spencer Kelley is the brains behind some of our favorite Northwest bands (Wallpaper, Basemint) and a true student of classic rock ’n’ roll songwriting. Pale Noise is his latest endeavor, blending Small Faces jangle-pop and Exile on Main Street-style blues-rock with a distinctly Kelley-ish twist, as heard on this swaggering anthem of authenticity from the band’s debut, Some Crude Grace.
Specs Wizard, “Golden Eagle”
Seattle’s answer to RZA, Specs Wizard built this track’s bed of spaghetti Western guitar and game show synth, then rolled across it with an unwavering vocal delivery. The veteran producer/MC/graff writer/comic book author will release a new EP—co-produced by Truckasauras’ Adam and Tyler Swan—this month.
From start to finish, this aptly titled single from psych-rock trio Maszer never lets up. Singer Katie Blackstock pierces a blistering squall of guitar and drums with a voice both soothing and feral—two minutes, 30 seconds of perseverance at a very high volume.