Hibou “When the Season Ends”
Electronic drums, thrumming bass and a liquid-silver guitar hook kick off this sunny jam in bitchin’-’80s style, but cozy bedroom production and Peter Michel’s vocals, distant and sweet, add up to of-the-moment Tumblr-pop. Fans of Telekinesis and Say Hi have a new Seattle boy crush.
Yves “Smug Bride”
Taken from Yves’ just-released debut LP The Sound of Yves, “Smug Bride” forgoes the band’s twee leanings in favor of a wry, soulful country-blues lament. Singer-songwriter Susie Philipsen smolders over glistening wisps of guitar and cocktail-kit percussion while sneering at a “smug bride, dressed in white/Smiling like a girl at a birthday party.”
Stereo Embers “Tomorrow”
Never underestimate the power of three chords and a hook. Stereo Embers alights on ’90s alt-rock touchstones—Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Matthew Sweet—en route to their own classic, feel-good sound. Of the four songs on the quartet’s debut EP, “Tomorrow” is the most satisfyingly succinct.
Kultur Shock “Unamerikan”
Seattle’s longest-running hardly known band released their ninth album in December (appropriately called IX). The highlight is this lambasting of the NSA—part coy nursery rhyme, part death-metal firebomb, part formalwear waltz. Kultur Shock are the city’s reigning polyglot punks; if you’re just tuning in almost 20 years into their tenure, better late than never.
Kid P “Full Body”
AJ Swan took a sharp turn after graduating from UW’s music program last year with a degree in double bass. As Kid P, he released an EP of sample-laden, post-hip-hop electronica (remember that this is the youngest brother of the Truckasaurus dudes) and “Full Body” is even further afield, the soundtrack to a fantasy bodybuilding VHS tape, sexy sax solo and all.