This town overflows with so much great music, so many ever-changing bands and projects, that only the most obsessive can keep up. The scene—with all of its attendant nooks and crannies, genres and subgenres—evolves constantly, so much so that every Best New Music issue surveys a fresh landscape, distinct from the year before. We present the artists and outfits whose current contributions to local music—its sound, its community, its ideologies—set them apart from a crowded field.
How bittersweet it’s been to work on this issue in the aftermath of the monumental loss of mentor, teacher, artist and organizer Jonathan Moore, whose influence profoundly shaped Seattle music over the course of 20-plus years. I didn’t know him well personally, but his presence loomed large in my own understanding of this creative community, and even I benefited from his support early in my career. A full account of J Moore’s work and impact is a long story for another issue; for now, musician and writer Gabriel Teodros has written a gorgeous and moving tribute as this month’s poem.
This issue also marks a first: Nightlife is on the cover! And it’s repped by the core crew behind Night Shift, the city’s best and most eclectic dance party, where the music and people are equally diverse. As Andrew Matson writes in his feature, since Night Shift began in 2014, it’s cultivated an atmosphere of inclusion and trust, a safe environment where people come as they are to get down. At a time when so much of the world around us seems toxic and overwhelming, one of the healthiest things you can do for your body and spirit is hit the dance floor and let loose.
See you out there,
Editor in Chief