Throwaway Style: Local Albums to Look Out For This Fall

Prom Queen // Photo by Morgan Schuler

Throwaway Style is a weekly column dedicated to examining all aspects of the Northwest music scene. Whether it’s a new artist making waves, headlines affecting local talent, or reflecting on some of the music that’s been a foundation in our region; this space celebrates everything happening in the Northwest region, every Thursday on the KEXP Blog.


A couple weeks ago on this column, I lamented the end of the summer and looked fondly back about some of the releases that defined the season in the Northwest. But just because summer’s over doesn’t mean that music is going to slow down. It’s time to start looking forward. Summer was stacked with an endless onslaught of incredible records and autumn looks like it’s going to do the same.

If you’re not familiar with Prom Queen, prepare to be swooned. The project helmed by Leeni Ramadan feels like a twisted Lynchian daydream right out of The Roadhouse. Her blend of 60s pop with darkening themes is a delightful contrast. Her arrangements match the glitz and glamour of the era she’s so inspired by, feeling like a silver screen score jumping out through 21st-century speakers. Now she’s getting ready to release her latest full-length Doom-Wop on September 22nd. The title really says it all. If you love sweet melodies and dark thoughts, this may be the album for you. Keeping it dreamy as well is Ephrata who will be releasing their self titled debut on the same day. We caught up with the band earlier this year to learn more about the record and we can’t wait to hear what lush offerings they have in store.

Versing are returning with a new full-length titled Nirvana on September 29th. It’s a bold choice in a title for a Pacific Northwest band but if there’s anyone who can pull it off, it’s Versing. Their last formal release, 2016’s Nude Descending, showed just how masterful they are at crafting flourishing guitar rock jams that pull the disaffected spirit of the ’90s to the tumultuous vibes of 2017. The way they band plays with rhythm as well on the singles “Radio Kinski” and “Call Me Out”, propelling riffs forward and pulling them back at break neck intervals, shows just how innovative this band really can be.

 

There have been cryptic rumblings — typically in tweet forms from the artists themselves — of new music from some of Seattle’s finest hip-hop artists. Taylar Elizza Beth, who dropped the wondrous Fresh Cut Flowers this last spring, is hard at work on a proper full-length debut. This has been a blow-up year for the Seattle MC, continuing to perform heavily around town and dropping one-off songs and collaborations after the EP. A whole album of her soul-stirring rhymes and lavish beats would be an incredible way to end the year for her as well as for her fans. Guayaba as well as been touting signals that a follow up to her 2016 EP Black Trash/White House is on the way. As one of the most visceral rappers in the city and as a completely stunning vocalist, anything Guayaba does should stop you in your tracks and make you take note. If you bring half the candor, intensity, and looming self-exploration that she did on Black Trash, this next release is going to destroy your year-end lists.

 

Not to be overlooked is the genre-bending performance art experience of RVN. It’s hard to pin down RVN with any sort of label, part of which makes him so exciting. His unpredictable, adventurous spirit is unlike any other. He’ll make you uncomfortable and challenge your expectations. He’ll rap over the chimes of an acoustic guitar or woozily sing over distorted, disenchanted beats. His next project, Grey Neon, is still filed under the “coming soon” category so we’ll have to wait in eager anticipation. But the first single, “My God”, and its accompanying visuals below signal that this is going to be an immersive, twisted experience and I can’t wait to jump in.

 

These are obviously just scratching the surface of local music coming out the rest of the year. Northwest music can come in sporadic waves with surprises to be found nearly every day. What albums are you most looking forward to? What’s missing here? Let me know in the comments below.

New and News

youngster jiji Drops dark jiji EP, the Project’s Last Work

youngster jiji, aka producer/rapper James Campbell, has built a reputation around the city in recent years for his bombastic, aggressive beats and rhymes. Now with his latest EP, dark jiji, he’s calling it quits. Well, he’s at least retiring the name. It’s a little unclear what the future holds for jiji, but hopefully this isn’t really the end. The five tracks on this EP show just how much energy jiji has thrown into the project, always sounding on the verge of imploding. It’s a thrilling listen on its own, but made even more compelling by incorporating a story within the Soundcloud comments. Alongside the release, he also announced a new clothing line, so there’s reason to believe Campbell will still be a presence long after jiji’s end.

 

Chastity Belt Shares Video for “Stuck”

Chastity Belt continues to give us new offerings from their latest fantastic LP, I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone, released earlier this year. Directed by local filmographer, poet, and Hoop member Leena Joshi, the video sees the band super-imposed over the American west. The song also features drummer Gretchen Grimm on drums, which means she also gets the main focus in the video. It’s a great blend of surrealism and classic western vibes, matching the blurry wonder of the song itself.

Live and Loud: This Week’s Recommended Local Shows

Sept. 14: AIDA, .postscript., Somn at Timbre Room

 

 

 

Sept. 15: Darqness QTPOC party w/ DJ Lag, Reverend Dollars, NXMXGXLDXX, and Dos Leches at Re-Bar

 

Sept. 18: Old Iron, Post/Bordeom, Great Falls at Cafe Pettirosso

 

 

 

Sept. 20: Jo Passed, Prude Boys, Swamp Meat, and Shake the Baby at Chop Suey

 

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