Seattle has long been a hotbed of musical talent, and the class of 2012 was no exception. This year has seen some fantastic new bands appear on the scene, and some long-term residents cement their reputations.
As 2012 comes to a close it’s time to look back at the five Seattle bands that have rocked above their weight in the last twelve months:
Jordan Cook, aka Reignwolf, has been the biggest and most pleasant surprise of 2012. A transplant to Seattle rather than a native, Cook has nonetheless made the city his home — and his springboard for world domination. Having killed sets at Bumbershoot, Capitol Hill Block Party and City Arts Fest this year, he’s finally spreading his wings and taking his energetic guitar-driven blues-rock further afield. This guy should be a megastar in 2013.
The Head and the Heart
They’ve been building for a couple of years now, but The Head and the Heart finally took over the world in 2012. The folk-rockers didn’t remain Seattle’s best kept secret for long, playing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Conan, and on the road for Obama’s campaign in Boulder, Colorado. This was the year that they went from support act to headliner. With another album in the pipeline, who knows where the next year will take them.
Another Seattle secret, we all suspected that we wouldn’t be able to hang onto this one for long. Arguably the most exciting rap debut of the year, Macklemore’s The Heist broke all kinds of records by entering the iTunes Store charts at #1 without the support of a major label. Macklemore has crossed genre boundaries too with his intelligent, articulate lyrics, and his support of gay marriage marks him out from the usual rap crowd. We’d say watch out for him in 2013 — but in Macklemore’s case, he’s already there…
Every year seems to highlight yet another great indie band from the Emerald City, and 2012 was no exception. Lemolo became the sound of Seattle’s summer this year, and we’re all expecting big things from Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox in the years to come. It just goes to show that intelligent indie rock doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. The future’s bright — the future’s Lemolo.
Okay, so Gibbard is already pretty much a household name, but 2012 may prove to be a landmark year for the sensitive indie-pop singer. While ex-wife Zooey Deschanel’s stock has fallen (New Girl won’t be anyone’s career high point) Gibbard’s has risen again, this time without his Death Cab bandmates. Who else could sell out three high profile shows in the city within a matter of weeks? Benjamin Gibbard, Seattle salutes you.
…and one to watch in 2013
Hey Marseilles had a relatively quiet year in 2012, but they won’t stay that way for long. Watch out for their long-awaited sophomore album in 2013 – then wait for the fever to build…