Seattle’s Got it Again
Interestingly, some of the best country-tinged music from 2012 came out of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle, to be specific. Brandi Carlile‘s Bear Creek was a folk-rock effort that expanded on her previous albums and opened the out singer up more than ever. Inspired by turning 30, a break up and a new relationship that eventually turned into a marriage, Brandi co-wrote the album with her collaborators Tim and Phil Hanseroth but wrote the first single, “That Wasn’t Me,” on her own. The piano-based tune about showing someone the side of yourself you were hoping to hide was sad but honest and showed fans a side of Brandi they might not have expected.
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Seattlite by way of Birmingham, Alabama Lindsay Fuller released her third album, You, Anniversary, her first on Dave Matthews‘ ATO Records. Inspired by her Southern upbringing, the album is tinged with gothic storytelling and includes a duet with friend Amy Ray. Lindsay returned the favor by appearing on Ray’s 2012 album Lung of Love, which Brandi Carlile also lent her vocals to.
Sera Cahoone, like Brandi, also recorded her 2012 album at Bear Creek, naming her LP Deer Creek Canyon. The indie country artist has a more lo-fi approach to songwriting and recording, but there is a similar sentiment to her fellow Seattle songstresses. Deer Creek Canyon could be the album you missed in 2012 that accompanies you into 2013 and beyond.
Photo by Molly Landreth
One of the year’s best hip-hop albums came from Seattle-based duo THEESatisfaction. Partners in both their personal and professional lives, Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris-White released Awe Naturale on Sub Pop Records with funk-laced tracks like “QueenS” that had a music video featuring all fierce black females.
After leaving Hercules and Love Affair, Kim Ann Foxman went it alone and released her solo singles, “Creature” and “Return It,” which indicated she’d be exploring more house themes on her own. The out DJ/artist became a dance floor fixture with her former group but has solidified her presence in club music with her own songs and remixes.
Light Asylum‘s self-titled album provided us the darkwave dance music we’d been waiting for since they gave us a taste with their 2011 EP. Queer singer Shannon Funchess has a deep Grace Jones-esque voice and their live show is an unparalleled experience. Both Shannon and bandmate Bruno Coviello both made the Out magazine 100 this winter.
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Also in dance music, Chicago-based duo Shuteye put out Hush Hush, a lushly layered album of delirium and dreaming. Nina Sky‘s Nicole and Natalie established the twin sisters as pop mavens who have more to say than “Move Your Body.” Out member Nicole Albino helped establish the band’s lesbian cred as Nina Sky played Pride events as well as stages at the Dinah, Shedonism and OUT/LOUD Queer Women’s Music Festival this year.
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