The best local records of 2011 … so far

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So far 2011 has seen the release of some pretty amazing records by Seattle-area artists which has made it a great year for local music.

Since we are officially past the halfway point of the year here’s a list of some of the year’s best local albums, in no particular order, for your listening, watching and reading pleasure. Consider it a way to catch up on things in case you haven’t been paying attention, or a reference for what solid local releases from 2011 Guerrilla Candy recommends you pick up during your next stop to your favorite record store.


My Goodness My Goodness
Awesome blues-rock from one of Seattle’s best new bands.

The Globes – “Stay Awake”

The Globes Future Self
Seattle transplants from Spokane put their own twist of a Pablo Honey sound.

22 (You’ve Got Me Undone) by shelbyearl1

Shelby Earle Burn the Boats
Beautiful Americana sung by a woman with a beautiful voice.

Hot Bodies in Motion – Old Habits from Zeek Earl on Vimeo.

Hot Bodies in Motion Old Habits
Bluesy,  soulful rock music done right.


Fleet Foxes
Helplessness Blues
The Fleet Foxes sophomore effort for Sub Pop is one of the year’s finest record.

Shabazz Palaces Black Up
Another winner for Sub Pop. This isn’t just an album, it’s an experience.

State Of The Artist – Lose My Mind

State of the Artist Altered State
A darker, yet more refined side of the SOTA boys. Download it for free here.

Blue Scholars Cinemetropolis
Sabzi brings his A-game with his beats and Geo matches him with his words on the Scholars’ best record yet.

Wildflowers- Smokey Brights by Smokey Brights

Smokey Brights Can’t Rightly Say
Pop-friendly, Americana with a slight bit of R&B flavor.

Hi Life Soundsystem – Death Of The Party (Viper Lust mix)

Viper Creek Club Viper Lust
An all-star list of local hip-hop artists get the remix treatment from VCC on this free album.


Grieves Together/Apart
Local boy makes good with his Rhymesayers debut.

Whalebones Whalebones
Psychedelic country blues featuring a badass drummer.

David Bazan “Wolves At The Door”

David Bazan Strange Negotiations
The first album Bazan recorded with a full band is a winner.

Virgin Islands “No Doctor” official video from The Control Group on Vimeo.

Virgin Islands Ernie Chambers v. God
A loud and local rock band at its finest


The Lonely Forest Arrows
Do you like Death Cab for Cutie? Meet your new favorite band.

Loaded The Taking
Power rock from a NW rock veteran

In the Water by Beat Connection
Beat Connection Surf Noir
Electronic dance music for the surf rock crowd.

Grand Hallway Winter Creatures
A perfect soundtrack to your summer.

Joseph Giant Joesph Giant
Some great singer-songwriter stuff here that’s punched up a bit with a solid backing band.

Motopony Motopony
Self-described as “Chief Seattle’s revenge channeled through a hybrid engine drone.” That sounds about right.

Honorable mentions: Summer Babes Open Swim, Black Whales Shangri La IndeedSea Pony Go With Me, Kris Orlowski and the Passenger String Quartet Fremont Abbey EPCampfire OK Strange Like We Are

Four to look forward to: Fresh Espresso (title and release date TBA), SHIM Medicine Show (Aug. 129), The Physics Love is a Business (Aug. 6), Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs Alone in This Together (July 12)

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Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 13 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, Crosscut.com and others and was the founder and former editor of the defunct music site Ear Candy.