Year Candy: Seattle’s 2011 breakout acts

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Year Candy is a look back at some of the notable people and events that made an impact on the local music scene during 2011. This post features six artists whose stars are on the rise and will likely be names to watch for years to come.

ALLEN STONE

2011 Highlights: Performing on Conan in October (see above), playing three sets during City Arts Fest and selling out the Neptune Theatre weeks ahead of his January 2012 show at the venue.

You’d pretty much have to be living under a rock to have not noticed Allen Stone this year. This humble, goofy-looking soul-singer from Smalltown USA (Chewelah, Wash.) wins over just about every crowd he performs in front of. He recently sold out a show with the Seattle Rock Orchestra at the Neptune Theater weeks in advance. The demand caused promoter STG to add a second show the next night and word on the street is that tickets for that show are going fast. Don’t be surprised if Allen Stone reaches Mackelmorean heights in 2012.

HOT BODIES IN MOTION

2011 Highlights: Performing at Bumbershoot, landing a slot on the soundtrack to the film Abduction

Hot Bodies in Motion won over my ears with the release of their debut EP Old Habits. The EP is fantastic but Hot Bodies shine the brightest in a live setting.  The band’s blues-infused pop-rock is near impossible not to boogie down to, as was evident at Guerrilla Candy’s Launch Party and countless other live performances this year.

Katie Kate – “Constellation” from Kate Finn on Vimeo.

KATIE KATE

2011 Highlights: Nominated for a Stranger Genius Award, releasing her debut record Flatland

Katie Kate is the Queen Bee of the Out for Stardom collective and she wears the crown well. She’s a classically trained pianist who can go toe to toe with just about any rapper in Seattle with her fierce rhymes and self-made beats. Flatland was released late in the year but don’t overlook it because it is one of the best local records of the 2011.


MY GOODNESS

2011 Highlights: Four performances at Capitol Hill Block Party, signing with Serathan Records, going on a national tour

Let get this out of the way: My Goodness is pretty much Seattle’s answer to the Black Keys. But while the Black Keys have lost their way a bit as the harbingers of retro-blues, My Goodness are very much entrenched in two-piece blues rock with an emphasis on the rock.

PICKWICK

2011 Highlights: Performances at Bumbershoot, City Arts Fest and selling out the Neptune Theatre

Allen Stone isn’t the only soulful crooner who made an impact in 2011. Pickwick popped up on the radar of local music lovers thanks to a high-energy live show, stellar musicianship and the knockout pipes of Galen Disston.

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.