Ten must-own local records from 2012 (so far)

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The Space Needle & a Dale Chihuly sculpture. Photo by Travis Hay

Seattle is blessed with a diverse and active music community and so far in 2012 local musicians have outdone themselves with dozens of quality local releases for your ears to enjoy. With so many fantastic new-ish (2012 isn’t even halfway over) local albums out there to choose from it can be difficult to decide what to add to your music collection. So here are 10 must-own local records from 2012 to be on the lookout for the next time you visit your favorite record shop.

Sol – Stage Dive by Solzilla

Sol Yours Truly

The latest album from Sol is the highpoint in his very young career. Fans who followed his previous Dear Friends albums will hear plenty of growth and maturity from Sol while those new to Sol’s music will dig the positive vibes, intelligent rhymes and diverse beats that populate Yours Truly’s 12 songs.

Absolute Monarchs 1

Good To Die Records is responsible for some of the better heavier local albums to be released and Absolute Monarch’s 1 is the label’s latest loud masterpiece. Fronted by My Goodness’ Joel Schneider, the debut from Absolute Monarchs is one of the best local albums of the year.

Eternal Fair Eternal Fair, Vol. 1

This four-song EP is a solid pop-rock album that is hopefully a positive sign of things to come from Andrew Vait’s latest band. Nab it now because it’s free.

“Everything I Ever Had” by Lindsay Fuller from Jack Frost on Vimeo.

Lindsay Fuller You, Anniversary

Lindsay Fuller’s beautiful folk songs stand out  so much in a city’s scene that’s seemingly become obsessed with beards and banjos that none other than Seattle transplant Dave Matthews signed her to his ATO Records label. If you aren’t familiar with the local folk scene you can’t go wrong by picking up her ATO debut You, Anniversary.

THEESatisfaction awEnaturalE

Anyone who has been paying attention to the local music scene knows about THEESatisfaction but in case you aren’t familiar do yourself a favor and go buy awENaturalE now. These two self-proclaimed “black weirdos” made a funky, soulful, groove-filled album that will likely end up on many best-of lists at the end of the year.

Eighteen Individual Eyes Unnovae Nights

Eighteen Individual Eyes are a highly under-appreciated group of locals and they managed to produce some of the more well-crafted rock songs of the year. Produced by Matt Bayles (of Minus the Bear), Unnovae Nights is a refreshingly different type of rock record. It focuses on melodies and vocals but also has an edge of aggression and loudness.

Damien Jurado Maraqopa

Damien Jurado has been around the block which is why it’s a little surprising that Maraqopa is one of the best albums of his career. The album is part folk, part psychedelic and all genuinely enjoyable. If you decide to pick up one album out of Jurado’s canon you can’t go wrong Maraqopa.

Grynch Perspective

Grynch’s third full-length album proves that the King of Ballard can do more than just rap about rapping (and rap about his Volvo). Stellar production by Jake One on several tracks compliment Grynch’s everyman rhymes about his life, his love of Seattle and yes, even life in the rap game.

Ticktockman Ticktockman

The self-titled debut from this group of rockers formed by former members of Gatsby’s American Dream and Wild Orchid Children, is a rollicking rock ‘n’ roll punch in the gut for your ears.

Don’t Talk to the Cops Let’s Quit

The sophomore record from DTTTC is the most fun you can have with your ears in under 32 minutes. DJ Bless One’s silly-yet-highly-addictive beats (“Tip Toe Right Be Em”) and witty raps combined with Emek’s biting-yet-occasionally-adorable rhymes (see “LAOS! LAOS! LAOS! LAOS!”) will make you and your speakers very, very happy.

Five more locals who are releasing records that you should be on the lookout for: Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, The Redwood Plan, Fresh Espresso, Macklemore and Vicci Martinez.

Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 14 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 editor of defunct music site Ear Candy.