Year Candy: Seattle’s 2012 breakout acts

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Fly Moon Royalty

Fly Moon Royalty

For the past few years, as a part of Year Candy, I’ve spotlighted a few local artists who had breakout years and appear to be on the cusp of doing bigger things and making it ever so closer to the national spotlight. In 2010 Guerrilla Candy’s class of  breakout artists included The Head and the Heart and Sol. Of course both of those artists have managed to do quite well for themselves with THATH touring all over the place the past few years and Sol’s last local gig being a sold-out, headlining show at the Showbox.

Last year Allen Stone and Pickwick were two of Guerrilla Candy’s breakout artists. As has been documented on this site, Stone had a massive 2012 with a national tour and multiple national TV appearance. And while Pickwick was relatively quite this year, word on the street is they’ll be working hard in 2013 with a new album, tour and a record deal.

This year’s crop of breakout artists is a nice reflection on the diversity and talent of Seattle’s music community. A soulful hip-hop duo, quasi-supergroup of hard rockers, a former Fleet Fox who let his freaky folk fly and an atmospheric pop twosome make up 2012’s class. And fear not Jordan Cook fans, don’t start shouting “What about Reignwolf?” just yet. He’ll get recognition for his fantastic 2012 very soon. But for now here are Seattle’s 2012’s breakout acts.



Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox have been making music as Lemolo for a few years, but it wasn’t until 2012 that these two talented artists released their debut full-length album.  They also managed to sell out two shows at Columbia City Theatre and opened for Allen Stone at the Paramount. Their profile will likely continue to grow well into next year and beyond. 

Review: Lemolo’s ‘The Kaleidoscope: A dynamic and moody debut


Father John Misty

Josh Tillman has been making music in Seattle for years both as a solo artist (J. Tillman) and as drummer for Fleet Foxes but it’s his debut as his alter ego Father John Misty where he manages to shine the brightest. With plenty of indie cred and Pitchfork buzz behind him, expect FJM to continue to do big things.

Review: Father John Misty flies the freaky folk flag on Fear Fun

Fly Moon Royalty

Action Jackson and Adra Boo released one helluva teaser in Fly Moon Royalty’s Dimensions EP. That offering’s single “The Birthday Song” perked up ears and was a fitting follow-up to “Lemonade,” the hit off FMR’s self-titled 2011 debut. Along with releasing a killer EP, they also played an unannounced pop-up set at Block Party (as wll as their regular CHBP set and Jet City Stream session that same weekend) and broke out a killer cover “Baby Got Back.” But all of that looks to be a small appetizer leading up to a full-length album that will hopefully land next year. And if “Betty’s Kitchen,” (the song posted above) is any indication, 2013 will be a big year for Fly Moon Royalty. 

Review: Fly Moon Royalty’s Dimensions


Walking Papers

The music of Walking Papers is filled with good old-fashioned hard-hitting rock ‘n’ roll that just happens to be made by former members of Guns N’ Roses (Duff McKagan) and the Screaming Trees (Barrett Martin) along with a soulful and highly underrated frontman (Jeff Angel) and occasional assists from Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready.

Walking Papers: Seattle’s newest (almost) supergroup



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, and others and was the founder and editor of defunct music site Ear Candy.