Best New Music: 2013-14

Here’s what we think you should be listening to.


While everyone fawns over Portland, Chicago and Austin as hot spots for new music, Olympia quietly ferments the kind of sublime weirdness that has contributed disproportionately to overall “alternative culture,” whatever that means.

Obviously, themes established by riot grrrl and grunge—Olympia’s most heralded cultural exports—remain pervasive in the music world. And what would indie rock be today without Sub Pop and K Records, both formulated by students at Evergreen?

Though the tide of notoriety has largely receded since the ‘90s, Olympia’s music has continued to push forward into new territory while retaining its central D.I.Y. ethos. As a meeting place for artists from across the country, Olympia’s music draws from a wealth of influences and geographic histories.

Rather than a definitive selection, we hope this list serves as a jumping-off point for your own exploration. The albums here by no means represent a complete catalog of the “best” music that came out in the past year. But it intends to capture the feeling of this moment. These are the albums we have enjoyed the most, and to us represent a snapshot of the most exciting music Olympia has to offer right now.