By Amber Hare
With a brand new year ahead of us, it’s time to load up our phones with our favorite songs for those long and crowded bus rides. Here is a selection of great local bands to listen to over the upcoming year.
Aeon Fux – Exuvium
I have worked with Aeon Fux before on more than one occasion, but was a fan long before. Always built as a sum of many parts, Aeon Fux weaves complex tapestries by combining layers upon layers of vocals and sampled sounds. The smallest minutiae dance around each other and seem to change with each new listen. Aeon Fux’s voice grows out of this swarm of noise rather than lying on top of it, coalescing into a glassy and shimmering pop song that never fails to get stuck in your head.
G.L.O.S.S – Outcast Stomp
G.L.O.S.S. embodies the rage and frustration of existing within patriarchy. Of watching power dynamics weave their way into even the most so-called “radical” of scenes. Of never feeling safe in public. Of watching every space become flooded with cis-men who take as much space as they can. It is unapologetic and ferocious. Lyrics are proudly screamed over sweltering guitar and bass riffs. Powerful, frenzied drums drive every song into a call to arms, a call to all those who have ever felt left out.
K8YH8R – Bad Attitude
K8Y H8R’s enchanting melodies wind their way around your ears like moss growing around a tree. Perfect music for a day of staying indoors, drinking tea, and writing in your journal.
Underpass – Pain of Trust
There is a very specific suspense that Underpass produces with their music, a cold and creeping anxiety.
The foreboding feeling of walking home in the dark
Smoking on your porch at night while over caffeinated
Tumbling out of the sky while in a dream
Naomi Punk – Television Man
The single off of Naomi Punk’s second LP is filled with ever self reflecting guitars, images bouncing back and forth, decaying and morphing with each iteration. Through this decay, a new, creeping growth is ushered in. Like mold in a basement, this song is dank and oppressive, yet full of life.
Vexx – Black/White
Vexx’s music is very aptly represented on the cover of their new 7”, Give and Take, a tangle of limbs and disjointed body parts that slowly unfold into smoke and fire. A discordant and volatile energy that lays itself bare, proudly displaying it’s messy emotions and passions. The scrambling guitar almost always feels like it’s about to lose control but never does, perfectly riding the line between panic and anger, creating a visceral and fervent tension.
OX – Catacombs
Ox is music that feels just at home soundtracking the world opening up and baring its molten inner core as it does overpowering any basement they play in. Guitars blaze alongside synthesizers, both screaming alongside drums that feel like a rockslide. An anthem for the end of the world.
Permethrin – Between
There is a very specific feeling of melancholy that accompanies returning home to Olympia, both a feeling of returning home but also of leaving the rest of the world. Olympia as a whole often feels like many of the rooms for rent here, dark, dank, and overgrown. Permethrin captures this feeling perfectly on their new single Between, the tangible pang as you travel down I-5 and see road signs that let you know you’re almost home, “Everything looks so good from far away”.