Life After Grunge


Major nepotism alert, but today's Guardian has a piece focusing on what they dub Seattle's new sound, touching on a whole slough of bands and topics from Pearl Jam and Murder City Devils to Throw Me the Statue and the Cave Singers, the Croc closing, Starbucks and Georgetown.

An excerpt from the piece is below:

A new sound for Seattle

Laura Barton finds there is life after grunge

Friday February 8, 2008

"I've lived in Seattle my whole life, and I don't think it's ever been this cool," says Robin Pecknold, with tangible excitement. Pecknold is the frontman of Fleet Foxes, a group whose unique sound is hymnal and baroque, with mandolins and banjos and extraordinary vocal harmonies, and one of several bands at the forefront of a vibrant new Seattle scene that also encompasses the stoner folk of the Cave Singers, and the exuberant pop of Throw Me the Statue. "The community is pretty small," he adds, "everyone knows each other and is being supportive of one another, and it's awesome to see people doing well. It's very cooperative. Also a lot of guys are in multiple bands here, which is another good thing. Like, two members of Crystal Skulls are in our band. It's well-composed, complicated pop music." He also cites J Tillman, his brother Zach Tillman and Tiny Vipers among Seattle acts to watch.

Since the mid-90s, Seattle, once home to Nirvana and Pearl Jam, has been weighted with a cumbersome grunge legacy it is now keen to shake. "I remember when Kurt Cobain died, I was pretty young," says Pecknold, "but it seems like the grunge thing was more of a press creation. Seattle has changed a lot since then. Commerce-wise in the grunge days, it was a small town. That changed after Microsoft and Amazon and Starbucks came here. Now the neighbourhoods are unrecognisable. And I think the music has changed a lot, too."

The new Seattle sound no longer resembles the scrawly angst of grunge. Rather it is music that seems to reflect the city's geographical location, sitting on the west coast of the United States, hovering between the hipster enclave of Portland and the psychedelic haven of Vancouver. "It's definitely a mellowed-out sound," says Pecknold, "it's more musically toned down."

Read the full story here.

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