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The Hotness: Deep Sea Diver

Deep Sea Diver History Speaks Album CoverI am obsessed. Thoroughly obsessed.

Deep Sea Diver is a Seattle-based quartet comprised of lead singer, Jessica Dobson (who has worked with The Shins, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Connor Oberst and Beck), Peter Mansen, John Raines and Michael Duggan.

Back when I was growing up, Seattle was obviously considered Mecca for all things rock. Well, it seems as though Seattle is having a bit of a resurgence – either that or my inbox is – as I’ve been receiving loads of press releases from Seattle & Portland-based bands in 2012. If last year was all about the LA music scene, this year it’s all about the Pacific Northwest. Whereas the 90s were all about grunge and alternative rock, Seattle in 2012 is filled with piano driven rock, a la Deep Sea Diver.

It’s pretty rare these days that something really grabs me at first listen the way that Deep Sea Diver’s latest album, History Speaks, has. My close friends know that I’m a massive PJ Harvey fan, and Jessica’s vocals (not her music) remind me of a prettier, more melodic version of PJ’s – or even Siouxsie Sioux’s. Like PJ, Jessica has a remarkable ability to tell stories not just lyrically, but vocally as well. The music is rich with emotion and conjures up images of drinking whiskey at the bar of a 1950s saloon while Jessica performs with nothing else but a piano and that incredible voice of hers.

This very well could be my album of the year, come December. Absolutely incredible stuff all around.

Very difficult to pick a favorite, but have a listen to two of my favorite songs, “Keep It Moving” and “Ship” below. If you like what you hear, head on over to their Bandcamp page to listen to the rest of the album. But, please, do me a favor and give each song a chance before skipping to the next one – some of these songs are slow burners. Enjoy!

*Deep Sea Diver’s debut album, History Speaks, is out now and self-released. Buy it. Now.


Deep Sea Diver “Keep It Moving”

      Deep Sea Diver \"Keep It Moving\"


Deep Sea Diver “Ship”

      Deep Sea \"Diver Ships\"


The Hotness: Kishi Bashi

Kishi Bashi is the recording moniker of Seattle-based solo artist, K Ishibashi.

K’s a violinist and lead member of a synth-y NYC-based band named Jupiter One (that I believe I’ve written about before). He’s also traveled the world playing with many well-known acts, including Regina Spektor, Sondre Lerche, and (most famously – at least to me) Of Montreal.

Aside from Regina Spektor and a few Jupiter One songs, I’m not a very big fan of any of the rest of the bands K has lent his immense talent to. However, I’m quickly becoming a MASSIVE fan of his breathtaking solo work. Joyful Noise Recordings released his Kickstarter-funded debut album, 151a, back in April and I have to say that it’s easily one of the most stunning records to come out in 2012.

Each song feels as though it’s been created with the violin as its foundation; sweeping and swaying, plucking and trucking.  151a initially proved to be the perfect lullaby to get me to sleep during all of the rough months I went through earlier this year with my health; but it’s now acting as the perfect summer daytime companion every time I step out into the big bad world of Manhattan. (Ok, I know that sounds corny, but just roll with it, ok?)

Clocking in at a mere Damian Rice-like 34 ½ minutes in length, it never feels too short; perfectly satisfying my daily need to hear something beautiful. Another album full of romance, both happy and sad, I highly recommend picking up this beauty.

Check out two of my favorite tracks, Manchester and (The Mamas and the Papas/Beach Boys-ish) I Am The Antichrist To You.

*Kishi Bashi’s debut album, 151a, is out now via Joyful Noise Recordings.


Kishi Bashi “Manchester”

      02 Manchester


Kishi Bashi “I Am The Antichrist To You”

      08 I Am the Antichrist to You


The Hotness: Sucré

Sucré A Minor Bird When We Were YoungSucré is a magical pop trio comprised of lead singer, Stacy King, Darren King, and Jeremy Larson from Tyler, Texas. No, seriously – they’re from Texas.

It’s no secret that, generally speaking, my favorite artists tend not to be American. Maybe it’s because I’m half English or maybe it’s because I grew up listening to a steady diet of Beatles-esque British Invasion type music (courtesy of my wonderful mother). But the bottom line is that my favorite bands and artists of all-time just aren’t American; which is why I’m pretty excited to be discovering new artists, such as Sucré, of late.

Sucré’s sound is extremely romantic and brings out the daydreamer in me big time. Stacy’s vocals remind me at times of everyone from Emiliana Torrini to Nina Persson (The Cardigans) and someone else that I totally can’t think of right now. Fuck. Who is it? Maybe a not-annoying version of Leigh Nash (Sixpence None The Richer)? Anyway, the point is she’s got a sweet girlish voice which perfectly fits the beautiful orchestral production throughout Sucre’s debut album, A Minor Bird.

The album clocks in at just under 40 minutes; therefore you have no excuse not to give it a chance and listen to the whole thing. It’s really good. My favorite track is either Chemical Reaction or the romantic lead single, When We Were Young; which you can watch the video to below.

Side note: To the writer at Variety who compared their music to Leona Lewis…..are you fucking high or just not listening?

*Sucré’s debut album, A Minor Bird, is out now via Red Velvet.


Sucré “When We Were Young”

Grindr Chronicles: Volume 1

GUY ON GRINDR: What ethnicity are you?

ME: Caucasian.

GUY ON GRINDR: No, like, I’m mostly Polish.

ME: So you eat pierogis?

GUY ON GRINDR: Mostly. Are you a top?

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