Skeletons, Anchors, Blood and a Star: Four local bands you should be listening to now

Another dispatch from Ear Candy (and please note all these bands are playing shows in Seattle this week):

Skeletons With Flesh On Them @ EC Sasquatch! Prefunk

I’ve been getting a lot of great music in both my digital and non-digital mailboxes lately. The best part is that it is all local and all really, really good stuff. But instead of gloating about how great it is to get music in the mail, I figured I would share my thoughts on these amazing local releases that all get the Ear Candy seal of approval. So here’s what I’m listening to this week.

Skeletons With Flesh on Them "All the Other Animals"

This self-released, debut full-length record shows tremendous growth for a promising young band. They aren’t quite indie pop and definitely aren’t indie rock in its purest form . This je ne sais quoi of indieness adds to SWFOT’s sound which combines the melodic tendencies of Harvey Danger and the more rocking style of early Modest Mouse, providing a modern update of the Northwest indie sound. DOWNLOAD: "Power Cords"

Catch Skeletons With Flesh on Them Thursday at Chop Suey. They’re on a bill with Apple War, Breakfast and Bad Dream Good that will cost you $7.

Star Anna and The Laughing Dogs "The Only Thing That Matters"

Another great local artist with a stellar sophomore release is Ellensburg’s Star Anna. She’s delivering on the promise of becoming the alt-country siren of the Pacific Northwest that she showed on her debut record, 2008’s "Crooked Path." The growth displayed on this album is twofold with not only Star’s vocals and lyrics becoming more sophisticated and powerful but also her band, The Laughing Dogs, showcasing their skills while relishing the opportunity to carry many of the record’s 12 tracks. DOWNLOAD: "Burn"

Star Anna celebrates the release of "The Only Thing That Matters" Saturday at the Sunset Tavern. Also slated to perform are Kristen Ward and Hurricane Chaser. The show costs $8.

Erik Blood "The Way We Live"

Take one part Matthew Sweet add a dash of The Strokes and throw in some early 90s Bob Mould and you’re getting close to Erik Blood. He straddles the line of sensitive, introspective songwriter and overly ambitious rock singer extremely well on "The Way We Live." He almost fools you into thinking he’s more of the former on the record’s self-titled opening track but then songs like "Birch Effect" and "Broken Glass" come along and sucker punch your ears with infectious energy and ambition. DOWNLOAD:"Birch Effect"

Erik Blood performs at the Noise for the Needy kickoff show Saturday at Woodshed Studios with Truckasaurus and Speaker Speaker side project Exohxo for $6 in advance or $9 at the door.

Born Anchors "Sprezzatura"

There is a reason these guys are the local buzz band du jour. It’s because they are really, really good. Technically I don’t have a physical copy of this album (I have been listening to a stream provided to me by the group’s publicist) but one is in the mail and when I get it "Sprezzature" won’t likely leave my CD player for some time. It’s a rollicking jolt of power pop-rock with perfectly executed three-minute gems of songs that would fit perfectly on any alt-rock playlist. DOWNLOAD: "Cascading"

Born Anchors will celebrate the release of "Sprezzatura" Saturday at the Comet during their CD release show with Derby, Surrogate and Ruth.

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