Seattle’s breakthrough music acts of 2010

The Head and the Heart

My pals at Sound on the Sound introduced the blogsphere (and in turn KEXP and the rest of the local music community) to this group whose beautifully poetic folk took Seattle by storm in 2010. From opening for Vampire Weekend to opening and sort of touring with Dave Matthews to a massive article in the Seattle Times, this is a band to watch for in 2011.

Viper Creek Club

Mat Wisner and Brandon Jensen built a name for themselves as a solid team of remix artists by putting their own spin on tracks by Blue Scholars (listen below), Mad Rad, Metric and others. They also managed to create quite a fantastic debut album in Letters and land spots on bills that will get them noticed, including a slot at Mad Rad’s album release show last earlier this month. Hopefully more remixes, shows and music will come from VCC in 2011.

BlueScholars “Lumière” (Viper Creek Club remix)


Sol, or Solzilla as he is sometimes known, has been working his grind all year long while coming into his own as a MC. The Dear Friends II EP (which you can get for free) shows lots of potential for this young and talented artist and his latest release, the track “Feed My Ego” (listen below), shows that his talent is continuing to evolve. Sol seems to continually tease his fans on Twitter and Facebook by mentioning collaborations with other artists and the prospect of new music so here’s to hoping he’ll deliver on his promises soon.

Sol – Feed My Ego (prod. Grumps)

Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs

Star has been around for a while but in 2010 her status really started to rise. From selling out the Tractor Tavern to sharing the stage with Duff McKagan and Mike McCready at both the Hootenanny for Haiti and the Hootenanny for a Healthy Gulf, she established herself as one of the scene’s biggest and fastest rising talents. The Hootenanny sets put her on McKagan’s radar and also helper her build a friendship with McCready who is producing her new album which is expected to be released in March.

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo

Brent Amaker is a man full of surprises. He teamed up with Tilson for a killer remix that perfectly meshes BAR’s Western flair with Tilson’s hip-hop bravado. He successfully made a soaked crowd do the two-step at Bumbershoot and he wore furry bear hands for a photoshoot. What will this wild cowboy do next?  It’s a safe bet to say next year will likely bring more touring, bigger stages and a larger spectacle of a stage show for Brent Amaker and his band of men in black.

Brent Amaker and the Rodeo – Pocket Calculator (Kraftwerk cover)


Chris Mansfield had himself a great year. The artist who is better known as Fences won his way into the hearts of thousands with his delicate songs that focus on the fragility of life, love and heartbreak (read the review of his self-titled debut here). He performed at Bumbershoot, Capitol Hill Block Party and gained regular radioplay on 107.7 The End, which was perhaps his biggest victory of the year. Next year will bring a tour with Against Me, something that should help his profile continue to rise.

Fences – My Girl The Horse

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