Three rounds of semifinals have left us with four unique sounds, inspired by various backgrounds and genres. After a month of battles, the Sound Off! 2017 finalists will face off for one last showdown at MoPOP Sky Church. Broadcasted live on KEXP’s Audioasis, these young, local musicians will vie to take home the top prize at this year’s competition. Winners will receive recording time, gear, radio airplay, media attention and festival performances. First place will score slots at Bumbershoot, second place at Upstream Music Fest and third and fourth at Folklife.
Check out the finalists and their bios below for a sneak peak of this year’s crop of budding, local talent.
THE GOOD WEIRD – Federal Way (indie rock)
Take the focused vocal style of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and lay it over guitars reminiscent of an upbeat Weezer track, and you’ll start to see what makes Federal Way trio, The Good Weird, tick. Even the most lethargic listener won’t be able to resist their upbeat, driving sound as it bounces over their ears. Distinct harmonies, thoughtful lyrics, and energetic passion make The Good Weird indie rock done right.
JASON MCCUE – Seattle (alternative folk)
The wobbly, unfailingly melodic sound from alternative folk artist Jason McCue evokes the influence of artists such as The Beatles, Elliott Smith, and Built to Spill. But where he shines is in his lyricism, which alternates with ripples of wisdom, longing, blasé, and adolescent angst—often self-deprecating and satirical: “I wanna president who beats on his chest / who reassures me that America’s the very very best.” His fragile coo and intimate style of performance are the perfect pairing to deliver his sweet and folky bite-sized stories.
FALON SIERRA – Seattle (alternative R&B, soul)
Falon Sierra’s unique style is a combination of smooth vocals and powerful lyrics. Her work bends traditional genres in new and interesting ways, creating an alternative R&B sound blended with electric soul. With influences like SZA and Amy Winehouse, Falon Sierra is taking up the mantle of the soulful songstress in a way that is completely her own. Her EP Beauty in Danger was released in the summer of 2016.
TORPOISE – Tacoma (electronic)
Citing Sound Off! alum Manatee Commune as an influence, Torpoise combines an electronic style with a love of classical composers like Tchaikovsky to create dream-like tracks perfect for a long drive at night. He describes his sound as “if a Nintendo 64 was mashed together with a saxophone and a lucid dream,” and he’s not wrong. Torpoise’s music glides along on a 16-bit wave of melody interspersed with the perfect amount of beeps, boops, and trills.
Sound Off! 2017 Finals
When: Saturday, March 11, 6pm
Where: MoPOP Sky Church (325 5th Ave N)
Tickets are $10 for MoPOP members and $14 for non-members