Local Tunes, Part One

People Eating People album coverLa Luz Its Alive album coverGhost of the Beast album coverLet’s take a minute to represent Seattle and the immediate Pacific Northwest! We’re all one big family with lots of talent. Lucky for us, the Seattle Public Library seems to have noticed. Here are three local albums currently in our catalog:

People Eating People (Seattle, WA), People Eating People

Photo by CC attribution from  gregoryperez on flickrNouela Johnston is no stranger to the local music scene. She was the lead in a band called Mon Frere in the early 2000s and now has a solo album under her first name, titled Chants. What makes Nouela’s music so effortlessly likeable is not just her obviously finely-tuned (pun intended) piano skills or her clever, sassy lyrics; it’s also about the direct, soulful way she sings and how she can go from somewhat mellow to belting it out and yelling in your face on a dime. With a name like People Eating People, the darkness probably won’t surprise you, but you may be surprised how charmed you are by it!

La Luz (Seattle, WA), It’s Alive (currently on order)

There’s something about La Luz’s music that nearly makes it feel like it could be from another era — the four-part female harmonies, the dusky electric beach/surf jam feel… One thing’s for sure, La Luz knows what they’re doing, and they are doing it well. These incredibly cool ladies produce sultry jams that get you swaying and doing laid-back dances to the rhythm of love and heartache. The album is currently on order, but in the mean-time enjoy some of the songs played live in a recent KEXP in-studio performance.

Photo by CC attribution from Oregon Public Broadcasting on flickrKelli Schaefer (Portland, OR), Ghost Of The Beast

I was fortunate enough to catch Ms. Schaefer at a small Tacoma house show where she played several songs with only an acoustic guitar and her voice. It was beautiful, touching and raw. I’m glad that I was spoiled with this experience before venturing into the album, because it helped me realize all the more quickly just how powerful these tracks really are. There’s quite a range, too: you can stomp, yell and let off steam with tracks like “Black Dog” and then let tracks like “Gone In Love” tug every single heart-string and perhaps induce a tear.

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