Though we had to cancel the Sound Off! 2020 finals after the museum closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic this past spring, the artists who came through the Pacific Northwest's premier 21-and-under music showcase and competition did not sit on their laurels or simply go into full hibernation. Many of them immediately started strategizing on ways to stay connected and keep creating in the new reality of socially-distanced recording, releasing some of their best work yet.
Our call for entries for Sound Off! 2021 is open now, and to celebratewe’re catching up with all 12 Sound Off! 2020 artists and padding out your playlists for the end of the year. We’re looking for the next Northwest Sound, so if you're an interested musician or you know an artist who's bound to be the next big thing, we encourage you to learn more about our nonprofit museum's program! Head to MoPOP.org/SoundOff
Hip-hop powerhouse 49th Parallel has stayed busy throughout the year,releasing a shutdown-focused solo track by Cormac Liotta capturing a very relatable emotional state in its title and refrain: "I Miss My Friends." And, you can pre-save their new EPMuah! which is being released this Friday, December 11.
Kaia is one of those rare artists whocontrols all aspects of her musical creation, from writing and singing to production. She released a collaboration withredWineon Soundcloud back in March, a sultry track called "Between Us."
The cinematically evocative lyrics that Ry Lucia writes are matched only by the power of her voice, which is soaring on her new song "Santa Fe." And it’s always a good time to revisit her Sound Off! set, which brought pin-drop silence to an awestruck audience inMoPOP’sSky Church.
Folk songstressMirabaiKukathashas launched a new website(with super sweet merch!)andhas a new singlecalled "Candyland"dropping on December 25. Inthe meantime, you can dig back into her Instagram feedforhome recordings, links to livestreamevents, and virtual collabsshe has done with other musicians.
Punk duo Mr.Dinklesreleased their Self-Titled EPright as things were shutting down in March, and went straight to work on a follow-up, Titled-Self, which was released last month and builds on their singular snark and punchy hooks. Give them a follow on Instagram for news on an upcoming video.
Portland based singer-songwritersearowsdropped a beautiful, plaintive cover of Phoebe Bridgers song "Punisher" this summer, which will instantly transfix you and send you back into his catalog to see that beauty translated on his original works.
R&B producer, singer, and songwriterTalaya. is busier than ever as 2020 wraps up,performing consistently online, recording and producing the work of countless other artists at a Hillman City studio and now at Ruby Room Studios.Talaya. also releaseda phenomenal video of her collab with Noah called "Need3," and performed an emotionally-charged cover of Alice In Chains’ song "All I Am" forMoPOP’sFounders Award fundraiser.
With a series of singles released steadilythroughoutthe year,thom.kohas continued to build adedicatedfan base and refine hismelodicsynthesizer pop. If you need an antidote to the December doldrums, give his latest, "90 MPH," a spin while driving(and pretending you had the top down).
Jazz/funk/metal juggernauts Tiny Planethave masked up and performed during several livestream events to hype up the release of their self-titled debut album. You can watch several of therump-shakinglivestream recordings on their Instagram.