Sound Off! 2017

The Northwest’s premier 21 and under battle of the bands.

  1. Jason McCue snagged first place at Sound Off! 2017 with his inventive lyrics, excellent acoustic technique, and unfailingly melodic sound. As one of his many first place prizes, he will perform at Bumbershoot music festival later this year.

    Photo by Nate Watters. 

  2. Jason McCue snagged first place at Sound Off! 2017 with his inventive lyrics, excellent acoustic technique, and unfailingly melodic sound. As one of his many first place prizes, he will perform at Bumbershoot later this year.

     Photo by Nate Watters.

  3. Winner of Semifinals #3, Falon Sierra's unique sound is a mix of alternative R&B and electric soul. Her winning performance secured her a spot in the Sound Off! Finals on March 11, where she will be joined by Jason McCue (Semifinals #1 winner), The Good Weird (Semifinals #3 winner), and Torpoise (wild card artist selected by MoPOP's Youth Advisory Board).

    Photo by Nate Watters.

  4. The Good Weird brought their weirdly good style of indie rock to the Sky Church stage for Sound Off! 2017 Semifinals #2 and it paid off. The Federal Way trio will advance to Finals on March 11. 

    Photo by Nate Watters.

An annual event since 2001, Sound Off! supports the all-ages scene by giving artists an opportunity to showcase original music on a large platform, launch their music careers, and connect with peers, industry leaders, and other members of the artistic community.


Sound Off! has paved the way for some artists including The Lonely Forest, Dyme Def, Sol, Kithkin, Schoolyard Heroes, Tomten, Brite Futures, as well as members of Beat Connection, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, La Luz, Kairos and more. Northwest musicians playing all genres of music are encouraged to submit original material for consideration.

Sound Off! judges, partners, and mentors include major music festivals, journalists, DJs, venues, bookers, alumni, record labels, recording studios, community organizers, and more. Through its partners, Sound Off! has been able to connect artists with bookings at high-profile venues and partnerships across the region such as Bumbershoot, Sasquatch! Music Festival, KEXP, and the Capitol Hill Block Party.

Sound Off! Info + More

  • 2016: Animal Camera; Copalis; COSMOS; Crews; Dre'zy and Too Smoove; Hello, I'm Sorry; Jazzy Tee; LEE; Paralexis; Paris Alexa; Party Shark; Travis Thompson
  • 2015: One Above Below None, Naked Giants, Emma Lee Toyoda, Bleachbear, Champagne Babylon, Hemlock Lane, Charlie and the Rays, Honcho Poncho, Mystery Machines, Nightspace, Righteous Minds, Super Soaked
  • 2014: Otieno Terry, Fauna Shade, Laser Fox, Thee Samedi, Calico the Band, Tommy Cassidy, Dames, Sophia Duccini, KSneak, Manatee Commune, Nabii Ko$mo, The Onlies
  • 2013: Dave B, SHEBEAR, The Fame Riot, As it Starts, Vervex, Maiah Manser, I for Eye, Mister Mista, Rose, Shogun Barbie, SoccerMom, The Female Fiends
  • 2012: Nude Pop, The Deep Wake, Feet, Special Explosion, Honora, Sam Lachow, Brothers From Another, Cassiopeia, Dungeon Science, The Unibroz, Ulrich, Your Rival
  • 2011: Tomten, Northern Departure, Fit for Hounds, The Oh Wells, Kung Foo Grip, Land of Pines, Ambulance, Electricity and its Double, Kids and Animals, Kithkin, Micah B, The Oh Wells, Young Pacific
  • 2010: Great Waves, Hooves and Beak, Candysound, SEACATS, Pan Pan, Sea Fever, A Cozy Kitchen, Apache Chief, Subtle Like a T-Rex, (Sui-Generis), The Cat From Hue, Us on Roofs
  • 2009: Dyno Jamz, Sol, Dearboy, Makeup Monsters, The Mission Orange, Cyrus Fell Down, Brier Rose, Free City Collective, Kids Get Hit By Buses, Love Trucker, Schoolboy Gutbuster, Razpy & The Vigilantes
  • 2008: New Faces, Nextdoor Neighbors, Man Down Medic, The Dead Are Judged, Southgate, KnowMads, Pat Goodwin, Scribes, Deer City, Kusikia, Shotty, The Batteries
  • 2007: The Globes, Brite Futures, The Army Corps of Architects, Don't Tell Sophie, Halfbreed, The Oregon Donor, Dreamwright, Left At the Castle, Black Swade, The Freetown, Skull bot, Emi Meyer
  • 2006: The Lonely Forest, Ben Rice and The Youth of Blues, Capital Basement, Ballroom Integrity and Grace, Dynamik, The Histrionics, Marquetta Miller, Dyme Def, Get Dressed
  • 2005: Gruff Mummies, The Last Romance, Handshakes, The Sutures (formerly the Neons), Paper or Plastic, Aluzjun, Nameless Danger, The Paramours, Squid vs. Shark
  • 2004: Mon Frere, The Lonely H, Idiot Pilot, Massive Habit, The Mechanical Dolls, Courtney Fortune, Abident
  • 2003: The Split Licks, Schoolyard Heroes, The Hollow Points, Bench Grinder, Royale, The Revelators, Soybomb, Massive Habit, Red Fish Blue Fish
  • 2002: Aaron Richner and the Blues Drivers, Asahi, Magnetic North, k through six, Vespin, Orizon, Steve Koozer, Sub-Motive

 

Sound Off! 2017 Band Bios

    • ANIMALS IN THE ATTIC

      Portland, OR (indie)
      Animals in the Attic pairs a laid-back, psychedelic sound with catchy hooks and traditional song structures to create an infectious feeling of tranquility in an otherwise anxious world. Their concise, relatable songs make for bite-sized aural treats perfect for anyone who loves love. Mix bands like Real Estate and Beach House with the unique sounds of the Pacific Northwest and you might just get the idea of what these animals are creating.

    • BROTHA' GROOVE

      Woodinville, WA (funk)
      Brotha' Groove combines bump’n beats and screamin’ solos to create a funky groove that sets the stage for a dance scene unlike any other. With influences from James Brown to Tower of Power, every composition builds like a wave of hot fire under your feet resulting in the irresistable temptation to move to their energetic, flamboyant, and groovy style. Their phat bass lines and Chicago-esque horn section give their work a dynmic soul that’s all their own.

    • CULT BRIDE

      Boise, ID (folk)
      Through carefully crafted musical arrangements and haunting lyrics, Cult Bride transports you to another world filled with delicate beauty and raw emotion. Comprised of the original members of the lively Sound Off! alum band Calico, this new project focuses on a reflective, visceral style in the vein of Daughter or Florence and the Machine. Even so, these influences only hint at the atmospheric qualities present in Cult Bride’s one-of-a-kind style of “spooky folk.”

    • FLUENCIE

      Seattle, WA (electronic)
      With influences ranging from Audien to Justin Bieber, electronic trio Fluencie energizes the crowd through a protruding bass line, skittering beats, and soulful lyrics. Each of their songs works on a finely tuned algorithm as they move through styles and textures, everything unified by a highly attuned ear. Their sound is at once huge and anthemic while remaining open and intimate, a testament to their desire to—in their words—“fight for originality and the importance of thoughtful lyrical content in electronic music.”

    • GIRL TEETH

      Bellingham, WA (punk, dream pop)
      Simple, dynamic chord progressions and beautiful lyrics about, in their own words, “sad gay feelings” are at the heart of what makes Girl Teeth so charming. Their music, which they define as “riddled with an obscene amount of teen angst,” has the purity of a schoolyard crush and the honesty of a diary confession. With dreamy guitars and simple vocals, Girl Teeth is music to sway to, but don’t let their earnestness fool you, with lyrics like “Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer,” these musicians aren’t afraid to put a little fight into their tunes.

    • THE GOOD WEIRD

      Federal Way, WA (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.

    • KOGA SHABAZZ

      Seattle, WA (hip-hop)
      A product of Seattle’s Central District, Koga Shabazz is a trained writer and vocalist whose dynamic style of hip-hop is grounded in such influences as the Fugees and Big Pun. With intriguing lyrics that reveal the mind of an avid thinker and a consistently high production value, his pure love of the genre is reflected in every track. In a world of dubbed performances and singles that retread established genre tropes, Koga Shabazz’s dynamic live show and intricate rhymes defy easy categorization.

    • JASON MCCUE

      Seattle, WA (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.

    • MISSION 253

      Tacoma, WA (pop/rock)
      It’s impossible not to be in a good mood after listening to Mission 253’s smooth, melodic tracks. With lead vocal melodies influenced by Maroon 5, performed in deep, clear tones, and complimented with smart, effective harmonies, their particular brand of music recalls a mid-century aesthetic of pop that keeps a hopeful eye to the future even as it pays homage to the past. Their catchy, effective hooks will grab your attention, leaving you humming along to your new favorite songs before you know it.

    • NOMAD

      Vancouver, WA (indie, alternative)
      Nomad takes you on a musical journey to the highest mountains and through the lowest valleys with songs that range from joyous and uplifting ditties to brutal and angry ballads. Ethereal wind instruments, hushed lyrics, and the near ever-present ukulele make up the base of Nomads songs, showcasing their ability to create a powerful sound with minimal instrumentation. Their live show invites the audience to be a guest at their campfire as they sing of their travels to distant lands.

    • FALON SIERRA

      Seattle, WA (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, WA (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.


Questions?

Email SoundOff@MoPOP.org

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