Capitol Hill Block Party 2012: Bands to Watch

capitol hill block party preview

Seattle’s Capitol Hill Block Party returns to its namesake neighborhood tomorrow night. You can check out the full line-up, and regardless of whether you’re attending, stream our CHBP 2012 Playlist for some quality tunes. Seeing as there are quite a few acts on the bill, we narrowed down our personal favorite acts that I, for one, am tickled to catch. Happy Block Party 2012! In case it’s the last one (via #2012), have a great one.

  • Phantogram: “Mouthful of Diamonds” was easily one of the catchiest indie songs of the past few years, and Phantogram’s Eyelid Movies was a very solid album through and through. But the band took a large leap forward with their Nightlife EP. Likewise, their live performance at MusicFestNW last fall blew me away. Excited to see how they’ve honed in on the new material.
  • Thee Oh Sees: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Thee Oh Sees’ live show is about as raucous as it gets, in the best of ways. Their performance at SXSW in Austin this spring (complete with rafter riding fans) only confirmed what their show in Seattle last fall indicated: they rock hard. They’ve just announced a new album that’s due out this fall, so look for new material this go-about.
  • Father John Misty: The ex-Fleet Fox drummer reinvented his solo work under a new moniker and yielded some awesome results. The more Americana/rock-a-billy tailored sound is a welcome, upbeat, lighter-hearted direction for Tillman. His SXSW show did not disappoint either.
  • Twin Shadow: I caught George Lewis Jr at Sasquatch 2011. It was a solid set, though nothing groundbreaking. However, with his newfound Pitchfork Best New Music’d album and a solid storm of buzz around him (plus a motorcycle chase/fight scene laden music video), I’m curious to see how the Twin Shadow world and live show has evolved. Plus, “Five Seconds” is just a great song.
  • Porcelain Raft: AoT contributor Jace Gobble personally introduced me to Porcelain Raft after covering their show with Youth Lagoon in Brooklyn this spring. Porcelain Raft crafts delicate, yet moving dream pop that’s akin to a quicker, more up-beat Beach House. 
  • El Ten Eleven: El Ten Eleven are a bitchin, two-man instrumental groove factory whom toured with The Globes last year. They’ve got super danceable, heavily layered jams that should be a treat after a few drinks on the Hill this weekend (or otherwise, for that matter).
  • Kithkin: Kithkin! Following the younger trend of these last three bands, Kithkin’s a youthful outfit out of Seattle U. So Cap Hill might almost be a home show for them. We just recently debuted their new single “Peacock”. You should have a listen and read that article to get a better background on them. But expect a wild, rhythmic, rowdy dance party filled with back-and-forth chanting.
  • Ava Luna: Ava Luna was on our “Bands to Watch at SXSW” list, and their performance showed we made the right pick! Originally, I had described them as a less eccentric version of the Dirty Projectors. That was a bit of “put-em-in-a-box” rhetoric, though their song dynamism, quick changes and three part harmonies sit well against Dave Longstreth and Co. I would highly recommend checking them out in their early stages of what I presume to be a successful music career.
  • Nude: Nude hails from my hometown of Spokane, WA. I’ve been hearing a fair amount of buzz about them, though personally have not caught them in action yet. We’ll see what the weekend brings, but look forward to new updates on the band from us after CHBP.