Formed in 1984, Primus is best known for its irreverent funk-metal style, which came to dominate radio airwaves in the '90s. Since releasing its official debut in 1989, the band has experienced lineup changes over the years, but one important element has remained constant: the spiraling bass lines of lead singer and bassist Les Claypool. Throughout the '90s, Primus grew a cult following, then burst into the mainstream with releases like 1993's Pork Soda. The group also wrote the now-classic opening theme for South Park before going on hiatus in 2000.
The Barr Brothers' self-titled debut is a powerful and moving folk record: It combines delicate harp arrangements with a rock 'n' roll sensibility and richly interwoven instrumentation. It's both a powerful record and a product of the uncanny series of events that led to the band's formation.
Under the name Active Child, Pat Grossi crafts gorgeous arrangements out of harps, synths and electronic drums, each of which complements his own ethereal voice. The elements of church music in his compositions stem from an authentic place: Grossi has been singing since his early days as a choirboy.
Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside's frontwoman was working as a waitress when she met bandmates Tyler Tornfelt (upright bass), Ford Tennis (drums) and Jeff Munger (guitar). Together, the four quickly built a following in their local music scene for their quirky style and energetic retro sensibility.
Oh! Pears is the brainchild of Seattle native Corey Duncan, who started the 13-piece group after a split with his former band Pattern Is Movement. With two violas, a violin, two cellos, four guitars, two drum stations, a flute, a trumpet and plenty of voices, Oh! Pears creates robust layers of instrumentation and vocals on its latest EP, Fill Your Lungs.