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Sound Off!

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

An annual event since 2001, EMP’s Sound Off! supports the all-ages scene by giving artists an opportunity to showcase original music, launch their music careers, and connect with the larger artistic community.

Now in its 13th year, Sound Off! has paved the way for some amazing bands and artists including The Lonely Forest, Dyme Def, Sol, Kithkin, Schoolyard Heroes, Tomten, and Brite Futures.

All participants are 21 or under and residents of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, or Idaho. Sound Off! participants make off with a slew of awesome prizes such as recording time, gear, radio airplay, high profile performances and media attention.

Sound Off! Winner: Otieno Terry

Otieno Terry Winner

On March 1, R&B pianist, singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Seattle, Otieno Terry, won the top prize at EMP Museum’s 13th annual Sound Off! competition held in EMP’s soaring Sky Church. Otieno Terry beat out Everett-based indie trio Fauna Shade who came in second place, followed by Seattle synth pop group Laser Fox. Bellevue punk band Thee Samedi came in fourth and won the award for Audience Favorite.

Sound Off! 2014 Info + More

  • Semifinals #1

      • Winner

        Laser Fox
        Seattle, WA (synth pop)
        Listen: "Wuluwaid"



        Watch: "Tanzania"
        Laser Fox






      • Wild Card

        Dames
        Tacoma, WA (indie)
        Listen: "Form of Control"



        Watch: "Sometimes"
        Dames






      • Sophia Duccini
        Whidbey Island, WA (indie folk)
        Listen: "The Way it Seemed"



        Watch: "Brightest"
        Sophia Duccini







    • Tommy Cassidy
      West Richland, WA (hip-hop)
      Listen: "They Told Me"



      Watch: "4th and Virginia"
      Tommy Cassidy 2014






    • Semifinals #1
      Saturday, February 8
      EMP Museum, Level 3

  • Semifinals #2

        • Winner

          Thee Samedi
          Bellevue, WA (garage rock)
          Listen: "Moonshine"



          Watch: "Asphyxia"
          Thee Samedi






        • Wild Card

          The Onlies
          Seattle, WA (folk)
          Listen: "Far From Danger"



          Watch: "Gathering Up the Hours"
          The Onlies






        • Manatee Commune
          Bellingham, WA (electronic)
          Listen: "Lovely"



          Watch: "White Smoke"
          Manatee Commune







      • Nabii Ko$mo
        Kingston, WA (hip-hop)
        Listen: "Wolves"



        Watch: "Corduroy"
        Nabii Ko$mo







    Semifinals #2
    Saturday, February 15
    EMP Museum, Level 3

  • Semifinals #3

      • Winner

        Otieno Terry
        Seattle, WA (R&B)
        Listen: "Sometimes"



        Watch: "Starship"
        Otieno Terry






      • Wild Card

        Fauna Shade
        Everett, WA (indie)
        Listen: "10's 11's"



        Watch: "Jane"
        Fauna Shade






      • Calico the Band
        Boise, ID (indie folk)
        Listen: "In Our Town"



        Watch: "Swimming Home"
        Calico The Band






    • KSneak
      Seattle, WA (hip-hop)
      Listen: "I'm On"



      Watch: "Vibe With Me"
      KSneak

      Semifinals #3
      Saturday, February 22
      EMP Museum, Level 3






  • Finals

      • Winner

        Otieno Terry
        Seattle, WA (R&B)
        Listen: "Sometimes"



        Watch: "Starship"
        Otieno Terry






      • Second Place

        Fauna Shade
        Everett, WA (indie)
        Listen: "10's 11's"



        Watch: "Jane"
        Fauna Shade






      • Third Place

        Laser Fox
        Seattle, WA (synth pop)
        Listen: "Wuluwaid"



        Watch: "Tanzania"
        Laser Fox






      • Fourth Place

        Thee Samedi
        Bellevue, WA (garage rock)
        Listen: "Moonshine"



        Watch: "Asphyxia"
        Thee Samedi







Sound Off! 2014 Band Bios

    • Calico The Band

      Calico the Band

      Boise, ID (indie folk)
      While this six-piece dulcet indie folk group may sound right at home in the Puget Sound, Calico the Band actually hails from Boise—making them the very first Sound Off! semifinalists from the fine state of Idaho. Driving upright bass, sweetly singing violas, and swelling harmonies evoke hints of autumnal, acoustic-based bands such as The Head and the Heart and Fleet Foxes. With delicate arrangements, earnest lyrics, and cascading tambourine rhythms, this band has enough folksy charm to satisfy a Greenwich Village musician circa 1960.

    • Tommy Cassidy 2014

      Tommy Cassidy

      West Richland, WA (hip-hop)
      A live hip-hop band from over the mountains in Richland, Washington, Tommy Cassidy brings a passion for music that could warm the stony heart of the most jaded Seattle hipster. The killer combo of Cassidy’s dynamic rap vocals and his band’s diverse live instrumentation depart from the traditional hip-hop formula. Featuring everything from a cappella rhymes to funky breakdowns, Tommy Cassidy ultimately delivers a powerful message of positive action and meaning.

    • Dames

      Dames

      Tacoma, WA (indie)
      Tacoma garage band Dames doesn’t actually include any dames. This all-male band creates retro-tinged indie-pop with infectious energy and clever lyrics. Toss some Vampire Weekend and Mac DeMarco into a blender, add a bit more jangle, and you’ll get a sense of how much fun their music is. Get ready for bouncy, exuberant music guaranteed to make your feet move.

    • Sophia Duccini

      Sophia Duccini

      Whidbey Island, WA (indie folk)
      Whidbey Island’s Sophia Duccini weaves sincere emotion and accomplished instrumental prowess into her own brand of contemporary indie-folk fare. Whether performing solo with her guitar/piano or backed by a full band, Duccini consistently delivers precociously mature, well-crafted songwriting arrangements that conjure Neko Case and Laura Cantrell. Splendidly subtle, yet confident in delivery, Duccini’s voice will inevitably be heard outside Seattle in the very near future.

    • Fauna Shade

      Fauna Shade

      Everett, WA (indie)
      Fauna Shade makes self-effacing, ricochet-saturated music fit for the nocturnal hours. With brilliant flashes that are evocative of early Modest Mouse, Wolf Parade, and Panda Bear, the Everett-based trio’s music manages to remain uncorrupted and free of pretense. They skillfully synthesize a shrewd and wistful sound that will lay down roots and make a home in your head.

    • KSneak

      KSneak

      Seattle, WA (hip-hop)
      With a touch of Left Eye and Drake in her lyrical style, Seattle rapper/singer KSneak is a music-talent worth paying attention to. She’s got the confidence and, well, swagger of a mainstream rapper, and puts on energetic shows that keep her audience numbers growing. Despite the sometimes egotistical nature of hip-hop, KSneak’s lyrics remain honest and humble, and she finds ways to outclass her opponents without uttering a single curse—no easy feat in the rap world. It’s also worth mentioning that she sings and dances, making her a triple threat.

    • Laser Fox

      Laser Fox

      Seattle, WA (synth pop)
      Seattle’s Laser Fox deal up infectious and glittery electronic pop packed with synths, drum machines, bright guitar riffs, and surf rock tendencies. With a band name that calls to mind a Bond villain’s secret weapon or a new character on Adventure Time, Laser Fox describes their music as “Passion Pit on drugs, without the drugs.” Even though this group has been together less than a year, they have the energy and expertise to get this city dancing to their music in no time.

    • Manatee Commune

      Manatee Commune

      Bellingham, WA (electronic)
      Hailing from Bellingham, WA, Manatee Commune is the dreamlike, solo electronic project of Grant Eadie. Atmospheric and ambient, Manatee Commune offers lush gradients of sound similar to Washed Out and Dirty Beaches, while overlaying mellow beats reminiscent of ADULT. and interwoven, found-sound samples that conjure The Books. The spacious, reflective vibe of Eadie’s compositions suggest a stroll through the woods, a long bike ride on a gray day, or spending time alone in your bedroom—tuned in but lost in a world of your own.

    • Nabii Ko$mo

      Nabii Ko$mo

      Kingston, WA (hip-hop)
      Kingston, Washington-based Nabii Ko$mo delivers his own personal brand of hip-hop, channeling influences from A Tribe Called Quest and Mos Def to Joey Bada$$. With live drum accompaniment and mad personality, he brings his emcee prowess to the stage, bridging the divide between performer and audience like Mount Rainier during a weekend eruption. No, seriously.

    • The Onlies

      The Onlies

      Seattle, WA (folk)
      The Onlies are a group of high school sophomores who have been playing together since birth—which explains why their banjo-driven tunes sound so polished. Using a mandolin, guitar, and fiddle, these passionate musicians expertly shape deep-rooted folk music with a sound that’s both traditional and contemporary, acoustic and modern.

    • Otieno Terry

      Otieno Terry

      Seattle, WA (R&B)
      Otieno Terry creates music with an unexpectedly powerful message. A poet, pianist, singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Terry crafts songs with melodies and harmonies that don’t resonate as typical R&B. Good thing. His introspective pieces are part hip-hop, part crooning, and part slam poetry accompanied by music. His depth of music range is expansive and it’s anyone’s guess which style he’ll lead with at Sound Off! 2014.

    • Thee Samedi

      Thee Samedi

      Bellevue, WA (garage rock)
      Thee Samedi is a band with a birthright to play the best basement shows in rock and roll, taking surf rock and sweat to the swarms with a menacing mix of guttural wails, unhinged howls, and instinctive riffs. This Bellevue-based quartet  embodies an innate form of punk, as exciting and native as it gets. Performing with spasms, urgency, and brash, unfettered energy, their live shows are not-to-be-missed events.

Questions?

Email SoundOff@EMPmuseum.org

Sound Off! is made possible in part by support from:

BNSF Railway

Snoqualmie Tribe

Additional support generously provided by:

ChipotledwDunlopFenderKEXP 90.3The Stranger

London BridgeLondon ToneFastback StudiosRobert Lang StudiosThe Vera Project

Talking RainSparkling IceBumbershootNorthwest Folklife