Ceschi - High Dive - Seattle, WA

Ceschi is a bit of an anomaly. Some listeners label him rap, some indie folk, some indie folk rap shoegaze metal grindcore (probably). Others would be quick to tell you he defies classification, and that feels accurate when you take in his live show for the first time. 

Ceschi hit the stage at the High Dive in Seattle in support of his recently released album, Sad Fat Luck, with producer extraordinaire Factor Chandelier. Joining him on the bill were Fake Four Inc. label mates Dark Time Sunshine, as well as fellow musical anomaly Kimya Dawson. The lineup exemplified the diversity of sound which Ceschi’s music employs. In testament to just how loyal and attentive Ceschi’s fanbase is, there were a large number of folks in the crowd who were singing and rapping along to almost all of the songs from Sad Fat Luck - an album which had only been out in the public sphere a scant few weeks prior. 

Now, it’s one thing to be a virtuoso at rapping, and another to be equally adept at playing the guitar. It’s a whole other beast entirely to be fully at home on both, but that’s Ceschi for you. Stellar musicianship aside, it’s the soul-bearing, heart-rending lyrics that have earned Ceschi his own lane in the music world at large. Sad Fat Luck, especially in its live form, is an exploration of loss and grief and the search for brief respites of happiness and understanding set against a deceptively upbeat and beautiful soundscape. Many were the occasions where one song would have audience members head bobbing (“Sad Fat Luck”), while another would result in tears shed (“The Gospel”). It’s music that feels deeply and implores the listener to do the same.

See Ceschi live, buy the record, and support an artist whose music exemplifies the peaks and valleys that mark the topographical map of what it means to be human.

For Ceschi’s tour dates + music: +

Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett of Sattva Photo



Murs (Feature)

Sustaining a 20+ year music career is something only a handful of artists achieve from their genesis. Even fewer are able to do so successfully across multiple iterations, groups, and record labels. When you couple those feats with an artist who put together one of the most iconic hip hop festivals and set a Guinness World Record for rapping for 24 hours non-stop, you’re left with one artist, in a lane entirely all their own: Murs. 

It’s difficult to adequately grasp and convey just how prolific, resonant, and diverse Murs’ career is to date. From a quick bird’s eye view, he co-founded the legendary indie hiphop supergroup Living Legends in 1996, is a member of 3 Melancholy Gypsies with high school classmates Scarub and Eligh, co-artist of the group Felt alongside Slug and Melorse with Terrace Martin, as well as the lead vocalist of the groups The White Mandingos and The Invincibles - and this doesn’t even encompass all of the various offshoots from many of these projects. 

He has been signed to major record labels (Warner Brothers) and stalwart indie hiphop labels (Def Jux, Rhymesayers, Strange Music). He put together the most insanely stacked hiphop festival, Paid Dues, for 8 years  running, which saw headliners like Wu-Tang, Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, Odd Future, Nipsey Hussle, Scarface, Joey Badass, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mobb Deep, and…well, you get the idea.

Prolific. Resonant. Diverse. 

Despite such a storied career, Murs remains a bit of an enigma. Case in point: the official website to which his Facebook page points doesn’t exist, nor does his artist page on Definitive Jux (since the label shuttered years ago). This may partially be a byproduct of launching a career at the advent of the internet and before social media was a thing, but there’s no denying the influence the guy has had - and continues to have - across so many artistic avenues.

So it was an honor to attend a recent Sunday night show at Bellingham’s Wild Buffalo and see the man perform a set encompassing so much of his storied career. A career which, if his showmanship and performance that night are an indication, still has plenty left in the tank.

Keep up to date with Murs here and - in case that disappears - on Spotify.

Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett of Sattva Photo


Lennon Stella (Feature)

For fans of the TV drama Nashville, Lennon Stella is already a household name (alongside her younger sister, Maisy). For those of us not familiar with the show, our first introduction to Lennon Stella will undoubtedly be forthcoming. With an exhaustive global tour underway, including an arena tour across the US in support of the Chainsmokers, it will only be a short matter of time before she hits the airwaves to the world at large.

Lennon grew up in a musical family (her parents are husband and wife duo, The Stellas), and it shows. At just 19 years-old, Lennon's pitch perfect vocals glide effortlessly over breezy instrumentals, with pop songwriting sensibilities that belie her age. The fact that she already sold out Seattle's Neptune Theatre bodes well for Lennon's future, and there's no question headlining arena tours are in her future.

Check out her tour dates , and catch a pop star in the making.


Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett of Sattva Photo


The Faim - El Corazon - Seattle, WA

Seattle's El Corazon was the perfect place to see The Faim for the first time. Their sound has fingerprints of Seattle's grunge apex, and - while their sound is also reflective of the contemporary soundscape - one can easily envision them sharing the stage with bands of that era.

Hailing from Australia, The Faim have cultivated a loyal fan base across the world thanks to an extensive global tour schedule, as well as a string of singles co-written with some of pop-rock's heaviest hitters: Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, blink-182's Mark Hoppus, and beyond. While working with prolific songwriters such as these helps to open a few doors, it's still up to the band to make their own name for themselves, to pave their own path. And The Faim do just that.

Their live show is kinetic and seasoned. A handful of sound problems were worked around with veteran ease, and the capacity crowd on hand - most in their late teens and early twenties - were engaged throughout. For those who are fans of Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, or blink-182, you'll find yourself right at home with The Faim. Live in concert is definitely the recommended way to hear them for the first time, and if you're already familiar with their music, it will only deepen your appreciation.

Catch them on tour here.


 Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett of Sattva Photo


The Dip - The Wild Buffalo - Bellingham, WA

It can confidently be stated that The Dip puts on one of the most fun live shows you're ever likely to see. Not only does their effortless blending of soul, funk, and 60's pop make their music preeminently danceable (if you need some convincing, give “Sure Don’t Miss You” a spin), these guys just know how to perform. 

Hailing from Seattle, The Dip are a seven piece band with charisma, showmanship, and talent by the boatload. It’s not often at a concert that one sees college kids dancing alongside folks who could pass as their parents and grandparents, but that’s what happens when they’re are on stage. It’s infectious music that gets into the bones and moves the soul, thus making it impossible - at the very least - to not toe tap, head nod, and finger dance.

As they continue their string of sold out shows across the country, you’re highly encouraged to check out their tour schedule, scoop up tickets for you and a group of friends, and just go have an incredibly fun time. 


The Dip were supported by opener - and fellow Northwest native - Laura Jean Anderson. If you haven’t heard her work, you should. If you’d like a musical reference think of Norah Jones, Tracy Chapman, and Janis Joplin all rolled into one. She’s phenomenal. Listen.


 Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett of Sattva Photo


Haelos - The Crocodile - Seattle, WA

Hailing from London, five piece band HÆLOS is a darkly ambient trip-hop group that filled The Crocodile to capacity. As they were sure to mention on stage, Seattle holds a special place in their story. It was at KEXP several years back that they recorded a full "Live on KEXP" session which - as of this writing - has well over 2 million views. This is how I, and many others, first heard about HÆLOS.

If you haven't checked out that performance, do, because it's a perfect representation of how amazing their live show is. Lotti Bendarout's vocals are equal parts angelic and haunting, effortlessly gliding over the ambient soundscape laid down by the band. Standout tracks like "Dust" and "Earth Not Above" were couched nicely between new material from their upcoming album Any Random Kindness

Encore track "Pray" left the sellout crowd buzzing after the lights went down. Were they to do a new KEXP session, no doubt it would surpass the views of the first as their music continues to evolve to exciting new places.

For tour dates:


Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett of Sattva Photo


The Suffers - Tractor Tavern - Seattle, WA

I was first introduced to The Suffers in 2016, when they were the opening act for Lake Street Dive at the Neptune here in Seattle. Now, three years on, they've been criss-crossing the US and globe on a headlining tour, and it's easy to see how and why they've achieved such acclaim in a relatively short amount of time: they put on a killer show.

Hailing from Houston, the 8 member band - fronted by the extraordinary lead singer Kam Franklin - creates a dynamically fresh Soul sound. Imbued with brutally honest lyrics that at turns confront grief, the pressure to conform, and accepting one's flaws, the tracks can't help but make the listener want to dance, as they're always buoyed with uplifting arrangements. Give a listen to "Make Some Room" and "You Only Call" for a nice introduction, and then give their newest album "Everything Here" a spin from front to back. You'll be glad you did.

Tractor Tavern was a wonderful place to see the show, as the intimacy afforded by the 200ish capacity venue heightens the profundity of the songs. And, to be clear, The Suffers won't be playing venues of this size for long: they are destined for arenas in no time at all.

It's worth highlighting, too, Seattle local Whitney Mongé who opened the show. Whitney has a phenomenal stage presence and sound that fits well in the family of Tracy Chapman meets Macy Gray and Kimya Dawson. Listen.



Catch The Suffers on tour here

Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett of Sattva Photo


Pickathon 2019

Pickathon announces new additions to an already stacked lineup, bringing a true American musical legend, Phil Lesh, into the fold. A founding member of the Grateful Dead, Lesh not only influenced multiple generations of artists, but created and defined a new American songbook, at once inspired by the roots of the music that came before and open to psychedelic new horizons. Lesh will be performing two days at Pickathon as Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band. Also announced is a very special set from The Richard Swift Hex Band, featuring an all-star list of collaborators backed by a dream band led by Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado, Dr. Dog’s Eric Slick, and members of Pure Bathing Culture, in addition to many special guests.

Aside from this year’s headliners, like Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Khruangbin, Mandolin Orange, and Tyler Childers, Pickathon operates also as a discovery engine. Festival director Zale Schoenborn and Pickathon co-producer Terry Groves know full well that many of the bands booked at the festival have only a small draw in the surrounding area of Portland, Oregon, but Pickathon’s predicated on the need for new inspiration, new sounds, and new ideas in music and culture. Each year, Pickathon reaches out to a wide collection of tastemakers in many genres, asking each to recommend the bands that they feel are the most innovative and most contemporary. This philosophy of booking has proven itself time and again, first with bringing on artists early in their career right before they break (like Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, Shakey Graves, Lake Street Dive, The Avett Brothers, The War & Treaty, Kevin Morby, Future Islands, Leon Bridges, Daniel Norgren, DakhaBrakha, Billy Strings, and Courtney Barnett), and then with the inspiration shared between like-minded artists across genres. It’s commonplace to see artists wandering backstage between sets, soaking up new ideas from new bands that they’re also discovering, and pushing their booking agents to come back to Pickathon as much as possible, looking for this inspiration.


AUGUST 2-4, 2019



Pickathon 2019 Music Sampler:


Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy - Mount Baker Theatre - Bellingham, WA

Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy are househould names for anyone in the fiddle community. Their respective careers have spanned decades and taken them (and their family) to all corners of the Earth. Their live show is magnificent, rooted in the love they have for sharing their soul through song with the audience. 



Mount Baker Theatre was packed to the gills to see Natalie & Donnell play a variety of tracks with their backing band. From Celtic Classics, to contemporary originals, the entire concert flowed seamlessly from one track to the next.

Many were the moments when the crowd - which varied in age from 8 to 80 - was on their feet and toe tapping. This is definitely a show for all ages, which was evidenced by the closing numbers of the first half of the concert, when Natalie and Donnell were joined onstage by three of their young children, each of them fiddle and tapdance prodigies in their own right.

A show not to be missed for fans of fiddle, classic tunes, and just all around solid showmanship. 




For tour dates:

Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett of Sattva Photo