Tune Up Your Road Trip Playlist With Eva Walker
Eva Walker is a great resource for music discovery in the Pacific Northwest. She hosts Audioasis, a Northwest music show on Seattle indie music station KEXP, and co-hosts Seattle Channel’s Video Bebop with her twin brother, Cedric.
Eva and Cedric perform locally as The Black Tones, playing with the likes of Mavis Staples, Death Cab for Cutie and Weezer. As a music teacher, she even works to raise the next generation of local musicians. Walker shares her expert tips on how to discover great music in the Pacific Northwest.
What Pacific Northwest music isn’t getting attention?
“There is a lot of electronic music coming out here, and rock that’s more interesting — that is kind of inventing sounds. Some bands that stick out to me are Black Ends, Dark Smith and Warren Dunes. They don’t sound like any bands I’ve ever heard. And our R&B scene has been exploding with amazing R&B artists like Parisalexa and Chong the Nomad.”
What places outside of Seattle have great music?
“People know of music happening in Tacoma, but it’s not as celebrated as it is in Seattle. If they’re in Seattle, they’ll say, ‘Oh, I’m the Tacoma artist.’ But a lot of people outside of Washington just rep Seattle. Also, I was surprised at the amount of talent coming out of Poulsbo, Washington. I had never heard of that city until we went and played a small bar there. Spokane and the Tri-Cities area; I discovered some pretty wicked musicians there. Vanna Oh! was from the Tri-Cities. She’s incredible. Whitney Mongé is originally from Spokane.”
What does working with kids teach you about music?
“I get a sneak peek at the future of music with these students and getting to empower them. It’s riveting to see. The message I try to engrain in them is, ‘You know what? I can show you how to play these things on the instrument, but I can’t show you how to make your own music or to create your own style.’ Kids come up with the most amazing things. I don’t even know if they realize it. I see it as a sneak peek into what I’ll soon be playing on the radio.”
What are you looking forward to in local music?
“There’s going to be a lot of great records that I think are going to come out after COVID-19 shutdowns. People have had time to kind of sit with themselves. This is not like any time that anyone has ever experienced.”
Eva Walker’s Northwest Music Discovery Tips:
For more Northwest music insights from Eva Walker, listen to Audioasis or watch Video Bebop. Walker also listens to Loud & Local on KISW and Locals Only on 107.7 The End. And, she recommends Artist Home, which hosts local music festivals and streams concerts, as well as Sonic Boom Records and Easy Street Records, two online sources for finding new local artists.
– Written by Sarah Anne Lloyd
– Top photo by Quinton Peters