Winter Blues got you down? WinterStock, voted Best Skagit Music Festival 2018 by Cascadia Weekly readers, returns this Valentines Day to take the chill away and warm your hearts with two of the PNWs finest bands: Kuinka and Sway Wild!
Kuinka's genre-defying music features several different lead singers, four-part harmony, and core elements of rock (lead guitar, synth, drums) flavored with eclectic folk instrumentation (cello, banjo, ukulele) and a driving dance beat. But through all of their sonic experimentation, the Seattle quintet's songs and live shows are linked by an infectious energy that remains present in everything they do. On their first self-mixed and recorded EP "Landlines," Kuinka throws it back to the analog days of VHS and corded telephones. A departure from the “joyous folk pop” (NPR Music) of 2017’s “Stay Up Late” EP, the band explores the angst and anxiety of the world today through a mix of 90s synth and contemporary pop sensibility. Written in the dead of winter holed up on the San Juan Islands, Kuinka’s four core members, Miranda Zickler, Nathan Hamer, Zach Hamer and Jillian Walker, drew inspiration from the house where they set up camp, a relic of decades past. Each track is an ode to various in-between states of mind, a familiar feeling to those who witnessed the rapid change brought on by the digital revolution.
"Kuinka crafts songs that are engaging and original with a proper amount of established canon and innovation. Stories are laced through the lyrics, there are celebrations as well as lamentations—there is synth and cello! It is such a wonderful thing to hear a sound you've adored for so long ameliorated like this, with nothing missing, only new possibilities added to the mix." -Paste Music & Daytrotter
"Seraphic vocals bookended by ukulele, cello, and heavy percussion will leave you feeling giddy and glad to be alive." -The Stranger
Laura Totten Photography
SWAY WILD (featuring Mandy Fer & Dave McGraw)
Internationally-acclaimed songwriters Mandy Fer & Dave McGraw (from San Juan Island, Washington State), now joined by long-time friend and bassist Thom Lord, are back at it with a new sound, new album and new name - Sway Wild! Their exceptional harmonies coupled with Fer's pioneering electric guitar work have become a vehicle to carry them around the world, sharing the stage with such acts as Iron & Wine, Glen Hansard, Lake Street Dive, Gregory Alan Isakov and many others. Winning over audiences from Alaska to Amsterdam, Sway Wild performs a heartfelt and dynamic blend of innovative folk-rock, pop, and funk. Their debut self-titled Sway Wild album includes special guests Birds of Chicago, Sean Hayes, Anna Tivel and was released worldwide on September 13th, 2019
“Grooving...wistful, driving, and a masterful combination...velvety vocals over staccato guitar and light percussion capture your attention with Sway Wild.” -Parade Magazine
"'Off-Grid Lo-Fi' is chock full of roots-rich gems...Fer shreds...a delicate blues madrigal..." Acoustic Guitar Magazine