Hello and welcome back to Northwest Music Month 2016, where we’re spending each day of June turning you onto a new band or artist that you should totally listen to. Consider it our last-minute graduation present to those of you graduating this month. Today we’re turning our attention over to the more playful side of Seattle music, to explore a band that radiates blinding neon colors from every orifice, The Not-Its!
The Not-Its! are an interesting bunch. Formed after the dissolution of the successful Sub Pop-signed band Velocity Girl and revered Seattle alternative rock band Harvey Danger, the quintet has ran with their sugar-charged, family-friendly indie pop for six albums now since their inception in 2008, and have been recognized nationally for their sweet and sour approach to indie-friendly guitar-pop.
It isn’t often you a see a band with that signature poppy indie sound make such innocent and easygoing music, but it’s definitely a big part in the quintet’s charm. Where else are you going to find indie rock songs about the joy of appreciating kindergarten or getting a haircut? (Well, outside of Pavement or The Unicorns…) In the live setting, The Not-Its! are notable for their playful rock shows whose audiences’ ages span the single digits to the middle-ages. The band is coming off a recent performance at the 2016 outing of the Folklife Festival, which rocked the socks off of toddlers and adult indie rock fans alike. (You can watch a video of that here if you weren’t there, it’s quite the experience.)
More than anything, it’s refreshing to see a local band that has that trademark northwest indie rock sound, but doesn’t take themselves so seriously. While musically they don’t sound too dissimilar to acts like Minus the Bear, they probably wouldn’t sound too out of place playing on Jack’s Big Music Show or Yo Gabba Gabba!, and could probably make a collaborative track with Johnny Karate and have it go down without a hitch.
However, that’s clearly the intention behind their work. They’re extremely fun to listen to, and are demonstrably very skilled musicians. If you’re in the market for some power pop that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is enjoyment for the whole family, definitely look into The Not-Its!