Ladies and gentlemen, hello and welcome back to Northwest Music Month 2016, where we’re featuring a different local band or artist for your music discovering pleasure every day during the month of June, to help ring in a summer of local music. Some days these artists could be a regional favorite that’s already got a following, and other days they could be a complete unknown that you’ve never heard of. Some technical difficulties on our main website meant the unfortunate delay of Northwest Music Month, but we’re not willing to go down without a fight. So today, we’d like to take this opportunity to turn you onto one of our favorite folk-rock locals, The Hasslers!
Originally from Missoula, MT, but recently relocated to Seattle, WA due to its vast and varied music scene, The Hasslers are a rootsy sextet with a keen ear for melody and layered, intricate arrangements. Just about every instrument under the sun makes an appearance in a Hasslers song in some form or another, and the band are incredibly skilled at implementing all this instrumentation into their songs, while still maintaining a catchy and instantaneous sensibility. While the band does put their lyrical content at the forefront — and frontman Matt Hassler certainly isn’t afraid to mince words — the band makes it clear through their playing and compositions that the music part of the music is also interesting to listen to, so you aren’t just focusing on the lyrics and ignoring everything else.
Released just a couple months ago, The Hasslers’ sophomore LP State Center perfectly showcases just what the six-piece is all about. Though there’s no shortage of tight folk-rock acts in Seattle, very few have the refinement and skill that The Hasslers display on this album. All throughout State Center‘s 12 tracks, you can catch a whole host of different song topics, set to a wide array of alt-country, Americana, and folky instrumentals. Whether it’s the story of love on the rocks on lead single “Loves Company” or the vivid poetry laid out on “Born Again Blues,” The Hasslers’ collective songwriting brilliance shine through more so than ever on the LP.
If you hold strong, personal lyrics in high regard, but also like the sound of muscular folk and alt-country, The Hasslers aren’t to be skipped out on. We recommend picking up a copy of State Center and keeping it in steady rotation for a long, long time.