Spotlight on Pacific Northwest Artist: Blitzen Trapper

The American northwest has become a music mecca once again, only this time it's not the power chord wallowing of grunge but the low harmony of Americana and folk-pop music that's growing out west. With a nod to the early '70s autumnal sound of groups like The Band and The Grateful Dead, several bands have emerged from the pine woods of Oregon to both critical praise and pop audience accolades.

Blitzen Trapper is among this camp, distinguishing themselves from the pack with their heel stomping Skynard-esque southern rock style while flirting with bluegrass and even baroque rock throughout their last two records. On last year's Sub Pop release, Furr, Blitzen Trapper produced their most consistent work, with standout songs "Fire + Fast Bullets" and the title track bringing listeners back for repeat listens. This year's EP, Black River Killer, is a collection of songs they've been playing live on the Furr tour, so it serves as a great traveling buddy for the full length Furr. As the title, Black River Killer, indicates, the songs here are of a darker vein both thematically and sonically, but the songwriting remains just as strong.