Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Barsuk Records: 15 years of Northwest Indie

    I’m pretty sure we can all remember the first time we heard a Barsuk Record artist (Death Cab for Cutie, Phantogram, Nada Surf, Mates of State, Say Hi, Ra Ra Riot–the list goes on and on). For me, I was watching the third episode of the third season of the WB’s One Tree Hill and this melancholy song came on and the lyrics resonated with me: “Always love, hate will get every time.” Of course being 11 years old, I quickly ran to the computer, got on iTunes and bought the song, “Always Love” by Nada Surf. Unbeknownst to me, this was only the start of my love and appreciation for Barsuk Records’ artists.

    In honor of Barsuk Records turning 15 years old this year, listed below are my top five favorite Barsuk Songs and 10 more you should definitely check out:

    1. “Always Love” by Nada Surf

    As mentioned above, I love this song and although it may seem a tad depressing on the outside, it packs a punch once you start unraveling it and really get to the root of what Nada Surf is saying: love, not hate.

    2. “Northwestern Girls” by Say Hi

    I identify as a “Northwestern Girl” being born and raised in Seattle, so this song, although lyrically simplistic, is the absolutely perfect fall song for girls in the Northwest because it’s upbeat which will combat the grey and rain everyday.

    3. “Dying is Fine” by Ra Ra Riot”

    For such intense and arguable morbid lyrics, this song is particularly upbeat. No matter what your view on the afterlife is, Ra Ra Riot is ironically stating that dying is inevitable and there is no need to be sad about it.

    4. “The Sound of Settling” by Death Cab for Cutie

    It has got to be the “Ba Ba…Ba Ba.. This is the sound of settling” that I fall for every time. Slow at first, this song sucks you into the gloom of the Northwest then, like most of the songs on this list turn upbeat and you cant help but bop your head to the beat.

    5. “Mouthful of Diamonds” by Phantogram

    Maybe it’s the music video in the erie woods that makes me love this song or the high-pitched synth and drum loops but I’m pretty sure it’s singer Sarah Barthel’s old voice that I can’t get enough of.

    Additional songs to check out

    1. “Solid Ground” by Maps & Atlases

    2. “Tulsa Tra” by Aqueduct

    3. “Boy” by Ra Ra Riot

    4. “When I’m Small” by Phantogram

    5.) “Far from the Roses” by Minor Alps

    6.) “Get Better” by Mates of State

    7.) “Fingerhold” by Ramona Falls

    8.) “We Looked Like Giants” by Death Cab for Cutie

    9.) “Wolves at the Door” by David Bazan

    10.) “Who Wanna Rock” by Aqueduct

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover
    About the Contributor
    Jacqueline Wade, Author

    Comments (0)

    All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *