Suitcase - Seattle, WA
More than just a band, the Seattle-based rock ‘n’ roll group, Suitcase, is at the center of a musical family. Born of musical companionship and often found in the comfy confines of the historic Earwig Studio in the city’s Wallingford neighborhood, the group’s steady momentum is fueled by the energy it’s provided by fans, friends and kinfolk alike. Earwig, which has been home to many an act looking to cut a standout record, buoys the group as a home base, the center of a network of support and song.
Suitcase, which released its breakout record, Lisabuela, in 2001, subsequently performed two coveted sessions on the famed radio station, KEXP, playing the Audioasis show with KEXP mainstay host, DJ John Richards, along with a one-hour set on The Live Room. The band also caught the attention of R.E.M. guitarist, Peter Buck, who praised the “really good” group in an interview with The Big Takeover (issue #43), saying, “Geez, I haven’t seen a band that was unheralded in a long time that I liked.”
In 2017, the group re-formed after an invitation to play the popular Emerald City music festival, Upstream. Original co-founders Don Farwell (owner of Earwig) and Ed Otto added Clint Hoyler on bass and Joe Patterson on drums. Together, they recorded a new record, Come Back. Full of introspective lyrics and honeycomb hooks, the album is set for a 2019 vinyl release. After playing prominent Emerald City stages like the Crocodile and the Tractor in the 90s and early 2000s, the band is back for more. Why? Because family is forever.
Seattle Music Insider review:
“I’ve always felt like having a title track creates a bit of pressure for an album. Am I supposed to take everything I feel on this track and apply it to all of the other songs? I overthink it. This example helps me understand. ‘Come Back’ is glorious. The form, the arrangement, the harmonies, the ROCK. It’s also accompanied by a genius video make by Lance Hofstad (Estocar) that features each band member’s face performing their respective parts in, you guessed it (except that you didn’t) UNDERWATER, but the faces are looking at you vertically!! It’s the totally unexpected yet perfect visual for a song that is full of strong, scared, and nostalgic imagery. The longing in this song is what I feel on the whole album.”
Kai Strandskov - Seattle Composers Alliance:
“First pass, I sensed something special. Second pass, a few songs jumped out at me. Third pass, I started hearing a bunch of subtleties that are sending me further down the rabbit hole. [Suitcase] made a record that somehow will be broadly accessible and enjoyed by a wide range of people, while at the same time is almost avant-garde in production and songwriting. There are hooks that get stuck in my head on repeat, like “This party sucks”, but then you go through the wormhole and slap bizarre key modulations in the guitar harmonies to what would normally be a pretty straight forward vocal melody. Simultaneous pretty melodies and gritty garage rock.”
Three Imaginary Girls:
"Fans of the 1990s Seattle sound will be pleased to hear that Suitcase writes songs that are brimming with a gritty northwest aesthetic while retaining strong melodies at their core."
Brent Lyons - Solving Sounds Podcast:
"Don and I dive deep into his history as a musician and cover everything that has lead up to a new record with his reformed band, Suitcase. Some of the points we touch on are playing shows with bands that sound nothing like yours, what it means to carry one with a band with a different line up, and we recognize a lot of the #friendsofthepod who have helped both Don and I out along the way." Listen at https://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/show/solvingsounds/id/11252258