Monday Music Picks: Sonya of We Are Loud Whispers

You know that ‘six degrees of Kevin Bacon’ theory, wherein everyone knows someone who knows someone (and so on) who’s famous? Well, here at Nordstrom HQ, we’re lucky enough to be one degree from some quasi-famous and ridiculously talented people. (Not Kevin Bacon—but pretty close.)

One of them is Sonya Westcott, a key member of our Web Development team and also an amazing musician (that’s the back of her head on the right). After playing bass in Rogue Wave (yes, that Rogue Wave) for a while early on, she co-founded ‘psychedelic folk-rock’ duo Arthur & Yu (picked up by Sub Pop co-founder Jonathan Poneman’s then-new label Hardly Art). Sonya’s latest music project, We Are Loud Whispers, came together seemingly miraculously—across the Pacific Ocean, via e-mail, with Japan-based collaborator Ayumu Haitani.

To say we’re impressed with the duo’s new record is an understatement—especially considering it was written, arranged, and put on wax without the two setting foot in the same room (let alone on the same continent). We’re equally impressed with Sonya’s wide-ranging, sometimes abrasive (in the best possible way) taste in music. She was kind enough to share 5 of her recent favorite albums with us below.

Metz – Metz
“Anyone who is a fan of punk, post-hardcore, whatever you want to call it, will love this band. It’s loud, it’s heavy—definitely turned up to 11. They put on a great show. I saw them at Barboza here in Seattle.”

Room 237 – [Soundtrack]
“This is the musical score to a really great documentary about one of my favorite films of all time, The Shining—so as you might imagine, it’s eerie and dark, yet campy at times. Amazing use of synth sounds reminiscent of what you would hear watching zombie films from the late ’70s and early ’80s.”

Matthew E. White – Big Inner
“Honestly, you just need to listen to it in its entirety. It’s that good. If you’re a fan of the soulful, funky bands of the ’70s—horns, strings, smooth-as-velvet vocals—you won’t be disappointed.”

Kid Cudi – Indicud
“I really like the song ‘Young Lady,’ for the clever/cheeky sampling of ‘Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings’ by Father John Misty. It’s not entirely work-appropriate, though, so I’ll suggest ‘Red Eye,’ featuring LA all-girl band Haim.”
[Ed. note: It’s not on Indicud, but the Kanye West song ‘Guilt Trip,’ with vocals by Kid Cudi, is one of our favorite tracks on Yeezus.]

Savages – Silence Yourself
“This amazingly talented band from London sounds like what might have happened if Joy Division was fronted by Siouxsie Sioux.”


[Intro photo by Charlie Schuck. We Are Loud Whispers songs © Hardly Art Records. Metz songs © Sub Pop Records. Room 237 Soundtrack by Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson, under exclusive license to Milan Entertainment Inc. Matthew E. White songs © Domino Recording Company. Kid Cudi song © Wicked Awesome, GOOD Music and Republic Records. Kanye West song © Def Jam Records. Savages songs © Matador Records. Individuals featured do not endorse Nordstrom.]

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