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Doug Martsch

The beloved Northwestern U.S. and its quirky pop scene has been spearheaded by Modest Mouse, Quasi, and Doug Martsch's beloved Built To Spill, which from the unlikely locale of Boise, Idaho reached out and won the hearts of indie kids everywhere with a series of independent releases from 1993 through 1996 following the demise of Martsch's previous band Treepeople. Built To Spill's pop melodies are usually unforgettable but somewhat weird in comparison to most mainstream pop, so many breathed a sigh of relief when the group successfully made the jump to Warner Brothers. Their four albums for the major label have been unwaveringly infectious and consistently creative.

Now Doug Martsch has emerged as a solo artist, finding time during BTS's hiatus to release his first solo album Now You Know. He recorded the record in Boise at his Manhouse Studio throughout 1999 and 2000. His instantly recognizable vocals lie on top of a bed of folk and blues. The minimal accompaniment features a terrific array of slide guitars and flat top picking and crescendos with strings and drums at just the right times. Martsch never fails to write excellent songs that speak with the dialect of his rural hometown mixed with the heavy influence of various elements from the K Records family tree, like Beck's One Foot In The Grave (recorded with members of Built To Spill and other K notables) and The Halo Benders, a side project of Doug and K honcho Calvin Johnson.