Band of the Day

2012.05.12

THEESatisfaction

A female hip hop duo making psychedelic hip hop infused with funk and playful fun
Turn off your swag and check your bag.
lyrics from QueenS

THEESatisfaction is a female alternative hip-hop duo based in Seattle, WA. Stasia Irons (vocals) and Catherine Harris-White (rapper, producer), who met at the University of Washington, provide crafty and often times sing-songy lyrics over psychedelic and funky beats. Behind fellow Seattle-based counterparts Shabazz Palaces, the duo is only the second hip hop act to be signed to independent recording giant Sub Pop Records after years of self-released EPs and self-financed tours and shows. The couple’s tireless work-ethic, dedication, and hustle comes to fruition as their full-length debut album awE naturalE is finally set for release on Sub Pop Records in 2012, after seeing the pair drop five EPs since 2008. THEESatisfaction also performed at the 25th anniversary of the Austin Music festival South By Southwest.

For new music junkies like ourselves, one of the most exciting things a song can do is surprise you. Seattle hip hop duo THEESatisfaction does that over and over again on their just released album awE naturalE. Listen to the intro of “Deeper,” with its racing hip hop beat and hypnotic synth sample: is Jay-Z about to start rapping, or is Thom Yorke getting ready to unleash some howls? Anything seems possible with this duo.

THEESatisfaction is Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris-White, two women based out of Seattle whose label describes their sound as “funk-psychedelic feminista sci-fi epics” and who describe themselves as “Queens of the Stoned Age.” Irons and Harris-White first met while studying at the University of Washington (also the birthplace of underground hip hop groups Blue Scholars and Common Market) and have released five self-produced EPs since 2008. While those EPs are overflowing with innovative ideas and plenty of intriguing moments, they come off as sketches compared to the group's beautifully realized debut album.

awE naturalE is a hip hop album, but injected with a host of other genres and influences. “QueenS” is built on a playful beat and an entrancing droning synth loop - a well-executed trick that pops up throughout the album. Irons and Harris-White repeat “turn off your swag/and check your bag” while trading soulful harmonies. “Sweat” is a sexy jam anchored by a pretty traditional hip hop/R&B beat and horn samples chopped into surreal funk. The duo is just as comfortable launching into a hooky chorus as slow but rhythmically top notch rapping on top of repeating groans.

While at times the album will be a bit too far out for some's tastes, overall they do a remarkable job of combining influences: the electro excursions of their spacy-tendencies, straight up soul, jazzy swagger. awE naturalE is the essence of fresh, a hip hop album that pushes the boundaries without sacrificing its core rhythms and compelling melodies.