Great Waves
  • Nikko Hall
  • Great Waves
Great Waves were the winners at Saturday's Sound Off! finals at the EMP!

It was a deserved win—they put on a really impressive show, playing indie rock laced with folk and bluegrass. Sometimes their sound reminded me of the Arcade Fire, with a flurry of piano and mandolin, and sometimes it was a little more Fleetwood Mac-esque.

Self-taught harpist Hooves & Beak came in second place, Candysound came in third, and the wildcard band of the night, Seacats, came in fourth.

But even though there had to be winners and "losers," all four bands really did put on a great show.

Hooves & Beak (real name Whitney Flinn) has a charming stage presence (although a little banter goes a long way, but maybe that was just her nerves). She lead the crowd in a hilarious whistle along, and to offset the emotional nature of her songs (about "Drinking, loneliness, and men," she says), she broke the ice with goofy banter, including a shout out to Mel Gibson.

Candysound, while only a duo, sounded just as epic as a four or five piece band, without having to hide behind loud, heavy distortion. And Seacats were probably the funnest band of the night—their power pop gives nods to everyone from the Rentals to the Mr. T Experience, with some surf and garage thrown in (and worth noting: two of the band members are only 14-years-old).

You can hear all the winners here.

Congratulations, Great Waves! And to everyone, really. These artists are definitely worth a spot on your "to see/to hear" list.

See more of Nikko Hall's photos from Saturday night here.