Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore’

Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack of Wye Oak have spent most of their lives in Baltimore, MD. But after two years of constant touring with Civilian, they landed on opposite sides of the country with an unforeseeable future ahead. Despite this newfound uncertainty, the two bandmates embraced their physical distance, passing ideas back and forth, allowing new work to evolve in their respective solitudes

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Written, arranged, performed and produced by Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack
with special guests The Brooklyn Youth Chorus:
releases July 31, 2020

Arbouretum’s mystic folk-rock collapses a continuum of 20th century music into decidedly classic song structures. English folk, country blues, Americana and 70s psychedelia all serve as touchpoints in their singular and distinctive sound. The Baltimore-based band have perfected the craft of storytelling using the delicate interplay of melodies and prosaic lyrics to tell vivid stories that engage the listener and transport them the way an immersive novel would. Let It All In stands as their most accomplished and evocative album to date. Guitarist and vocalist Dave Heumann’s melodies and solos still remain a central focus bolstered by the hypnotic rhythms of bassist Corey Allender and drummer Brian Carey and enhanced by Matthew Pierce’s substantial yet understated keyboard figures. Each song is a vivid scene or tale; meticulously detailed and crafted, transporting the listener to another world and time.

Recorded at Wrightway Studios with Steve Wright, the record’s elaborate, delicate and interlocking melodies expand with improvisation as in the relentless forward-motion of title track “Let In All In”, or the slow cosmic churn of “No Sanctuary Blues”. Let It All In features two drummers on nearly every track. David Bergander worked with long-time core member Carey to develop complementary parts, blended together as if they were a single player rather than two separate instrumentalists. New sounds are nowhere more evident than on “High Water Song”. With its raucous honky-tonk piano laid down by Hans Chew and walls of layered saxophone, trumpet and flugelhorn played by Dave Ballou and Matthew Pierce, it is a striking new addition to their catalog of songs.

Heumann’s deep sense of spirituality and command of storytelling through myth and metaphor resonates through Arbouretum’s music. Let It All In invokes nature as a backdrop for exploring humanity’s relationship to time, history, and the present socio-political climate, often highlighting water as a ubiquitous if often unconscious presence in our lives. It acts as a subtle connecting thread through each piece’s imagined landscapes, as well as taking on a symbol for change and spirit. The “black and deepest crimson” of sunrise over the Atlantic ocean on “How Deep It Goes” reflects on current political turmoil and the obfuscation of truth. “High Water Song” follows a narrator whose home is washed away by the effects of climate change and struggles to integrate into a new homeland. Title track “Let It All In” acts as a thematic thesis to the album, musing on both the pitfalls and benefits of letting the outside world into one’s inner life.

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Let It All In is as instantly arresting as it is deeply reflective, with layers of sound and metaphor for the listener to unravel and interpret in their own way. It is a beautiful album that lives in and reflects the present moment while sounding as if it were forged in another era. The group has always centered around Heumann’s remarkable voice and songwriting. His skill as a vocalist and guitar player have led to playing with artists such as Cass McCombs, Will Oldham, and many others. Heumann’s songs are transportive and decidedly album-oriented, and Let It All In is an invitation to jump into an album rich with timeless elegance. The rarity of their live shows and the other worldliness of their music have made Arbouretum a cultish band, a treasure for those that discover their albums. Their profound music endures and rewards fans both old and new. Arbouretum has added to their catalog another exceptional work that will weather changing fashions and reward those who explore their entirely unique world.

Releases March 20th, 2020

Arbouretum has been called the best of the millennial classic rock bands. The band, founded by guitarist and vocalist Dave Heumann, effortlessly weaves its melodies & guitar solos with the often hypnotic rhythms of bassist Corey Allender & drummer Brian Carey around the deliberate keyboard of Matthew Pierce to lift the vocals. The result is a full sound delivered with a striking sense of intimacy. are a poem by AJ Gault (1818-1903), great-great-great grandfather of Dave Heumann.

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This poem was written to AJ Gault’s brother, Thomas Gault,

Post Pink embrace the doom-and-gloom. Across eight tracks, the Baltimore band is concerned with empty spaces and how to fill them adequately, but it’s like trying to hold water in your hands. Or as they put it on the opening track: “Eating air to feel full/ Breathe your air back into me, but there’s a hole in my lungs that won’t contain it.” The songs are wiry and tense, but they leave equal space for cutting barbs and warm melodies, delivered with a razor-sharp sincerity.

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Released April 29th, 2019

Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack of Wye Oak have spent most of their lives in Baltimore, MD. But after two years of constant touring with Civilian, they landed on opposite sides of the country with an unforeseeable future ahead. Despite this newfound uncertainty, the two bandmates embraced their physical distance, passing ideas back and forth, allowing new work to evolve in their respective solitudes, Harsh jagged guitar & synths that then melt into a lovely lilting chorus. Energy & subtlety, wonderfully arranged & produced.

The single, “Fortune,” is out now on Merge Records

The debut single from Hamerkop features delirious washes of synth over a driving motorik beat, as Annabel Alpers‘ yearning vocals wash over everything with widescreen flair and a hooky resolve. Sounds like a summer single! Winter may be coming on here, but Annabel hails from down under, where the seasons are in reverse; thus also the song’s theme of migratory birds, as homesick, she measures the distance from the US to New Zealand by wingspan.
Hamerkop is a pair of Baltimore-based sound nerds: Annabel Alpers, the composer, singer and instrumentalist formerly of New Zealand’s Bachelorette, and Adam Cooke, a Baltimorean drummer/audio engineer with credits that include Beach HouseWye Oak and Future Islands. Together, they have created a song-cycle that contrasts the often-mundane (yet often satisfying) everyday world with that of the idealized, longed-for fantasy, to find the spaces in between these things, the place where we all feel good about our existence.
from Remote, releases February 7th, 2020

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The Band Lower Dens (which is led by singer/songwriter Jana Hunter) are set to be releasing a new album, The Competition, on September 6th via Ribbon Music. Previously they shared a video for its first single, “Young Republicans” This week they shared another song from the album, “I Drive,” also via a video for the track.

Jason Nocito directed the black & white video, which features choreography by Veleda Roehl and dancers Stephannie Henriquez and Steven Jeltsch. The song finds Hunter lamenting, “Why can’t we be with the ones we were made to love?”

Hunter had this to say about the song in a press release: “Like a lot of queer and trans people, I’ve learned that real family is made, and it isn’t necessarily blood. Even my blood relatives, we work for that familial connection and trust. This song is about leaving behind obligations to people who don’t love or care about you, being with and about people who do. It’s a feeling so strong it’s driving me. That’s the driving I’m doing.”

Hunter had this to say about the album in the previous press release: “The issues that have shaped my life, for better or for worse, have to do with coming from a family and a culture that totally bought into this competitive mindset.  I was wild and in a lot of pain as a kid; home life was very bleak, and pop songs were a guaranteed escape to a mental space where beauty, wonder, and love were possible. I wanted to write songs that might have the potential to do that.”

The Competition is the follow-up to 2015’s Escape From Evil. A previous press release said The Competition “might be Hunter’s most vulnerable, hook-filled album yet, a leftfield, resistance pop record that could only be released in 2019.”

Band Members
Jana Hunter, Nate Nelson

Lower Dens’ forthcoming album ‘The Competition’, out September 6th on Ribbon Music.

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“YWLGOML” is a song about facing and overcoming challenges. Outer Spaces, the solo project of Baltimore-based songwriter Cara Beth Satalino, gives us an infectious midtempo cut born out of Satalino’s attempts to overcome the negativity that came with taking a break from a long-term, romantic relationship. Keep your ears peeled for the breezy, unexpected sax solo. Gazing Globe, Satalino’s sophomore album as Outer Spaces, is out June 28 on Western Vinyl Records.

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Outer Spaces is the name of the current project of Baltimore based songwriter Cara Beth Satalino. Cara had a well received debut album way back in 2016 ,“A Shedding Snake”. This week Outer Spaces have detailed a brand new album titled, “Gazing Globe” due out on Western Vinyl in June, as well as sharing the first single from it, I See Her Face. The track, is in Cara’s own words, “basically about embracing optimism…the ‘her’ referred to in the song is probably a more optimistic, lighter, brighter version of myself hidden somewhere waiting to be found.” Musically, the track also has a certain bright glow to it, albeit it one where you feel there’s a more melancholic edge hiding not far from sight. There’s a winning contrast between the breeziness of the light drums and Cara’s vocal delivery and the more crunchy tones of electric guitar. By the sound of it optimism suits Outer Spaces, so we best get used to seeing a lot of of that face!

The album came after Cara Beth Satalino took a break from a long-term relationship, and she says, “I think I was trying to get back to myself and my identity, separate from my relationship. For this record I was trying to articulate a feeling of disassociation, or something sort of intangible, surreal, and ethereal. I wanted it to be less literal and more of an illustration of a feeling.

Cara Beth Satalino’s Outer Spaces project also recently released another new song“Teapot #1″from their upcoming single for Saddle Creek’s Document Series.

From the album Gazing Globe, available June 21st, 2019 on Western Vinyl Records.

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There is a true weariness in “Repine,” which ostensibly serves as the centrepiece of the script-flipping Keep You record. It’s the clearest in the pained, aching vocals, but it weaves its way through the bristling guitar patterns and the emphatic thud of the verses’ half-speed drum flams. A beacon of light peers through in the song’s refrain, in a manner befitting a crack in the roofing allowing for a ray of sunlight to emerge from the darkness. “Your wick won’t burn away,” it chants. It’s a hope against hope, and one prays that it resonates with the truth. Somehow. Someway.

Band Members
Kyle Durfey, Chad McDonald, Michael York, David Haik, Zac Sewell

“Repine” by Pianos Become The Teeth from the album ‘Keep You,’ available now!