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, 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!

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Ed preformed solo for 3 years traveling the country with his voice and a drum. He was asked to play a rave in Baltimore. Looking to expand his performance, he asked Devlin to join him onstage with his bass. Since then the two have been making rock music of the finest variety, with their sights on the world.

There are hundreds of songs about the struggling artiste, but few of them get heard when the artist in question is presently in those trenches of obscurity. Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, a wily punk duo from Baltimore, have nothing to lose and that’s why their third album “Riddles” is bursting with heart in all different ways — from the rubbery rattle of “Dunce” and “Rust” to fluttery, New Romantic numbers like “Kid Radium” and “Seagull.” These are anthems about perseverance, for people who deserve a little beauty at the end of a graveyard shift, by a guy who literally wrote the lyrics from the back of a restaurant kitchen washing dishes. The title track is a luminescent piano-driven gem (thanks to producer Dan Deacon) about breaking into a country club with your poor, weird friends, but the way Schrader and Rice perform, it’s straight-up “Thunder Road” from the gutter.

Band Members
Ed Schrader,
Devlin Rice,

Beach House, 7

Victoria Legrand and Alex Scully of Beach House described a new kind of freedom in the making of their seventh album. It seems they felt an unwelcome pressure writing and recording in the past, whether that was the constraints of a set studio schedule, or concerns with how their experimentation would translate live. With some adjustments to the creative process, the duo were more liberated this time and the results are stellar. That’s not to suggest they re-invented their sound along the way; in fact, they have stayed true to their particular brand of dream-pop, but you can hear confident strides toward mastering their craft.

As a music fan reared on ’90s-era British indie-rock (Cocteau Twins, Ride, My Bloody Valentine), Beach House have always had an immediate gravitational pull. Peter Kember from Spacemen 3, central to that era in the U.K., took a turn producing this album, and you can hear his fingerprints all over it. “Dive” is a good example, as the song builds from a drone-like church organ to a hard-charging anthem. The dynamics and range of feeling throughout this album are really special: intimate one moment and rolling thunder the next. It’s also a great album listen, which has become something of a lost art in these days of algorithms and streaming playlists. 

Over the past decade, Beach House has become synonymous with dream-pop. The duo has consistently written gorgeous music with a hypnotic, almost otherworldly quality that often defies conventional expectation and revels in risk-taking. But by definition, its sound has typically been a little more dream than pop. Album number seven for the Baltimore-based group flips that relationship, but only ever so slightly. And the result is perhaps the band’s finest recording to date. 7 is indeed a cover-to-cover listen. When consumed in one sitting, the record’s 11 songs will reward the complex palates of longtime fans. But Beach House have also created some truly great standalone tracks here. Songs like “Lemon Glow,” “Dark Spring” and “Dive” standout with their less-than-subtle hooks and a surprising drive. And this being Beach House, they get better with each listen.

You can either fear the unknown, or you can embrace it. Beach House has spent the last 13 years worshipping it, each new song and album a dance of devotion to an unnamable, immutable creative force. After following it down to its most elliptical and interior on 2015’s Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars, where else was there for Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally to go but outward? 7, the dream-pop duo’s most collaborative and extroverted album yet, springs forth with an urgent and unpredictable energy. It plunges you into dense, interstellar shoegaze (“Dark Spring”), then grounds you in stargazing grunge balladry (“Pay No Mind”), before sending you on a mechanical 808 track through the woozy “candy-colored misery” of “Lemon Glow.” And those are just the first three songs. Breaking from a long partnership with producer Chris Coady, Legrand and Scally began assembling 7’s immersive arrangements in a new home studio before finishing them off with space-rock experimentalist Sonic Boom, a.k.a. Peter Kember of Spacemen 3. The shake-up paid off spectacularly. Together they’ve crafted a towering psych record that plays like a radio response to otherworld transmissions like My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless or This Mortal Coil’s It’ll End In TearsYou can try to drift off in its dark, dreamlike textures, but like those seminal albums, 7 will keep prodding you to witness its mysteries up close. It will keep asking you to search its layers, to savor each image flying by—to give yourself over to the moment. And by now Beach House has well-proven that, whatever the next moment holds, they’ll see you through it. This is a band you can trust with your life.

This Pay No Mind video is directed by our friend Michael Hirsch. We’ve been lucky to have friends join us on the road over the years. They’ve helped us stay sane through all the hard touring. Mike recorded this footage between 2015-2018, and it documents many live performances over that time. We like how it focuses on the audience, as they are the whole reason we go on tour. We also like that it shows some of the scuzzy reality of tour

Once upon a time, the key word for Wye Oak’s music was “catharsis,” mostly thanks to Jenn Wasner’s volcanic guitar breaks. But on 2014’s Shriek, they dismantled the formula they’d recently perfected in favor of a restart, a redefinition. And The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs is the culmination of that, an album that defies easy comparison as Wasner and Andy Stack meld stratospheric synths, wiry rhythms, and melted guitar lines. The catharses are often subtler now, but there’s a whole different kind of release in hearing a band sound like this  like freedom. There’s still an inherent melancholy to their music, but Wye Oak are now processing that differently. Rather than stare into the depths of human experience, they’re reaching for the horizon and turning their searching eyes skyward.

The phrase “dream pop banger” would be a contradiction in terms if not for this glorious song, the centerpiece of Wye Oak’s album of the same name. Jenn Wasner, who has spent a decade honing one of the greatest voices in indie-rock, sings about the inexorable urge to seek patterns in chaos, repeating the title with mantra-like fervor: “The louder I call, the faster it runs / The louder I call, the faster it runs.” And then the song seems to do precisely that, growing faster, louder, more joyously overwhelmed, as it spins around and around its central refrain.

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Released April 6th, 2018,

Written and Produced by Wye Oak 
Jenn Wasner: vocals, guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, programming
Andy Stack: drums, guitar, bass, programming, keyboards, piano, upright bass

Pedal Steel on “You of All People” and “Join” by Colt Miller
Cello on “My Signal” by Paul Wiancko 
Violin on “My Signal” by Michi Wiancko 
String Arrangement on “My Signal” by Paul and Michi Wiancko

In the case of Baltimore’s Have Mercy, what wins out-and what ultimately astounds-is raw, unfiltered passion. The band’s debut LP, The Earth Pushed Back, was one of the most honest records of 2013-an album that fans of punk and emo from Brand New to Tigers Jaw to Taking Back Sunday simply couldn’t afford to miss out on.

Produced by Paul Leavitt (All Time Low, The Dangerous Summer, many more), A Place Of Our Own is a refined, more muscular version of what they did well on The Earth Pushed Back – as if they trimmed the fat on some aspects of their sound while showing major growth across the board. It’s an organic, sometimes subtle and sometimes very noticeable type of growth. Everyone simply sounds better from an instrumental perspective, and Swindle’s gritty vocals have become only more defining this go-round.

Since forming in 2011, Swindle feels the band truly has “grown up as musicians and people and cannot wait for everyone to hear A Place Of Our Own.”

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I listened to have mercy, then lost track of them, only to come back to them when they were touring with a few other great acts (tiny moving parts, broadside, real friends) and be more appreciative and in awe than ever  Honestly, they deserve more recognition. The lyrics are great and they are instrumental good as well.

Have Mercy Currently signed to Hopeless Records