I’ve written extensively about my friend Jeff’s Lean Horse Marathon project, but I’ve unfortunately never had a chance to really dive into his band Sea Patterns that he’s in with Kevin and Chris from Baltimore. The first track by them to really pop onto my radar was “Battle Royale,” which sounds like a more punk Surfer Blood in my mind. But now the three piece with no bass drum returns with “Cape,” a more laid-back track with a great melody. The opening lead guitar melody is just an earworm. From the first notes, you know this pop yet rock track is good. Cop it below and more Sea Patterns stuff over at their Soundcloud.
Baltimore trio Future Islands just has it together. The stream of 2010 releases lacks a weak link, including the masterpiece, full-length In Evening Air. Now the group has released its first new track since November, when it dropped “The Ink Well” on a Friends Records split with Lonnie Walker.
“Before The Bridge” is in the same vein of the past Future Islands releases, with atmospheric synths and a bass line that drives the song forward. When I heard them perform this song back in March at Red Palace in D.C., I instantly took to the synth line that really gives the song an incredibly dance-y feel. While most Future Islands songs are dance songs, this one ups the ante, something that I am extremely pleased with. Although it needs almost no elaboration at this point, Sam Herring’s vocals are spot-on as usual.
Friends Records’ Brett Yale, who posted the track on Impose, writes that Double Dagger’s Denny Bowen plays live drums on “Before The Bridge,” amping up the rhythm section even more behind William Cashion’s bass. The “Before The Bridge” 7″ is due out July 19 on Thrill Jockey (limited to 750 copies) and the B-side will be called “Find Love,” and “is promised to be more of a dancefloor jam.”
I always have had a theory about Double Dagger; thirty minutes of them live are more intense then two hours of any other band, and this concert was exactly that. Thirty minutes, with some six to seven songs left my friend with a bruised foot and me with a busted lip. Plus it was super low-key to add to it.
We were running a bit behind, so we caught the latter end of “Pillow Talk,” but you could tell this was going to be a special night. All of our favorite Baltimore faces were there, and it was being filmed for something that’s gonna be on IFC at some point, so I guess that’s pretty cool.
It was something that was incredibly intimate, and incredibly rad. Everyone was really into the show, and besides someone accidentally unplugging Bruce’s bass pedals, it was flawless. They were insanity personified, moreso then I’ve ever seen from them. Nolen was getting up in people’s faces, responding to the crowd, even starting small conversations with them.
Musically, the drums “No Allies” were as powerful and relentless as always, and the bass was always on top. Everyone screaming the concluding “This is the sound! Of no one! Giving a Shit!” at the conclusion of “Sleeping in Wolf’s Clothing” was also appropriate as well. It encapulates the entire idea of the Baltimore music scene. No matter who joins in and what bands change, and what record labels start or fall, Double Dagger will still be there, thrashing people’s faces off.
Up now from our good friends at Friends Records in a new acoustic track from the typically very unacoustic Weekends. This one, “Home Alone” is originally from their last album Strange Cultures which is quite a listen if you get the opportunity. We’ve heard them acoustically before with the track “A Defining Love” from the first Friends Records Compilation cassette. “Home Alone” acoustically is a very melancholic ballad with a heavy instrumental section, filled with pounding drums, violin and a glockenspiel.
According to Friends Records, an acoustic release of Weekends songs should be out soon.
Sure, you’re probably already thinking “man, Fresh Heirs reviewing yet another Future Islands show. How many can these guys do?” Well the answer is as many as we damn well want. But this one was in fact different. To commemorate the Residents Open House at Creative Alliance at the Patterson, Future Islands played 2 sets, one acoustic [for the third time I might add] in the gallery and one in the normal electric setup in the theatre of the artist residency.
On Wednesday night I was treated to yet another solid show at Subterranean A, and it was probably the biggest venture yet, with a bill of Lower Dens, Secret Mountains and Weekends, Baltimore power invading D.C. By the time Lower Dens took over the corner of the basement, the place was packed and moving was not an option. So I stood and listened and was blown away set after set. Continue reading →
I found this gem through my friend Emily who recommended it through Pasta Primavera‘s tumblr blog, and she said it was good late-night studying music, and I have to agree. There’s a lot of words I want to write about this Baltimore band I’d never heard of, but it’s late/early, and none would convey how much I dig this music, despite knowing barely anything about this band and listening to more stuff on the MySpace. So listen to these two tracks, my favorites from the kid tested demos, “tidal” and “cross the t’s”:
I’m going to come out and admit it: I missed the boat on Lower Dens in 2010. I don’t know how I did it, but I totally spaced on Jana Hunter and co. Even the fact that Twin-Hand Movement was recorded in Baltimore was not enough to catch my attention enough to check out this band. Now, at the end of the year when all the lists are coming out, seeing it up pretty high on a good number of lists really makes me feel guilty about not checking this sweet group out.
But there are chances to do so right now. The band recently played a Yours Truly Session (video after the jump) for the song “Batman,” Lower Dens’ next single that will be released b/w “Dear Betty Baby” on January 18, 2011 on Gnomonsong. Also available after the jump is a download of “Blue & Silver,” the first track off of Twin-Hand Movement. Continue reading →
Baltimore’s Wye Oak is another Baltimore band that seems poised to make its break into the indie rock consciousness. It’s no surprise that the city that birthed Beach House is the origin for Wye Oak, with crooning female vocals that remind me of Twin Sister as well. However, Wye Oak has a heavier side than both of those bands, with a shredding guitar solo at the end of “Civilian,” available after the jump. The track is also pushed along by the drum beat and timely guitar fills, all backed by a gorgeous, soaring organ. Continue reading →