Lands & Peoples - 'Ghosts'

Post-pop? Cream-pop? Sci-fi? Whatever it is, it sounds great to me. The wailing, jangly chorus ought to give you chills in special places. 

Time Columns

Alright Baltimore! This band is sick! Excellent work! Time Column's seven song album “Mana” on Bandcamp is really solid. They’re calling it instrumental post-rock, but it’s really way more interesting than that. I’m not a huge fan of post-rock, probably because of Explosions In The Sky, but these guys are giving the term a much better reputation. These songs hit way harder than you’d expect, and I love it. The intricate parts are really intricate, and the heavy parts are really heavy.

The first track, “Salvo”, starts out with some nice beach sounds and eventually gets really heavy and complex. The guitars are doing really interesting things rhythmically. I’m glad to see that “math rock” tag. This drumming is exactly what I think of when I hear somebody mention that genre.

The album artwork here is really beautiful too. It’s a really clean drawing that almost looks like it could’ve been from a video game art book, and the color on it is textured wonderfully.

The second track, “Lights At Rendlesham” is really solid as well. The guitar starts it out, but those math rock drums join in pretty quickly and make things really interesting. I do love those guitars too though, no hard feelings meant here.

You should definitely check out Time Columns if you like instrumental music involving drums, electric guitars, bass guitars, synthesizers, and sound effects! These guys are doing a great job! Quite honestly, I’m surprised to see something this impressive in this genre coming from Baltimore. Keep up the good work!

Tripp Kramer - 'Ate My Soul'

If James Blake enjoyed guitars a little more, it might sound something like this.

The Sterling Sisters

One time, I went to Chicago and watched some Johnny Cash, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins impersonators. They played a western song at one point where a woman came out and basically sang opera while the other guys played normal western stuff. It was amazing, and I’ve totally found nothing like it since then except for Baltimore’s The Sterling Sisters.

Really well trained female vocalists can do such interesting things. “Raised You In The West” has been highlighted on this site before, and it’s really worth mentioning again. Those creepy female operatic sustains are incredible.

The Sterling Sisters’ whole six track self-titled EP is absolutely great. Even the sixteen second “A Prayer”. I would love to see this band. I feel like I might be genuinely scared by them. Not even just that girl. They do such creepy things on guitars and banjos too. This is one of the most atmospheric bands I’ve heard in a while, and they aren’t even tagged as “ambient”! Ha! “Americana”, “Country”, “Folk”, and “Neo-Folk” are exactly what I want this music to represent.

Some of these songs drive. Some of these songs creep. Some of these songs chant. All of these songs suck you and, scare you, and make you want to listen to them at least four more times. “Last Run” is probably my favorite. The guy basically yells for a while, then there is more male singing while the girl does the incredible creepy atmosphere thing. I absolutely love this band. 

The Eternal Twilight & The Sound of Rescue - 'Under the Starlit Sky'

Two post-rock outfits--one Baltimore-based, one from the UK--have joined forces on this dreamy instrumental single. Comes in drone flavor and also regular. 

The Little Creatures

“Kingdoms Crumble” is the first of the four tracks, and it’s really exciting.

This is very good! The Little Creatures’ “The Little Creatures EP” is full of awesome sounds including heavily processed vocals. They performed, programmed, recorded, and mixed everything on all four of these tracks themselves. It was released in October 2011, and written by Nenner and Potts.

“Kingdoms Crumble” is the first of the four tracks, and it’s really exciting. I could easily see myself riding my bike around town listening to this and thinking that I was the king of the world. I could also see myself thinking that I was a part of a society which was constantly breaking itself down. I haven’t really thought about these lyrics, but the music says a lot about itself. There’s a lot of variety here too. This song changes up quite a bit after about two and a half minutes. I love those electric saw sounds.

“Paradigm A Dozen.” What a great song name! This one starts with some really cool distorted spoken word and then chills out into a very midtempo trip out song. I’m sitting here listening to this, and I absolutely don’t want to do anything else. It makes me just want to listen. I really love the effects on these vocals.

Go check these songs out. They’re on The Little Creatures’ Bandcamp page at name your price. So go there and name your price! That includes free! But give them some money if you have it to give. Every artist needs some money to keep the works coming. 

Feast of the Epiphany - 'Solitude III'

To call this 'ambient' would be something of a disservice, I think. FotE conjures noisy, analog soundscapes, but not the kind you can just let hover in the background. The electronic drone demands its own share of attention as it twists into strange, sculptural forms.


“Pleasantries” finishes up the album really well.

Don’t lose your cool. That’s the most solid advice I’ve heard in quite a while. Stay calm. Keep dreaming. Whatever you do, don’t lose your cool. That’s the name of Diamond’s seven track album on Bandcamp, and it’s really good alt rock from Baltimore.

“Sunburn” is catchy, and this could totally be on the radio. He sings about the importance of time, another super solid bit of advice. All you need is time! This is exactly what I think of when I think of alternative rock, but the lyrics and song ideas are way more meaningful.

“Don’t’ Lose Your Cool” is a forty-one second track of harmonies and lyrics about keeping calm and remembering that nothing really needs to be taken that seriously. This is a great track. Individually, it’s probably my favorite part of the album even though it’s so short and sparse.

“Pleasantries” finishes up the album really well. It seems pretty emotional, and the music really swings. Then there’s a totally sick guitar solo right in the middle of the song. There aren’t enough guitar solos nowadays. After it, the tempo picks up and the song goes full force for a couple minutes until it blows out and completes the album with some nice clean chords.

I can’t tell how often diamond plays shows, but if you hear about one going on, go see them. If not, you can get their great album on Bandcamp for free. It comes with some really great album art of the coolest looking dog in Maryland.

Slow Jets

Slow Jets sound like a really early, but sort of British and way more punky Death Cab For Cutie. You can listen to their album, “Exit The Age” on their BandCamp page for 10 tracks of what they call rock, pop, post-punk, or punk rock. Decide for yourself which of those terms apply to which songs.

I like the reverse guitars on the album’s title track. I also like the line, “I don’t want to work, don’t want to shave.” This is slacker post-punk pop rock. This is a really great track, but it’s not my favorite.

My favorite track is probably “Seek The Invisible”. It’s the sixth one on the album, and it was the first one to make me, while simultaneously talking casually to a friend on Facebook, think, “Am I listening to a band from my iTunes that I already love, or am I still listening to somebody I’m going to write about?” It’s more than solid. I recommend that one as a first exposure to Slow Jets.

Man, after listening to “Seek The Invisible” I really look at this band differently. I don’t know how I got that Death Cab comparison earlier. Start on track six and make your way through the rest of the album before going back to tracks one through five. “Mirrored Drives” is really solid too. I wonder if these songs are arranged chronologically in the order that the band arranged them? In any case, be sure to check out Slow Jets on BandCamp.

Wing Dam - 'Skinny Dipping'

Fresh off the Casio-folk train, here's lo-fi chirpers Wing Dam with a track off their latest cassette.