It’s been another amazing year in Baltimore for music. We continue to push the envelope of what can be part of a music scene. Let’s strive harder in 2018 to be more inclusive and open minded in our community.

  1. Yo No Sayinner [iTunes] Impeccably produced rock gone pop from producer Sean Mercer – I know I am biased, but man it’s like Maroon 5 production with The Killers’ hooks. I wanna hate them, but they write such great music and are such nice guys.
  2. Eva RhymesThe Life and Times of Eva Rhymes [iTunes] Eva’s record has been in heavy rotation over here it’s modern but certainly gives a nod to 90s hip-hop production. She keeps it truest to send the message that we as people are all flawed but yet extraordinary individuals. She likes to tell stories and paint pictures through her rhymes. Definitely keep your eyes open and enjoy this though provoking record.
  3. LushfarmThoughts and Prayers [iTunes] Rock is fun again and mildly political under the sheets. Craig and the Gregs are the nicest dudes playing really loud rock music with hooks surprisingly at the end of each song. Wait for it…
  4. Pale Springep2 [iTunes] Dig the slick yet glitchy production from Emily Abato and Drew Scott (Blacksage). The drippy guitars interspersed with heavy complex electronics is a nice paradox. Exemplary for a band from a genre-inclusive city like Baltimore.
  5. Natural VelvetMirror To Make You [iTunes] It’s loud. It sounds like it was recorded in a cave. It reminds me of when music was nasty. And they are making music nasty again. It’s also notable that it was produced by Martin Bisi who happened to have recorded some of my favorite records by Sonic Youth, John Zorn and Herbie Hancock.
  6. Future islandsThe Far Field [iTunes] Baltimore’s favorite dream. They get more and more poppy each record and this is no exception.
  7. Us and Us OnlyFull Flower [iTunes] Baltimore’s indie darlings get more and more structured and less loud and more restrained with every album. There is a clarity for this record that hasn’t been present on any album thus far.
  8. Pocket BellsDays and Nights [iTunes] Epic chamber rock with the occational time signature change is often jam. It’s also notable that this is the first record that Piper Greenbaum has sung on. Her voice is amazing and unique and confident as hell.
  9. Liz Durette – Four Improvisations [bandcamp] Liz is a wonderful keyboardist here in Baltimore and her full length released this year on Ehse Records is nothing short of amazing. All improvised – all awesome – all the time. This record has been on heavy rotation on the iPod.
  10. Amy ReidHirsute [iTunes] Amy has been in many bands over the years, and I’ve been watching her growth endearingly, so it was pretty exciting when she sent me her first solo record ahead of it’s release. I was pleasantly surprised with how different I expected it to be. There are some serious r&b grooves in there with a lot of dense darkness. It’s a great album to listen to on headphones to really take in her production work.

Full disclosure: #1, #7 were recorded at Mobtown by Sean Mercer. #8 was recorded by Evan Kornblum at Mobtown. #3 was recorded by me at Mobtown. Just saying. It’s a true testament that I really enjoy the music I get to work on.

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