In honor of the release of what’s widely tipped to be one of the albums of the year, Beach House‘s third effort Teen Dream, this years Scene In Six Sounds will be taking us to where it all started for the dreamy twosome, Baltimore. A scene known for its affordability and slightly eccentric outlook, there’s no doubt that the Maryland city played a major role in developing the Pitchfork darlings, who count MGMT, The Strokes and Grizzly Bear amongst their fans. Of course, there was only one place we could start, but as our James Hendicott“>James Hendicott soon discovered, Baltimore has plenty more to offer, too.
Beach House: For many, Beach House seem to have come from nowhere. Producing the kind of music that you’d most commonly find gracing the quieter moments of a particularly spacey film soundtrack, the two-piece have been darlings of the indie blog scene for sometime, and by an almost unstoppable barrage of popular consensus, 2010 will be their year. Museyon are lucky enough to have heard a preview copy of Teen Dream, and we can assure you it’s worthy of every ounce of hype. They might just be your new favorite band.
Dan Deacon: They might have snuck together three whole albums already, but Beach House are still relative newcomers to the scene compared to Dan Deacon. With roots in viral videos and eccentric songwriting–which started out using almost entirely computerized creations intermingled with live ensemble recordings, before Deacon generated what is now his signature sounds, based on more of a vocal output. Deacon’s live shows are famously eccentric, with audience games part of his standard show, while Deacon–somewhat unusually–likes to perform at ground level, as opposed to on a stage.
Future Islands: Does Baltimore’s indie credibility never end? Synthpop stars Future Islands are yet another local act building up increasingly widespread critical acclaim through indie web love ins, and finding themselves at the heart of an ever growing synth-pop and synth-rock scene over the past couple of years. Future Islands have a true DIY musical ethos, one that sits well when it comes to indie cred, and an accessible yet interesting take on electronic rock sounds.
Lungfish: A far cry from the the experimental tinge of today’s Baltimore, post-hardcore heroes Lungfish were the kings of the local scene towards the end of the last century, and are still making waves today. Formed from a group of prominent local musicians (Daniel Higgs in particular, a former vocalist for local heroes Reptile House, has a mammoth local reputation), Lungfish are the antithesis to the electro-driven, beaty flavour of present day Baltimore, thrashing out super-volume rock.
Double Dagger: Edgy rockers Double Dagger must be all but unique for a loud and leery rock band, performing entirely without a standard guitar. Made up of only vocals, drums and bass, the band formed from the ashes of hardcore act ‘League Of Death’, quickly establishing their own punkier niche and carving out a respectable cult following through a series of national level tours. With two of the three members also making up a graphic design team, Double Dagger sometimes refer to their musical style as ‘graphicdesigncore’.
Ponytail: Having toured with up and coming stars Battles, Ponytail’s brand of art rock draws its eccentric influences from sources that vary from unpredictable San Franciscans Deerhoof to French stars Air. Highly acclaimed in Baltimore’s local press (a feat in itself, when you consider the opposition), Ponytail’s second effort Ice Cream Spiritual has drawn comparisons with the likes of Yoko Ono for its experimental take on lyrics.
Tune in next week, same time, same place, for a new local playlist from James Hendicott, your guide to Celtic punk in Museyon’s Music + Travel Worldwide. To read more of his musings on music and other topics visit hendicottwriting.com.
Photo: Dan Deacon by Caesar Sebastian/Flickr