Arts District

The Big Baltimore Playlist: June 2017

The top five local songs you should download right now.

By Lydia Woolever | June 22, 2017, 12:54 pm

J Pope and the HearNow. -Creative Alliance
Arts District

The Big Baltimore Playlist: June 2017

The top five local songs you should download right now.

By Lydia Woolever | June 22, 2017, 12:54 pm

J Pope and the HearNow. -Creative Alliance

Get Baltimore Daily.

Sign up today and you'll get our latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every weekday afternoon.

Baltimore’s music scene has had a number of peaks—the bluegrass days of the 1950s, the hard (and hair) rock era of the 1980s, the Bmore Club nights of the 1990s, and Wham City in the early aughts—but we have to say: The city couldn’t sound better than it does right now. In fact, we’re having trouble keeping up.

For that, and thanks to always inspiring music chats with local audio authority Sam Sessa of WTMD, we’ve decided to start a big Baltimore playlist—The Big Baltimore Playlist—as a showcase and celebration of Baltimore’s growing brood of talent. Check back each month for our top five songs of the moment, and follow our Spotify playlist as we continue to build a soundtrack for our city. 


Chariot” by Beach House

This single, previously unreleased and now on the local duo’s upcoming B-Sides and Rarities, is a hazy slow jam that twinkles like summer stars. Lead singer Victoria Legrand’s luxurious vocals drift in and out like a cotton-candy-colored fog, and Alex Scally’s smooth, saturated guitar chords twang with our heartstrings. After more than 10 years, Beach House's music is as gorgeous as ever.


⇓ Article continues below ⇓

Soul Searching” by J Pope and the HearNow

Get lost in the funky rhythm of this title track off the brand-new debut by alt-soul sextet J Pope and the HearNow. It’s an addictive, slow-burning beat that lingers with smoky swirls of sax, plugging runs of bass, and the honey-coated, sophisticated rhymes of frontwoman J Pope—and leaves you wanting more.*

Good Thing” by Michael Nau

This velvety, vintage-tinged tune is built for warm weather. Cumberland native Michael Nau’s vocals swim softly along with his sunny-day melody, riddled with gentle jangling rhythms and an important message: forget the bad stuff, focus on the song title.

Kronos” by Natural Velvet

There are lots of rabblerousing rock songs on the new record, Mirror To Make You, by post-punk quartet Natural Velvet, but we love the anthemic chorus of this ninth track. “I make the rules for tonight…” warbles frontwoman Corynne Ostermann, before she crescendoes into a high and brilliant, “I am, I choose, I chose!” Lady power at its most badass.

No King” by Outcalls

Combining lush chamber vocals with a robust layering of electronic and acoustic sound, opera singers Melissa Wimbish and Britt Olsen-Ecker create their own brand of baroque indie-pop. Their whimsical pipes wind around an energetic beat that pulses in your ears long after its gone. It has us excited for what's to come.


*Not available on Spotify yet. We'll add it when it comes online.




You May Also Like

Arts & Culture

Louder Than a Bomb

Baltimore’s champion poets are redefining the arts scene—and the national poetry movement.

Arts & Culture

Book Reviews: September 2017

A photography book from Amy Davis and a collection of H.L. Mencken columns.

Arts District

Red Bull Amaphiko Hosts First U.S. Academy and Festival in Baltimore

Ten-day social entrepreneurship program to feature public art, music, and film events.


Arts District

Ten Not-To-Miss Events At The Baltimore Book Festival

The three-day celebration of all things literary returns to the Inner Harbor this weekend

Charmed Life

Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast Talks Personal Style

The fashionable frontwoman discusses icons, trends, and confidence.

Arts District

Exhibit at Reginald F. Lewis Museum Turns Spotlight On Jacob Lawrence

Presents more than 50 works owned by Maryland collectors

Connect With Us

Most Read


Switching Gears
A Greenmount collective offers kids their own mobility.

The Launch: September 2017
Our nine musts from this month's calendar of events.

Let the Good Times Roll
A disappearing pastime, duckpin bowling is spared in its hometown of Baltimore.

Laces Up
As summer winds down, prepare to work up one last outdoor sweat with a bevy of races to run.

On a Dime
Five and Dime Ale House is worth the pocket change.