Song of the Rose (Thrill Jockey)
All hail Arbouretum. The nearly 15-year-old Baltimore rock band is back after a four-year hiatus, and this new album only adds to the group’s celebrated canon of sound. Across eight tracks, the local quartet carries on its trademark mix of classic rock, elaborate jams, and baroque folk founded in sludgy tempos and searing guitar. Be it a thunderous anthem or low, lilting ballad, each song winds its way through the labyrinthine lyrics of frontman Dave Heumann (with an assist from unofficial bandmate Rob Wilson), who ruminates like a poet philosopher. Tackling heady topics like mythology and nature, the album is a sort of psychedelic meditation, pushing and pulling you through the motion of its heavy, hypnotic melodies. Listen, contemplate, explore—each song is a thick forest worthy of getting lost in.
Some Twist (Suicide Squeeze)
Dreamy and introspective, this music is made for the hazy days of summer. Cumberland native Michael Nau follows up his 2016 solo debut with a velvety suite of vintage-tinged tunes that radiate like a reverie. The indie songwriter, formerly of local bands Page France and Cotton Jones, is known for his tender vocals and nostalgic folk sound, infused with a gentle country twang and the golden shimmer of ’60s soul and pop. Lush and layered, these 12 tracks are simple and lovely at their core—a jangle of tambourine here, a swell of steel guitar there, the perfect heart-punch of piano. At times, he even sounds like the luminous lovechild of Kurt Vile and Harvest Moon Neil Young. Add him to your warm weather playlist and spread good vibes all dog-day afternoon.