Arts & Culture

Music Reviews: January 2016

The latest from Boister and Among Wolves.

Cast a Net (self released)

For nearly 20 years, Boister—often referred to as a “chamber-pop” or “art-rock” band—has been anything but a one-trick pony. Listen to the title track and hear a beautiful, earthy ballad helmed by the ethereal voice of frontwoman Anne Watts (wife of Baltimore editor at large John Lewis). But then try “Lumiere,” a buoyant, clambering beach jam, or “Chlorophyll,” where a dark, plugging bass line and ghostly vocals morph into soulful, Southern Gothic blues. The multi-piece Baltimore mainstay continues to push musical boundaries with avant-garde gumption, yet masterfully remains rooted in traditional instrumentation and compositions that are honest, human, and true.

Among Wolves
Separation and Other Loves (self released)

Since 2005, this Baltimore-by-way-of-Jersey band has become an alt-rock stalwart, writing dozens of songs, releasing five accomplished albums, and gaining a loyal following from sets at the 8×10, Ottobar, and WTMD’s First Thursdays. The fivesome uses guitar, bass, drums, and keys to meld indie with Americana, hi-fi with lo, and all the while retains the rock-and-roll urgency of eras past. On this sixth project, the band returns with that same fervor, whether it’s the beautiful slow burn of “Separation/Love Pt. 9,” the gentle ache of “Long Time,” the rough-and-tumble “16,” or the bourbon-bottle blues of “5 Weeks.”