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Secret Mountains

Ace Kieffer secret mountains photo

CITY: Baltimore
WEBSITE: secret-mountains.com

WHY THEM: The beginning of the Secret Mountains' Rejoice EP plays like a slow slip into a drug: calm feedback flits between channels, little makes sense as leads coalesce and fade in fleeting moments of cosmic grandeur — but then it begins to normalize. The patchwork finds a frame, the stray bits of guitar congeal under the smooth croon of vocalist Kelly Laughlin. She enters from the ether and leads the remaining six minutes of the song to peaking lucidity, which we find in fuzzed-out guitar heroics and as she trades in a coma-like sleep in favor of the resulting "Rejoice!" Secret Mountains' records make reference to a type of religious absolution, which is possibly found in the exorcistic quality of their lengthier instrumental bits. They borrow as much from the bombast of the Heartless Bastards as they do the drone-jam of Dead Meadow, yet they achieve a middle ground that is entirely their own. And — in the scale of weird — pretty damn Maryland.

ALSO CONSIDERED: Future Islands — On "Tin Man," Future Islands establish a weird meeting ground between Tom Waits and TV on the Radio.


"The bulk of the last decade brought Baltimore's hyper-color acts—the dance epics of Dan Deacon and the guitar spirals of Ecstatic Sunshine and Ponytail, or...

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