Local bands make good

December 20, 2009|By Sam Sessa

If 2008 was the year Baltimore's music scene broke out, 2009 was the year it paid off for Baltimore bands.

Many prominent local groups signed deals with national record labels this year. In September, ambient pop duo Beach House signed with Sub Pop Records, home to acts like the Postal Service, the Shins and Flight of the Conchords. The long-haired, hard-rocking foursome J-Roddy Walston and the Business signed with Fairfax/Vagrant Records this month. And former WZT Hearts member Jason Urick joined several other Baltimore groups, including Double Dagger, Thank You and Human Bell, on Thrill Jockey Records, a Chicago-based label.

Meanwhile, composer Dan Deacon (also known as Baltimore's Wizard of Weird) released "Bromst," his darkest, most cerebral album to date. And Merge Records put out indie rock duo (above) Wye Oak's sophomore album, "The Knot." Both records were warmly received.

"It's been a fertile year for Baltimore bands," said Greg Szeto, who runs the Baltimore-based music blog Aural States. "There's even more stuff cropping up."

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