From indie rock to the Caribbean’s colorful sounds, Baltimore’s music scene has escalated with quite an extensive variety of emerging musical acts. With the sounds of Nirvana-inspired classics and popular music infused with a modern element, Baltimore’s newest bands have set the pace for 2012 as the year of an eclectic daze. Take a moment to reflect on these great bands that hopped on the music radar this year.


Lower Dens

If you loved Jana Hunter, the Texas-born folk guitarist and vocalist, then you’ll definitely appreciate her new foursome group Lower Dens. Members including Hunter, Will Adams, Carter Tanton, Nate Nelson and Geoff Graham have integrated the sounds of indie and alternative rock and have created quite a spark in Baltimore. The band received critical acclaim after its sophomore album “Nootropics.” Fascinated with the idea of artificial intelligence, “Nootropics” features several songs such as “Alphabet Song” and “Brains.” The song “Brains” was awarded as the best single of 2012 by local magazines like Flavorwire and Baltimore’s City Paper. The ethereal-like music of Lower Dens will be a refreshing break from the sappy love songs that have clouded popular music.

Related: Best Retro Bands in Baltimore

Sensible Roots

Musicians Chris Fatkin, John Anselmi, Ryan Mulqueen, Matt Collins and Andy Campf brought the sounds of Bob Marley’s syncopated bass lines and twisted them with a modern pop sound to their band Sensible Roots. With a mix of reggae, rock, punk and hip-hop, Roots delivers lively and playful concerts throughout Baltimore. The group has yet to come out with its first album, but has released several singles including “What You Gonna Do” and “Cool me Down.” Performing all around Maryland, Sensible Roots has shared its cool, nonchalant vibe and allured fans from all musical genres.

Related: Baltimore’s Best Live Music Venues


Merging the classic melodies of Nirvana and the Pixies, Crimes has become quite a hit around Baltimore. It began to leave its mark after it toured with bands Lemuna and Against Me. Its most recent hits, “Meatsy” and Fluffy,” both released earlier this year, were some of the most popular sounds at local bars. Crimes incorporates music genres of punk and alternative rock. Look out for its upcoming album in 2013.

Ed Schrader’s Music Beat

The two-piece band Ed’s Schrader’s Music Beat really reached the music radar this past year. Its watered-down punk rock concerts started spreading around Maryland and have even reached European markets. Its debut album, “Jazzmind,” released in March, was recorded with fellow musician Twig Harper. Known for its heavy drums and rock sounds, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat serenades Baltimore’s rock fans with selections from its rudimentary, 11-song album.


Roomrunner really took over Baltimore’s music realm after its album “Supervague,” which was released in May. Featuring members Denny Bowen, Dan Frome, John Jones and Bret Lanahan, Roomrunner has come out with songs including its much-loved “Spinning.” This classic band infiltrating the sounds of popular rock music will have you rocking around the streets of Baltimore after you attend one of its concerts.

Cherise Lesesne is a freelance writer covering all things Baltimore. Her work can be found on