Romantic States Still Petals

Baltimore, MD: the same bleak, dank streets that inspired cop drama The Wire has been quietly producing one hell of an indie rock scene. Jim Triplett (formerly of Videohippos) has basked in the sounds of his hometown heroes more than once, as new project Romantic States comes off as a musical representation of the new Baltimore sound. On his first official release, six-song EP Still Pedals, Triplett channels pre-tribal Animal Collective, stretching ethereal vocals over hazily plucked guitars and free-form rhythms. On "The Fourth," Beach House's glass-in-the-sand guitar sound complements Triplett's brief, distant vocal sighs, while "Sea Skulls" and "Down Your Spine" each work off of Dan Deacon-esque quirkiness, fuelled in part by his high-register, tossed-off phrasing. On Still Pedals, Romantic States manage to create an album that's largely based in the here-and-now, simultaneously delivering everything critics love and hate about indie rock in one single stroke. (beko-dsl)