TT The Artist

Queen of the Beat (self-released)

The Queen Bee of Baltimore party music has been blowing up, from her 2015 “Lavish” track being featured on HBO’s new series, Insecure, to her “F Trump” single with DJ Mighty Mark making it to the top of Spotify’s United States Viral 50 (beating out The Weeknd!). Now, after two strong releases and a handful of infectious hits, the 32-year-old MICA alum has dropped her aptly named debut. Across 22 tracks, she lays an addictive foundation of breakneck Bmore Club beats, heavy hip-hop bass, and hints of EDM and house, then slays with fierce lyrics ranging from witty, energetic spits to thoughtful ruminations. Simply put, TT is pure fire, and on this robust record, she establishes herself as an artist to notice on the national stage.


Raindeer

Neon Death (Good Behavior Records)

In the doldrums of January, we need a little hope that summer isn’t too far away. That’s where Raindeer comes in, as the local quartet aces the sunny nostalgia of indie-pop. If you listen closely, the lyrics are a layer cake of teenage angst, perplexing heartache, and self-discovery, but it’s the shimmering melodies and urgent beats of their psychedelic shoegaze that have you jonesing for the next solstice. Across 10 songs, this fourth album fills your ears with a wall of sound, studded with steady drums, stretched out with echoing vocals, and laden with fuzzy layers of aching surf guitar. It sends you into the luminous days of the future (not so distant, we swear!), when you’ll be windows-down road-tripping to the beach.