Dan Deacon - America (Domino)
I’ve long maintained that Deacon is a natural link between Baltimore’s indie rock/club culture and the classical-music scene at the Meyerhoff, and this disc furthers that point. It includes spazzy, electro-pop workouts like “Guilford Avenue Bridge” and “Crash Jam” that should play well in clubs, but its four-part “USA” suite is the heart of the project. In it, Deacon flashes his compositional chops and conjures a heady, heart-racing mix of lush strings, shimmering electronics, and a battery of percussion that brings to mind Steve Reich, Brian Eno, and So Percussion. Marin Alsop should take note.
Height With Friends - Rock and Roll (Friends/Cold Rhymes)
Despite its title, this disc is the product of a hip-hop collective with a revolving cast that includes guests like Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack. It opens with “I Can’t Stand to be Refused,” a wickedly propulsive tune that sets funky percussion and surf guitar against measured and deliberate rapping. From there, the proceedings slow, shift in and out of genres, and, ultimately, coalesce around Height’s restrained rap. Height With Friends plays a record-release party at Floristree on August 10.