TK Echo, S/TDischord Records

TK Echo—the newish rock ensemble comprised of vocalist/guitarist Chris Richards, keyboardist/vocalist Fiona Griffin, bassist Aaron Leitko, and drummer Josh Blair, all Dischord Records alums from previous projects—takes its time. Not just in practice (the group, formed in 2016, are just now releasing their first recordings), but in song. And for good reason: The three breezy songs on its debut EP don’t settle for simplicity. Each one contains its own universe of rhythm and groove, beckoning you to get lost in it. 

RIYL: Post-punk, Q and Not U, Paint Branch, Dischord Records

Dreamcast, The Lost Tape vol​.​2Self-released

Dreamcast might be the District’s most prolific artist, and his newest record, The Lost Tape vol.2, is a perfect example of why. A mishmash of songs that span genres—from dreamy R&B to experimental noise and free jazz—The Lost Tape vol.2 isn’t just a showcase of Dreamcast’s versatility, but also his workmanlike spirit of collaboration. The album was recorded over the course of a year-and-a-half, in D.C., New York, L.A., and London, with artists in all of those cities, including D.C.’s own Nappy Nappa. 

RIYL: Experimental R&B, the spirit of free jazz, and experimentation.

Aertex, Superstition DemoSelf-released

Chaos reigns on the first demo from this newly formed dark wave trio. Comprised of Josephine Olivia, guitarist Carson Cox, and drummer Chris Moore (with Cox and Moore providing programming and electronics, respectively), Aertex’s two songs on this self-released demo throb and pulse with dark energy. 

RIYL: Dark wave, Cold Cave, The Cure, sounds from a dark abyss.  

Griefloss, S/TSelf-released

Music is about learning. Case-in-point: I did not know that “Depressive Black Metal” was a genre until I stumbled upon the Bandcamp page for the D.C. metal quartet Griefloss. The band’s burnt-blackened metal songs oscillate between a haunting stillness and full-throttle rage. Depressive black metal, according to the reviews left on the Griefloss’ Bandcamp, is a divisive subgenre of metal, but this band seems to be winning over metal fans all over—and for good reason. 

RIYL: Depressive Black Metal, sounds from a black abyss.