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I am buried in music, and I don’t mean that metaphorically, some days I am literally climbing out from under boxes of records and CDs and tapes and soundcloud submissions. So, it has become a rare event when I hear something cold and it hits me instantly and just makes me smile from ear to ear.

From the very first notes of Outside World‘s debut EP on their bandcamp (and the cassette which arrived soon after) I was smitten. When they lock in a few seconds later, it was unadulterated love. There is a delightful interplay between the three of them (you just know they are going to be a trio, before even spotting a photo) and a natural ease to their dynamic. When you hear that Ben Scott and Hazel Rigby are a couple, things start to make even more sense. Anchored by Evan Jenkins steady backbeat, they perfect that ramshackle looseness with killer guitar tones and sing with abandon in two voices that somehow are so much more in unison.

We have constant arguments in the office as to whether they remind us of a magical update of Small Factory, or whether or not they REALLY remind us of a magical update of Small Factory. (Mildly relevant note: I left the BYT Inauguration Party punching the air and singing along to “Last Time That We Talked” by Small Factory when it was slid on by the City Paper’s man with the immaculate taste; Jon Fischer.) I don’t mean that they sound just like them either, just that someone should always be making this kind of boy/girl noisy jangle, as if those early Superchunk records were about Mac with Laura, rather than by Mac about Laura.

Enough talk about older bands anyway. Outside World is here now, and more than anything, they are simply brilliant.

That brilliance continued on to their second EP late last year, from the good folks at Night People. Tightening the ship up just a hair (but not too much!) and making the most of their vocal interplay, it is a bracing pop rush. (I could listen to Rigby following a half step behind Scott on “Due to See” for hours on end. In fact, that is exactly what I have done for weeks at a time.) Hearing tales of their set in Chicago opening for The dB’s (Hazel’s parents are dB’s drummer Will Rigby and songwriter extraordinaire Amy Rigby, so the effortless pop sense clearly comes naturally) made my desire to see them live burn even more. Now, I will finally get that chance this Friday, but I don’t want to keep it all to myself, so hustle on up there and don’t be late.

The band are playing at Golden West in Baltimore, which is one of my favorite spots whether there is music or not, and has a reputation for introducing our area to bands that are on the cusp of being indie household names (I won’t ever forget seeing Iceage here on their first US tour.)


That is all.

Outside World plays with Crimson Wave and Heavy Friends at Golden West on Friday, January 25 for just five smack-a-roos. Be. There. Squares.