Underlined Passages is Jamaal Turner and Michael Nestor (ex. Seldon Plan). This trio takes their time in delivering tight, delicious indie-pop pieces akin to big rockers Nada Surf, Built To Spill, Pedro The Lion, and Sunny Day Real Estate.
The Big Takeover writes about their latest effort, The Fantastic Quest, "...doubt there will be a more achingly beautiful album of guitar-driven indie-pop this year." This record landed them as a top pick of 2016 by Culture Catch and the band has repeatedly made top 10 lists in 2016 with songs from The Fantastic Quest.
Underlined Passages has had tremendous college and independent radio support, charting consistently in the top 20 on a slew of stations including large stations such as: WRSU, WRPI, WUOG, KDHX, WMSE and WTMD. Airplay on WRSU, WTMD and WFDU resulted in Underlined Passages being asked to play and interview in studio for each station, with a listener-requested repeat performance on WRSU.
The band has played their brand of DIY indie rock for people who are really into music that is guitar driven, emotionally intense, and ephemeral at venues large and small across the Northeast US. These include performances at a number of festivals and showcases.
They have shared the stage with indie darlings Matt Pond PA, Wing Dam, dollys, Donkeys, Sink Tapes, Rocky Catanese and The Chapter, and Mayve, among others. Underlined Passages maintains an active touring schedule and has had repeated showings at large venues such as New York City's Pianos and Baltimore's Ottobar.
Underlined Passages' music has touched thousands through video and print. The band's videos, released on their YouTube channel, are creative and witty, artistic yet humble, and have garnered over 25,000 views. Their first single from The Fantastic Quest, "Everyone Was There" received over 29,000 plays on Soundcloud.
In print, critics have hailed the band's ability to write music that is connecting, "The Fantastic Quest is an excursion into pure pop bliss. These tracks are extremely smart, melodic, and well-produced." (Babysue) Or, "This is solid, unpretentious songcraft that's clearly been crafted with care and precision..." (Jersey Beat). And, “The Fantastic Quest” is a solid-enough collection of songs that will stick with you for days..." (The Frederick News-Post).
Their live show has been commended by critics as well, " ...we had Underlined Passages offering up some indie rock in fine fashion. Their material was very strong and easy to listen to." (Speak Into My Good Eye). Also, Underlined Passages was described as "simply one of the best...pop lineups we have ever had and was absolutely fantastic..." by the Electric Maid in Takoma Park, MD.
Underlined Passages represent a facet of Baltimore music that has had long, deep roots in the city’s rock scene: good, brainy indie rock (e.g., the Oranges Band). Now, akin to relaxed and confident later era Ted Leo, The Weakerthans, Nada Surf or post-reunion American Football, Underlined Passages find that the band have staked their claim squarely in indie pop territory and they couldn’t be happier. Big, cohesive melody and harmony take center stage here: soulful, borderline-wistful vocals; catchy and twangy guitars; tight drums that forgo any flash or excess; deliberate bass with forward momentum.
This energetic trio present us with songs much like opening a window, with a sensation not unlike taking in a long, deep lungful of fresh air. The chords wash over you and you’re swimming in their warmth. They swell and swirl in your head and heart, filling you with the same comfort and emotion that the band felt when writing them. You are part of their journey-their fantastic quest-and you feel it from the first chord to the last fading note.
RECENT PRESS for "The Fantastic Quest" (2016)
"I doubt there will be a more achingly beautiful album of guitar-driven indie-pop this year." - The Big Takeover
"This is solid, unpretentious songcraft that's clearly been crafted with care and precision, easy on the ears and soothing to the soul." - Jersey Beat
"The Fantastic Quest is an excursion into pure pop bliss. These tracks are extremely smart, melodic, and well-produced. And the harmony vocals are just fantastic." - Babysue
"“The Fantastic Quest” is a solid-enough collection of songs that will stick with you for days..." - The Frederick News-Post/Frederick Playlist
"‘The Fantastic Quest’ is a mighty endeavor...it’s an exciting piece of new music worth checking out..." - Tilting Windmills Studios
"I hate saying that a record sounds “fresh” but yeah, these guys adding some much-needed quality into the pop scene does sound fresh." - Dagger Zine
"Underlined Passage’s “The Fantastic Quest” represents the best of indie rock, tasteful, perfect, and brilliantly balanced." - Beach Sloth
"The Fantastic Quest is an unfussy, unpretentious album that reveals layers of careful thought over multiple listens. From the songwriting to the performances to the production, the work has charms for those who listen closely. Take some time with Underlined Passages; don’t be surprised if they win you over." - Independent Clauses
"“The Fantastic Quest” is the latest record from Underlined Passages and it is already one of my favorite releases this year." - Sell Out Records
"Underlined Passages continue their hot streak with “Everyone Was There”, perfecting the insistent indie-rock rhythmic magic that makes them so fun..." - Jamsphere Magazine
"Listening to The Fantastic Quest album is a genuinely enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. It’s one you can turn up loud, just how we like it, and there is that element of home, nostalgia, longing for the past, but the songs themselves are completely new. It’s a brand new thing to be addicted to..." - Stereo Stickman
"..they create a warm yet luscious sound that welcomes every listener in." - Indie Band Guru
"Immediately upon pressing play we were hit with a nostalgic vibe...the more I listen to it the more I’m really liking it. - BoomBoomChick.com
"[Underlined Passages] is all about organic textures, memorable melodies and clever arrangements...that can appeal to the most discerning indie rock purist, as well as the casual music listener." - Andrea Caccese (andreacaccese.com)
Press for the Self-Titled LP (2015)
"..the beautiful harmonies, the falsetto interludes, the little creative intricacies within the music….all make “Underlined Passages”, without a doubt, one of my favorite new albums." - Jamsphere
"...immediately refreshing amidst an indie scene chock-full of poorly recorded productions... a superb record" - Tilting Windmills
"...conjuring up the makings of a timeless record." - Glitter & Stilettos
"...you will agree this is a must for any serious audiophile's collection." - Verycool Tunes
"..this is a great album to sip a beer in the yard or prepare dinner to...the album is perfectly mixed...worth checking out for sure." - Jersey Beat
"There’s a lot of emotion in these songs, but it never goes over-the-top; like so much on this album, it just fits." - Independent Clauses
"[Underlined Passages] has the power to reach inside you and touch you somewhere you had forgotten all about, but once it is reawakened, you’ll know that you need to stand up and go and do that thing you’ve spent all these years telling yourself you can’t do." - Crossradar