Block title

Work Samples

"Stay"

Outcalls' latest single, released 2/14/19.

"Keep Falling Over"

"Keep Falling Over" was released on May 28th, 2018 and named the #1 song on WTMD's Top 89 Songs of 2018 as voted by WTMD listeners. The funky, pop throwback expresses exasperation with the 24-hour news cycle, referencing discrimination faced by women in politics. In an ongoing effort to feature Baltimore's finest musicians, Outcalls collaborated with tenor saxophonist Derrick Michaels. Multiple layers of sustained notes by the saxophone were stacked and delayed to create a unique, reedy, driving motive featured throughout the track.

"En sourdine" live music video

An acoustic edition of "En sourdine" from the group's first EP, The Clay Mechanical.

Share:

About Outcalls

Baltimore City

Outcalls Band's picture
The vocal pop duo Outcalls has been dubbed the “electronic opera queens” of Baltimore. Led by Peabody Conservatory graduates Britt Olsen-Ecker and Melissa Wimbish, they create genre-defying music that counters the tired narratives pervading much of today’s popular songs. Compelling live shows feature their masterful sopranos atop lush harmonies and energetic beats. Their song "Keep Falling Over" was voted the #1 song of 2018 by WTMD radio listeners.  Outcalls is dedicated to... more

Latest Single: "Stay" (2019)

Frontwomen Britt Olsen-Ecker and Melissa Wimbish first hatched the idea of a singing Valentine troupe (The Valentonez) long before Outcalls was a twinkle in Baltimore's eye. They surprised local businesses, unsuspecting sweethearts, classrooms, and even celebrity Chef Cindy Wolf, with personalized singing telegrams earning them features on WTMD, The Baltimore Sun, and of course in the hearts of all whom they serenaded. They chose February 14th as the release date for their heartsick pop ballad, "Stay", because the holiday - commercial as it may seem - remains a hallmark of their beginnings.

“Stay” promises to be another hit among the duo’s feminist pop canon with a story familiar to all of us: Failed romance and the petty grudges which resurface during the throes of a breakup. Moments of silence and sparse accompaniment are used throughout the piece in order to showcase natural vocal quality and lyrical content. Scant guitar riffs accompany the unmistakable unison blend of Olsen-Ecker and Wimbish's vocals in the opening line: Remember when you forgot my birthday? / That should have been the end of our story. A lilting ballad continues before shifting to a soulful, pulsating chorus with the addition of bass guitar and kick drum. At the onset of the second verse, the full band introduces a total rhythmic "about face" while vocals become an unrelenting rap-like patter. This latest single highlights Outcalls' ability to make dramatic shifts within a track in order to highlight the story without ever jarring the listener.

A recording studio can be an intimidating place for women to assert authority. Producing credits for women are scarce in the music industry. The woman-fronted production of "Stay" was a milestone on the team's path to recording and sound engineering independence. "Stay" was recorded and mixed at Wrightway Studios in Baltimore's Remington neighborhood.

Touring History

August 2018: EXPAND THE FAM Tour
March 2019: GOIN' DOWN SOUTH Tour
August 2019: THE BREAKFAST TOUR
October 2019: NOTHING WILL GO WRONG Tour

Research, routing, venue booking, promotion, travel arrangements, and fundraising was done entirely in-house by Britt Olsen-Ecker and Melissa Wimbish to promote Outcalls' music catalogue and gain knowledge of best procedural practices for large scale tour management. Tour-related expenses were completely funded by personal donations from local fans and the meager Outcalls LLC bank account.

EXPAND THE FAM (2018)
8/9: One Longfellow Square (Portland, Maine)
8/10: The Columbus Theatre (Providence, Rhode Island)
8/11: Midway Cafe (Boston, Massachusetts)
8/12: The Skinny Pancake (Burlington, Vermont)
8/15: The Cavern (Toronto, Ontario)
8/16: Revolution Gallery (Buffalo, New York)
8/17: Bar L'entre Nous (Montreal, Quebec)
8/18: C'mon Everybody (Brooklyn, New York)
8/20: ShopRite (Wilmington, Delaware)
8/21: The Smiling Moose (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
8/22: Jilly's Music Bar (Akron, Ohio)
8/23: Milkboy (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
8/24: The 8x10 (Baltimore, Maryland)

GOIN' DOWN SOUTH (2019)
3/22: The Lazy Bee (Berea, Ohio)
3/23: Spot Tavern (Lafayette, Indiana)
3/24: Urban Artifact (Cincinnati, Ohio)
3/25: Bellarmine University (Louisville, Kentucky)
3/27: Siberia Lounge (New Orleans, Louisiana)
3/28: The Attic at the Blind Mule (Mobile, Alabama)
3/29: Jade Fox & Co. (Atlanta, Georgia)

THE BREAKFAST TOUR (2019)
8/10: The Alchemist (Stowe, VT)
8/11: Funk N' Waffles (Syracuse, NY)
8/13: The Skinny Pancake (Burlington, VT)
8/14: Bella Luna & The Milky Way Lounge (Boston, MA)
8/16: Young and Grumpy Studios (Brooklyn, NY)
8/17: C'mon Everybody (Brooklyn, NY)

NOTHING WILL GO WRONG (2019)
10/5: T-Bar Social Club (June Lake, CA)
10/7: Harvard & Stone (Los Angeles, CA)
10/8: Puffers of Pismo (Pismo Beach, CA)
10/9: Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, CA)
10/10: MilkBar (San Francisco, CA)
10/11: Shine Cafe (Sacramento, CA)

No King EP (2017)

Outcalls self-released their second EP, No King, to critical acclaim in September 2017. The title track catapulted the vocal duo onto the local arts scene with credits from every major Baltimore publication including The Baltimore Sun's "30 Songs that defined 2017," Baltimore Magazine’s "Best Music of 2017" and the "Big Baltimore Playlist," as well as features in Baltimore Beat, Brightest Young Things (DC), and Johns Hopkins University's The Hub.

Outcalls were the recipients of a Baltimore Alternative Music Award from 89.7 WTMD for Best Vocal Performance ("No King"). They were ranked #6 in WTMD's Top 89 Songs of 2017 ("No King"). On the Spotify platform alone, the EP's six tracks have a combined streaming of over 75,000 plays.

"Opening with a staccato synthesizer line, the dramatic 'No King' blooms into a tale of betrayal and revenge sung through lush, layered vocals." -Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun

"Witchy, somewhat tribal, and even a little bit dusty old Spaghetti Western, 'Skip to Sunrise' has become one of our top songs of the year." -Baltimore Magazine

Music Videos

"Stay" Official Music Video (2020)
"Pillcauzbee" Official Music Video (2019)
"Skip to Sunrise" Official Music Video (2017)
"En sourdine" Live Video (2016)

"Stay" Official Music Video (2020)
Outcalls' latest single has a brand new music video set for release in January 2020. The video stars Britt and Melissa as sword-fighting seekers of revenge after Britt's boyfriend (portrayed by her real-life husband, Elliott Rauh) forgets her birthday. Shot in the Harwood and Mt. Vernon neighborhoods of Baltimore, the film features epic cityscapes and unmistakable Charm City swag.

Director: Kenny Johns // Assistant Director: Chad Cummings // Weapons Expert & Fight Choreographer: Lewis Shaw // Camera Operator: Kenny Johns // Assistant Camera: Jabari Jefferson // Gaffer: Ray Jones // Production Stills Photographer: Christina Georgandis // Production Assistant: Tanner Huett // Hair & Makeup: Jeanne DiBattista // Stylist: Chadaé Nichols

"Pillcauzbee" Official Music Video (2019)
"Pillcauzbee" is a soulful, trance-pop ballad that depicts the excitement of a night out followed by the terror of being drugged and unable to move. The victim challenges their accuser with the words, "Here's a question for your heart: Did you leave with what you wanted?"

Multimedia artist and experimental animator Oona Taper led creative direction and animation for "Pillcauzbee." Aesthetically, the animated video uses mixed media with primary figures created in ink, then color-inverted to produce white lines on black background. Additional textures and patterns combine vivid colors in pastel, paint and digital forms as well as 2D paper stop-motion puppets.

"Skip to Sunrise" Official Music Video (2017)
Like an operatic ensemble number, "Skip to Sunrise" overlaps two different vocal melodies and sparse lyrical phrases to express individual thoughts on the same event. Vocal polyphony is juxtaposed with sections of unison singing to illustrate both the confusion and moments of clarity within a volatile relationship. A reoccuring melisma, sung in unison by both voices at the end of every polyphonic phrase, functions as a chorus throughout the piece.

Conceptualized by Baltimore writer, playwright, and director Lola B. Pierson, the music video is a collection of experiments in light manipulation, facial expression, and movement. In one frame, ignited sparklers trace the letters "O-U-T-C-A-L-L-S" in an otherwise completely dark room. In another, Wimbish and Olsen-Ecker perform classic Meyerhold movement etudes donning sequin gowns under a red spotlight. These elements of random, experimental theatre combined with imaginatively lit shots and post-production effects by Skyler Jenkins make for a transfixing video debut.

"En sourdine" Live Video (2016)
"En sourdine" is a French poem by Paul Verlaine which translates to muted. For this song, Outcalls chose text they discovered through their exposure to classical art song repertoire. This poem has also been set by Claude Debussy and Gabriel Fauré. The video is a recording of a live performance from 2016 and was filmed in Baltimore by Faith L. Bocian.

No King Remixes

No King Remixes is an ongoing collaboration with musicians who specialize in beat production. Artists take stems (individual isolated tracks) from the original recording session of a song and create a new version of the piece. A common practice in hip-hop and electronic music, remixes often bring artists together whose paths might not otherwise cross on the local gigging scene.

Outcalls' catalogue includes three remixes: "Coldblood Riddiot Remix" by Pittsburgh-based DJ Brendan Barstow, "Pillcauzbee Drew Scott Remix" by Baltimore producer Drew Scott, and "Skip to Sunrise Cascading Elephants Remix" by experimental electronic performer and producer Ben Parker of Louisville, KY. The next song in the series will be remixed by Baltimore musician Micah E. Wood.

Saturday Morning Tunes presents "Frozen"

Saturday Morning Tunes is an award-winning concert series produced by WTMD Radio. In 2018, the series invited Outcalls to perform songs from Disney's "Frozen" in collaboration with Baltimore School for the Arts. Rather than simply covering the songs, Britt and Melissa were compelled to write a cabaret version of the story in order to keep the audience of families laughing and singing along.

Four sold-out shows later and a Baltimore Alternative Music Award for "Best Live Performance of 2018," Outcalls is bringing their hit cabaret to DC's Miracle Theater in February 2020.

Read more about their "Frozen" project in this interview with Sam Sessa, director of Saturday Morning Tunes: Into the Unknown: Baltimore's Outcalls duo is back performing Frozen tunes with WTMD.

  • Outcalls in Frozen

    Outcalls performs at Baltimore School for the Arts on 9/15/18. Elliott Rauh as the Narrator/ Hans; Melissa Wimbish as Princess Anna.
  • Outcalls in Frozen

    Performance at Baltimore School for the Arts on 9/15/18. Britt Olsen-Ecker as Queen Elsa.
  • Outcalls in Frozen

    Performance at Baltimore School for the Arts on 9/15/18. The cast from left to right: Justin Kruger as Olaf, Britt Olsen-Ecker as Elsa, Melissa Wimbish as Anna, Elliot Rauh as Narrator.
  • Outcalls in Frozen

    Performance at Baltimore School for the Arts on 9/15/18. Britt Olsen-Ecker and Melissa Wimbish.
  • Outcalls in Frozen

    Performance at Towson University on 12/15/18. Elliot Rauh as Hans; Melissa Wimbish as Anna.
  • Outcalls in Frozen

    Performance at Towson University on 12/15/18. Britt Olsen-Ecker as Elsa.
  • Outcalls in Frozen

    Performance at Towson University on 12/15/18. Elliott Rauh as the Narrator; Melissa Wimbish as Anna; Britt Olsen-Ecker as Elsa.
  • Outcalls in Frozen

    Performance at Towson University on 12/15/18.
  • Finale - Frozen 2019

    The final encore of "Let It Go" at our performance on 12/14/19.
  • "Frozen" Script

    An excerpt from the script written by Outcalls for their presentation of "Frozen" at Saturday Morning Tunes.

    PDF icon "Frozen" Script