Author Archives: Local Music Director

Amelia Wilcox – Turn Into Something (Orange Store) [LOCAL]

According to Burlington indie-pop singer-songwriter Amelia Wilcox, her new EP examines “the space between who I am and who I want to be.” Sonically, this music is all soft pastel tones, with twangy guitar and washed-out synth creating an ethereal mood.  Track Picks: 1, 4 FCC: Clean RIYL: Sylvan Esso, Mitski, Cate Le Bon, Luminous […]

Night Protocol – Static (Self-released) [LOCAL]

Burlington synth band Night Protocol keep alive the sounds of the 80s that most musicians have left behind – wailing guitars and sax, booming gated drums, and theatrical vocals. Fittingly for a group of retro-revivalists, their latest album is described as “a reflection on all the things in this world that do not change.”  Track […]

The Tenderbellies – One By One (Self-released) [LOCAL]

Bluegrass-flavored VT string band The Tenderbellies play music from the heart and soul. While their upbeat grooves may make you want to dance, their lyrics take a darker tone – death is an overarching thread for much of this album. Track Picks: 1, 2, 4, 7, 8 FCC: Clean RIYL: The Wood Brothers, Shovels and […]

Tall Travis – Chicken Music (Self-released) [LOCAL]

Local folk-punk combo Tall Travis lean hard on the folk side of that label, with mandolin, fiddle, and a variety of horns laying the sonic backdrop for their clever and funny lyrics. Track Picks: 1, 2, 5 FCC: Clean  RIYL: The Decemberists, Pat the Bunny, The Moldy Peaches, The Smittens

Bow Thayer – Secession [Self-released] (LOCAL)

Bow Thayer takes a psychedelic turn on his new single, with fuzzy guitars and dizzying vocal harmonies over a swampy groove. Lyrically, it’s less politically explicit than the title might suggest – according to Bow, the song espouses “departing from the confines of the status quo.”  FCC: Clean RIYL: Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon, Iron […]

The Mountain Says No – Unemployer (cave of legends) [LOCAL]

Hailing from Enosburg, VT, The Mountain Says No have a truly unique sound. Different tracks on their latest album pull from prog, psychedelia, and jam-band music in equal measures, with vocal stylings ranging from distant and ethereal to in-your-face shouts. Now finally available on all streaming services! Track Picks: 2, 4, 5, 8 FCC: Clean  […]

Emma Cook – Meet My Maker [Questionable Company] (LOCAL)

Local singer-songwriter Emma Cook’s latest single is a folk-country tune about the changes and questions that arise on life’s unstoppable journey towards death – and is nowhere near as ponderous or depressing as that description would suggest. Instead, it sounds like a mid-tempo dance in a dusty barn, with brushed drums, upright bass, fiddle and […]

James Kochalka Superstar – Punching the Christmas Tree (Self-released) [LOCAL]

Local comedic punk veteran James Kochalka takes out the stress and frustration of the holiday season in a way many of us wish we could on his latest garage-rock single.  FCC: Clean RIYL: The Aquabats, The Dead Milkmen, Atom and His Package, Rough Francis

Fattie B – GUMBO (Equal Eyes) [LOCAL]

A brush with death was the inspiration behind the latest album by veteran Burlington MC and DJ Fattie B, but GUMBO is a front-to-back celebration of life and hip-hop. A sprawling double album with far too many special guests to mention, layered grooves often built around live instrumentation, and Fattie’s deep, authoritative voice and deft […]

Peter Day – More for the Memoir / Dis-moi tes secrets (Self-released) [LOCAL]

Local singer-songwriter Peter Day has released two more singles from his upcoming album. “More for the Memoir” is an upbeat reflective number about “looking back but moving forward,” while “Dis-moi tes secrets” is a slow, tender number in French. Both are well worth playing, as is his previous single “Kaleidoscope.”  FCC: Clean RIYL: Semisonic, Gin […]

Bow Thayer – The Ride (Self-released) [LOCAL]

Local folkstar Bow Thayer turns in a spiritually-minded meditation on ways of moving through life and connecting with the people and the world around you. Slide guitar, banjo and minimalist percussion carry us along on this journey.  FCC: Clean RIYL: Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon, Martin Sexton, The Wood Brothers, Tyler Mast

Milton Busker and the Grim Work – Made of Stars (Grim Grim Happy Grim) [LOCAL]

VT singer-songwriter Milton Busker’s latest album delves into various moods and dimensions of Americana and folk, tackling topics from gun violence to internet culture along the way through Busker’s clever, emotionally affecting lyrics and soft-spoken deep voice.  Track Picks: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 FCC: Clean RIYL: The Devil Makes Three, Shovels and Rope, Shakey […]

Hana Zara – On Refuge Mountain (Self-released) [LOCAL]

Local singer-songwriter Hana Zara’s latest EP is a lo-fi collection of minimalist folk tunes with gorgeous harmonies and Buddhist-inspired lyrics about “coming out of insanity and into alignment with the higher powers of truth and goodness.” Track Picks: 1, 2 FCC: Clean RIYL: Rosalie Sorrels, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Rhiannon Giddens, Fern Maddie

The Discussions – Past Patterns (Voltage Controlled Life) [LOCAL]

Local instrumental ensemble The Discussions bring the compositions of pianist Greg Rothwell to life beautifully on their new album. Typical jazz instruments are combined with string arrangements and wordless vocal harmonies for a sound that defies genre boundaries while still being thoroughly accessible. Highly recommended!  Track Picks: 1, 4 FCC: Clean RIYL: Snarky Puppy, Vulfpeck, […]

Francesca Blanchard – je sais plus quoi te dire (Tone Tree) [LOCAL]

Local indie-pop favorite Francesca Blanchard’s latest single (translated: “I don’t know what to tell you”) starts with the sound of 60s French pop known as ye-ye and transforms it into a wild and chaotic landscape of hard-driving dance beats, whirring synths and whispered vocals. If you play this song, be sure to announce Francesca’s upcoming […]

The Dead Shakers & Bleach Day – Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog [Self-released] (LOCAL)

Two of Burlington’s premier shoegazey psychedelic groups team up for a joyful cover of Norma Tanega’s 60s pop classic. Now finally available on all streaming services! FCC: Clean RIYL: Animal Collective, The Flaming Lips, Deerhunter, Jorge Elbrecht

Maple Run Band – Used to Be the Next Big Thing (Back Pasture) [LOCAL]

The 2nd album from VT country rockers Maple Run Band is no sophomore slump. Indeed, bandleader Trevor Crist’s songwriting is even more timeless, clever, and heartfelt than before. You’ll almost certainly find yourself singing the infectious tunes on this album to yourself. Track Picks: 1, 6, 7, 8 FCC: Clean RIYL: The Avett Brothers, The […]

Sarah King – Always an Almost / Blame It On the Booze (Ringleader) [LOCAL]

Award-winning VT singer-songwriter Sarah King has expanded the sonic palette of her brand of dark Americana on her latest releases: the Memphis-style soul groove of “Always an Almost,” the uptempo piano-driven country pop of “Blame It On the Booze,” and the hard-driving blues rock of both singles’ B-sides. All tracks recommended!  FCC: Clean RIYL: Brandi […]

Mal Maïz – Historia de un Inmigrante (Self-released) [LOCAL]

On their debut release, BTV Afro-Latin ensemble Mal Maiz brings a hard-grooving blend of funk, rock, cumbia and more, serving as an expression of bandleader Maïz Vargas’ Costa Rican culture and his experiences as an immigrant in America.   Track Picks: 2, 3 FCC: 6 RIYL: Santana, Ozomatli, Grupo Fantasma, Malo

Levi Kz – Do You Believe In Narwhals (Self-released) [LOCAL]

The debut EP from Burlington’s Levi Kz (kay-zee) is a charming collection of homespun folk and rock tunes. Fuzzy bedroom psychedelia with clever lyrics and an alt-country twang.  Track Picks:  3, 4, 6 FCC: Clean  RIYL: Kurt Vile, The War On Drugs, Big Thief, Another Sexless Weekend

Greg Freeman – I Looked Out [Bud Tapes] (LOCAL)

Local singer-songwriter and guitar shredder Greg Freeman’s debut album packs a punch. Hefty riffs and passionate solos abound, and Greg’s unique vocals and lyrics keep you listening for more.  Track Picks: 2, 3, 4  FCC: 7  RIYL: Neutral Milk Hotel, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr, Ayden Flanigan

Maple Run Band – Loretta (Back Pasture) [LOCAL]

From promo: The latest single from Maple Run Band’s upcoming album is a “stripped-down acoustic country ballad… a eulogy for a lost companion inspired by The Louvin Brothers and Billy Joe Shaver that showcases [singer songwriter Trevor Crist’s] ability to blend genuine emotional expression with clever witticisms.” If you play this song (or any other […]

Ben Collins – Space Ranger (Chickadee Song) [LOCAL]

BTV guitar wizard Ben Collins, formerly half of the Rose McCann Band, takes on a grittier, bluesier sound on his debut album as frontman of The Celestial Company. Tracks run the gamut from hard rockers to jazzy slow burners, with Collins’ gravelly voice and fiery fretwork at the center of it all.  Track Picks: 2, […]

Astral Underground – Astral Underground [Self-released] (LOCAL)

Enosburg-based “celestial flute jazz” trio The Astral Underground bring a truly unique sound on their debut album. Margaux Simmons’ flute playing takes center stage over hefty synth-bass and drum grooves, with swells of organ and guitar filling in the sound.  Now available on all streaming services! Contact for access to alternate versions recorded live […]


Sebastien Carnot, the percussionist for UVM-born, brooklyn-based experimental rock trio Pons, comes into his own on the latest release from his DIE the Monk project. With a unique sound blending hip-hop and synth-based post-punk, this music is noisy, aggressive, and should be played loud.  Track Picks: 4, 6, 12 FCC: 2, 3, 5 RIYL: Death […]