Author Archives: Local Music Director

Bow Thayer – The Zen of Snug (Self-released) [LOCAL]

The latest record from veteran VT musician Bow Thayer is a smooth batch of alt-folk numbers blending a variety of styles. Straight-ahead funky drumbeats lay a foundation for all flavors of twang, with a few oddball electronic flourishes thrown in for good measure. Thayer’s lyrics reflect the confusion, pain and isolation of the last few […]

Lily Seabird – Bug (Self-released) [LOCAL]

BTV singer-songwriter Lily Seabird’s debut single is an inspired slice of twangy alt-rock in uncommon time, with screaming guitar leads and charming vocals delivering lyrics about feeling small and helpless.  FCC: Clean  RIYL: Big Thief, The Breeders, Courtney Barnett, Dinosaur Jr.

Couchsleepers – Creature Comforts (Self-released) [LOCAL]

Harrison Hsiang, the singer-songwriter behind BTV indie project Couchsleepers, can’t figure out if his latest single “is a love song or something opposite.” This duality is reflected in the song’s haunting, dynamic instrumentation, which largely centers around folky picking and slide guitar, occasionally punctuated by massive stabs of drums and keyboard.  FCC: Clean RIYL: Pinegrove, […]

Giovanina Bucci – Go Easy (Self-released) [LOCAL]

Burlington blues artist Giovanina Bucci’s latest single, from her upcoming album “Storytellers,” is a romantic number featuring a rustic instrumental – upright bass, dusty drums and excellent piano – over which Bucci’s sharp guitar leads and vocals nestle nicely. This is a subtly masterful performance, played with passion but not overblown. FCC: Clean RIYL: Susan […]

Black Fly – 01 (Samedi Records) [LOCAL]

Enigmatic one-man VT indie project Black Fly’s debut album alternates between dark yet danceable synthpop and slower, more piano-and-string driven numbers. The brilliantly produced sonic landscapes evoke a subtly sinister mood, and the artist’s talent for hooks is undeniable. Track Picks: 2, 5, 6, 8 FCC: 3, 7 RIYL: Bleachers, Reptaliens, Bon Iver, Radiohead, Madaila

Jade Relics – Island (Self-released) [LOCAL]

VT hip-hop trio Jade Relics’ latest funky single has two movements – an uptempo dance-pop intro and a slower, smoother second half, both infused with wonderful live instrumentation. Lyrically, the song reflects the isolation brought on by the pandemic, as well as by physical and social barriers between classes and nations. Be sure to only […]

Aneken River – Aneken River (Self-released) [LOCAL]

On their debut EP, folk singer-songwriter Aneken River displays a distinct blend of current and retro sounds. Rootsy instrumentals lay a backdrop for River’s inward-looking indie-folk songwriting and their achingly tender, gorgeous vocals. Features contributions from Eric George, Kat Wright and Meg Rice! Track Picks: 2, 4 FCC: Clean RIYL: Adrianne Lenker, Phoebe Bridgers, Julien […]

Glorious Leader – The Analog Cabin Mystery (Polar Islands) [LOCAL]

The second EP from one-man indie folk project Glorious Leader sounds as pleasantly snowy as its cover looks. Enveloping arrangements of strings and synths are matched with gorgeous, tender vocals, delivering largely autobiographical lyrics that reflect both his time spent in Iceland and his home in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. (Note: this EP has a download-only […]

Dave Richardson – Palms to Pines (Branch and Thorn) [LOCAL]

Windsor, VT musician Dave Richardson’s latest album feels like a warm blanket. His gentle voice and slice-of-life lyrics set to catchy major-key melodies will put a smile on your face – though there are some darker or more wistful moments too. (One particular lyrical highlight is “Apology to Mouse,” which sounds like a sardonic murder […]

No Showers On Vacation – Aquaband [Self-released] (LOCAL)

This UVM-based instrumental quartet splits the difference between jazz fusion and jam-band rock. Chiming guitar leads, funky grooves, smooth sax solos and squelchy keys abound. Track Picks: 2, 3, 8, 9 FCC: Clean RIYL: Snarky Puppy, Funky Knuckles, Free Radicals

Ryan Montbleau – Wood [Blue’s Mountain] (LOCAL)

Folk-rock troubadour Ryan Montbleau rambled around the world for over twenty years before finally making his home in Burlington. On this new EP, the first of four themed releases (Fire, Water and Air to follow) Montbleau reflects on maturing, aging, settling down, and the imperfections of being human, all with a sly, subtle sense of […]

Liz Simmons – Poets (Self-released) [LOCAL]

Brattleboro-based musician Liz Simmons’ latest project is a warm collection of beautifully sung and played originals and covers. Elements of American and European folk traditions are blended with pop and jazz in a way that’s timeless but still fresh.  Track Picks: 1, 3, 4, 5 FCC: Clean RIYL: May Erlewine, Joni Mitchell, Rhiannon Giddens

Saints and Liars – These Times (Self-released) [LOCAL]

You can tell that these big-voiced “roadhouse roots” singers and players from southern Vermont have beards just from the music they make. Having toured all over New England for about eight years before cutting their debut album, they’ve honed their chops brilliantly. This is music, as they say, to “dance, stomp and sing along” to. […]

boys cruise – boys cruise (Stick ‘n’ Move) [LOCAL]

BTV’s beloved surf punks have gone through some changes in sound and personnel since their debut album. This record is a much fuzzier and more psychedelic record than their first, with more complicated song structures and a lot of horror allusions, but the core of their sound – chiming surf riffs and confessional, emotionally forthright […]

Clever Girls – Constellations (EggHunt) [LOCAL]

The 2nd album from Winooski’s Clever Girls amps up their sound, featuring both catchy indie-pop numbers and massive, distorted grunge ballads. Many of the lyrics are inspired by frontperson Diane Jean’s journey to self-acceptance, self-understanding, and coming out as non-binary.  Track Picks: 3, 5, 8, 9 FCC: 7 RIYL: Phoebe Bridgers, Hop Along, girl in […]

Madaila – Good Lord Nancy (Self-released) [LOCAL]

VT indie-pop wizard Mark Daly’s latest musical project may be his most ambitious yet – a concept album telling the story of a woman who leaves her life in New England to chase her dreams in Vegas. Sonically, the record is a blend of Madaila’s typical dance-pop style with both folky and orchestral elements, and […]

Sarah King – The Hour (Self-released) [LOCAL]

VT-based singer-songwriter Sarah King’s brand of “dark Americana” is perfectly exemplified on this new EP, her first release as a solo artist. Twangy Western guitars and sparse, echoey arrangements perfectly complement King’s smoky voice as she delivers sinister lyrics that strike a perfectly macabre and emotional tone.  Track Picks: 2, 3, 4 FCC: Clean RIYL: […]

Signal Pine – “Tomatoes” & “Origami” (Triple Drive) [LOCAL]

VT rock band Signal Pine have released two singles (each with an A & B side) in anticipation of their debut album. Folk-rock guitars and piano blend with emotionally loaded indie songwriting. The musicianship and vocal harmonies are tip-top.  Track Picks: “Origami,” “Good Enough”  FCC: “Tomatoes” (email for clean version) RIYL: Hippo Campus, My […]

Greaseface – Chrometophobia (Self-released) [LOCAL]

The latest EP from BTV punk oddballs Greaseface is a whirlwind trip of lo-fi genre-hopping. Blown-out guitars, fuzzy drum machines, shouted vocals and more blend together in a dizzying sonic attack that’s thoroughly compelling. Track Picks: 2, 3, 5 FCC: 4, 6 RIYL: Pons, Parquet Courts, Gang of Four, Mr. Bungle

Nullhegan – “Run” & “Fly On” (North by South) [LOCAL]

BTV band Nullhegan’s first two singles are soulful slices of roots rock. The kiss-off song “Fly On” burns with a mid-tempo, bluesy jam-band groove, while “Run” blends an upbeat, almost Motown rhythm with fiery guitar licks. Play both! FCC: Clean RIYL: Lake Street Dive, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Alabama Shakes

Couchsleepers – All the Best Intentions (Self-released) [LOCAL]

The latest single from BTV indie project Couchsleepers may be their best one yet. Described as a “sister song” to the previous “All the Worst Things,” the track’s got big hooks, loud guitars, and exceptional storytelling and imagery about giving in to impulses you probably shouldn’t.  FCC: Clean  RIYL: Car Seat Headrest, Pinegrove, Peach Pit, […]

Danny & the Parts – Drifting [Voltage Controlled Life] (LOCAL)

VT singer-songwriter Danny Lefrancois’ first full-length album is a joyous collection of power-pop and Americana with a sense of humor. Expect jangly guitars, super-catchy melodies, and all-around good vibes. Track Picks: 1, 5, 7, 9 FCC: Clean RIYL: Wilco, Big Star, Neil Young, Maple Run Band

A2VT – I’m a Soul Survivor (Self-released) [LOCAL]

Winooski’s beloved AfroPop group’s latest track is a triumphant anthem of overcoming and resilience. The group’s typical shiny pop production, dancefloor-ready grooves and autotuned vocal harmonies are bolstered by a guest rap verse by R.O.D. and a fearsome guitar solo by Andre Maquera. FCC: Clean RIYL: Falle Nioke, Rema, Burna Boy, Wizkid

Next Nobodies – Half Life (College Street) [LOCAL]

The debut single from BTV indie combo Next Nobodies sounds like it belongs in a smoke-filled disco with the lights turned down low. The four-on-the-floor groove keeps you grounded as the chiming keys, echoey guitars and smooth vocals envelop you. FCC: Clean RIYL: Mark Ronson, Tame Impala, Breakbot

Princess Nostalgia – Ugly Lovely (Self-released) [LOCAL]

Recent UVM alum Princess Nostalgia’s new single is all about “loving yourself – even the nasty/stinky/freaky parts.” Sonically, the track continues in her unique style of retro R&B influenced electronic grooves with choppy guitars and heavily AutoTuned vocals. FCC: Clean RIYL: Charli XCX, Tokimonsta, Disclosure