Vermont is a great place to make music. Tight-knit, creative communities, breathtaking scenery and numerous venues all over the state make the region a haven for troubadours, rock bands and composers alike. But, due to Seven Days' mission of hyper-local coverage, we only publish full reviews for albums that come from currently Vermont-based creators. And that keeps us pretty darn busy.
As much as we'd love it if our favorite bands and artists stayed put in the Green Mountains forever, life often has other plans. Still, we like to keep tabs on former locals and shine a little light on their pursuits out of state when we can. Take a look at these four recently released albums from Vermont expats.
Andrew North, Lost City
For his latest EP, Lost City, New Hampshire-based singer-songwriter Andrew Grosvenor streamlines his formerly cumbersome moniker, Andrew of the North, truncating it to simply Andrew North. Though he's an expat, the piano player can be seen regularly at the weekly jam session Family Night at SideBar in Burlington.
It's safe to assume that Grosvenor is a Phish phan. The jam-band legends have a signature warmth in their music, which Grosvenor carries over into his meandering piano pop.
The artist's last release, Ursa Verde, was created for the annual RPM challenge, which puts entrants in a race against time to record an entire album in the month of February. Stylistically, the tracks on Lost City sound like they could have come from those sessions — but the process couldn't have been more different. While Ursa Verde was cranked out quickly, the six tracks on Lost Citywere written over approximately 15 years.
It's easy to imagine some of the tunes exploding into near-20-minute extended jams, but Grosvenor keeps things relatively tight. Jazz influences merge with his largely rock-based tendencies throughout, especially in the final minute or so of a jangly trip titled "Back in the Shed."
"Braggadocio," the EP's solo-piano epilogue, shows off the pianist's mad chops. Creeping through layers of complicated chord changes and deft technical maneuvering, the artist closes his latest release with his greatest strengths.
Lost City is available at andrewnorth.bandcamp.com.