Alpenglow is a Burlington, Vermont-based band who’s been milled (Quite ironically- in an old stone mill) into a finely tuned musical machine in fairly short order. Their recordings typically take place in a chapel on a hill, and that might help to explain their heavenly sound. Their first EP, Solitude, was out in October and just sounds of pure joy and calm.
The title track begins by claiming “I have the answers…” and if the question is how to deal with a tough day and work and a lonely drive home, then yes, they certainly do. The lilting, repetitive strumming over top of a low drone, and accompanied by vocals that are stunning leads into a more dramatic and energetic theme before returning to that familiar beginning. The back and forth of calm and energized follows through this track before shifting abruptly into a lower key, more complex melody in the second track. Catskills has a comfortable, homey feeling that wraps around and comforts you, lifting your spirits as they run into Autumn Drone (Part Two). While I have to wonder what ever happened to part one, the third track stands on its own well, with more of an indie rock sound than the other tracks. Adding in trumpet and trombone, Autumn Drone (Part Two) borders on majestic at times. Fields ends out the set with a resonating piece that includes some skillful ivory-tinkling to boot, and big, deep drums alongside nicely varied cymbal work. The last track is my personal favorite, as it really breaks out of traditional molds, bringing in some improvisational sounds and highly structured sections to make quite the grand finale for a band that’s just beginning.
Personnel: Graeme Daubert (guitar, vocals), Peter Coccoma (guitar, piano, vocals), Elori Kramer (violin, organ, vocals), Kenneth Root (drums), Colin Weeks (bass), Sarah Simonds (trombone), Dustin Wiegel (trumpet)
Tracks: Solitude, Catskills, Autumn Drone (Part II), Fields
And if that wasn’t enough, a band that we’ve reviewed here at Ear To The Ground previously- Kent, Ohio’s very own Bethesda- has out a new holiday song to share and download for free. So here’s a tune to make sure that your holiday season is off to a very merry start, Christmas Is…