Dec 152017

best vermont songs

Holy moly, Vermont artists released a lot of songs this year. I’m just talking sheer quantity: a lot of songs.

This may seem a blindingly obvious observation, but here’s why it struck me. When this site launched this past January, we posted Best Songs and Best Albums of 2016 lists to kick things off. The twenty selections on each were just things I’d come across in the preceding twelve months. This year, though, I made a more concerted effort to be thorough. All year I was trolling Bandcamp and Soundcloud and YouTube and Facebook, which drove the point home for me. I already knew Vermont musicians were prolific, but dear god. One songwriter alone released 36 double-sided singles!

The point being, narrowing this list down to twenty songs was brutal. That’s a testament to the bounty of great music coming out of Vermont. Some of my selections come from bands known to any Vermont music fans; others are by musicians not really plugged into “the scene,” off on their own somewhere releasing amazing stuff. There’s no overarching theme, and in a different week, this list would probably change. But these are my favorite local songs of the year – today at least. Continue reading »

Vermont Rapper Addresses Local Opioid Crisis in Rhyme

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Jun 262017

vazy the field

Vermont has a reputation in some quarters as a bucolic wilderness playground. But there’s another side to the story. Much of the state is rural and poor, and those areas have been hit hard by the nation’s recent opioid epidemic, devastating already-struggling communities. One such community is the small town of Springfield – or “The Field,” as local rapper Vazy dubs it on his powerful new song. “I rep the ‘Field, boy,” he begins, “where people rob and steal just to get themselves a meal.” It doesn’t look up from there.

An indictment of drug abuse and a system that leaves the poor and addicted to die, the song addresses the town’s crime wave, rampant unemployment, and a local teen who died shortly after her father was murdered. Vazy’s lyrics come from personal experience; he spent several years in prison for dealing drugs some time ago. “You can hear the pain in the struggle in my voice,” he says.

One particularly powerful verse goes: Continue reading »