Time is awhirl in Boston. Months overlap and seasons intertwine. Candidates have spent January incessantly clamoring for our attention and our ballot tick-marks in November. Roses bloom only to be coated in another winter snow. We sing “Auld Lang Syne” while capturing the occasion on our white tablets. In times of turbulence I seek out stability in music. Here’s the first weekly wrap-up of Boston’s musical happenings of 2016.

Tall Heights, Darlingside Record Sessions with OurVinyl

Popular music video platform OurVinyl, which in the past has recorded sessions with the likes of Allen Stone and St. Paul and the Broken Bones, has turned to Boston bands in its last two sessions- Boston’s Tall Heights and Cambridge’s Darlingside. Tall Heights performed on the cusp of a hill, their backs grazing the trees at the edge of Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tennessee. The guitar and cello duo plays earnest, heartfelt folk-pop that strives upwards in the same manner as their seemingly redundant name. They have expanded their soundscape to keyboards and percussion on Holding On, Holding Out, their EP from the end of last year, and are joined by two instrumentalists in the session.

2015 was a breakout year for Darlingside, and they opened 2016 intimately crooning into one OurVinyl microphone in Oceanway Studios in Nashville.


Boston Calling Announces Spring 2016 Lineup

We thought Boston Calling maybe had set expectations too high with Fall 2015’s stacked lineup, which featured Alabama Shakes, Hozier, and alt-j, but the organizers have impressed again with a diverse group of acts, some of whom will have to cross oceans to play (the Old North Church will have two lanterns up this spring). Australian pop singer Sia will see ya there (I apologize), as will English electronic duo Disclosure, whose new album features performances by some of Britain’s best, including Lorde and Sam Smith. I’m particularly excited for prolific indie-folk singer Sufjan Stevens, whose seventh full length album came out last year. Tickets are already on sale for the festival, which falls on the last weekend in May, so get ‘em while they’re hot!

Tiny Desk Contest Open For Submissions

Do you have a band? Do you have a desk? Can your band play behind said desk? Then you should submit a video to NPR program All Songs Considered’s Tiny Desk Contest! The Tiny Desk Concerts have received widespread national attention over the last several years for their low-key concert videos. All Songs Considered sticks the guest and at most a few microphones behind a desk and churns out stripped-down versions with perfect audio of the artists’ music. They are known for filming both top-charting artists (they’ve hosted Adelle and T-Pain), but also for helping lesser-known acts rise to national prominence, such as Lucius and Moon Hooch. They’ve recorded string quartets, brass bands, rock groups, folk vocal duos, and everything in between. The winner of this year’s Tiny Desk Contest will get to perform at NPR, and the winner will be chosen from back-of-desk performances submitted from around the globe. Local acts Grey Season and Honeysuckle have already posted their submissions here and here.

Boston Acts Nominated for The Deli’s End of Year Awards

New England’s chapter of The Deli Magazine has announced its nominees for music’s best from 2015, and there are some tasty nominees from the Boston area. Boston’s Eldridge Rodriguez leads the way for favorite NE Indie Rock Artist, and Grey Season is also in the running. Otter, whose new album i am my brother is currently streaming on our website, is fighting with Gang of Thieves and Kyle Thorton and Company for favorite NE Roots Music. You can check out all the categories and cast your vote here.

David Bowie

This column is meant to be a weekly wrap-up of local acts, but yours truly would be remiss if he didn’t acknowledge the passing of one of music’s legends, David Bowie. As a millennial I feel that there is nothing I can add to the growing collection of dedications to Bowie and his art, and will instead leave you with this tribute from Dirty Bangs.

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Premieres: Alper Tuzcu, Otter

Upcoming shows: Selected Sounds

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