On the Beat: New Music From Michael Chorney and Noah Kahan, the End of Transitory Symphony | Music News + Views | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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On the Beat: New Music From Michael Chorney and Noah Kahan, the End of Transitory Symphony


Published May 24, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.

Nicomo Secret Show at Somewhere in Burlington on May 21 - LUKE AWTRY
  • Luke Awtry
  • Nicomo Secret Show at Somewhere in Burlington on May 21

Innovative Vermont composer and multi-instrumentalist Michael Chorney is back with a new project — sort of. The viperHouse founder is the current leader of prog-jazz outfit Freeway Clyde and has released an album of that band's songs with Brooklyn-based violinist Dana Lyn. The Melodia of Freeway Clyde features stripped-down versions of Chorney's compositions, performed by Chorney and Lyn and showcasing the hypnotic interplay of acoustic guitar and violin for an almost cinematic effect.

The duo has also released a music video for the track "Ephrata." Directed by Burlington expat singer-songwriter Francesca Blanchard, the video sets the arctic-chill elegance of the song against a montage of footage of empty fields, abandoned shacks, windmills and battered fences. Check it out now on YouTube, and stream The Melodia of Freeway Clyde at michaelchorney.bandcamp.com.

Williston duo Transitory Symphony is "closing up shop," according to an email from cofounder Jim Heltz. He and Tom Haney are ending the project after 10 years; a handful of weird folk-rock, psych-jazz records; and (who can forget) one ode to the giant pit that still sits in the middle of Burlington.

I'm sad to see the band go because it was strange in all the best ways. Though Haney is retiring from music, Heltz said he'll be back with a new project in the future. In the meantime, Transitory Symphony leave one last offering: She says, "I've Got Your Number" is a four-song EP coda from the band, available at transitorysymphony.bandcamp.com. It also released two final videos, one for the title track and one for "the clouds INSIDE," which you can watch on YouTube.

Vermont singer-songwriter Noah Kahan has released two new singles on Spotify. The first is a new version of Kahan's hit song "Orange Juice," in which the onetime Strafford resident strips the tune down to a hushed piano ballad. The other release is a cover of the Jason Isbell song "If We Were Vampires," on which Kahan duets on with Lumineers vocalist Wesley Schultz.

"Getting a chance to perform one of the greatest songs ever with one of my biggest influences ever was one of the highlights of my life," Kahan wrote in the press release for the singles. Describing the Isbell song as being about "time, aging, and what true love really is," Kahan related that he fell in love with "If We Were Vampires" when he was young and his mother played it on a road trip. Getting to record it with Schultz was especially meaningful for Kahan, as he grew up an avid fan of the Denver alt-folk act.

Both tracks are exclusively streaming on Spotify.

Eye on the Scene

Last week's live music highlights from photographer Luke Awtry

Nicomo Secret Show at Somewhere, Burlington, May 21: Sunday, 9 p.m. I am in sweatpants. The cats have settled in around me. I'm exhausted, but what could possibly be happening — at this hour, no less? Then I begin to recall week-old whispers that Burlington expat Nico Osborne and his post-Smalltalker project, Nicomo, are playing a secret show, along with locals Jeremy Mendicino and Addie Herbert. Unsure of the location and already an hour past the rumored start time, I run to my car and head across town to a secret location. The parking lot is unusually empty, but just as disappointment sets in, Mendicino's unmistakable songwriting drifts past, and I pull back a curtain to reveal 25 fully engaged attendees and one distracted Pomeranian. All three acts are lovely, but I'm especially floored by Herbert, having never heard her perform solo. That's the beautiful thing about Burlington: There's always music happening ... somewhere.

On the Air

Where to tune in to Vermont music this week:

  • "Wave Cave Radio Show," Wednesday, May 24, 2 p.m., on 105.9 the Radiator: DJs Flywlker and Gingervitus spin the best of local and nonlocal hip-hop.
  • "Rocket Shop Radio Hour," Wednesday, May 24, 8 p.m., on 105.9 the Radiator: Folk singer Nick Carter plays live in studio.
  • "The Sounds of Burlington," Thursday, May 25, 9 p.m., at WBKM.org: Host Tim Lewis plays selections of local music.
  • "Cultural Bunker," Friday, May 26, 7 p.m., on 90.1 WRUV: Host Melo Grant plays local and nonlocal hip-hop.
  • "All the Traditions," Sunday, May 28, 7 p.m., on Vermont Public: Host Robert Resnik plays an assortment of folk music with a focus on Vermont artists.

Listening In

Spotify playlist of Vermont jams