2011 Artist Lineup

Chamberlin

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Chamberlin is the biggest band from Vermont that no one there has ever really heard of. As their debut album Bitter Blood (Roll Call/EMI) drops, the eight-month-old act finds themselves criss-crossing the country in the midst of national tours, having played but a handful of shows in their home state. Last fall, before finishing Bitter Blood, the only people Chamberlin had performed for were close friends and flames during late night whiskey-fueled rehearsals at their mountainside cabin in Goshen, VT (pop. 200). There, last spring, Mark Daly and Ethan West wrote and demoed the nine songs that would make up the record. “We didn’t think much of them at the time — basically rehearsing with a microphone on — but those acoustic tracks had some legs,” says West. By June the two recruited three other players, and Chamberlin was born. They took the name from a painting, perched on the cabin wall. By July, the group was signed to west coast indie label Roll Call Records. A month later they met with producer Scott Tournet and left the cabin to record Bitter Blood in Burlington, VT. Tournet plays guitar for Grace Potter And The Nocturnals, the most recent Vermont band with a national trajectory. Chamberlin would go on to follow in their footsteps — literally — kicking off 2011 supporting Grace & Co. on their sold-out winter tour. “We were so busy with the record that by the time it was finished, we only played a couple times in Vermont before we had all these opportunities elsewhere come knocking on our door,” says Daly, the band’s lead singer/frontman. “Suddenly we found that we’d played in Minneapolis more times than Burlington and that we sell the most records in San Francisco.” Up in their cabin, Chamberlin wrote a record stained with the influence of bonfires, harsh winters, geographical isolation and the women that seem to run perpendicular to their lives. From the electric opening track, “Fools” – a stormy, scathing rebuke of two lovers – to the resolute, mostly a capella “Sixty Days,” the nine songs on Bitter Blood are photographs, or perhaps photograms, of Chamberlin’s world, with varying degrees of aperture. Despite its title, Bitter Blood is not without pleasantries. For the band, while contemplative, is not jaded. “Turn Around,” the B3-laden third track, may even sound best as a drink-in-hand, late-night back porch sing-along. After all, “bitter blood,” as the title track asserts, “breaks like a cigarette.”

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