Seven Days, June 13, 2018

Ursa Verde Final Cover.jpg

Andrew of the North, Ursa Verde


Locals may know New Hampshire-based pianist Andrew Grosvenor from his frequent appearances in Burlington, including the weekly Family Night jam sessions at SideBar and his own monthly residency at Radio Bean. Additionally, he played in the long-defunct Burlington group Woodshed. His mythic current moniker, Andrew of the North, aligns with the grandiose tunes of his latest album, Ursa Verde

Recorded for the 2018 RPM Challenge — a yearly feat of endurance that tasks participants with crafting a 10-song album in 28 days — Ursa Verde has an energized, urgent sound. Grosvenor played every instrument and tracked all of the parts in his basement. Smartly, he enlisted Burlington's Tank Recording Studio for mixing and mastering assistance; the final product is both scrappy and solid. 

Grosvenor's vocals are crisp and clear throughout. His enunciation and vocal timbre recall that of a certain ultra-phamous jam band's front man. In fact, his jangly, soul- and blues-injected keyboard-rock is generally reminiscent of Phish. 

Vaguely tropical beats and rounded bass open "Aditi." Multitracked vintage keys and piano gurgle beneath Grosvenor's imposing, occasionally faltering vocals. 

With only handclaps and the tinny chirp of a coffee cup struck with a wedding ring, "Holler" stands out from the other keyboard-driven cuts. With references to the Maccabees on every refrain, it's like an obscure folk song you'd hear in an elementary school music class. But what's it doing in the middle of a rock record? 

A blown-out Rhodes anchors the bouncy "Tell Me." The narrative ballad draws a connection between life's mundaneness and the anxiety that comes with it. 

Grosvenor's tunes have a humble sincerity that makes Ursa Verde a valiant effort.


Concord Monitor - March 22, 2018

Concord musician embarks on RPM Challenge

One month. One album. It may be a lot of work, but why not?

In November, writers have National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Beginning in 2005, The Wire in Portsmouth proposed the RPM Challenge for February, which was already Album Writing Month. Musicians have 28 days to come up with either 10 songs or 35 minutes of music with cover art.

Andrew Grosvenor, 34, of Concord just discovered the challenge this year and decided to take up the challenge; just one of the hundreds of people to do so.

“I had a lot of half-baked ideas floating around for a while,” he said.

Grosvenor said he created a list of those ideas and then began laying tracks in his basement. Now, he has a full album called Ursa Verde...

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