In the crisp air of late October, we packed up Chris’ mom’s car and embarked on our second installment of the Field Trip series.
This time we took over Big Blue North, a 1920’s church converted into a stunning recording studio, nestled in a wondrous neighborhood of Utica, New York. We filmed sessions, ate tacos, drank Utica Club, got intimate over some podcast talk; but ultimately hung out with some of our favorite (which also happen to be some of the most talented) artists of the East Coast.
We present to you our second session of the series but encourage you to stay tuned for the rest:
by Sean McVerry
Okay, first of all, I love getting out of the city in the Fall. Especially if I go upstate New York. Especially to make music. Especially to hang with pals/make new pals. I always feel when I’m doing that first stretch of the drive out of Manhattan onto Interstate 87, I’m escaping some huge, looming colossus that doesn’t subside until you hit that first rest area by Monroe and the trees start to outnumber the buildings. That being said, the whole Field Trip experience at Big Blue North, for me was like this great, big weekend-long exhale.
I remember pulling up to the Big Blue North apartment aka The Fort (which looks like a Real World house by the way) with my manager Aristotle and creative confidant/roommate Christina. As soon as we walked in we were just thrown into this forty eight hour family. Between the guys from Best Behavior, and all of the Play Too Much production crew, there wasn’t even that awkward “first meeting new people” kind of vibe. We all just drank a ton of beers and talked music, and food and venues, and how much Cameo gallery sucked (although I kind of liked it :/ ). It was just instant comfort and really set the tone for the whole weekend.
I really could gush over Big Blue North Studio for pages on end, but for the sake of brevity— I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful place to create music. The space itself personally warranted performances I felt I really connected to and had such an incredible vibe. Not to mention, Jeff and Pam (The folks behind BBN) are actually the greatest people on this earth and made everything so seamless and fun.
“Kerosene” is the first single off of my first solo EP, Hourglass Switchboard. It’s one of the older songs on the record, and originally I wrote it on a mandolin that I could barely play. I remember getting too caught up in muscle memory of instruments I was more comfortable with (piano, guitar) and I kept going back to the same shapes, chords, progressions. Picking up an instrument I knew next to nothing about kind of put me in a position to rely on melody and dynamics to achieve the emotional effect I wanted to convey. As for lyrical content— I tend to provide less information so people can make their own connections with it and not get distracted with whatever melodrama I’m preaching about. The recorded version of “Kerosene” is a bit more fleshed out and realized arrangement-wise, but for the most part this is how I normally perform the song live.
Sean McVerry is a singer, songwriter and multi instrumentalist from Middlebury, CT. He has ability to seamlessly blend Pop and Indie Rock with elements of Electronica. His first EP, Hourglass Switchboard I, is out later this month.