State of Art: Anchorage musicians raised the bar in 2019. Here are some highlights

This week on State of Art we’re looking back on some excellent local releases that came out last year.

The Cheapest Key: “Dirty Heart”

The Cheapest Key released their album “Postcard” in January of 2019. (Will Koeppen/Courtesy of The Cheapest Key)

The Cheapest Key is Laurence Blakely (guitar, vocals) and Laura Chartier (keyboard, vocals). Their tight harmonies over folk and Americana instrumentation might not be groundbreaking, but the delivery and powerful vocals can stop you in your tracks. “Postcard” is their first album, but hopefully not the last.

Medium Build: “Give It Like You Used To”

Medium Build released “Wild” in November of last year. (Courtesy of Medium Build)

The creative forces behind Medium Build (Nick Carpenter and James Glaves) swing for the fences with their newest album. While their previous releases warranted a bummed out listen in solitude, “Wild” was meant for stadiums. Keep an eye on these guys.

Related: Interview with Medium Build’s Nick Carpenter and James Glaves

The Jangle Bees: “Heart Still Heavy”

The Jangle Bees released their self-titled album last summer. (Courtesy of The Jangle Bees)

On The Jangle Bee’s self-titled album, the band harnesses the spirit of Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. With multiple singers trading lead vocals, the band’s style stays consistent without getting stale. It’s windows down road trip music.

Termination Dust: “It’s Not A Place, It’s A Feeling”

Termination Dust’s album “Growing Down” comes out January 24th. Frontwomen Stefanie Vigoren and Jaybird Parkhurst have been hitting it hard since singing to Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock’s label. This new release promises more dreamy, gritty pop the group is known for.

Ammon Swenson is Alaska Public Media’s Audio Media Content Producer. He was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He graduated from UAA in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and integrated media. He’s previously worked for KRUA radio, the Anchorage Press, and The Northern Light.

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