It’s a Boston tradition at this point: When the Boston Music Awards nominations drop in September, so does the annual 617SessionsSound of Our Town compilation, sharing new tunes from 10 of the city’s rapidly-ascending musicians.
The 2020 edition dropped this morning (September 25), featuring new tracks from Naomi Westwater, Prateek, Rebuilder, Red Shaydez, Yavin, Ava Sophia (with Tashawn Taylor), Mint Green, Juniper, Heath240, and Eli Olson. Each artist is also nominated for “617Sessions Artist of the Year” at the 2020 Boston Music Awards, a distinction House of Harm took home at last year’s ceremony.
As in years past, all 10 acts received complimentary studio time to record one original song at the The Bridge Sound and Stage in Cambridge. For 2020, 617Sessions has partnered with music and merchandise distribution platform MusicSpace to ensure that proceeds from sales of the compilation will be donated to Black Lives Matter Boston and the Boston Music Maker COVID-19 Fund (established by The Record Co. earlier this year).
Ranging from soft punk and folk to R&B and hard-hitting hip-hop, Sound of Our Town offers an excellent snapshot of a diverse music community that’s persevering despite the ample difficulties of 2020.
“As an Allston-Brighton native, there’s nothing that feels better than recognition from my hometown. I take so much pride in being a Boston-based artist,” Ava Sophia shares with Vanyaland. “I’m grateful for platforms like 617Sessions that provide visibility for the musicians who keep arts and culture alive here.”
“The whole process was a total blast — the Bridge is such a cool space, and the team there was incredible,” Yavin reflects. “My accompanist there was Greg Daigle of Boston’s own Visiting Wine, and we got to record [one of] my most stripped-down as well as personal tracks yet with ‘Insecurities.’”