UVM band fired up

There’s a new underground sound in Burlington that’s coming to the surface. That sound belongs to UVM band Holy Smokes.

Composed of all seniors, the band is set on making a mark during their last year at UVM.

“We want to create something on the way out,” member Evan Howard said.

Bandmate Justin Barton quickly interjected saying, “to the moon.”

The band has played together since July, but guitarist Kevin McElroy and pianist/vocalist Justin Barton have been jamming since November 2013.

“We were looking for a bassist and drummer,” McElroy said.

They were able to easily fill the spots with bassist Dan Spitzer and Howard on the drums.

“It all worked out really well,” McElroy said.

The band said they take pride in their uniquely diverse sound.

“It’s a mix: jazz, alternative, post-rock,” Howard said.

Unanimously, the band’s favorite sound is jazz. However, each member said they have their own musical influence, ranging from funk to hip-hop and hardcore.

The members said their range of musical tastes greatly influences the music they cover, write and play.

“We’ll go from something soft and intricate to a hip-hop jam,” Barton said.

Song covers currently in the band’s rotation include Lupe Fiasco’s “Daydreamin’” and Nas’ “New York State of Mind.”

Holy Smokes’ new music is coming soon — the band is working on a demo they hope to release this month.

“It’ll probably be two to three songs, something small,” McElroy said. “We hope we can start playing venues soon, but we’re working on longer sets first.”

The band said they feel their mix of influences sets them apart from what one would typically find in the Burlington music scene.

“[The city’s jam scene] is still good music, but we’re doing something else,” Barton said.

“We have a good balance between pleasing people and playing what we want to play,” Spitzer said.