Location: Brattleboro, Vermont Estimated Population: 12,046
What Brattleboro, Vermont lacks in population, it makes up for in post-hippie charm. Refugees from a host of nearby art schools have long taken up residence in the city's modest downtown. While splitting his time between his parents Brattleboro home and a nearby loft that had been converted into a recording studio, Kyle Thomas recorded his debut King Tuff effort Was Dead. Long lost to the annals of time and exorbitant eBay auctions, the record finally saw rerelease this year on SoCal's esteemed Burger Records. Thomas's music never seemed to fit Brattleboro's highminded art ideals in the same way that Tune-Yards, the city's other recent notable export, managed to. That being said, Was Dead is a pretty piece of garage pop and a highlight among Burger Records vast catalog of similar sounding records. Driven on glamrock smarts and a precocious knack for lead guitar hooks, Was Dead was something like a lost artifact in a world where such mystery is nearly impossible. Recent successes have driven Thomas out to the coast, but despite stylistic inconsistencies, the heart of Was Dead,and King Tuff on the whole, lies in the sprawling squalor of Brattleboro's art scene.