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CITY: Idaho

The Very Most 

All-Time Best Band: Built To Spill
All-Time Best Solo Artist: Josh Ritter
Best New Band: The Very Most

Doug Martsch wasn’t always a walking dispenser of 20-minute guitar solos. Take a listen to those first few Built To Spill records and you’ll understand why Idaho gets to be the Gem State. His post-Treepeople pop juggernaut has blown billions of post-collegiate minds over the years, delighting those who like their riffage cute but brutal, and tempting hack music writers to point out that “Boise” rhymes with “noisy.” | Moscow’s Josh Ritter spent a good deal of time at open mics here in Boston honing his newgrassy, folk-tinged, pop rock. Now he’s playing rooms big enough to let his songs’ sweeping gestures sound at home. | There may not be many Idahoan bands, but the ones that do exist are generous: take Boise’s the Very Most. Pick up their doozy of a sophomore outing, Congratulations, Forever, and they’ll write you your very own Very Most song! Which is a great deal — provided you like twee, cutesy Belle & Sebastian chamber pop. (We do!)

Video: Built to Spill
Video: Josh Ritter

Listen: Built to Spill, "Car"

Listen: Josh Ritter, "Next to the Last Romantic

Listen: The Very Most, "Spilt, Spilt Milk"

_Nina MacLaughlin