Prodigal Suns: Falmouth senior releases his debut album

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FALMOUTH — Tommy Bazarian is already a modern day Renaissance man. 

Bazarian is 17 years old and about to enter his senior year at Falmouth High School, where he plays tennis, enjoys singing and dancing on stage, and plays in the concert and jazz bands.

But the most exciting thing for him has been the release of his first album, “A Million Suns,” this summer.

“It was just so fun,” Bazarian said of his two-year experience recording the album.

Bazarian wrote all of the 11 songs on the album. He persuaded his friends and classmates to sing back-up vocals, much of which is layered to fill out the harmonies, and his band-mates to accompany him.

The songs have a variety of influences, from Celtic folk songs to Pink Floyd, to Bob Dylan. Bazarian’s tone is that of a mature vocalist, and his songs are complex and emotional.

“Melodies get stuck in my head and I just write them down,” he said.

Bazarian lists the Beatles, Grateful Dead and Simon and Garfunkle as some of his primary influences, the music he listens to on a daily basis. He said he thinks modern songwriting is not as good.

“We’ve kind of gone down hill since then,” he said.

Bazarian is also deeply influenced by his guitar teacher, Eric Bettencourt, who also recorded, mixed and produced “A Million Suns.” Bettencourt runs a small recording studio in Portland called Shadow Shine Studios, and also teaches guitar lessons. Bazarian has been taking lessons there since he was a freshman.

“He’s great. This was such an incredible opportunity,” Bazarian said.

However, he said if he did it again, he’d probably practice a lot first, then record the album in three days, rather than over two years.

“It was a slow project,” he said.

While he sold 80 records at a CD release party at One Longfellow Square in Portland in June, Bazarian still has a box of CDs he carries in his car, and another sitting in the entryway of his house.

He encourages people to visit his website, tommybazarian.com, where they can listen to the entire album. It’s available for sale at Bull Moose Music stores, on iTunes, or, Bazarian said, stop him on the street.

“I’ll sell them to people out of my car,” he said.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net

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Tommy Bazarian plays at his parents’ house in Falmouth. Bazarian, who will be a high school senior this fall, recorded and released an album of his own songs this summer called “A Million Suns.”

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