N.H. native comes home with ‘Stranger from the North’

  • Steven Chagnon Courtesy of Corey Garland

  • Steven Chagnon Courtesy of Annette Lindenberger

  • Steven Chagnon Courtesy of A.J. Kierstead

  • Steven Chagnon Courtesy of A.J. Kierstead

  • Steven Chagnon of Concord recently released his first album, “Stranger from the North.” Courtesy

  • Steven Chagnon, who grew up in Bow and recently moved back to Concord, released a six-song album. Courtesy of Corey Garland

Monitor staff
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

‘I caught the first train, straight out of Boston. I’m tired of the city I always get lost in. … I’m going home,” sings Steven Chagnon on his newly-released album, Stranger from the North.

Chagnon, 27, is back home in the Granite State after moving to Concord six months ago.

After graduating from Bow High School, Chagnon headed to Boston, studying audio production at the Center for Digital Imaging Arts at Boston University. The singer and guitarist had lived in New Hampshire since he was 5.

“I was wondering what I was moving back to,” Chagnon said.

What he discovered was the music scene in Concord has grown 10-fold since he left, he said.

Live music venues dot the Capital city: Area 23, the Barley House, True Brew, Penuche’s, Hermanos, Tandy’s, Makris Lobster and Steak House, just to name a few. Plus radio stations, like Concord’s WKXL, feature the music of local musicians.

Chagnon said he has been encouraged by Wrongtown Productions, a sort of community collaborative that helps musicians book shows in the region. He is also a vocalist and guitarist with the Mallory Weiss band, in addition to his solo work.

On Stranger from the North, a six-song album, he worked with Alex Allinson to add harmonies and background instrumentation to the acoustic versions of the tracks he recorded. The men met while Chagnon was an intern at The Bridge Sound and Stage, a recording studio in Cambridge, Mass.

Chagnon said he became interested in music from a young age. When he was about 2 or 3 years old, his Uncle Doug gave him his first guitar. By 10 years old, he was taking guitar lessons, and in fifth-grade, he joined the choir, he said.

It was while watching Dan Wilson, lead singer of Semisonic, on TV in the late ’90s, that Chagnon said he thought, “I’m going to write songs for the rest of my life.”

By age 13, he joined his first band, a sort of punk-rock group.

Since then, his style has evolved. He describes his current music as indie folk.

“It never stops growing and changing on you,” Chagnon said of his music.

The songs on his first album are measured and thoughtful, with clear lyrics and talented musicianship on his guitar. 

“Steve (Chagnon) is one of the true, unsung gems we have around the state,” said Rob Azevedo, host of “Granite State of Mind” on WKXL. “He writes beautifully, sings flawlessly and has created some great, great stories with his new music, Stranger from the North.”

You can download Stranger from the North from iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp and Spotify.