Tommy Bazarian e-mailed me a few weeks ago and told me he was a junior at Falmouth High School who had just finished recording his first album, “A Million Suns.” A few days later, a copy of the CD was in my hands.

Although I didn’t make it to his June 16 CD-release show at One Longfellow Square, I want him to know he can consider me a fan. A big one.

Bazarian wrote all of the album’s 11 songs and plays most of the instruments, including acoustic guitar, electric guitar, organ, piano, bass, tambourine and even saxophone. He wisely teamed up with musician Eric Bettencourt, who produced, recorded and mixed the album at his Shadow Shine Studios.

You’ll hear Bettencourt’s contributions on bass and acoustic, electric and slide guitars; Chuck Gagne on drums; Will Lenk and Carter Milliken on electric guitar; Colin Winsor on bass and Leah Finkelstein on piano. There’s also a five-piece horn section in the song “Watercolors.” Guest vocalists are sibling Brooke Bazarian, Bettencourt, Amanda Gervasi, Monique Bidwell, Maria Darrow, Annalise Keeler, Stephen Webel, Tommy Webel, Tess Wrobleski and Ryan Geo.

The CD opens with “The Real James Dean,” and between the guitars, bass, stellar back-up vocals and clever lyrics, the song is a superb introduction to this crackerjack young talent. His vocals, already so strong and clear, will get even better with time.

I am tempted to check his ID, because for someone so young, Bazarian is an astute writer and poet. “The Mariner” is one example: “Both Edinburgh and Africa, and poorly charted Netherlands were christened by his faithful call, my love awaits around the bend.”

“Something In the Water” might be my favorite, with its chilling back-up vocals from sibling Brooke and impressive electric guitar from Milliken.

But “I Am Alive” is right up there too. Wrobleski and Darrow trade lead vocals on this one and they both nail it, as does Bazarian. A sea of other voices blaze in the background as the song ascends, tearing a hole through the ceiling: “I’m all right to say, I’m alive.”

I could wax poetic about every song on “A Million Suns,” but some things are best left to be discovered on your own. Bazarian’s online home is at, and you can purchase “A Million Suns” at Bull Moose and on iTunes.

If Bazarian is this good at 16, I can’t imagine where he’ll by the time he ponies up to the bar for his first beer.

Aimsel Ponti is a Portland freelance writer. Contact her at:

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