Dust City Opera materialized out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, but they might as well have slipped through some intergalactic portal or stowed away on a derelict spacecraft before crashlanding in the desert. These eclectic musicians, Paul Hunton [vocals, guitar, songwriter], Clara Byom [clarinet, accordion, keys], Travis Rourk [trombone], Scott Brewer [bass], and Dave Purcell [drums] entwine strands of grunge, gothic country, punk, folk, and rock as the soundtrack to stories steeped in cosmic horror, transformation, and transcendence.
After building a cult following and raising tens of thousands of dollars on Kickstarter to launch their next chapter, Dust City Opera perfected their otherworldly vision on ‘Alien Summer,’ the follow-up to the band’s 2019 full-length debut, ‘Heaven.’
I asked Dust City Opera’s lead singer/songwriter Paul Hunton some questions about the upcoming album ‘Alien Summer’.
What are your favourite memories of writing or recording the album?
“I got a little place in a remote part of the state for a few days and came up with ‘Angie.’ Making that excursion gave some gravity to the song that I’m really satisfied with. I don’t often see fog where I live and it would roll in thickly and gave me that haunted vibe I’ve been after. That and all the flies. A number of friends have said that ‘Angie’ stands out to them on the album, which is cool. The music video just came out and it’s been well-received.”
Do you have a favourite song on the album? Which one and why is it your favourite?
“Yeah, ‘Love of Mine’. It’s this dramatic, haunted western. It’s upbeat, grandiose, and highlights some of the best of our talents. ‘Angie’ as well for similar reasons, though it’s a ballad.”
What are you hoping to achieve with the release?
“Hopefully to worm our way into the hearts of new fans. We’ve had a lot of enthusiasm from our current ones and want to connect with more of the kind of people who appreciate this nonsense. We’re from a relatively small city in the desert, with not much else around for hundreds of miles. We’d love for folks to hear this album who are thousands of miles away and then hopefully have the opportunity to travel to those places and play for those new fans.”
Is there a sense of excitement or panic for the release?
“Gosh, both. I think the songs are awesome and they sound great, lots of energy, cool vibes, interesting stories, variety. Getting them performance ready after no shows for a while is making me sweat though! Everyone in the band worked their asses off in the studio and everyone is working tirelessly to prepare for performing the release live as we set out to tour. We’ve invested a great deal of time and energy into making something great. We actually raised over $20,000 from fans to finish the album so there is this pressure to make sure it’s as great as it can be. I think it is. I hope our fans will agree.”
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