Part of a burgeoning alternative and Americana scene along Colorado’s Front Range, The Changing Colors stake out new ground on the borders in between. On intensely thematic albums that channel frontier mystics and old-world visionaries, frontman Conor Bourgal turns a distinctly postmodern sensibility on traditional folk elements of authenticity, storytelling and the supernatural for an effect as present as it is haunting. The band’s sound mirrors its substance, layering cold, devastating lyrics over sparse instrumentation and a voice scrubbed raw and clean as a pinewood floor. Occasionally augmented by lap steel, string accompaniment or female harmonies, Bourgal’s vocals and guitar form the backbone of a sound that calls up ghosts.
Their 2008 debut, Ghost of Red Mountain, garnered an enthusiastic reception from local audiences and was hailed by critics as “simultaneously stark and exquisitely expressive” (Santa Barbara Independent) and “natural and direct as a landscape” (Wear Headphones Tonight). Thanks in part to a grant from the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF)’s prestigious IMTour initiative, the Changing Colors’ second album, Joan and the King (Blank Tape Records) will gain wider exposure than ever before, following its Colorado Springs release on May 18 with summer tour dates throughout the West Coast and Northeast.