Written by Ashley Paskill
On March 4, 2022, the rising eclectic Dust City Opera released their latest album, Alien Summer. This is the band’s second full-length album, consisting of a 12-song set.
Dust City Opera is a sextet from Albuquerque, New Mexico. The band includes Paul Hunton on vocals, guitar, and songwriting, Clara Byom on clarinet, accordion, and keys, Travis Rourk on trombone, Chris Livingston on lead guitar, Scott Brewer on bass, and Dave Purcell on drums.
The six piece’s latest record, Alien Summer, was written over the course of the past three years, hence the tension and anxiety from the pandemic that is evident in the songs.
The songs of the album take listeners through a sci-fi story of sorts, with each song developing a different aspect of the story. Each song on the album has a different feel and sound, but they all tie together in a cohesive way. The diversity of the songs demonstrates the band’s versatility and allows listeners of all kinds of music to find something they like. For parents of kids who may listen to this album, there is one song, “It,” that is marked as explicit.
On a personal level, I love how dramatic the stories of the songs are. The album left me looking forward to finding out how it would end, while simultaneously causing me not want to reach the end of the album. The tension of both the lyrics and the instrumentals is incredible. I would love to see a movie based on this album. I enjoy the added dialogue within the songs, as it helps further the story told in the songs themselves.
Alien Summer songs resemble the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Andrew Lipke, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, and more wrapped up into one album. There is something for fans of rock, gothic, and orchestral music. The songs’ content and sound are a bit dark, but they help give a sound to the darkness that has gripped the world over these past few years. The album itself is just over 48 minutes long, so it is a quick listen and allows you to take a musical journey in the time it takes to watch a TV episode.
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