Dust City Opera // The Undercover Heart

By Blo Back Gallery (other events)

Friday, March 25 2022 7:00 PM 10:00 PM MDT

It often feels like music flows from other dimensions, appearing out of nowhere and burning off into the ether as it spreads. 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 six musicians—Paul Hunton [vocals, guitar, songwriter], Clara Byom [clarinet, accordion, keys], Travis Rourk [trombone], Chris Livingston [lead guitar], 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 perfect this otherworldly vision on their independent second full-length album, Alien Summer [out March 2022]. “Musically, it’s a gothic grunge orchestra,” states Paul. “For me, opera suggests an epic drama. We’ve applied the grandeur of opera to a rock band. That’s what this is.” In many ways, it fulfills Paul’s destiny. Under the influence of everything from H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King to Soundgarden and The Handsome Family, he founded Dust City Opera at the top of 2018. As the story goes, he brought the band together merely two weeks in advance of what would be their first gig. Given the wide swath of inspirations and dynamic sonic palette, the frontman and sonic ringmaster sought out musicians on guitar, accordion, clarinet, euphonium, trombone, bass, and drums. In the wake of losing both of his parents to suicide, Paul initially transmuted the pain of these harrowing losses into the group’s 2019 full-length debut, Heaven. “After my parents passed, I felt free to make my own choices and live my own life,” he admits. “In the past, there was a lot of pressure for me to be something other than who I was. So, I pursued songwriting. My sense of humor got a little darker through my experiences.” Their honesty appealed to audiences. As Dust City Opera assembled Alien Summer with producer Matthew Tobias, they launched a crowdfunding campaign in late 2021 to finalize the record. The band smashed their goal to the tune of nearly $21,000 in less than a month. Musically, the sound expanded with cinematic flourishes and a grandiose backdrop befitting of the record’s overarching themes. The instrumentation stitched together the sonic framework.


The Undercover Heart is a Colorado Livin’ Four Piece Acoustic Band Supporting the Pueblo Music Scene!