This unexpected folk-rock orchestra materialized out of Albuquerque, but they might as well have slipped through an intergalactic portal or stowed away on a derelict spacecraft before crashlanding in the desert.
Dust City Opera—Paul Hunton [vocals, guitar, songwriter], Clara Byom [clarinet, accordion, keys], Travis Rourk [trombone, vocals], Scott Brewer [bass], and Dave Purcell [drums, sampler]—tells harrowing tales of sadness, madness, and mishaps. With each performance illuminating the space between death and humor, this quintet becomes the soundtrack to stories steeped in cosmic horror and transcendence.
In many ways, it fulfills frontman and sonic ringmaster Paul Hunton’s destiny. Under the influence of everything from H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King to Tom Waits and Soundgarden, he founded Dust City Opera at the top of 2018.
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.”
This honesty appealed to audiences. After building a cult following and raising tens of thousands of dollars on Kickstarter to launch their next chapter, the group perfected their otherworldly vision on the band’s 2022 full-length album, Alien Summer.
Dust City Opera will draw you deep into their mad world of storytelling, so enter with caution. You may find yourself abducted by ancient aliens, lost in haunted fog, or more fascinating yet: face-to-face with your own insanity, with no way out.