These days it seems like anyone who owns a guitar also has a Spotify page. That’s why it’s so surprising that one of the hardest touring bands in Northern Colorado is releasing its first ever album this month. Banshee Tree’s eponymous debut drops August 20, and it’s a dizzying journey through the band’s eclectic influences.
For the past few years, Banshee Tree has played in barrooms, theaters and music festivals all over Colorado and Wyoming. Although the band’s music showcases each member’s impressive chops, the recurring theme is vibrant energy. Dancefloor denizens will sway to neo soul for one song and spin their partner to gypsy jazz for the next.
This theme carries on into the record. Crisp production accentuates carefully arranged music without quelling the undeniable grooves of a rock solid rhythm section. Drummer Michelle Pietrafitta leads the way — confidently switching between genre bending beats that fade into the mix and creative fills that harness the room.
A band that once played exclusively swing, they start off by defying expectations. The opening track, “Indigo,” is a sexy soul-jazz odyssey that veers into math-y syncopation during the chorus. The lyrics might be trippy or spiritual depending on who you ask.
“Canary’s Gone” is a highlight, returning the band to their gypsy swing roots with singer/guitarist Thom LaFond delivering a catchy, fast-sung chorus. During the solo section, the band finally lets loose, embarking on an incredible 5-minute jam. After an excellent, albeit genre appropriate, fiddle solo, the music devolves into a series of breakdowns drawing from progressive metal, contemporary jazz and waltz. Finally, LaFond returns for a final verse.
Longtime fans will recognize “Spare Me,” the album’s lead single, and “Moth in a Box,” the band’s usual show-ender, while “True Distraction” is an enjoyable soul-rock jam that invokes wanderlust. From start to finish, Banshee Tree will have heads bobbing.