Alie Byland worked with childhood friends to create the new album Grey, which debuts November 12. Photograph courtesy of Byland.
WHEN ALIE BYLAND MOVED home from Seattle to Albuquerque in January, the songwriter and indie musician wanted to get her old band back together.
Byland made friends playing music at church while growing up in Albuquerque’s International District. So when she needed a band to bring the vision for her upcoming album to life, she tapped those early collaborators. Now Kristian Haynes plays drums and vocals, Ian Nesbitt rocks the bass, and Joel Gloetzner plays lead guitar and synth.
Byland’s new album, Grey, co-written by Byland and her husband, Jake, represents a more introspective, personal exploration of her emotions. The group recorded a full-length music video for the album, which releases Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in an event hosted by AMP Concerts.
Tell me about this music video, what can viewers look forward to?
We’re trying to make it more than a livestream. We want to stand out. So, we decided to film it at several locations around New Mexico. The majority of the songs are filmed at Lesmen’s, which is a local music shop I’ve known for years and years. We also filmed at the petroglyphs near Albuquerque; we did some acoustic songs there. And we did some at my house, too.
How would you describe your own sound?
Cinematic rock. It’s string-heavy, ethereal, and vocal forward. The lyrics are very meaningful. We try to write verses that are personal and choruses that are universal. “Passed Me By” is one of those songs: “Time passed me by, time passed me by” is the chorus. In the verses I am speaking about my niece and nephew, and how time is passing related to my own life. I wanted the chorus to resonate with people on their own level, and how time may be passing in their own lives.
Tell me about how the band came together.
I played music with them as kids, but we haven’t played together in a long time. They didn’t write the record, but they poured their hearts into creating this live show that is their own. Kristian, our drummer, is the first person I ever wrote a song with. I think we performed at our church when we were 10. It’s funny, none of us are religious anymore, and we had not lived in the same state for 10 years. We came back and realized our journeys were similar, to finding freedom through music.
What’s this album about? What inspired it?
Our first record was called Desert Days, and it was very sentimental. We talked a lot about things that happened in the past. This record is very introspective; I decided to go to therapy about a year ago, and this album is about helping me express the emotions inside of me I didn’t know how to express. I am thankful for music.
Get a free ticket on ampconcerts.com, donate $25 to also get a tote, or donate $5o to get a first pressing of the new record. “It’s only an hour,” Byland says of the show, “so don’t be late.”