What: Bahamas (opening for Calexico)
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, 303-443-3399
More info: foxtheatre.com
M aybe it's escapism, the music of Bahamas.
No, not the country. Bahamas is the project of musician Afie Jurvanen. He's Finnish-Canadian, but he writes music more appropriate for the project's name. It's warm, pretty music that sets fun or romantic scenes. He doesn't put the music out there with the intention of using it as an escape, but it's hard not to feel that way about it.
What Jurvanen does want is growth and progress.
"I've been excited by not knowing what's going to happen next," he said. "You don't necessarily have the same conversations with people all the time. You wanna keep growing and keep learning. I think that's the thing about music."
His February 2012 release, Barchords, was something he saw as a conversation, and that's the same attitude he brings to the stage. Nothing was too carefully planned or structured, nothing was forced. He just let the music happen.
"The moments I liked best were the ones that weren't planned. It's kind of like a conversation. If you plan it too much and you're trying to impress some pretty girl, it might not work, and if you just let it happen, you might just blow her away," he said. "The whole idea of just putting microphones in the room and there's people playing and you try to capture a moment, that has some excitement in it. It's the opposite of studio recording where you have a bunch of pieces and you put them together. I'm not the first person to do it, but I think the record really benefited from that."
Jurvanen wrote and recorded the record years ago, while he was touring with his first record, but the release was held off for a while. He's been out playing Barchords since its release, and 2012 was a year that included Bahamas TV debut on Conan and spots on SPIN's list of "SXSW 2012's Top 10 Shows" and Canada's Polaris Music Prize 2012: The Long List.
More recently, he's had two months off doing "domestic stuff -- doing my laundry and making my wife dinner." Now he heads out on tour again, this time supporting Calexico.
He'll also start thinking about the next Bahamas record. So far, there's no big plan -- except to do something different.
"I'm still sort of in the infancy stages of thinking about what it's going to be," he said. "I definitely don't want to do the same thing again. I think that would be really boring for me and for the listeners."
Bahamas opens for Calexico at the Fox Theatre on Friday night. If anything, the show is the perfect timing for Boulder's own escape from biting cold.