If you go

What: The Pines and Reed Foehl

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: eTown Hall, 1535 Spruce St., Boulder, 303-443-8696

Cost: $8

More info: etown.org

T he Pines are returning to Colorado for the band's first show at Boulder's eTown Hall.

It's been about a year since they played Colorado. This time, David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey, the band's core duo, are coming to Boulder along with keyboardist Alex Ramsey and upright bass player James Buckley. It's a more stripped-down version of a band that can have up to seven members, which means different arrangements of The Pines' indie-roots songs.

The Pines.
The Pines. (Courtesy Asia Kepka)

"It's been our favorite lineup in the last three months or so. That touring ensemble is very versatile," Huckfelt said. "Sometimes it's hard to move between the world where we do full band shows and trio shows, but in between we find arrangements that really speak to the lineup we're working with. It keeps us on our toes and keeps things interesting."

The constant change of being on the road makes for good songwriting fodder, but it isn't great for Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey to actually write on the road.

"We try to do songs on the road, but I think our songs, especially, are not super conducive to be written in the chaos of travelling," Huckfelt said. "Mostly we're just open to those experiences and taking them home to where we write."


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When they get home to Minneapolis and process those experiences, the resulting music is far from the madness of touring. It's the delicate kind of folk and roots that feels simultaneously happy and sad, romantic and heartbroken. It's plain just in the lyrics of 2012's Dark So Gold, between "I love you, more than you'll ever know dear / Before I was born I could hear you / Calling my name from far away" and "Rise up and be lonely / Where daisies burn and kisses fade / from lack of light in heart and mind."

The songwriting is also a slow process for the duo. They're coming to Boulder a break from touring and they've found time to let the songs come steadily. There's no rush.

"We're kind of a very patient band in that regard," Huckfelt said. "We don't force it and we don't have a schedule. My songwriting schedule is pretty far away from the business part of music, where you gotta keep putting things out."

But while they've started the early writing process, don't expect a timeline for the album anytime soon. Don't expect clues as to what it might sound like, either.

"We don't really talk about how it's going to feel or how it's going to sound until it really comes together," Huckfelt said. "We really try to draw as wide a palette as possible. Myself and Benson are the originators of the songs. Collectively and individually bringing everything to the table. It's born in this quiet space between the two of us and then expands to the band, which is as many as seven people."

There's a small possibility that some new directions will emerge at the eTown Hall show Thursday, though.

"We're super excited about where the live show is, and very recently, the songwriting is starting to go in some new directions."