If you go

What: Confluence's tour kick-off

When: 9 p.m. Friday

Where: Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St., Denver

Cost: $8-$10

More info: larimerlounge.com

Confluence only made its debut as band one year ago, but they've been savvy about holding our attention.

Since the January 2013 release of the Denver math rock band's first and only record, I Haven't Really Been Living, the quartet has released a steady stream of singles. In January 2014, it was the super-positive "Awaiting." In February, they went a different direction with "In Line." Singer and guitarist Ian Gassman, who co-wrote the songs lyrics with bassist Alan Hubbard, said it was recorded live to give it a raw sound. That certainly matches the lyrical content.

"Our angsty kind of way to describe it is that it's about conformity and the expectations that people have for you to succeed in life and the way that people define success," Gassman said.

"The Line" also features Gassman singing "as high a part as I possibly can sing" at the end. He did it to challenge himself, and it's that attitude that makes Confluence a math-rock band.

"We like to define as technical music," he said. "It's technical music with a range of just everything we're inspired by, and math rock, we feel, is a little bit showy. It's more about the — I don't know the best term to describe it, but the guitar freakouts and that kind of stuff.

"It's not something we identify with as much ourselves, because we're not trying to be flashy, we're not trying to be showy."

What they are trying to do, he said, is hit on an emotion or mood and contrast that with the elements of math rock. So, pop songwriting meets changing time signatures and tempos, and more technically precise playing.

Conlfuence.
Conlfuence. (Courtesy Photo)

"It is a way of challenging ourselves, by implementing that in our songwriting," he said. "I think it also comes down to a way to challenge the listener. We always talked about, as a band, if you can make something more complex in a context or certain circumstance, the listener will we more likely to come back to it."

It does keep people coming back, as does the trickle of singles. Confluence is saving the next release for after South by Southwest in mid-March, so as not to disappear in the press madness that comes with the music festival. They're savvy about it.

"It builds some suspense, as opposed to an album. It's actually not building toward a record because we haven't been recording right now," Gassman said. "We wanted to do it this way because we feel like people have short attention spans — and that became pretty clear in the last couple years — and we wanted to just blast out these songs to people, that we think are a good representation of us."

For now, the singles will be the best way to hear Confluence, with no concrete plans for an album release. You can catch them live, too, this Friday at the Larimer Lounge. The show is serving as their tour kick-off. From there, they'll meet up with fellow Denverites In The Whale for a show in Montana, and then head for the Northwest. Catch them while they're here.

Contact Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109. On Twitter: twitter.com/AshaleyJill.