If you go

What: Hollow Talk with The Joy Formidable

When: 8:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, 303443-3399

Cost: $22-$24

More: foxtheatre.com

Hollow Talk sprung up from other Denver bands -- as seems to happen often these days -- so even though this group is just getting started, they have a bit of a professional head start.

They've been busy at venues like the hi-dive, and this Friday, they'll open for The Joy Formidable at the Fox Theatre. We shot Duncan Barlow a few questions about his band to find out just where this project is going.

You all come from different projects -- how did you get together for this one?

I returned to Denver after leaving a position as Assistant Professor of English at the University of North Florida. I had been away for about four years. Rob, Jonathan and I had played together in a band called d.biddle at one time, so when I came back, we fell into this project. Holland and Adam joined and things began to gain speed and develop. I feel very fortunate to play with these people.

We've heard a couple songs from the band so far -- when can we expect an album?


That's a good question. We recorded a few songs to see how they might sound in a studio setting. We have loose plans to record in the late summer, but we want to make sure we have enough songs to pick the strongest ones and leave some off the record.

As you're defining your sound as a band, separate from the other projects people will know, what are you trying to create?

Hollow Talk.
Hollow Talk. (Courtesy photo/Audiovore/Michael McGrath)

We look to create music that tells a story without the dependence upon the lyrics. The lyrics I write are part of the song and contribute to it as lyrics do, but the song should have the same feeling with or without the lyrics being audible. In this regard, I think of early Cocteau Twins music, where Elizabeth Fraser sang, but she didn't have lyrics, just sounds. Our music is called any number of things -- shoegaze, dream pop, psychedelic, indie -- but in the end, we're just trying to give our take on a long tradition of pop music.

You've already had some great gigs, and opening for The Joy Formidable is a great one. Is that partly thanks to the close-knit nature of the Denver music scene?

We have been fortunate. In some cases we are asked to play shows because we have all been around for a long time and have some friends who have been generous to us. In the case of The Joy Formidable, the band was very kind to ask us to play the show. One of my best friends and a colleague from my past life as a punk and hardcore musician is their manager, and I met them through him some time ago. Every time I watch The Joy Formidable, I'm blown away by their energy.

Any big plans for the near future?

We hope develop new songs that push us and find new sonic space. We are working with our friend and director Vincent Comparetto to shoot a music video in July. A few labels have been talking to us about potential record deals, but we've not reached any agreement as of yet.