Most people took advantage of their pandemic downtime by cleaning out closets, learning how to bake bread, or even just catching up on some sleep. Not local musician Tim Johnson: he and his Bolonium bandmates used the break in live performances to work on some unfinished tracks by collaborating virtually with other artists. The result is their fourth album, “Leftovers,“ released this month.
Bolonium’s unique style of music is the work of Richard Taylor (accordion, lead vocals) and Telluride’s own Tim Johnson (guitar). The band released its first album in 2015, and emerged onto the Colorado music scene with the help of drummer Bonnie Finley and bassist Paul Day. After years of rollicking live shows, two more albums, and dozens of bizarre and original music videos, the band had lots of leftover unfinished tracks. In the absence of live gigs during the pandemic, and with so many artists at home in their studios, it was the perfect time to join forces with some other musicians. Bolonium enlisted their community of friends to fulfill their vision of “Leftovers.”
“Leftovers” features a broad range of musical guests, from New York’s glam rockers Theophobia, to L.A.’s ska-punk Radioactive Chicken Heads, as well as more than a dozen Colorado musicians. Previously, Bolonium’s music was created with certain limitations: what the band would be able to reproduce when playing live. But “Leftovers” is completely unffettered, a true studio album where the artists could explore and let loose. The wide-reaching influences of the guest artists added a lot of flavor to “Leftovers” that Bolonium fans will eat up.
Bolonium is not your typical Colorado band—their sound is difficult to define, because it vacillates between genres not just from track to track but sometimes within a song—but it’s basically hyperactive, eclectic dance-rock. The bass is heavy, the lyrics are wacky, and the accordion riffs give it a psychedelic edge; almost like the B52s or Devo on steroids. According to Johnson, “Bolonium’s sound would not be out of place as the soundtrack to a saturday morning cartoon, an 80s aerobics video, or in a heavy metal club.”