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‘Moving forward’: Byland’s album release to feature ‘complete experience’ for audience, band

Albuquerque-based Byland is releasing the album “Gray” during a streaming event on Thursday, Nov. 12. (Courtesy of Katie Lively)

Alie Byland writes from a personal place.

At times, the process can be uncomfortable. Yet it is necessary.

Byland did a deep dive into writing for her new album, “Gray.”

“I’m really proud of it,” Byland says. “It’s a tribute to taking care of your mental health, and it’s an important process. I’m a big fan of therapy, and this album is partially a product of what I’ve been going through.”

Byland will host an album release experience at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12. The band has collaborated with AMP Concerts to livestream the event.

Instead performing songs from the new album, Byland says, the band offers some different elements.

Byland and the band went out to the Petroglyph National Monument on Albuquerque’s West Side to record a performance live.

They also filmed a performance at Lesmen’s Pro Audio, Lighting, & Video in Albuquerque.

“Then there are a few recordings from various rooms in my house,” she says. “I wanted it to be a complete experience for the audience and for the band.”

Byland released its first album in 2018. In many respects, the album is a love letter to New Mexico and Byland’s father, who had recently died.

With “Gray,” she took from her therapy sessions and harnessed her emotions into powerful tracks.

“Gray” consists of 10 tracks – which were written in one year.

“A friend of mine was stuck in a writing drought, and so was I,” Byland recalls. “We told each other to write one song a week, no matter what. We kept each other accountable. That’s how the album came together.”

Byland’s writing process hasn’t changed much over the years, because she’s always written from a personal place.

But the process has evolved.

“I’ll sit with my thoughts and emotions and process them,” she says. “I’ve learned to meditate as a way of creating. I’m aware of my body and my emotions. Through the writing for the record, I learned I didn’t have to stay in one place. I kept moving forward.”

Byland grew up in Albuquerque and moved to Seattle for about a decade. She and her husband moved back to Albuquerque in January.

“For this experience, I’m working with Albuquerque musicians,” she says. “The videos we recorded give our Seattle fans a way to see Albuquerque’s beauty. That’s one of the aspects I missed while living in Seattle. There’s so much open space in New Mexico, and we embrace it.”

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