Anticipation wouldn’t get the best of Colton Forrest Hardy.
He couldn’t fall apart after a year’s worth of work on his debut album, “Colton Forrest Hardy in the Electric Desert.”
“I’ve been putting in work on this for a year,” he says. “I have my ducks in a row and hoping that people connect with it.”
The Albuquerque-based musician put out his album on June 3 with an album release party. The album is available on all streaming platforms, as well as CD and vinyl.
With shows lined up and the album out to the world, Hardy can breathe a little easier.
He will be at 6 p.m. June 18 at Enchantment Vineyards in Portales. At 6 p.m. June 19, he will be at High and Dry Brewing in Albuquerque. And then on July 10, he will perform at Music for Life in Carlsbad.
“This has been a really big project,” he says. “It didn’t start out as an album. That wasn’t the goal. I didn’t know how long quarantine would go. As we kept writing and recording, more time passed and the end of the process came around the same time that things were getting back to normal.”
The album was recorded in Albuquerque, and the tracking was done in the Duke City as well. He recorded during his downtime from teaching music at Eldorado High School.
“I had a couple of friends play some tunes,” he says. “I recorded all of the parts on my own, but it’s so much more enjoyable with a band.”
Hardy’s journey wasn’t all smooth sailing; he had “some dark months.”
“I was losing motivation during the process,” he says of not being able to perform live. “I would often think if people would care about music again. It seems like a non-important thing, but it was what was bringing me down.”
Hardy stayed fueled by his creativity.
“It helped me get through the mental block of not having a clear destination,” he says.
The desert inspiration for the album came from growing up in New Mexico.
He was born in Hobbs and raised in Carlsbad.
“I grew up with the allure of the New Mexico landscapes,” he says. “New Mexico is pretty isolated compared to a lot of other regions. With the pandemic, we were forced to pause, and I succumbed to the beauty. This gave me the fuel, and I learned that I’m where I’m supposed to be. This is my home.”