Fronted by singer-songwriter Kurt Baumann, roots-rock band The Burned first exploded onto the music scene in 2010. Now, some years later, the band is building on the initial excitement its celebrated debut album generated with brand new music coming out in 2018.
Listeners appreciated The Burned for its evocative tales, proclaiming the album “fantastic” and “worth every penny.” Television and radio responded well, too, with “Man Running" featured on NBC's hit show Chase, "Make Believe" on CW's Gossip Girl, and "Time" on ABC's Make It or Break It. "Hard Lesson" became a most requested song (2012, KINK in Portland, Ore.) and settled in at number 3 on Seattle’s The Mountain. Critics raved, one example being Skope Magazine’s Diana Olson who wrote, “It's rare when music and lyrics reach down and touch your soul. So rare, I can't remember the last time it happened to me. Suddenly, I am sitting here mesmerized by The Burned. Thought-provoking, current day lyrics are combined with mellow, acoustic and electronic sounds that extend themselves creating visual experiences that transcend definition.”
Regarding that first album, Denver Post’s The Know described the band’s impact as revolving largely around its front man. “While you might not have heard of The Burned yet, its mastermind, Kurt Baumann, is no newcomer to the Colorado music community. [He] has fronted psychedelic world music outfit Kan’Nal for a decade. . . Largely abandoning the tribal and indigenous vibes of Kan’Nal, The Burned finds Baumann exploring his domesticated side… at its heart, the Burned is a pop rock project that draws on blues and R&B influences and mines at least three decades of expansive, progressive rock for its challenging-yet-accessible sound.”
The Burned’s acclaimed first chapter had fans clamoring for live shows. Indeed, its first album (largely studio-based) was a success story that surprised even Baumann, who has since pulled together a full touring band to both record and perform the band’s music.
Baumann’s writing style has evolved with the years, too. While in the spirit of the debut album, his new songs exhibit the storytelling, rootsy feel of the epic ballads of his Texas roots – he affectionately recalls “the Outlaw Country music scene” – in the vein of musicians like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings.
“In the past, my writing has been esoteric, and while I love mysterious songs that are open to individual interpretation, sometimes people are confused about the meaning. The new songs have been great fun to write in that they revive classic storytelling, but with rock tones and textures added along the way.”
Take “Old Bones,” for instance, a ballad inspired by a real conversation between Baumann and his grandmother. One afternoon in eastern Texas, she confided wistfully, “You know, Kurt, the problem with today is kids don’t care and the old folks are dying.” The writer took note of this cruel dichotomy and later brought it to life in a song that people can relate to. Another song on the coming album, “Trigger,” tells the true story of a man who shoots himself after losing the love of his life. Painfully, he lives to tell the tale, as the lyrics share so passionately: “And then I lost God/In a flash of rage/I broke the lock she put on my cage/What can't be changed/ Must stay the same/ I'll wear these scars well on my face.”
Of Baumann’s writing, The Burned’s bass guitarist Kevin Columby notes, “His songs conjure images of wild fires and dying embers and the thoughts that come when you stay awake all night, alone, under a big sky of stars.”
With such resonating stories to tell and a sound so uniquely its own, The Burned is energized and eager to share from the stage what it has been capturing in the studio. “As a band,” says Columby, “we've synchronized in that rare way that makes musical space for your ears to listen, your heart to smolder, and for your body to move."