John Grant

(Photo: CPR / Irvin Coffee)

John Grant gained an international fan base with Denver rock band The Czars in the 1990s and early 2000s. That band split up nine years ago, and since then Grant has relocated to Iceland and embarked on a successful solo career which led to a BRIT nomination for Best International Male Solo Artist in 2013.

Grant's third album, "Grey Tickles, Black Pressure," continues in the vein of his remarkable solo work. It's characterized by electronic synthesizers, witty and sardonic lyrics and the singer's hearty baritone voice.

We welcomed Grant and his band into the CPR Performance Studio before a performance in Boulder, Colo. He performed three songs from "Grey Tickles, Black Pressure," and spoke with Alisha Sweeney about returning to perform in Colorado, the meaning of the Icelandic and Turkish words he used for the album's title and incorporating more synthesizers in his music.

Stream the session above. Interview highlights:

On returning to Colorado

"I haven't played here in a long time as you know. It's emotional, though it feels good to come home and finally feel like I can go for it here as well.

"I'm not really sure how to express it but there's a lot of baggage connected to this place for me, so it's pretty awesome."

On the meaning of "Grey Tickles, Black Pressure"

"'Mid-life crisis nightmare.' I'm always joking that I've been in a mid-life crisis since exiting my mother's uterus.

"It's about getting perspective. ... Of course your problems are important. But there's also perspective to be had that's important, and that you need to work through your stuff."

Songs performed:

  • "Global Warming" 
  • "Down Here"
  • "Grey Tickles, Black Pressure"

OpenAir hosts John Grant in the CPR Performance Studio on October 24, 2015.

Watch more videos from the session.