Fort Collins native William Knudsen performs as The Ugly Architect. Although his music career kicked off in Portland, Ore., his music has strong ties to Colorado and he is closely associated with the Downtown Artery venue in Fort Collins. 

More from OpenAir Sessions:

The Ugly Architect's music has strong folk influences and Knudsen's lyrics have the quality of a world traveler. His debut album -- currently untitled -- comes out this spring. He and his band performed songs from the record. He spoke with Alisha Sweeney about establishing himself in the Fort Collins music scene after leaving Portland, writing the album in a secluded Wyoming apartment and his days as a performance poet.

Stream the session and watch The Ugly Architect perform "Leaving California" above. Interview highlights:

William Knudsen on his ties to Downtown Artery in Fort Collins:

"I somehow fell in with them and became a co-owner. We put together a music venue. Through that, I met so many people in the community, so many musicians. It's been really beautiful since then because I've been encouraged to play so much more."

Knudsen on writing lyrics about American cities:

"I just really like the romanticism of America. Not the Kerouac-ian America, but the ugly, the billboards, the strip malls. ... There's just something about that displacement that really appeals to me."

Songs performed:

  • "Leaving California"
  • "Almost Angels"
  • "The Hero Always Dies"
  • "Shut Down Cincinnati"