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The new album's cover. —Courtesy of Gregory Alan Isakov

First Listen: Gregory Alan Isakov’s “Liars”

The Boulder singer-songwriter's upcoming album features some significant s(ymph)onic enhancement.

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Locals who have seen Gregory Alan Isakov perform have typically enjoyed him in a coffee house, on a makeshift festival stage, or opening or headlining at one of many Front Range music venues. But with his latest venture, Isakov is going much bigger.

On June 10, the South African-born, Colorado-based troubadour will release his fourth full-length album, Gregory Alan Isakov With the Colorado Symphony. And this week, the Wall Street Journal is streaming the first single, “Liars.”

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The 11-track LP is a mix of new and old songs, all arranged with the rich undertones of the Symphony serving as Isakov’s backing band. “Liars” begins quietly, with his swirling acoustic guitar delivering the broody ballad we’ve come to expect, only subtly enhanced with the pluck of orchestral strings that slowly crescendo into something far more bracing and grand.

Isakov will be touring this summer throughout the United States with both a full band and, at most of the dates, with orchestral backing. He’s using the Ghost Orchestra, a group of Colorado classical musicians, for most of the shows, but will also play with symphonies from Atlanta, Philadelphia, and elsewhere on the tour, which culminates with his September 4 Red Rocks show that also features Ani DiFranco and Shook Twins. The prospect of hearing Isakov’s signature songs reinvented and turbo-charged with such lush sonics makes the Red Rocks concert one of summer’s can’t-miss events for local and regional music fans.

Follow 5280 editor-at-large Luc Hatlestad on Twitter at @LucHatlestad.

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