Album: Champion of Disaster

Artist: Boulder Acoustic Society

Hometown: Boulder

Where to Find It: iTunes Music, available October 5.

Why We Like It: Boulder Acoustic Society is fearless. When the band formed more than five years ago, the music could have easily been described as experimental and bizarre. Many of the songs were instrumental pieces inspired by bluegrass but arranged with the swirls and movements of classical. The ukulele was their muse, and the lyrics were often silly. The Americana sound moved between playful yet serious and academic yet folksy.

How things have changed.

Today, with the release of Champion of Disaster, the band and its music have evolved into something hardly recognizable from their origins. Coming in at five songs and just over 23 minutes, this album may be stingy with time, but each song is of exceptional quality. Gone are the kazoo solos; the lineup has changed dramatically; and the ukulele takes a backseat to the accordion. But if you listen closely, the courage that won the band wide respect for its unique, innovative Americana sound is still there. The music has matured and the tone is decidedly darker, but the band still refuses to submit to a genre and constructs song arrangements that will surprise.

Champion of Disaster may be an evolution beyond the beginnings of Boulder Acoustic Society, but it may also be the evolution of Americana.

Bonus: The Boulder Acoustic Society will host a CD release party at the Walnut Room in Denver on October 1, featuring the Hollyfelds and Radical Knitting Circle.