Songwriter Coleron returns to Alaska ‘Par Avion’

“It feels good to be back!” was Dan Coleron’s first words as he stepped up to perform at the release party for his latest Compact Disc, “Par Avion,” July 8. Although Coleron now lives and records in Boston, his presence is still felt amongst the musicians and fans of Alaska’s music scene.

“We first played together in 1997 at a winter solstice party in Hope, but Dan doesn’t remember,” said Kris Riley, the drummer and guitarist for Coleron’s first Alaska band, Hara.

Riley was one of several local musicians who performed for Coleron’s CD celebration.

Emily Tornfelt of Syran started out the party with a few of her own soulful songs. Tornfelt provided the backing vocals for Coleron’s second CD “Silt.”

Next, Evan Phillips, of local-favorite band Whipsaws, played a few “neo-rockabilly” tunes.

“Evan sent me his vocal track for “I’m Back,” so there’s a piece of Alaska on the new CD,” Coleron said.

While Phillips and Coleron were playing at an open-mic in Boston, they met Emily Kurn and convinced her to move to Alaska. Kurn showed up for the Snow City festivities and provided some heartfelt backing vocals for Phillips last song, an ode to Alaska’s urban growth. Kurn also played a couple of her own songs before Coleron finally took the stage.

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Coleron began his set with “Futon Song” off his first album “Bird Point.” He performed a few more of his older tunes before the audience urged him to play a song from his new album. Obliging the request, Coleron broke into “Weak and Strong.”

The inspiration behind “Par Avion” was a three-month separation from his girlfriend, Sarah, as she entered the Peace Corps, and “Weak and Strong” epitomized Coleron’s fears during that period.

“The song is about accepting the fear, feeding off it, but not allowing it to destroy you by making you jealous,” Coleron said.

After “Weak and Strong,” Riley played a few more songs, including “Alone,” a popular song performed by Hara.

Throughout the evening, Coleron directed attention away from himself by inviting other musicians up to perform. On his next set, Coleron played “Sun, Moon, Earth” off of “Silt” with Tornfelt providing backing vocals.

“I’ve been lucky to work with so many wonderful musicians,” Coleron said.

What made the production of “Par avion” different from that of his earlier CD’s was the fact that Coleron had never met the musicians prior to recording.

“It blew me away how they came together,” Coleran said.

The cohesiveness of “Par Avion” is apparent on the first listen. Although the CD focuses more on relationships than the previous albums did, the production of his latest effort is far superior.

“I like the subtlety of sound and the layers in the background,” Coleron said.

The detail is definitely there, and it’s surprising that the album was recorded mostly live on two or three tracks.

“If the spontaneity is good then let it alone,” Coleron said.

It’s obvious that Coleron thrives on spontaneity, and so do those who surround him. At the conclusion of the celebration, a group of his friends gathered to toast Coleron’s inspiration.

For Coleron, reciprocity is unavoidable. In the end, he was the one inspired.

“I already feel the creative juices flowing again.”


Anyone interested in purchasing any of Dan Coleron’s CD’s can find them at most Anchorage music outlets, or check out his website at