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Duncan Coker’s Time Has Finally Come

The Boulder singer-songwriter embraces timelessness over trendiness on his debut.


Duncan Coker proves that late bloomers sometimes blossom the brightest with his long-overdue self-titled debut — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

Hailing from Boulder, Colo., the fiftysomething singer-songwriter has decades of life, love, loss, learning, yearning and regret under his belt — and brings them to bear on every track of this outstanding nine-song collection. Listening to these songs is the musical equivalent of meeting a lifelong friend for the first time. With a sensibility that favours timelessness over trendiness, and a voice like a warm breeze blowing through the reeds at dusk, Coker pens earthy, earnest fare that walks the line between Laurel Canyon folk, strummy alt-country and rustic Americana. Offered with a casual understatement that belies their meticulous craftsmanship, his songs invite comparison to the likes of James Taylor and Jackson Browne.

Lyrically, Coker likes to leave a little distance between himself and his characters. That way he’s free to imagine himself as a long-haul trucker, a cowboy or a woman with dreams of a Nashville music career. He can put himself back a decade, feign an accent or wind up on a different side of the continent. Whatever it takes to move the story forward. What else is songwriting but real feelings channeled through fiction? Every character a sideways version of its author in another corner of the multiverse.

But even at their most fictional, Coker’s songs are true to life. He keeps his antenna up, always looking for the signals in the noise. He is a stenographer of the human condition. Coker’s songs also grapple with the realness of life — the loss of his father or his love for his wife. He enjoys the puzzle of conveying big emotions with a few choice words that rhyme.

Born in the South Carolina lowlands and raised in New Jersey, Coker has spent years honing his craft in coffeehouses and songwriting circles in his adopted home of Boulder. He’d show up every week, guitar in hand, with a newly penned song and an openness for feedback from his peers. The support and accountability of this tight-knit community was crucial to his development.

Featuring every song penned in the last year, Coker’s debut is a chronicle of this particular era of his life. If there’s a throughline, it’s the act of building bridges — from the past to the present; from one person to another; and from his heart to yours. This theme is spelled out most clearly when he sings, “Wish I could build a bridge to places that are gone.” Or in his song Carried Away, which contasts the chaos of fighting with the making up that comes afterwards.

Coker plays clubs, venues and festivals around the West and has opened for nationally touring artists. He is already working on his second album, due out in 2026. Listen to Duncan Coker below and meet the man himself on his website, Instagram and Facebook.