Artist Profile

Chris Staples

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Oct 6
Ocie Elliott
HI-FI Annex
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Cloud Souvenirs is the sixth full length album by American songwriter Chris Staples, ten songs spun from accumulated memory and flashes of insight into the hidden corners of life. Recorded in the midst of travel back and forth to Florida to deal with his mother’s declining health, Staples built an unselfconscious masterpiece, a cathartic and complete expression of his craft. Cloud Souvenirs is a parade of sculpted moments, some light and airy, some gray and heavy with rain– variations on beauty, tenderness, grief and unexpected joy.

What is gone is all still here. Florida is a place steeped in memories and significance for Staples, landscape, humidity, shapes in the sky, intangible tokens of youth. He worked on the album intermittently during these visits, but had to cancel recording sessions to take his mother to the hospital. Her ever present piano playing around the house was a key to finding music. Her loss is a reality impossible to express.

Cloud Souvenirs is laced with insistent phrases and melody lines that linger long after listening. Songs that hint at narrative without being weighed down by unnecessary detail. Evocative and economical, melancholic and magical. Songs that nourish life and encourage self-reflection. Pulsing electronica, acoustic strummers, synth stabs, dry snare drums setting the pace, clear melodies fill the sky, no rain for days.

Staples is more pop artist than an indie singer, a poet and craftsman working in an independent tradition and at a human scale. A twelve-string guitar or warbling effect pedal, a buoyant brass arrangement, a passage of vocal harmony–this pleasing sonic tapestry is anchored by his warm voice and naturalistic lyricism. Staples enlisted a hometown friend, producer Jeremy SH Griffith, to bring a fresh perspective to ten years of self-recording, their easy collaboration shines on each crisp and devastating track.


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