PopMatters.com was kind to feature my new video for "1973" on their site. Here's what they said: I’m firmly of the belief that a certain brand of nostalgia — that ever-present nag that music stopped being good when the ‘rents stopped being young enough to enjoy the new stuff — is toxic and has no place in our music community. Thankfully, Chris Robley’s “1973” is of the more pleasant sort, genially sepia-toned instead of acid-stained. It’s a self-admitted “fantasy”, a pleasant scene of how two folks met and made a kid that doesn’t actually exist in Robley’s true life, but oftentimes fantasy is compelling too. And “1973” certainly is compelling, charming wordless harmonies preceding a folk-rock stomp and killer psychedelic guitar solo. It might be a fictionalized portrait of the year it attempts to illustrate, but that fiction is a genuine joy—if a slightly depressing one—nonetheless. And here's what I said: “‘1973’ is one of the songs on the record that has absolutely nothing to do with me. It’s complete fiction, a mix between ‘1941’ by Nilsson and ‘That Was Your Mother’ by Paul Simon,” says Robley. “It’s sung from the point of a view of a deadbeat dad returning after too long away to rationalize his absence. I have a great dad. I wasn’t born in 1973. But I had the chord changes, and when I started to write a melody those were the words that came.”The venerable
Ghettoblaster recently premiered the lyric video for "Silently."Here's a few words about the song:
The first thing I always think to say about ‘Silently’ is that it features a guest choir of chickens. Well, not real chickens. Just… the band, doing our best chicken impressions. Because why not? Second, this was definitely my attempt to write something in the vein of the Great American Songbook, back when it was okay to use phrases like ‘quite remiss’ in a pop song. It was a ton of fun to record. Anders (the drummer on the rest of the album) had to leave early, so Rob Stroup, the producer, sat in for this last song, assembling a drum kit out of boxes and kitchen utensils. And the drunken barbershop call-and-response vocals were handled by Rob Stroup and Naomi Hooley hilariously holding their nostrils closed while they sang. Chickens. Mouth trumpet. Kazoo. Nasal and inebriated backup singers. All fun ways to dress up a sad song about ‘How the heat of desire is akin to a warm winter fire that burns bright, then expires, silently.’ Even though I live in Maine now, I’m usually back in Portland, Oregon every three months or so. On my last trip I went up to Mt. Tabor — an old extinct volcano that overlooks Southeast Portland — and used Hyperlapse to shoot the sky at dusk for this video.
Wicked kind words about my song "Veterans Day" from Nooga.com, the website premiering the lyric video for the tune:
There's something mercurial and surprising about the graceful ebb and flow that washes over you as the song progresses. It's alternately comforting and riveting. He manages to instill a sense of momentum and weight to these experiences without sacrificing the ebullient swagger that clings to this kind of inclusive pop music. Listening to "Veterans Day," it's easy to forget just how hard it is to fashion this specific pop aesthetic without losing a sense of your identity. But Robley easily draws back the sentiment to showcase the heart and earnest soul of his work. The song's complexity is subtle—it doesn't call attention to itself but merely expresses an ocean of feeling with the simplest rhythmic passages. As the song fades away, you're left with the feeling of having fully lived within another person's life, even if only for a short while.Check out the video above.
Psyched that NO DEPRESSION gave my new album a kind review today. I love that magazine (which is, once again, a print-and-paper magazine). Read the whole review HERE, but — spoiler alert — this is how it concludes:
The UK's Vulture Hound gives THE GREAT MAKE BELIEVER ("a country-tinged, summery collection of music") 4 out of 5 stars. Thanks Vulture Hound! Check out their review HERE.
My chill compatriots, I'm psyched to announce my album The Great Make Believer is available worldwide. After so many updates and delays, this release might feel like a bit of a slow-motion sunrise, but really, so much went into the making of the music — I'm feeling a strange mixture of excitement and relief that it's finally out there! Here's some stuff that's already been said about the album: "Chris Robley is at the top of his game with his new work." - KCRW "Beatlesy goodness featuring deft wordplay delivered through McCartneyish melodies with a Lennonesque rasp... What a welcome return." - Willamette Week "This is one of those albums that will undoubtedly hold up well over time.” - babysue The album is available at: CD Baby iTunes or Apple Music Spotify Amazon Bandcamp (+ many more) You probably know this, but the best way to show your support for my music is to listen (whether that be via CD, download, or streaming), so please check out The Great Make Believer in whatever way is most convenient for you, and share if you enjoy! Heartfelt thanks and XO, - Chris P.S. If you haven't seen the music video for "Anonyous" yet, well get out your floaties, goggles, and nose-plug, because we're going swimming — HERE.
My new album, The Great Make Believer, is premiering in its entirety on Stereo Embers. Listen HERE. Here's what they had to say:
Couple weeks back SEM brought you a first listen to Chris Robley’s then-upcoming album track “Evangeline,” which your humble correspondent said was “(F)ull of a wounded hope and rich with an incipient acoustic pop sense,” [that] imbues the deeply-lived poignant with a still-hopeful optimism.” Well, that album, The Great Make Believer, is now available (self-released and available here) and besides being even happier to bring you its first airing in the public sphere, we feel compelled to mention that the above description more than aptly covers the album entire, though we’d be remiss to leave unsaid the nods to Ray Davies, to 70’s acoustic pop, to the sprightly backporch spirit of americana, to tracks that suggest Matthew Ryan accompanied by Sneaky Pete Kleinow and any other number of slyly suggestive tropes and influences that in the end all add up to the unmistakable impression of a guy who’s found his voice and has placed inside a sound that’s defined by easy, expert playing, confident arrangements, and a performance that’s almost overwhelmingly natural. If the intention was to rep the rich brocaded fabric of the singer-songwriter genre as it’s evolved over the decades in this country, well then, job well done. This is what they mean when they say ‘Good stuff.’