On his new record Often in the Pause (released 5/6/16), Seattle-based singer/songwriter Kris Orlowski, continues to explore the themes of authenticity, loss, and a search for connection that has always been central to his songwriting. Orlowski has grown into a potent songwriter, and his meditative, melodic dream pop, shaded with flecks of alt-country and soft rock, pushes past the current crop of overly earnest Pacific Northwest indie folk to something distinctly American and positively timeless.
Orlowski got his start as a part of the scene built and centered on the storied Seattle venue Conor Byrne, along with bands like Head and the Heart, Pickwick, Bryan John Appleby, and others. Rising to national prominence with an EP called Pieces We Are written in collaboration with noted string arranger Andrew Joslyn (Macklemore). In 2014, Orlowski and his band released their debut full length Believer followed by a national tour supporting Jamestown Revival.
When it came time to write Often in the Pause, Orlowski and his band turned to a bevy of musical friends for additional collaboration, including producer Nathan Yaccino, Alain Whyte (Morrissey), Aaron Sprinkle (Pedro the Lion), and Tim Anderson (Twenty-One Pilots, Halsey). “While it’s not a debut album, there were a lot of firsts in the process” explains Orlowski. “We spent a year writing and recording. I wrote about 25 songs for the album, ended up recording 15, then keeping 12 for the album. These are the best songs I’ve ever released and it feels like an album, not a collection of songs. Another first for me.”
Glide Magazine is premiering the absorbing video for “Walking In My Sleep,” (below) directed by both Orlowski and Domenic Barbero. When Orlowski sings “lately I’ve been feeling hazy/stuck in constant tunnel vision” atop a seat of faces lip syncing, one gets both poignancy and an underlying artistic flair. Orlowski extends a sly and soulful vocal delivery, atop sparkling production that makes for an inviting first listen.
“I love people watching,” says Orlowski about the video. “When we were thinking about the Walking In My Sleep music video concept, my girlfriend and I were laughing about a guy who was awkwardly, fully committing to lip syncing a song on his computer camera. My girlfriend said “Why don’t you have people lip sync your songs”. As I continued to develop the idea, I started to think about how obsessed we have become with reality TV performances (lip sync battles, the voice, etc). Instead of having me sing, act and try to look cool for 3 minutes and 30 seconds, I thought it would be more interesting to let other people take a chance at being the star in the band’s music video.”
“I found friends and acquaintances willing to sing our song up-close in front of a camera. As the idea developed with our producer Domenic Barbero, we both became obsessed with the idea that, every face has a story,” adds Orlowski. “When someone is in motion — speaking, singing, moving, you start to see that story come out of them in a way that is really captivating. Instead of putting on a show like reality TV performances you see, we wanted to turn the lip sync battles on their heads and show real people being sincere and themselves.”
“We have a really unique cast of folks in this music video. Radio DJs and Authors, Bloggers, Teachers, an architect, folks from the non-profit sector and tons of musicians and music industry folks. It was fun to have all of these random people in one room together singing the same song. It felt a little bit “we are the world”.