SONG PREMIERE: Kris Kelly Shines With Orchestral Pop Sound on “Cracked Porcelain”

Kris Kelly is a singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Austin, TX, he moved to New York City at the age of 17 to attend NYU, where he studied classical vocal performance and music composition. For years he performed his original compositions for guitar, vocals, flute, violin, bass, and percussion at many popular NYC venues.

Kelly then spent 5 years traveling through South America with just his guitar and a suitcase. Living most in Argentina and Brazil, Kelly met his husband, and his travel experiences inspired the core of Kelly’s upcoming album Runaways — pure love, loss, discovery, and growth.

When he returned to the U.S., Kelly recorded the album between NYC and LA with an all-star team of musicians. The album features Kris on acoustic guitar and vocals, string/wind/horn arrangements by John Philip Shenale (Tori Amos), Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco) on bass, Brian Griffin (Lana Del Rey, The Lone Bellow, Brandi Carlile) on drums, Dave Levita (Alanis Morrisette) & Benji Lysaght (Father John Misty) on electric guitar, and Dave Palmer (Fiona Apple, Lana Del Rey) on keyboards. Kelly self-produced the album and it was mixed by Noah Georgeson (Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart, Andy Shauf).

Today Glide is excited to premiere “Cracked Porcelain”, the final single to be released from Kelly’s forthcoming record. The song is a shimmering folk-pop morsel. There is a delicate beauty to Kelly’s airy vocals, which seems to float over a dreamy, orchestral soundscape. It is refreshing to hear so much attention to detail in what is essentially a pop song, and it’s clear that Kelly is as talented at producing as he is at songwriting and guitar.   

In his own words, Kelly says, “‘Cracked Porcelain’ is a story about two gay men who find freedom in defining their relationship in an unconventional, ‘open’ way but who end up getting lost in the revelry and ultimately drive each other apart. I think the LGBTQ community has a unique opportunity to redefine our relationship with sex within our partnerships. Not having forced onto us the traditional ways of defining a healthy partnership gives us the freedom to discover it for ourselves, but it also comes with a great responsibility, and I think we often fail. I failed at least. And that’s ok, because I realized if I wanted to be happy, I had to make a change. I’ve been forced to reevaluate constantly my relationship with my partner and to figure out how to respect each other while maintaining a healthy individuality, and we’re still navigating it to this day.”

In pointing to to a deeper meaning, he says, “The song definitely has an element of the sacred vs. the profane in it. The spiritual vs. the carnal. Monogamy and commitment vs. free love and the expression of uninhibited sexual desire. Attachment (the couple) vs. freedom (the individual), which is a theme that runs throughout the album. In the song, the two men fulfill all their personal desires, and get lost with the help of alcohol and drugs, but forget to care about each other, neglecting the needs of their relationship. In that seductive lifestyle, it’s easy for them to use sex, drugs, and alcohol to cover up a lot of issues they just don’t want to deal with. And it feels like ‘freedom’ but are they really in control? What are the boundaries that protect the relationship? What is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’ for them?”

He adds that, “In In the end, like everything, I find it all about balance. Yes, gay men pride themselves on being able to separate love and sex, but do we slip into the trap of serving only the quick-fix, instant gratification of anonymous sex, sacrificing the part about ‘love’ and the fulfillment of a deeper, long-term relationship with someone? It’s easy to go unconscious and do whatever feels good in the moment, but without consciously, intentionally taking care of the relationship, it falls apart. There has to be a balance in order to nurture both carnal desires and the spiritual connection with another human being (if that’s something that you value). And when things are out of balance, suffering is inevitable. That’s what happens in ‘Cracked Porcelain’.”


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