Kris Angelis has been living musically her whole life. “My mom says I’ve been singing since before I could talk. I would sing melodies when I didn’t actually know words.” Growing up on a farm in Florida, Angelis spent her childhood playing, running around the farm, and making up songs with her twin sister. They composed their first song at the age of three -- and it lives on now, interwoven into one of Kris’s more recent works.
While her early musical influences were limited to her grandparents’ Rodgers and Hammerstein videos, her parents’ records, and the Lawrence Welk show -- one of the few that came in on their TV -- Kris did not feel deprived. “I would put on my parents vinyl records which included the Beatles, the Eagles, the Archies, and even Strauss waltzes, and dance around, pretending to be the singer. I loved it. It was a great basis in melodies and harmonies.” Later she would sing in the church choir and, when her family moved to California, in her summer camp’s musical productions. Discovering the band Hanson, siblings who were very young themselves at the time, opened up the possibility of making music herself. She delved into learning harmonies with her twin sister, Alix, taking full advantage of the way siblings' voices work together.
It was with the help of a musician friend that Kris first began learning guitar. She continued learning on her own—and dived right into songwriting with inspirations including Brandi Carlile, Ray Lamontagne, Taylor Swift, Hanson, The Lumineers, Elton John, Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles, and many more! “It’s how I create, how I express myself. But it’s also a huge part of how I get through life. Music is a universal language. It evokes emotion. It resonates in our souls, it actually vibrates in our bodies. There’s a Victor Hugo quote that expresses exactly how I feel about it: ‘Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.’ That’s how songwriting has been for me.” And she certainly hasn’t been silent. Kris put her musical talents to good use in her first full-length album, "The Left Atrium" produced by Jeff Zacharski, a fusion of genres and sounds that includes elements of everything from smoky jazz to bold rock. “The Left Atrium” is a great example of who Kris is as a musician—beautiful, eclectic, surprising, and yet somehow always herself.
The critics agreed. "The Left Atrium" was awarded Best Female Album of 2013 by the LA Music Critics Awards. The video for the song "Not Your Fault" was an exclusive premier on RyanSeacrest.com. She was chosen for a month long tour in Europe with Songs&Whispers in spring of 2014 and opened for Tyler Hilton on a US tour in August. Kris wants to connect with people through music and make a difference, so she partnered through Live Music Cares with Project AK-47, which rescues child soldiers, and has been invited to join the Extreme Tour in the US to bring music to underserved communities and youth. Kris played at the New Orleans House of Blues as a finalist in Belk Southern Musician competition. She also played at several festivals, including Sundance, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and SXSW, and will be playing at NAMM 2016.
This year Kris is stepping into a new adventure, working on her Heartbreak Is Contagious EP with songs written with and produced by Morgan Taylor Reid and Alexander Cardinale. The new songs have the same emotional power as Kris’ earlier music, but with a new infusion of energy. “Heartbreak is Contagious” explores what happens when love ends in pain. “When you’re brokenhearted it can literally feel like your heart is not working properly. You can’t really love anyone, including yourself, which can lead to you breaking someone else’s heart. But also included is the idea that you can let go—that sometimes heartbreak is just a thing that happens and it’s nobody’s fault.” Heartbreak is a continuing theme in “Built This House.” “The house in this song can be a literal place you built to live with someone, but it’s more about the metaphorical space you built for your relationship.” Those metaphorical bricks and floorboards are even more poignant when the relationship is over. “When it ends, you’re in that time where everything reminds you of them. You’re surrounded by it, and it can feel like a prison. The song definitely indulges in a feeling that most of us can relate to, but it’s also about being to see outside of it—you can still see the sun out of those windows.” The third song, “Kevin Bacon” is as bright and foot-tapping as the others are soulful and moving. But that doesn’t mean it has nothing in common with the other songs. “It’s just as cathartic as the others! You’ve got to be able to feel good, to go out and have fun, even in the times you’re upset. It’s about whatever makes you feel good, whether it’s new love, or achieving something, or just dancing.” The process of writing and recording these songs has been a whole new experience for Kris. “It’s been different and scary and fun. I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone in so many ways, from the three of us sitting down and writing a whole song in one day, to stretching my voice and playing with genre. I’m not leaving anything behind but I’m venturing into new areas, and I’m very excited about it.”
For more info and links to social media, visit www.krisangelis.com or www.soundcloud.com/krisangelis/sets/2016-EP