“Cloud Souvenirs” is the sixth full-length album by American songwriter Chris Staples, and will be out on May 26th on Hot Tub Recordings. The 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 Souvenir” is a parade of sculpted moments, some light and airy, some gray and heavy with rain– variations on beauty, tenderness, grief, and unexpected joy. Chris has just released the first video single from the album, titled ‘Souvenirs’.
“‘Souvenir’ is a song about the place I grew up. A place so steeped in memories and experiences that it’s almost burdensome. We all carry a lot of history around with us. Making peace with the past can be difficult. The proper path forward is forgiveness for yourself, for others, acceptance of who you are, and gratitude that you are here to tell the living story that is your life.“
What is gone is all still here. Florida is a place steeped in memories and significance for Staples, landscape, humidity, shapes in the sky, and 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 a pop artist than an indie singer, a poet, and a 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.
“Cloud Souvenirs” will be released on May 26th on Hot Tub Recordings. You can pre-order it here.
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