"There is the sense of theatre that artists such as Sufjan Stevens achieve, and Gruen's music certainly stands alongside such artists comfortably…truly a thing of beauty.” Americana UK
Kris Gruen writes songs about grownup life infused with a mystic wonder, softening the world’s sharp edges like a glass of exceptionally fine bourbon. Kris grew up steeped in classic records. His Americana influenced new folk is grounded in the tradition of great narrative songwriters like Cat Stevens and Paul Simon and yet Kris’s voice is strikingly current. A New York City native who’s put down roots in Vermont, Kris effortlessly blends sagacious wit and emotional depth. While often garnering comparisons to contemporaries like The Avett Brothers, Ryan Adams, and Andrew Bird, Exclaim! Canada’s Music Authority aptly notes, “Kris Gruen is no mere imitator. He possesses a sound all his own.”
Open heartedness is featured prominently on Kris Gruen’s forthcoming album ‘Coast and Refuge” (out June 22, 2018).This is true in both the themes and the making of the album-- whether in writing about what it takes to keep a relationship or a friendship going-- or in the process of making art in a series of collaborations that included LA producer Dan Wilson (Adele, Semisonic,) Justin Gray (Dirty Heads, James Bay & John Legend,) Finnish singer-songwriter Peppina and AM, a singer-songwriter who’s toured with Beck and Air. And after a seven country European tour supporting Jesse Malin, another coast led him to work with Peter Morén, of Peter Bjorn & John. Gruen also collaborated with filmmaker Melissa Miller Costanzo for her feature film “All These Small Moments” starring Molly Ringwald and Jemima Kirke which appeared at The Tribeca Film Festival this past April.
Coast & Refuge is an album both about and created by partnerships where the sonic and thematic threads feel constant, equally at home in the old townships of Vermont where the new folk-artist lives, as it is in the new frontiers of Scandinavia, and the California coastline where much of it was written. The songs retain folk roots, but bring a contemporary urgency and a huge sound. The result draws comparisons to Matthew Perryman Jones, Pete Yorn, Elbow, Griffin House, Ryan Adams, and Peter Bjorn and John; in fact, the latter’s Peter Morén appears on the album as vocalist and co-writer of “Every Day and Night Now.”
Kris Gruen’s voice is seasoned, soaring, and at the height of his craft. Coast &Refuge is a must listen and Kris live is a must-see
Gruen has also released acclaimed albums Lullaby School and Part Of It All, and his third studio album, New Comics From The Wooded World came out in the summer of 2013. In 2015 amidst an 8 country European tour supporting Jesse Malin, Kris did a short run release of the Duos and Trios EP which included some and collaborations from 4 friends including Jim and Sam, The Bones of J.R. Jones, Rachel Ries and Peppina. This laid the groundwork and spawned the idea for the upcoming Coast & Refuge.
He has shared the stage with the likes of The Avett Brothers, Nicole Atkins and Sean Lennon and is currently touring as support for Alejandro Escovedo on the east coast.
- homepage photo by Robin Pope (The Dome, London - 2015) - Instagram-RobinLDN