You might remember Kris Orlowski from a BestNewBands.com feature back in May, when he performed for an audience at my home in Silverlake. He stopped by the house again on his way to San Diego last week, this time for a more intimate patio performance in my backyard. With humble beginnings as a solo singer/songwriter in Seattle, Kris has since added a string quartet and released a live EP called The Passenger String Quartet at The Fremont Abbey. His slightly raspy voice is a perfect compliment to the plaintive strings, and his lyrics manage to be deep and insightful without being depressing. But even without the strings his voice stands on its own as a powerful, moving instrument. In the following videos he performs three songs total, but only two of them are available on his records. The second and third songs (see below break) are incredible in their own right, and you might remember "Waiting" from a music video that Kris shot last year using Chatroulette. But the first song "Warsaw" (see directly below) is extra special, as fans have only able to hear it live up until this point.
Kris Orlowski - "Warsaw"
While the emotional weight of "Warsaw" tugs at my heartstrings, I think that the cryptic subtlety of "Postcard Man" tends to sneak up on you about three verses in. The bridge is superb as well, highlighting Kris Orlowski's ability to organically build and breakdown tension in a song without seeming too mechanical or heavy-handed.
And of course, the eternally optimistic but never preachy "Waiting", a song by and for the most hopeful and romantic spirit. I never get tired of this song, and I find it to be an incredibly useful daily mantra. Kris Orlowski will perform next on Saturday September 3rd at the Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival in Seattle. Tickets are $35 per day or $90 for all three days, and are now available for purchase here. For more information on Kris Orlowski's upcoming tour dates, please visit his website or follow him on Facebook or Twitter. His latest EP The Passenger String Quartet at The Fremont Abbey is now available on iTunes.