Thank you for getting this far. You are now reading the bio page for my sophomore solo album "the drunken dance of modern man in love" which I made with Portland producer Adam Selzer (M. Ward, The Decemberists, Laura Gibson) at Type Foundry. Don't be fooled by the dark cover and content, I had a ton of fun creating these melodies, these characters, these sounds, and this recording.
The album features many fine local luminaries and jaded jackals who were gracious enough to lend their hands:
Adam Selzer- of course, producing and shaking various things.
John Stewart- who is in my other band THE SORT OFs as drummer and Mississippi musicologist.
Paul Brainard- pedal steeler from Richmond Fontaine.
Arthur Parker- who normally plucks a one-string washtub bass in Trash Can Joe.
Amanda Lawrence- of Loch Lomond playing cello, viola, and then doubling all those parts.
Mike Danner- also of Trash Can Joe, giving his honkey tonk best on piano and accordian.
Benny Morrison- of March Fourth Marching Band jacked up his back carrying in a baritone sax, tenor sax, and clarinet all at once.
James Gregg- stacked blocked horn parts with one trumpet on 4 tracks.
Steve Keeley- used the same instrument to play both violin and fiddle parts.
I whirled up my first solo folktronic soundscape with Adam Selzer, also. "this is the" is ambient bedroom indie pop with some dangerous exposed wires sparking in the darkness. I perform in several formats, as a solosingersongwriter, with shrinkwrapped friends as a smiling duo, or with my "backing band" (what a horrible term. These folks are the finest musicians I've played with) the Fear of Heights. I also front the agitprop prog-pop band The Sort Ofs and play guitar and keyboards for The Imprints led by former Baseboard Heaters singer Rob Stroup. This Fall, I'll be playing guitar and keyboards with sepia-popsters Norfolk and Western on a quick little Northwest tour. In my spare time I pursue full-contact banking and circuit bending. I work at a quaint little record shop called CD Baby, help host a DIY Music podcast, and like to dork-out to Battlestar Gallactica with my wife Kristiana.
Criminally "unknown" singer/songwriter Chris Robley is a damned sophisticated standout.
-Phoenix New Times
I can't remember the last time something this artsy didn't annoy the crap out of me, but I guess that's what happens when those rare, golden people who offer substance over self-congratulation make albums. Bless them.
- Eugene Weekly
Deserves a place among your Elliot Smith, Badly Drawn Boy, John Lennon, and -- yes, even your Guns 'N Roses albums.
What John Lennon would be doing today if he wasn't killed a quarter century ago.
-music liberation project
He shows no lack of ambition in his arrangements. Full but never fussy, tasty but biting, familiar but fresh. Ace all around.
Robley's songs are so strong he could deliver them given just an unamplified acoustic guitar. Robley's singing, at his most urgent, recalls Lennon's desperate-yet-melodic rasp, but it's evident he's not posturing to achieve the sound, just slipping comfortably into it like a pair of vintage Beatle boots that happen to perfectly fit his feet.
Left-of-the-dial enough to entice indie-rock fans over into the singer-songwriter world... Robley shakes things up so you never know what to expect, while keeping things tied together enough to make a cohesive album in a bed of experimentation.
-Alex Steininger. In Music We Trust
Chris Robley is a unique musical talent. Hell, I'll say it: He's a genius. True to form, his set last night was full of lush instrumentation, beautiful arrangements, and simply the best pop hooks.
Though his acid wit and precarious song writing is compared with John Lennon, Robley is no Lennon pastiche... His songs are seldom depressing, though sometimes dark, and constructed with an intimate honesty.
-S.A. Life. Australia. Chris Clark