By Ryan Scott
Andre Chrys may very well be the most American singer-songwriter to come out of Canada in quite some time. Chrys hails from Vancouver, but listening to his new album Window To Nowhere, it feels more like he’s been playing at the bar right next to the stadium Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty just finished up at.
Chrys is one of those artists that you may have heard over the years and either didn’t realize it, or don’t remember it. Not because it wasn’t any good, but simply because up until now it almost seems like someone tailor-made his career to be the guy who provides pleasant background music for the other thing you are doing.
Besides having his track “The Modification Song” featured in the horror film Kraken, he has also opened for Watchmen, The Headstone and Junkhouse on the road and has done other such things that get him out there. However, he has never made his modern Americana the center of attention. Maybe this new album is the time to pay attention.
Window To Nowhere is a good album. There really isn’t much else to say about it. It is something of a love letter to great American singer-songwriters and it is a good letter. Chrys’ self-proclaimed influences are splattered all over the concise tracks that make up Window To Nowhere.
"I've always responded to music with a timeless quality to it," says Chrys. "That's something I wanted to achieve in my music, to put in the kind of attention to songwriting that you see in some of the real greats: Tom Waits, Townes van Zandt, and Steve Earle...really putting the song first."
The songs for this new record were written on a 60-year-old Gibson acoustic guitar, which sort of makes a lot of sense when you listen to it. It doesn’t sound like an album that was made in the time of its influence, like so many Americana throwbacks of recent memory. It sounds very modern, but the presence of that inspiration is never lost and seeps out through every second of the album.
To me, when you listen to Chrys’ music, it sounds like you have just walked into a bar, and a band you have never heard starts playing, but it turns out to be the best version of bar music that here probably is. Some may take that as an insult, but it isn’t meant to be. The music is atmospheric, but it isn’t a stadium atmosphere, it is an everyman at happy hour atmosphere.
Window To Nowhere drops on October 15. Chrys will also be on the road for the Window To Nowhere tour coming to a city near you. In the meantime, you can stream the entire record on Soundcloud. You can find Andre Chrys on his website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.