Chris Robley of Lewiston has a new album out – “A Filament In The Wilderness or What Comes Next.” Submitted photo

Lewiston-based musician Chris Robley has released his newest album, “A Filament In the Wilderness of What Comes Next.” Robley established a career as a singer-songwriter opening for shows by Wye Oak, Thao Nguyen (of Thao & the Get Down Stay Down). NPR said about his music, “Dark, romantic strains take flight. This gothic, orchestral indie-pop is sure to leave heads spinning with its unique and haunting sound.” No Depression called Robley “enticing… The very real deal.” And the LA Times said his work is “poetic, evocative.”

Robley had a rough 2016. The indie-folk songwriter’s father was dying and the album reckons not just with his father but with the state of America: tackling the police murder of Sandra Bland, the brutality of unfettered capitalism, the American evacuation of Saigon in 1975, and immigration.

The music on “Filament” was created in a new fashion for Robley. Not only did the arrangements find their shape without his direct guidance, but this is the first album where he let other singers take the driver’s seat.

“The lyrics are a tapestry of voices sharing space, so we made the music that way too. I Dropboxed some demos to my friends in Oregon and said ‘these sound like folk songs; please [mess] them up!’” Robley conducted his part of the collaboration from his home and then the sessions were delivered to Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Stephen Malkmus, Lowland Hum, The Suitcase Junket, Los Lobos) whose mixing and production wove the whole together. “This is my best album because the work isn’t mine anymore,” he says.

A twice award-winning poet prior to his time songwriting, Robley tackled each song with a degree of specificity learned from Billy Bragg’s keynote speech at Folk Alliance Int’l advocating for specificity to engender empathy.

Ultimately, Robley concludes the album with the epic, nine-minute “Filament,” saying there’s still much hope in America.

For more information, visit chrisrobley.com. The album is available on streaming services


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