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Kris Orlowski returns to Bake’s Place
BY KEEGAN PROSSER
Seattle-based singer-songwriter Kris Orlowski has been making the rounds in the Northwest music scene for seven years now, but just recently began to generate major buzz for his thoughtful, indie-rock tracks.
Orlowski, who moved to Seattle from Bellingham, recently played the Capitol Hill Block Party - and will be stopping by Bellevue’s Bake’s Place on Friday, August 3, for an intimate set at the new downtown club. The Bellevue Reporter caught up with Orlowski to find out what the audience can expect from the singer and his band:
Reporter: How’d you originally get in to music?
KO: I’ve been playing music since I was a kid. But I really fell in love with music in college - when I was studying abroad in London. There was an acoustic guitar in my host family’s house - and that’s when I really discovered it for myself - and not because girls liked it when I played.
Reporter: You originally performed as a solo artist, but in the last few years have added a band; How did this evolve?
KO: To me, they serve two different purposes. The band sound is for big live shows. I am so infatuated with the aesthetic side of music - when you hear all these different sounds - and how they sound so beautiful together. And how, when you add pedal steel [guitar], and a second vocal and bass drum - it puts it on a whole other level.
Reporter: Has forming the band changed the way you make music?
KO: Well, when I write songs I have certain parts in mind. Like, I was just working on this song (“Cables,” being released in the fall) and I was thinking of this band, The Shins, who I really love. The song has this Wurlitzer sound to it. I wrote it a certain way knowing the band could come up with that sound. And I wouldn’t have written it that way if I was doing it solo.
Reporter: Your current album, “Warsaw,” was produced by Kory Kruckenberg of Pickwick; how did this come about?
KO: I connected with Kory over the last year. Kory just does good work. He really worked with budget, and the ideas we had, to say ‘this is how much time we have, this is how much money we have, let’s make it happen. And the fact that he had a Grammy under his belt, of course, made us feel like he really knew what he was doing, and we could trust him.
Reporter: Do you have any plans to collaborate with other local artists in the near future?
KO: There are a lot of collaborations for this next album. It’s going to be really big. It’s with a full 17-piece orchestra for all five songs. Allen [Stone] sings on it, Noah Gunderson, Mike and Matt Gervais from Curtains For You, Mychal from Campfire OK, Melody from Campfire OK.
Reporter: You are playing at Bake’s Place next week. Can you speak to how the size of this venue changes your live performance?
KO: A venue like Bake’s Place gives us the opportunity to show more subtleties in my music and in the the band. A show at Bake’s Place - or the Triple Door - is where I think we shine - [because] we have these subtleties. It really comes down to the subtleties versus energy.
Reporter: Have you played at Bake’s Place before?
We played at the old venue once before, and I was like, ‘This is cool, but it’s so far removed.’ It was hard to get fans to come out that far. We played the new venue when it first opened - and now it’s the perfect size. The sound there is amazing. And I think our crowd is going to be great.
Reporter: What are you looking forward to most about this show?
KO: I’m really looking forward to getting back to my roots - doing something more intimate. I might do some songs solo because getting to play solo is still really fun for me. I’m looking forward to really connecting with friends and fans.
Reporter: You mentioned earlier you are working on a new album. Can you share any details?
KO: The record is called “Pieces We Are.” And we are actually showcasing a number of other artists with the release. We have five photographers taking pictures [inspired by] songs we sent them. I just got a photo from Tyler Karlberg [photographer/videographer on tour with the Head and the Heart]; he sent me a picture for this song “I Will Go.” It’s a polaroid looking picture he took when he was sailing near the Tacoma Narrows by Pt. Defiance Park. It’s going be a great opportunity to showcase other art with our music.
Kris Orlowski performs at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 3, at Bake’s Place in Bellevue. “Pieces We Are,” will be released October 16. Tickets for their CD release party, Oct. 13 at the Triple Door, will be available HERE starting August 1 at 10 a.m.