Kris Angelis has been living musically her whole life. “My mom says I’ve been singing since before I could talk. I would sing melodies when I didn’t actually know words.” Growing up on a farm in Florida, Angelis spent her childhood playing, running around the farm, and making up songs with her twin sister. They composed their first song at the age of three -- and it lives on now, interwoven into one of Kris’s more recent works.
While her early musical influences were limited to her grandparents’ Rodgers and Hammerstein videos, her parents’ records, and the Lawrence Welk show -- one of the few that came in on their TV -- Kris did not feel deprived. “I would put on my parents vinyl records which included the Beatles, the Eagles, the Archies, and even Strauss waltzes, and dance around, pretending to be the singer. I loved it. It was a great basis in melodies and harmonies.” Later she would sing in the church choir and, when her family moved to California, in her summer camp’s musical productions. Discovering the band Hanson, siblings who were very young themselves at the time, opened up the possibility of making music herself. She delved into learning harmonies with her twin sister, Alix, taking full advantage of the way siblings' voices work together.
It was with the help of a musician friend that Kris first began learning guitar. She continued learning on her own -- and dived right into songwriting with inspirations including Brandi Carlile, Ray Lamontagne, David Gray, Regina Spektor, Elton John, and more recently, Katie Herzig, Gregory Alan Isakov, The Lumineers and so many others! “It’s how I create, how I express myself. But it’s also a huge part of how I get through life. Music is a universal language. It evokes emotion. It resonates in our souls, it actually vibrates in our bodies. There’s a Victor Hugo quote that expresses exactly how I feel about it: ‘Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.’ That’s how songwriting has been for me.” And she certainly hasn’t been silent. Kris has put her musical talents to good use, developing her folk-pop sound in two EPs, Brief Sounds in 2005 and Ghost in the Corner in 2008. She has also toured the country, as well as collaborated with other musicians on several side projects including TMG, which was a group of 5 female singer/songwriters who were inspired by the Twilight Saga books and were encouraged by the director of the first film to release the songs. This began a two year whirlwind in which the music was very well received, getting the girls featured on MTV, in the LA Times, and invited to be featured performers at Twilight conferences and premiers around the country. But this year has brought something entirely new: her first full-length album, "The Left Atrium" produced by Jeff Zacharski.
The thread of experimentation that began back on the farm has carried through into The Left Atrium. "I like things with layered and hidden meanings so I brought that into the title of the album. The Left Atrium is literally a part of the heart's anatomy and an atrium is an open space in a building, usually with a glass roof that you can see into and often has things growing in it. So this album with its songs that are so personal, is a piece of my heart that you can see into." It’s a fusion of genres and sounds that includes elements of everything from smoky jazz to bold rock. It also has its share of the truly experimental, including such non-traditional instruments as tuned wine glasses and kitchen implements. This wasn’t accidental. Teaspoons feature in the percussion for Empty Cabinets, a song about tea. And the clapping in the childhood-sweet Neverland is actually a game of pattycake. For Kris, the process of creating each song was important. “Each song had its own artistic journey, went its own way and became its own thing.” The Left Atrium is a great example of who Kris is as a musician -- beautiful, eclectic, surprising, and yet somehow always herself.
The video for the song "Not Your Fault" was recently an exclusive premier on RyanSeacrest.com. She was chosen for a month long tour in Europe withSongs&Whispers in spring of 2014 and opened for Tyler Hilton on a US tour in August. "The Left Atrium" was awarded Best Female Album of 2013 by the LA Music Critics Awards. She made it to the Finals of the Belk Southern California Showcase in the beginning of 2015. Kris is very interested in using music to connect with people and make a difference and has been invited to join the Extreme Tour which brings music to underserved communities and youth in the US for October. She has also recently partnered through Live Music Cares with Project AK-47 which rescues child soldiers. She is currently writing and recording new material with producer and writers Morgan Taylor Reid and Alexander Cardinale.
Kris's relatable, emotional, and catchy songs interspersed with stories and humor make her performances touching and memorable, not to mention the haunting harmonies created when she is joined by her identical twin sister.