Kristin Chambers is a singer songwriter who moves through American songbook with the easy grace that comes from a lifetime steeped in song.
On her new LP Kissing Ghosts, Seattle singer / songwriter / composer Kristin Chambers has refined the creative vision hinted at on the 2018 EP Unravel Me. While here signature graceful melodies are perpetually enchanting, on Kissing Ghosts Chambers spins them across a percolating foundation of shimmering synths and gauzy stacked harmonies, swirling together bits of late 50’s Girl Group vocal, skittering electronic drums, and distant, static-drenched guitars to craft a whole that – while winking coyly to the canon of American music – is very much of the moment.
“Kissing Ghosts feels like coming home, in terms of vibe” says Chambers. While she has historically begun work on new songs at the piano, many of the tracks on Kissing Ghosts were built from the groove up. “It was a new process for me, but not different from the pop music I love.”
Lyrically, Kissing Ghosts is a collection of vignettes that have allowed Chambers to put some of her ghosts to rest (or at least kiss them goodnight). “These ghosts are situations from the past, things that happened when I wasn’t quite content or happy with myself” Chambers tells us. “It’s part of being human, but if you heal and move forward, it makes it easier to look back and come to peace with them. There is a definite theme of women’s empowerment on this record. Yet, I’m not one to wallow or blame, so that anger is tempered by forgiveness.”
Chambers honestly cannot remember a time in her life when she wasn’t singing and performing; whether for imaginary friends in her childhood bedroom or sold out crowds at venues across the pacific northwest. “Since I can remember there has always been a song to sing and a story to tell” says Chambers. “From that same time, I always had a journal, and the desire to record my experiences.”
This singing and writing followed Chambers from school and college to the New York City theater scene. Through talent, persistence, and plain ol’ grit Chambers started to make headway, landing both an agent and call-backs for some Broadway production. Then September 11th happened and everything changed. “There was something about the desperation and honesty of that time that got to the root of whether I desired to go on in theater” Chambers tells. “The answer was inevitable no.” She packed her bags and headed home to Seattle.
Recovering, reflecting, and ruminating on art and life, Chambers came to realize that she’d basically been writing original music her whole life, but had never matched the melodies in her head to the musings captured in countless journals. “I wrote my first song before I even knew what the chords were” she laughs, “I had to ask someone!” These days Chambers is coming up one one-hundred-twenty originals, and she writes a song a week.
Chambers career as a recording artist began with the 2010 release of her eponymous debut LP, followed by 2012’s Endless Road EP. Chambers released the ambitious, mature Everything Woman (2014) was followed by her award-winning 2015 release Snow Globe, a mix of five originals and five holiday classics.
While Chambers’ music shifts through a varied palate of moods and tones, as a whole it paints a cohesive portrait of a songwriter who has not only become a master of her craft but is also comfortable wearing that mantle. “I always want people to feel hope when they listen to my music” says Chambers. “I try to write from my authentic self, and I hope that comes through.” Chambers songs glow with palpable realness, and satisfy in the way only truly honest art can.