Fear and Love, However Fleeting: A Kris Angelis Guest Blog

Over the years of writing mostly songs of heartbreak and unrequited love, I have come to a realization that when confronted with those simultaneously expansive and crushing feelings, I tend to dive into something intense to distract myself. Or in which to pour the frenetic energy left behind in me in the echoing hollow of unanswered questions.

In 2010, I moved from sunny LA to a literal log cabin on a lake in the wilderness outside of Seattle.

In 2011, I packed up and went to Edinburgh, Scotland for a month performing on the Royal Mile (my first taste of making a living with my songs).

In 2012, I took the leap of funding, recording and releasing my first full-length album independently.

In 2015, I pushed the heart pain out by running up and down ALL the stairs of “The Swamp” - the 92,000 seat football stadium in my hometown of Gainesville, FL. Then my legs hurt instead. They actually hilariously didn’t work. I casually went to lunch with my family afterward and when we got up to leave, my legs crumpled under me. Laughter helps too.

In 2018, right after a break up, I watched 52 movies in one week. I was on the SAG Nomination committee so I actually had a reason and a deadline for voting, but I don’t think most people watch ALL the movies they are sent - at least not in that time frame. It certainly put a filter on my experience of the films which were interspersed by alternate bouts of crying and laughing/dancing/dramatic speeches about the films to the entertainment of my sister and brother-and-law, all fueled by wine and cupcakes.

Partial rundown of my observations on the films (if you’re curious):
14 had vomit scenes (there may have been more. I didn’t keep track the whole time. Why? Why so much vomit?)

4 were about the rise of a musical star and their relationships

3 were about teenage sons doing drugs and things being sad and hard for their families

2 were about talented women and the men who took all the credit for their work

1 of them made me sleep with the light on for a week
In 2019, I had written “I Hope I Never Fall In Love Again” which is the first single from my new album That Siren, Hope and then inevitably had fallen in hope and infatuation again, only to be sorely disappointed by a multi-faceted rejection and I decided to get in my little aqua-colored Prius C with my guitar and perform in every state in America.

All 50 of them.

I did that in 5 and a half months.

It was hard.

And glorious.

People kept calling me brave and I guess I was but I didn’t feel it at the time. I discovered that America is beautiful! So much of it has incredible tear-inducing nature that I didn’t know about. I saw Mt. Rushmore, swam in hot and cold springs, backpacked to and camped beside a glacier under all the stars in the sky, was charged by a moose, saw so many awe-inspiring sunsets, saw myself on billboards in Chicago and NYC, rode in two helicopters, stood under a waterfall, rode a red bicycle with a wicker basket around a town from another time, became addicted to McDonald’s fries and coffee (I never go to McDonald’s in my normal life but those golden arches got me through some long drives!), hid in a motel bathtub during a tornado, was kissed by another guy who will become a song or two, and discovered my favorite definition of adventure: “When you’re scared and having fun at the same time”, which may be applied to many things in life, if you’re doing it right, including love.

The best, most heart-healing thing that I experienced on my travels was the generosity and kindness of people all over the country. Long-time friends and strangers (mostly friends of friends or friends of the venue) allowed me into their homes with open arms and warm conversation! One moment along the tour, somewhere in the southeast, paints a pretty good picture of the tour as a whole. I was pumping gas…and weeping…(like you do) and a woman came up to me, looked me in the eye without speaking for a few seconds, gave me a strong hug, then walked away. No words needed. I was lonely and still held, tired and energized, frustrated and grateful.

So, though the album is called That Siren, Hope after the song of the same title, which paints hope as a mythical siren who deceptively lures you into a crashing end, I think and hope that the light also shines through these songs, if only in showing people going through those feelings that they are not alone. The last song on the record, “Misplaced Hope”, which was recorded raw and live with just vocals and acoustic guitar, encourages one not to be afraid because though it may seem like hope is lost; it’s just that it was put in the wrong thing. Don’t stop wanting, but let things go. Let your heart be stubborn. Be gentle with it. Though it causes pain at times, if it keeps beating, and you let it, it will eventually lead you to where you want to be, even if it’s unexpected, with many visits to joy, fear and love (however fleeting), along the way.

Take heart, my love.

Visit krisangelis.com to learn more and pre-order That Siren, Hope.