Listen to this track by Seattle-based, half-Canadian (on his dad’s side) indie folk-pop with orchestral flourishes singer-songwriter Kris Orlowski. It’s “All My People Go”, the opening track to 2012’s Pieces We Are EP, which is co-credited to Andrew Joslyn.
This song is all Orlowski’s, albeit backed by a 17-piece orchestra (with a conductor and everything in Kim Roy). It’s the orchestral arrangement which is a big part of where Andrew Joslyn comes in, bringing the song to a new level. But, the song can also be appreciated on the smaller scale as well without the orchestral element, which certainly indicates something of Orlowski’s skill as a songwriter.
Besides the durability of the song in terms of how its able to support such a sumptuous treatment, and endure without one too, it’s the poignancy of the song that makes it so compelling. This is a song about travel, exploration, and loneliness, which are perhaps common themes among musicians. Yet, ultimately nearly everyone can connect with those themes. It helps of course that Orlowski’s voice is a warm, and yearning instrument that pulls you right into the center of it, and what a quietly tempestuous musical storm it is.
The atmospheric quality of this song is a key strength that connects with modern singer-songwriter indie traditions. But, there is something of the jazz singer to be found here too, if not in style, then certainly in spirit. Maybe it’s the way Orlowski’s vocal phrasing helps to establish the mood, or something about the emotional investment he’s made in his own work to bring it to life not only as a writer, but as a performer too. He comes off as a dramatic player in a song that feels like play being staged in the imaginations of listeners.
Supported by a dedicated group of musicians who serve as his band, Kris Orlowski is a active and enthusiastic live performer. I caught him live in Vancouver at the Biltmore Cabaret (my favourite venue in town), and it was a clear case of one for all and all for one.
While on stage, he entreated us to join his mailing list. And now, I encourage you to do the same by visiting KrisOrlowski.com.
Being as he is a Twitter-ite, you can follow Kris Orlowski on Twitter at @krisorlowskiband.