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gothic indie-pop & Maine Americana
"The very real deal." - No Depression
Chris Robley is a singer-songwriter and award-winning poet who's made his home in the mill town of Lewiston, Maine.
His orchestral indie-pop and folk music has been praised by The LA Times, The Boston Globe, NPR's Second Stage, Performer, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.”
Robley’s poetry has been published in POETRY Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry, and more. He is the winner of Boulevard’s Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers, a recipient of a Maine Literary Award in poetry, and was selected by Robert Pinsky as a finalist for the Dorset Prize.
“Chris Robley is at the top of his game with his new work.” – KCRW
“Beatlesy goodness featuring deft wordplay delivered through McCartneyish melodies with a Lennonesque rasp.” – Willamette Week
If you want to read old blog posts, tour diaries, or get nostalgic, Chris' last website is archived HERE.
Songs & Playlists
Explore more of my indie-pop, Americana, and rock releases:
Hits & misses
The (only) good part about never having any Billboard hits is you get to pick whatever songs you damn well please for your "Greatest Hits" collection — including a few brand new singles!
This playlist, available exclusively on Spotify, highlights favorite songs from the albums I've released as Chris Robley, Chris Robley & the Fear of Heights, and THE SORT OFs.
And because it's a playlist — and not an album — I can change it whenever I want. Follow the playlist so you won't miss any new songs.
The Great Make Believer
“At the top of his game with his new work.” - KCRW
"Given its spiralling emotions, The Great Make Believer makes for an enticing listen, and, its title disclaimer aside, suggests that Robley is indeed the very real deal." - No Depression
Recorded live over a long weekend at a house which sits beside the Lewis & Clark Salt Works on the Oregon coast, these ten songs are my most emotionally vulnerable to date.
The album was co-produced and engineered by Rob Stroup, and some of my dear friends brought their psychedelic-country chops to my little folk pop fictions and confessions.
“Robley pulls you into his tortured world view with a poetic sensibility that gives his music a depth and wisdom many young songwriters lack.” - All Music Guide
Produced with Adam Selzer (M Ward, The Decemberists, Minus 5) and Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Typhoon, Stephen Malkmus, Menomena), Ghosts' Menagerie is a band-oriented album that combines catchy noir pop, psych-folk, and a sparer production style with tales of heartbreak and domestic decline. It's cheery stuff. No really, some of it sounds quite cheery. Try some!
Movie Theatre Haiku
"This gothic, orchestral indie-pop is sure to leave heads spinning with its unique and haunting sound." - NPR's Second Stage
"This is an album for the ages." - Racket Magazine
My third solo album took a loooong time to make. Like, we're talking Steely Dan-level waiting here. Why? I got scared. So I recorded and released The Drunken Dance instead. Once I had, I realized what was missing here: just... courage. Made with the help of Mike Coykendall (She & Him, Bright Eyes, Beth Orton), Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Typhoon, Menomena, Stephen Malkmus), and Rob Stroup (Scott Fisher, Debra Arlyn), and a dozen other friends.
The Drunken Dance of Modern Man in Love
"Poetic, evocative." - LA Times
"Without a doubt one of the strongest independent releases that has come into my hands this year." - Reax Music
Chosen by Willamette Week as one of the best albums of 2007, my second solo effort was recorded in two weeks at Type Foundry in Portland, Oregon with Adam Selzer (M Ward, The Decemberists) producing. Some people like Side A better. Some people prefer Side B. Some people swear by the whole thing.
THE SORT OFS: Anxiety on Parade
"It’s rare for a band to come out of the gate with a debut as impressive and confident as “Anxiety on Parade." - Portland Tribune
THE SORT OFs aimed to make a kind of personal political music in the era of George W. Bush.
At the heart of most of these songs is a bashing keyboard/drums duo; then we added a bunch of harmonies, raw guitar, and the occasional orchestral flourish.
A decade later, I'm still really proud of this record.
this is the
"this is the deserves a place among your Elliot Smith, Badly Drawn Boy, John Lennon, and — yes, even your Guns ‘N Roses albums." - Splendid
"this is the is what John Lennon would be doing today." - Music Liberation Project
After my ex-wife kindly convinced me I could, I made an album with my own name on it. This solo debut was recorded over four days at Type Foundry in Portland, Oregon with Adam Selzer engineering. I played and sang everything on the record except for the drums on the final song. I was young. I was hungry. I was terrified.
News & Updates
Had a dream Bjork, Maggie Rogers, & Cassandra Wilson did a surprise show in an almost empty theatre. Their voices w… https://t.co/5Cae3FQ6vd
Here's the menu: "Firing Squad" "Moonlight in a Cage" "Big Love" (Fleetwood Mac) "Love in a Time of Sharp Decline"… https://t.co/XAU82OZU3O
I actually met Grumpy Cat once. At a book fair in NYC. It didn't look happy. That is all.
Chris in real life
Live dates are sparse right now.
Enjoying the brief window where there isn’t snow in Maine.
In the meantime, catch me every Tuesday (2pm EST) and Thursday (1pm EST) on Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Periscope!
Lunch Songs Live is a blast.
Come eat songs with me…
02/15/19 - Montreal, QC (Canada): Folk Alliance International.
01/18/19 - Lewiston, ME: @ Downstage at L/A Arts. (Scott Hutchison tribute night).
11/24/18 - Lewiston, ME: @ The Pub at Baxter Brewing Co.
11/16/18 - Lewiston, ME: @ The Curio (Scott Hutchison tribute night).
11/10/18 - Stamford, CT: @ NERFA / Crowne Plaza.
11/09/18 - Stamford, CT: @ NERFA / Crowne Plaza.
11/08/18 - Stamford, CT: @ NERFA / Crowne Plaza.
09/16/18 - Lewiston, ME: Sunday Indie Market @ Dufresne Plaza.
09/06/18 - Portland, ME: @ One Longfellow Square w/ Zak Trojano and Sorcha Cribben-Merrill.
08/26/18 - Nashville, TN: @ The Tin Roof for the DIY Musician Conference after-party.
08/15/18 - Portland, ME: @ Blue w/ Builder of the House.
07/26/18 - Wakefield, RI: @ The Pump House Music Works w/ Buck Nature.
06/23/18 - Auburn, ME: @ Festival Plaza for the Great Falls River Race.
06/14/18 - Lewiston, ME: @ Build Maine Beer Garden.
04/28/18 - Lewiston, ME: @ L/A Arts Downstage with Forêt Endormie and Billy Carr.
03/16/18 – Portland, OR: @ Revolution Hall for Real World Collective’s Secret World Live.