Kris Angelis’ EP Pieces That Were Stolen offers a short collection of notably pure and personal songs that flow beautifully in the way that classic, professionally crafted folk-pop releases should.
Photobooth as an opening track introduces the artist’s voice and sense of expression with an acoustic beginning that gradually evolves and flourishes with the addition of a few more details and layers of instrumentation. The lyrics and the artist’s delivery of them tell the story of an emotional journey down memory lane. It’s personal, for sure, but it’s accessible in the way it’s been portrayed. The concept is easy to relate to and the sound is familiar and comforting and perfectly well executed.
The Sparrow is a song that creates a slightly more melancholic or reflective mood, the soundscape has a more characterful feel – drawing you in for its thoughtful ambiance and the slightly whispered nature of Angelis’ delivery. The rhyme scheme presents short fragments of poetic ideas that connect in an artistically captivating way, and all of this works beautifully and appears with a compelling softness after the colour and energy of the opener.
Stained Glass brings back those elements of folk-pop that began the project. The acoustic guitar presents a sense of rhythm, the melody develops gorgeously, the song fuses experience and metaphor in a wonderful way. This piece quickly becomes a highlight for its fusion of the familiar and the fresh, for that purity once again, and for the gradually increasing warmth that surrounds you more and more-so as things progress. The lyrics intrigue and paint a refreshing picture before you, letting you escape reality for a while and be completely submerged in the song and the moment. The instrumental flickers and riffs are subtle but brilliant in giving the track more than a few signature traits that make it easily recognisable. The vocal harmonies also add so much in this regard.
The final song on the EP – Bravest – has something of a raw presentation and offers perhaps the first moment at which you consider the artist as a solo acoustic performer – the strum of the guitar has a certain freedom and realness about it. Lyrically too, the song feels like a stream of consciousness, a diary entry or a thought process during an attempt to understand or overcome. It’s a gentle piece that hits with less impact but rather pours into the room with a soft sense of certainty. And as things progress, the warmth increases, the soundscape grows in a humble and fitting manner.
For the most part it feels very much as if Kris Angelis is right there in the room with you. A live performance would undoubtedly be every bit as open, emotional and entrancing as this entire collection suggests. Pieces That Were Stolen is an easy must for fans of modern folk and acoustic pop songwriting. Kris Angelis has a beautiful voice and a genuine way with creative expression.