Montreal singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Patrick Krief released the lyric video for Life As It Happens, the first single from his forthcoming release, automanic. His fourth solo record, automanic is a double album comprised of automanic red and automanic blue, which Krief describes as “autonomous in their flow, yet not meant to be listened to in one sitting.”
“Life As It Happens is one of those songs that was written in less than three minutes,” says Krief. “It came to me faster than I could write it down. The vision was to have a steady flowing stream of sounds and textures coming in and out over the three-chord progression, all while telling a story about lost loves, without it being overly negative. Ultimately, it’s a song about hope.” Watch the video directed by Toronto filmmaker Christopher Mills here, which premiered on Exclaim!.
The two halves of automanic balance each other out with 20 tracks bonded by an invisible line. Krief’s deep content is a result of a string of deaths he experienced, blended with heartbreak, grief and despair. Creativity healed adversity and inspired Krief to write poetic lyrics, both earnest and abstract, paired against sounds of contemporary pop and rock, atop dreamy, shoegazing soundscapes and rock ballads alike.
Krief embarked on the endeavour independently, playing all guitars, bass, drums, percussion, piano and keyboards. The album was recorded, produced and mixed entirely by Krief, between Studio Mixart in Montreal and Studio Bottega, located on an alpaca farm in Kelowna, B.C. The post-production of automanic took place in New York City and Toronto, where it was mastered by Phil Demetro (Kevin Drew, Hey Rosetta). Engineer David Schiffman (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Nine Inch Nails) monitored the Montreal sessions, while singers Maia Davies and fellow Habitant, Sam Roberts, provided backing vocals. Kelowna’s Uptown Hornz brought the brass, Kate Maloney played violin, Justin Wright played cello and Krief’s longtime collaborator, Roberto Piccioni, played various instruments and assisted in the making of the album.
Known for his integral role in Montreal’s orchestral rock-noir band The Dears, Krief spent a decade with the band crafting a unique style. automanic highlights the contrast of sounds in his solo endeavour. Tracks on automanic red, have a bold sound and brash lyrics fueled by anger, anguish and ego. Sober reflection, grappling with reality, and mortality are echoed on automanic blue. The pair combine to make an emotive, honest piece.