Great music takes time - for the creator and the audience - and rock has become a tremendously tricky genre as of late. Of all the musical distinctions that are undergoing transitions, blending with other breeds, and weaving in and out of styles and classifications, rock is probably one of the most fluid. Krief has specific ideas of not only what rock is, but also what it should be.
Hailing from Montreal, Krief is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist that has spent most of the last decade writing, recording and performing with multi-award winning rock-noir band, The Dears. During a band hiatus, Krief struck out on his own in 2007 with the release of his debut solo album, Take It Or Leave.
“Making solo records was something I was doing well before I had joined The Dears,” said Krief. “After some non-stop touring and The Dears performing on David Letterman, the band really needed to take a step back and breathe. This finally gave me some time to get back to what I knew I always did best.”
As Krief toured his solo project across Canada and released Calm Awaits/Black Diamond Bay (2008) - a collaborative album with The Dears’ George Donoso - even Krief himself was taken aback by how strongly the new songs he was writing was affecting him. So much so that he had to step away from the project and The Dears provided a welcome distraction. Yet the pull of those new solo songs, which dealt so earnestly with his anxieties about growing older and continuing down the financially precarious road of a professional musician, were simply too powerful to cast aside.
"I was in the darkest place I had ever been in," Krief recalls. "In order to get out of that dark place, I knew I had to go back in and finish the songs and see where they took me.”
Krief also began to carve out a niche as a sought after producer, film composer, co-writer and collaborator. Comprised with the release of his third album, Hundred Thousand Pieces (2012), it was evident that Krief had committed himself to the unpredictable artistic path he'd been leading those past eight years and to not fear telling his stories, his way.
"That album was about packing it all in and making music as a hobby on the side," Krief says. "In the end though, hearing the finished product was the answer - there was no way I could produce something that's so important to me and just let it rot."
Hundred Thousand Pieces was critically acclaimed and cemented Krief as an artist in his own right. However, what Krief went through in the years following had all the hallmarks of a mid-life crisis - heartbreak, grief, despair and fear that followed a devastating string of deaths in Krief’s life. But, if that time five years ago was the halfway point of his musical existence, it would have put him out of the game — something he’s far from ready to concede. Especially with how he feels now: rejuvenated, alive and ready to tour.
Krief’s latest release, the double-album, Automanic Red/Blue (2016), is no less than an opus work by a musician who was pushed to the brink, and propelled to a creative peak.
“In 2015, I left The Dears to concentrate on this solo project,” said Krief. “This is not a side thing. Krief has grown to need my entire attention. Combined with expanding my work as a composer, producer and collaborator - it’s all or nothing. I’m all in. Everyone can expect this same level of commitment from me.”
Krief albums are a rare breed: rock guitar based albums where tenderness prevails in the melodies, harmonies, and the rich orchestrations. Trafficking in grandly textured and artfully rendered indie-rock anthems, Krief is clearly a musician who isn’t wary of treading fresh sonic territory. With four solo albums and various singles and videos since 2007, Krief evokes the rich British tradition of the Beatles to the Super Furry Animals with a heavy influence of Beach Boys-era love songs. Topped with ambitious production that sounds warm and intimate, there truly isn’t very much out there like what Krief has created. And it’s refreshing, to say the least.
Krief is currently seeking label, agent & publishing representation outside of Canada.