On Krief’s upcoming album, Chemical Trance, he taps into a holy intersection of divine and mortal, confronting his own vulnerabilities in a beautiful cacophony. Krief recently released album opener,“I Am The Pillar of Darkness in Your Life,” which plays like Dante’s Virgil guiding the listener through the first circle of hell, in this case representing Krief’s own crippling anxiety.
On Chemical Trance, the Montreal musician taps into that holy intersection of divine and mortality, confronting his own vulnerabilities in a beautiful cacophony that, at times, recalls Pink Floyd, late-era Beatles, Leonard Cohen and Radiohead. Yet, somehow, is uniquely Patrick Krief.
And just like the artistic epochs of those great musical masters, Chemical Trance is at its best when Krief digs deepest into his most personal moments.
“I pictured it like an Ayahuasca trip,” he explains. “Like you’ve taken the drug and you’re confronting your whole past — all the darkest stuff. But you’re not reliving it in a normal way, it’s hyped-up: emotions as demons, that sort of thing.”
The album, conceived to be one continuous listen, is thus bookended by Krief’s two extremes. Opener “I Am The Pillar of Darkness in Your Life” plays like Dante’s Virgil guiding the listener through the first circle of hell, in this case representing Krief’s own crippling anxiety. By album closer, “Gyp Million Star,” salvation appears in sight. “The idea is by the end of the album it’s beautiful,” Krief says. “Not dark. Peaceful,”
Along the way, there’s a sonic journey of truly maximalist proportions — oscillating at will between, aggressive, progressive and groovy (“Line Stepper”; “The Light Between Your Eyes”), and fragile and intimate (“Never Without You”).
Yet for all its bombast, there’s a total freedom of spirit that envelops Chemical Trance. According to Krief, that’s a reflection of his mental state at the time of its conception. Nothing short of a reinvention for the Montreal singer-songwriter, the album is an assertion of artistic autonomy.