After releasing his debut, the Illustrator EP just months ago, Chris Urriola is back with another offering, the Elemental EP- out now. It seems that once the floodgates opened for Urriola, who has long played bass with the Queens, NY rock band Hollis Brown, they were impossible to close. “Songwriting has always been a way to create a larger world for myself.”
Despite major band shake-ups over the course of the recording of the Elemental EP, Chris never wavered in his determination to get his songs out into the world. The Elemental EP features four different drummers, a testament to Chris’ life as a bassist and the timeless connection of rhythm sectionals. The act of recording for Chris provided a sanctuary within, as lyric-writing allowed for a moment of expression and levity.
The collection of five songs detail glimpses into ideas of companionship & the difficulties of balancing the universal requirement of service and personal interests. The emotion is palpable on this album as Chris finds the true meaning of solo artistry in this dynamic period of his life. Band shake-ups, existential responsibility and the journey of “building the band” create an oscillating yet peaceful atmosphere within the rock-scape presented in Elemental.
Sonically, this EP showcases Chris’ roots in Rock n’ Roll while capturing psychedelic and synth-pop influences that have shaped the artistry of this burgeoning solo performer. While sticking to guitar through the majority of the record, the lead single, “HALE” provides an opportunity for Urriola to add his signature bass sound to the mix.
While his last effort, Illustrator provided a spurious switch from electro-pop genres, to guitar-rock, Elemental carries the listener through Urriola’s ideas of Rock n’ Roll and leaves you wondering what sound he will create next.
South First Sound’s Sean Walsh, Square Circle Audio’s Brian Herman, Studio G’ Jeff Berner & Koop Studio’s Matt Graff realized Chris’ sonic vision resulting in the Elemental EP.
Following the Illustrator EP with a new offering just four months later stemmed from Chris constantly asking himself, “What’s next,” a question he continues to ponder. “The hunger to release these personal expressions are more encapsulating each day,” he says, adding, “the goal is to realize the song and enjoy the process.”
Born in Queens, New York, Chris, at the age of 5, would join his father in riding the subway to Flushing’s Main Street to eat shish kabob. With sights, sounds and smells abound, he found this multiculturalism as we know today to be the impetus for his life-long search for the sounds of the world, including his own.
His musical interest in music began with a Kriss-Kross tape, Nas-Illmatic in his cousin’s car, fresh unwrapped tape. The sub-bass of Salsa music blasted above him and his Sega-Genesis playing companions at a family party. Meanwhile, while the cultures of Greece & Ecuador coalesce into his being, resulting in his love of rhythm. New York, with its multitude of people, fed Chris with endless inspiration which allowed for an upbringing of artistic creation to take hold.
As he built his career playing bass in bands such as Hollis Brown, Germans (Julia Kwamya) and The Bones of JR Jones, his dedication materialized in lauded performances around the world. So, when it was time to step into the solo role, he found it came naturally with the experience he has developed through the years.