Music News

Chimney Choir's Kris Drickey Goes Solo on State Change

Evan McCandless

Kris Drickey had a tough time creating her upcoming solo EP, State Change. The Chimney Choir multi-instrumentalist and singer says it took two years for these songs to come to fruition, and the process was plagued by procrastination and self-sabotaging.

This is the first time she's released music apart from her folk band, in which she plays keyboard, guitar, violin and percussion and sings. With a knack for songwriting and wanting to explore solo music, Drickey forged ahead. The process was slow though, and if it weren't for COVID-19 keeping the singer stuck at home for most of the summer, it still might not be complete.

When Drickey's not making music, she works as a yoga teacher and in plant medicine, which she was studying in Costa Rica over the spring. "I was living in a tent jungle," Drickey says. While she was in the program, she was confronting her anxiety and depression. Dealing with her self-doubt and low self-esteem helped her finish the album after she was forced to cut her trip short because of the virus.

Stuck at home and with a newfound head space, as well as some creative inspiration from living in a different country, Drickey was finally ready to complete the project. "My livelihood fell away. The band fell away. I couldn’t teach or do anything," she says. "I had the space to do it. The songs wanted to be worked on."

One of the last songs on the album is called "Little Hummingbird." Drickey wrote it while she was still in Costa Rica, and it includes sounds from the jungle. The song encourages people to be open to guidance and support, something the hummingbird does in Native American mythology.

But while Costa Rica was supposed to be her main journey this year, the creation of the EP actually ended up taking her on a much more important adventure of self-discovery. Along the way, she often turned to others for advice or instruction, but that did little good. She ultimately realized that she was the only one who could create these songs, and she had to be the one to finish them.

"I always came back to myself," she says. "I am the bottom-line person behind these songs, and I know what to do. I doubted that a lot."

From the sound of the chimes of her old apartment to her niece's heartbeat in utero in the song "Disturbance," she put pieces of her life and soul into the tracks. It's an intimate album, and her goals as an artist are personal.

"I don’t feel particularly ambitious on an industry level," she says. "I just feel excited about making and sharing music."

There will be a State Change EP listening party at 7 p.m. on December 12 on Facebook.