New album Place Is announced, due 30/7 via Bar/None
New single ‘7th St / 7th Ave’
Arizona dream-pop artist koleżanka today announces their debut album Place Is, due 30th July via Bar/None Records. A woozy, beautiful exploration of ‘anti-place’ and the feeling of being in spatial limbo, Place Is draws together a unique sound that could only have been envisioned by creator Kristina Moore. Pre-order here:
On new single ‘7th st/ 7th ave‘, koleżanka takes the listener on a wildly engaging, psychedelic, journey. Lead singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer, Kristina Moore’s vocals soar across the track, crisscrossing upon itself with her overlaid background vocals.
Her kaleidoscopic shifting guitar tones and immaculate synth lines flow effortlessly together with the backdrop of Ark Calkins’ percussion, veering into the aforementioned 70s psychedelia without ever sounding dated. Her latest single, along with ‘Vegan Sushi’, is a magnificent introduction to the new sounds Moore is playing with on Place Is.
koleżanka further explains the track: “I used to have awful PTSD flashbacks and heavy dissociation, both of which would function differently, but would leave me feeling disoriented as if I had truly left my body and gone to another place and then come back and forget where I actually am.
More recently, I’ve found myself caught in bouts of nostalgia, where I get caught in a memory and lose my footing in a physical space because the memory is so cinematic. Or I found myself returning home to Phoenix after moving and every part of the city felt filled entirely by events spanning years and it felt overwhelming.“
Immediately the tone enters the ambiance with a distinct chorus-laden prominence, reflected in the tone is a real sense of nostalgia which drives the forcible energy as the exploration opens up. Various elements and hooks are added to the atmosphere as the compelling vocal harmonies captivate your attention. With that nostalgic essence, the lyrics offer this real personal and intimate appeal.
koleżanka captures such an array of emotional attachment which beams throughout, allowing this immersive experience where confliction simmers within the words. The structure and upbeat musicality offer this elated push to its journey yet the lyrics tell a different tale. This new single is the first taste from this visionary artist, such a complex nature runs throughout the ensemble and we know the album is destined to move us.
Kristina Moore writes songs about the anti-place, a state of being understood by truckers, deckhands, flight attendants, and touring musicians. An in-between existence where home becomes blurry, and improvised routines provide temporary comfort. That liminal experience was only exasperated when Moore relocated to New York and then immediately hit the road, spending every weeknight in a different club around the country, her bags still unpacked and her world in stasis.
In a previous life, Moore found structure in the unique contours of a ranching town in West Phoenix, where scorpions shared her home, and the streets belonged more to coyotes than vehicles or pedestrians. Her grandpa’s polka club was the center of the universe, it’s gravitational pull strong and comforting, a refuge where older Poles would come to sing and dance. There was even a brief time when they shared a roof with him, and nights not at the club were spent gathered around an old karaoke machine. Piano lessons proved ill-fitting, but when Moore joined the choir in her local Catholic Church, she fell in love with the larger than life hymns.
Despite a youth steeped in music, it wasn’t until late highschool that her first band came together, inspired by the freedom she found in their theatre program, and making use of an old accordion she’d inherited from her grandparents. After school, Moore moved to Omaha, where she spent a year writing her own songs before returning to Phoenix. She remembers this time fondly, booking tours through Myspace and printing out directions from MapQuest, performing in makeshift venues around the country and sleeping on floors and couches – a DIY crash course familiar to any lifer who got their start in the late aughts.
In 2016, she adopted the koleżanka name, which roughly translates to colleague, or a friendly acquaintance, a tongue-in-cheek comment on the competitive and male-dominated music scene she was navigating, and a nod to the bond she felt with the other women coming up against these same obstacles. “We were a minority presence, instant colleagues”, she explains. It was around this same time that she met the members of Triathalon, a rising indie band from New York, and struck up a friendship. Before long, she’d been invited to join the band, handling keys and backing vocals on their first national headline tour, and eventually moving out east to join them full time. One whirlwind year later, her stint with the group was over, and her life in the new city a burning question mark.
koleżanka’s debut album, Place Is, distills the experiences of a lifetime into sound. These songs could easily soundtrack a late night drive through the Phoenix desert, cacti and the pupils of wildlife illuminated under the yellow glow of headlights. Songs like ‘A Mouthful’ and ‘7th St‘ sway with an assured confidence, Moore’s calm voice a grounding beacon in a kaleidoscope of sound. Written over two years, the album was recorded mostly via email exchanges with longtime collaborator Ark Calkins. Plans to record in a proper studio back in Phoenix were cut short, when murmurs of a new virus brought life to a standstill. Nonetheless, they bubble with the energy of a live band, the swirling intro to ‘Vegan Sushi’ is massive, and Moore sounds distinctly like Lætitia Sadier, cool and steady amidst the controlled chaos.
‘40‘ wouldn’t sound out of place in her grandfather’s dimly lit nightclub, the rhythm of it’s off kilter drum machine invoking memories of late night polka before breaking into the triumphant refrain, “better to lie than to lie down”. It’s an album that asks the question, “what is a place and what is a home?”, investigating the deeply meaningful relationships we build with places – that coffee shop outside the venue in Texas, the bar around the corner, the intimate space we build with a lover. On Place Is, koleżanka delivers one of the year’s most promising debuts, a surprisingly self-assured record from an artist who’s only just getting started. One might go so far as to say Kristina Moore has found home, or at the very least, built one within the confines of these 9 songs.
7th St / 7th Ave
In A Meeting
Words for No One