“I have two lenses,” admits Montreal-based singer-songwriter, Chris Velan. “The small one is focused internally, learning about myself. The large one point’s outward, observing how the world works in its complexity. I try to find my own truths on both those levels of inquiry.
Searching for these truths since first picking up a guitar at the age of nine, Velan’s journey to understand how he and the world itself operates has taken him down two distinct paths: law and music. In his early 20s, Velan was determined to make sense of humanity’s struggles through a career in law, only to realize – after collaborating on the Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars’ documentary – that he could make as great an impact through music by its simple yet profound ability to connect people.
Velan’s journey to make that connection culminates in his fourth full-length effort, Fables For Fighters (NewSong Recordings/Fontana North). Motivated by a range of influences spanning 70s’ singer-songwriters, blues, rock, 80s alternative, West African music and reggae, Fables For Fighters finds Velan at his most poetically versatile. Written while touring in support of his previous effort Solidago (2009), Fables For Fighters furthers Velan’s goal to carve out his own path, directly inspired by the loneliness, searching, exhilaration and exhaustion of a nomadic musical lifestyle.
“With a couple of albums and a lot traveled miles now under my belt, I feel like I’ve arrived at a place where I better understand who I am as an artist and a songwriter. It’s a foothold that I’ve worked hard to find. I wanted the album to reflect that hard-worn growth by being as honest and intuitive in its recording as it could be,” says Velan. “I ended up putting a lot of its direction in Iestyn’s hands, who pushed me to capture the emotion and raw energy of my live shows. It was liberating.”