Chris Lind – Drive


Chris Lind has become a driving force in the New York City music scene. “A dazzling singer-songwriter a la Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake…” – Chronogram Magazine. He’s developed a unique and personal sound, defined by soaring vocals and hauntingly beautiful melodies. Beyond a solid background in rock and jazz, Chris spent a year studying Hawaiian Slack Key guitar at its source. Now he regularly performs at many of NYC’s most respected listening rooms. Lind’s expansive musical journey presents some fascinating geographic storylines.

A native of South Jersey (near Philly) who became a driving force on the NYC music scene, Lind has performed regularly in California and recently relocated to his dad’s native Hawaii. In between studies at Skidmore College, he lived, worked and gigged often in Honolulu. Expanding his repertoire, he studied with renowned artist Ozzie Kotani. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Music, he moved to NYC and within a year began gigging at hotspots like Rockwood Music Hall (ultimately performing on all three stages), The Living Room and Pete’s Candy Store (where he secured various residencies). What is the Slack Key, is a question some might ask. And although Chris Lind has the answer, he hides the key within this single, “Drive” which is the first from his new EP. And if you’ve followed him at all thus far, you’ll already know that his fascination with geography is written all over his music and the “unique” sound it has. This isn’t some accident but he doesn’t force the purpose either, as he places inflections of it in most of his work. But this is where he pushes the subject in a clever way by putting it to wheels in motion, so to speak. This can’t be easy but he makes it sound that way, which is another strong element on this single. In matching some of his bio with that opening opinion, this could go two ways but the direction of the song points to way out west, where some think it’s the best and others think it is way too laid back. You either like it or you don’t and that goes for both sides of the highway. And it doesn’t take off too swiftly, so you don’t know at first if they’re even headed out of the driveway, as the love song element also has its place here. But they do make it into some faster motion and that’s where the song picks up and makes you listen to the softer parts by the time it’s over. It’s very compelling that way, which helps it stay interesting as well as soothing as the low register should. Nice and easy, balanced with good hard breaks. Lind really pours his heart out and turns in a gifted vocal performance without forgetting to musically hit a home run. That’s the best way to describe it, being only one track to review. I can’t put it better, as I recommend it to anyone looking for not only something new, but musically intelligent in a sea of numbing pop bands these days. You get folk and tradition as well, without losing the modern inclinations. If everyone were doing this it wouldn’t stick with me so easily, but it’s not something you find every day, but definitely worth seeking and not only that, worth not having to look far in order to find. If I’m not hinting at something there, than you’re not reading. It’s really that simple, Chris Lind is good at what he does and gets his message across solid and he makes his way onto more accessible avenues with his comprehensive multi-cultural style of music that crosses over so well it could fool anyone. And if that isn’t all, he has a voice that stands up with the best of the soft rock artists of the last thirty years. This tells you he’s as wise as they come, with the ability to last another thirty to span nearly a hundred years of he keeps it up. No flirting around with that idea after wrapping your head around this. You’ll be wanting the EP, but should just pick it up and hear all of the tracks.

There is an underlying rock artist here as yet to emerge as well, and you can hear it in the big breaks found on “Drive” as they actually serve to dominate the song but must also be toned down by their counterparts. What a lovely combination of several layers of music going on to enjoy by an artist who’s making his way across the boundaries and borders of the nation and music for all they’re worth. It’s totally positive and earns high marks. Keep an eye out for the EP and Chris Lind himself, but enjoy this single in the meantime.


M. Martin