Concert: Christopher Paul Stelling Live@Helter Skelter Bar

Christopher-Paul
Amidst the euphoria of playing in bars, cafes, theaters, festivals, under bridges and in living rooms, were late night conversations with friends, new and old, about the undercurrents of tension and change in their countries and concerns about what was happening back in his own. And so Christopher Paul Stelling wrote songs about it all. Darkly beautiful and powerful songs which became the album Itinerant Arias which arrives on May 5th. Months ago, these songs seemed cynical, even paranoid. After all, everything was going to be fine.

Last week he released the lead track “Destitute.” Stelling refers to it as a “salvation song.” He explains, “It’s a song about putting one foot in front of the other, about looking up… I think it’s cheerful, a nice place to start. I don’t feel that way everyday, but you know, on some days I do. And it’s good to start off the record that way because then it goes to some pretty dark places.”

Along with the track, there is a video depicting Stelling at home in Asheville, North Carolina preparing to hit the road again. As Stelling explains, “I wanted the video for Destitute to convey the bittersweet relationship that I have with leaving. Just when I start to settle in it’s time to go. As hard as it is to find any routine in my home life, touring has become like a nightly reunion. My friends are out there, and I get to go see them, check in, and play them my latest. Destitute is a song about counting your blessings.”

Unlike previous records, Itinerant Arias finds Stelling backed by a band, electrified if you will. It is a record inspired by movement and travel. The album cover a photograph taken by Stelling himself depicting an arrangement of found objects on his table. With a little more than a week before returning to the road, he retreated to a friend’s Connecticut cabin out in the woods with some musician friends. They slept there, ate there and didn’t leave for the next eight days, recording the haunting and powerful record.

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