Dark, Orchestral Pop

Krief Branches Out From Dears With Solo EP

A man of few words and many mysteries, Montreal-based musician Patrick Krief feels like he’s still trying to wrap his head around his own music and a solo career.

As well as being the guitarist for the gritty, brooding, orchestral indie band the Dears, Krief has released a solo EP and an album with his band Black Diamond Bay. While Krief has just released his newest solo effort, Hundred Thousand Pieces—an unassuming, deluge of warm, billowing baroque and droning uncertainty—he’s still not really sure who he is as a solo artist.

“It’s just something I like to do, that’s its own entity,” said Krief of the album, and his solo career. “I’m just doing my best to not understand how it all happens. I enjoy the mystery.”

That penchant for intrigue and intensity is palpable in the infinitely and intricately layered orchestral indie pop masterpiece, with Krief manning the helm and tracking the majority of the instruments himself.

“My first solo ep was recorded, mixed and mastered in five days,” said Krief. “The arrangements were very minimal as well, like 16 tracks per song. But this album took over six months to produce. It has very dense arrangements, there are strings, choirs, brass, many guitar overdubs. Some songs have over 100 tracks. There was a lot more attention to detail on this one.”

Krief, on writing songs and what drove him to paint out these sprawling soundscape arrangements, is curt—almost startlingly brief.

“Real life trauma, stress, and existential crisis.”

“I felt that they were done before I could even record them,” he said of the songs. “As soon as I wrote them, they were finished products in my mind.”

As to why he didn’t opt to pursue the songs with the Dears, Krief said that he could identify them as solo material just by the nature of their conception and their clarity.

“When songs are that clear and immediate to me, I see them as Krief songs,” he explained.

Hitting the highway running with a jagged, electric swath of energy and a chaotic four-piece backing band, Krief said he’s excited to get on the road with what will most likely be a fairly even mix of old and new material.

“It hasn’t been hard at all, to juggle my solo stuff with the Dears,” he said, nothing that he has projects with both musical entities coming down the pipeline.