Los Angeles based musician Chris Gale has had an eclectic career writing and performing music in various forms from writing music for ads, playing in piano bars around the world to making all night minimalist soundscapes for art festivals. Now, Gale embarks on a new journey to define his own sound with his solo project, Norrie. Releasing three singles earlier this year, Norrie’s short body of work is defined by an understated moodiness, soft, rolling instrumentals and deep, hypnotic vocals. With tunes that rumble softly into subtle crescendos, Norrie has released a fourth single, “Earthrise,” a soul searching low humming song that encapsulates the essence of self discovery and personal choices.
“This song began at 7:30 a.m. at a Perkins Diner in Aberdeen, SD, watching some older men have breakfast together and thinking about the people who choose to stay in small towns and the people who don’t,” notes Norrie. “I was in the midst of choosing to leave my home of Minneapolis for LA and trying to sort through what it all meant. I ended up writing a song about staying, although I didn’t stay.”
The music video for “Earthrise” was directed by Danny Valentine with sets & art direction by Erik Klein. It is a DIY creation where Gale constructed a miniature diorama and placed himself, garbed in a Mork inspired spacesuit, inside his space craft background. Singing and performing mundane, daily tasks, Gale recites his lyrics with a far off expression that denotes a desire for something bigger than himself. Inspired partially by the Earthrise photo he’d seen in school, the music video capitalizes on the song’s theme and the need to retrace one’s steps in order to see what they have added up to.
“The story of “Earthrise” the song is made the most clear in the bridge – it’s two kids seeing this photograph and having different reactions that changed the course of their lives,” notes Norrie. “I remember the moment you left me behind/You saw a picture from the sky/We’d never seen such a thing in our lives/Rising among some permanent night/I saw a secret I didn’t like/You saw a picture of you from the sky.” I definitely saw the image of the Earth from the outside and thought I was as big as the whole planet and could swallow it up. I write songs to get a little closer to figuring out the un-figure-out-able, and with “Earthrise” it’s whether I should embrace that sense of bigness or run from it.”
Choosing to create a diorama for the music video, Norrie notes his recent excitement over dioramas and diorama imagery that was sparked pre 2020 lockdown. On the heels of his debut album release — titled A Cloud, set to be released Sept. 10 — Norrie has even gone so far as to create a diorama for every song on his record.
“I’ve never been as proud of a work as I am of the record that I’m putting out this year – it’s called A Cloud and it’s a wild group of songs and sounds that’s made me remember how and why I like music in the first place.”
Catch Norrie live on Sept. 12 at 7pm for his LP release show. Tickets are $10 and you must be vaxxed of have a negative test to enter the venue. Special guests include: Jennie Lawless, Meredith Adelaide, Chip Scout and DJ Puffiiie.
Words: Patti Sanchez