“A rich and unforgettable first album” – Americana UK
FOR RELEASE MARCH 23, 2022
CHICAGO (February 18, 2022) – Chicago singer-songwriter Stanhope announces the release of his folk single, “Angry at Strangers” on March 23. It’s off the album, Static, on May 6. We’re at a place in history where tension and animosity to be “angry at strangers” feels like a constant assault arising from social media, the pandemic, and political unrest. Through gentle melodies and nostalgic-filled polaroids, the song provides a quiet resting place to land from the world around us.
The lyrics “the way I always want you in my dreams keeps me getting angry at strangers” and “the way we hurt each other because we can” nudges the listener to examine the deeper issues that cause people to react to the world around us. As Stanhope’s learned, “You’re not just angry at strangers for no reason. The memory of someone or some event can make you angry at the world around you if you don’t deal with that bad memory properly and move on.”
Stanhope originally wrote the opening lines, “no one’s as happy as you think they are / by the picture of them laughing on the hood of their car” almost ten years ago after a breakup. In 2020 the idea of being angry at strangers took on a new meaning, and he became interested in finishing the song because it felt like it could take on other meanings aside from just being a catchy heartbreak song.
Like memories fading in and out, Static’s songs come to life as if heard through the speakers of a transistor radio. Every song on the album draws on the past, either reflecting on it, dwelling on it, or moving beyond it. Stanhope comes at songwriting from a background in fiction/prose writing, with each song working like chapters in a novel to tell the album’s overarching story. Each chapter here is a flashback to a certain scene or place. With the Midwest as a backdrop, the timelessness in his music is influenced by growing up around small towns where change is slow and moving to the city as an adult.
Static Track Listing
- Angry at Strangers
- Bite My Lip
- Scream Inside Your Heart
- All in My Head
- I Can Do Better
- I Care More Than I Thought
- Black and White Eyes
Stanhope is the music of Chris Rawlins, who first started performing under a pseudonym to get over stage fright, but soon found artistic freedom in the idea of creating his own identity. His music career kicked off in 2014 when he moved to Chicago and started performing original material in public. Five years of open mics, local gigs, and short regional tours later, he released his first solo album, Bring on the Rain, in 2019 with the help of the Old Town School of Folk Music songwriter, teacher, and producer, Steve Dawson who recorded the album. He wrote and recorded his upcoming album, Static, in 2020 and 2021 and it will be the first official release under the Stanhope moniker.
Praise for Stanhope
“A rich and unforgettable first album from this Chicago based songwriter…surreal and thought-provoking.” (Americana UK)
“Chris Rawlins isn’t exactly a household name within Americana music just yet but as you listen to his debut album Bring on the Rain you quickly come to understand that he will be very soon.” (Artree)
“No doubt Rawlin’s will strum the heartstrings of listeners, and become an industry name in no time.” (Divide and Conquer Music)
“A James Taylor-like relaxed vocal delivery and clean guitar playing that perfectly fits the atmosphere he’s trying to build within the songs… Americana music played without gimmicks and stereotypes” (Dancing About Architecture)
“Rawlins is fingerpicking singer-songwriter troubadour of the old school, his songs drawn from everyday observations, his laid back melodies easy on the ear, his gentle, grainy voice variously evocative of Eric Andersen, James Taylor and, on the tone and phrasing of ‘Don’t Forget’, a folk country inflected Leonard Cohen.” (FATEA Records)