Review by Emily Smith
Since 2013, Kris Angelis has been showcasing her brand of folk-inspired pop. To date, the artist has releases The Left Atrium and her recent 2017 album Heartbreak Is Contagious, which have garnered critical acclaim and a spot on the Top 10 iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts.
Following this success, Angelis returns with an upbeat yet slightly bittersweet single, “Photobooth.” She teamed up with producer Billy Lefler, together crafting a song about getting close to a person you’re interested in, only to realize those moments would last for just one night. Angelis comments, “[The track] has a bittersweet sentiment but I wanted the song to sound fun and happy like the memories were.” Indeed her and Lefler created something that Angelis believes will “elicit the feelings of being at a party with the joy, hope, nostalgia and the butterflies when your crush takes your hand and you dance.”
The instrumentation definitely helps express the positive memories depicted in the song. The beginning of the song features a sweetly plucked acoustic guitar and Angelis’ charming vocals. The verses usually only feature the acoustic guitar and a few strums of the electric guitar in the background. The instrumentation in the verses helps to build to the chorus, which is more lush in sound. There are rhythmic claps and piano that’s intertwined with the electric guitar, which accompany the beautifully harmonized vocals throughout the chorus. Angelis’ handle on harmonies is also showcased before the bridge of the song, which features some ethereal vocalizations.
The bright instrumentation is accompanied by lyrics that describe the little moments with a crush. Lyrics like, “You kissed me on the cheek and I kissed you back/ We played hide and seek behind the curtains black,” show those bittersweet moments. There is also a reverence for the past and sense of nostalgia laced throughout the song in lyrics like, “I’ll just keep that moment on the window sill,” which insinuates a desire for that moment to not be forgotten.
Angelis ups the sense of nostalgia with the motif of a photobooth. As to why she chose to focus on photobooths, Angelis says “I’ve always thought photobooths were romantic and that concept would be fun to write a song about, but also as a bit of a catharsis for a heartbreak. The song is more upbeat and nostalgic than one might imagine, because it’s about those memories captured in the flashes of the photobooth.”
Throughout the song, Angelis really brings to life the idea of re-living a moment by personifying something like a Photobooth. Angelis states “I wrote ‘Photobooth’ about a night that I thought was finally going to be the happy beginning of something and it turned out to be the end, but the night itself was wonderful and we captured spontaneous moments in the photobooth.” This meaning is captured in the lyrics in the chorus, “We lived a whole and beautiful life/ Caught in a photobooth that night.”
This thought-provoking single puts a positive spin on a moment lasting just one night, something relatable and fun to reminisce on for many.
Follow Kris Angelis