The music of Chris Pureka plays like a long, serene drive in the middle of a deserted countryside. There are no pretenses. No fancy bells and whistles. Just bare honesty and solid storytelling, all performed by a woman who seems to have lived far beyond her twenty-seven years.
At the age of sixteen, New Englander Chris Pureka learned to play guitar, but during college, Pureka focused much of her studies on science. Still, after graduation, an unrelenting pull for music ultimately won out over a career in a laboratory.
And so with her acoustic guitar in tow, Pureka began to write her songs, performing in coffee houses and eventually releasing her self-titled EP in 2001. Her constant performing led to an increasingly growing fan base and to her first national tour performing with folk poet, Alix Olson.
A couple of years later, in 2004, Pureka released her full-length debut, Driving North, an album that started to garner her even more accolades. Performing Songwriter wrote of the album: “The girl plays like she owns the instrument totally; you can hear confidence in every string squeak and strum… Technical talent fused with the more abstract skill of writing a good tune makes ‘Driving North’ an experience for all seasons.”
Two years later, Pureka released the album’s follow-up in the form of Dryland, an album that continues to run with the same themes and ideas from Driving North, but serves as an even more mature record.
The album features ten exquisite original songs and a stellar cover of Gillian Welch‘s “Everything Is Free.”
Pureka’s latest is Chimera, a seven-track EP that precedes her third full-length album due out later this year. Here you’ll find two new songs: “California” and “Hold It Together,” along with three live tracks taken from live performances of the last couple of years.
Pureka’s brand of songwriting has much in common with fellow songwriters like Patty Griffin and the aforementioned Welch. Like them, she’s able to create incredible stories with seemingly little effort, captivating listeners with a remarkable voice and accomplished guitar playing.
Chris Pureka’s Chimera was officially released today and she is currently touring with a slew of dates in the Northeast. Please visit her official site for a list of upcoming performances.