American indie musician Christopher Wilson knows a thing or two about being independent. “My independent one!”, his mother called him while growing up the fifth of seven children. The Pennsylvania native learned at a very young age that you must do for yourself. Classic middle kid syndrome. Wearing many different hats since then—including US Army soldier and medical laboratory scientist—the singer-songwriter/guitarist juggled numerous jobs to launch his music into the world. His nomadic lifestyle has led him to live, record, and perform all over the United States: Harrisburg (his hometown), Baltimore, Brooklyn, San Antonio, Houston, Portland, and currently, Kansas City. One constant is his passion for writing socially conscious rock, pop, and folk songs from an empathic perspective.
“A troubadour from olden times who’s just visiting this era.”, wrote Indie-Music.com upon the release of Wilson’s solo debut East Mall Daze (2001), inspired by the compounded grief Wilson endured throughout much of the nineties. Coming out during the AIDS crisis, Wilson soon found himself caring for his first love—his artistic muse—and numerous friends who eventually succumbed to the disease. Lamenting devastating loss and grief, the album also heralds themes of unconditional love, faith, resilience, and joy. The single “How Why & When” was featured on the Delta Air Lines fleet while its accompanying music video went into rotation on the Austin Music Network. Wilson’s second album Read On (2006), a heavier alternative rock sound featuring unorthodox pedal steel on lead guitar and synth parts, revolves around lyrical themes of authenticity and realness in our fake corporate culture that destroys the working class. Read On charted in the CMJ Top 30 at a number of US college radio stations, while receiving airplay worldwide on public and community radio stations.
Wilson’s sound is an amalgam of acoustic folk pop balladry and uptempo alternative rock, heavily influenced by melodic guitar driven stalwarts John Denver, Pete Townshend, Joan Jett, Heart, Rush, Fleetwood Mac, Alan Parsons Project, R.E.M., and The Smiths. Past reviews touted: “Well-crafted folk pop tunes” -Windy City Times; ”Triumphantly upbeat pop poetry reminiscent of R.E.M.” -outvoice.net; “Thought provoking lyrics reinforced by strong, emotional vocals.” -OutSmart Magazine
Ten years in the making, Wilson returns on March 31, 2023 with Insular. A concept album, Insular was inspired by a remote military assignment Wilson served years ago on Johnston Atoll, one of the most isolated atolls in the world. During his year long assignment, he began writing songs, honing his guitar skills, and eventually formed a rock band with two fellow soldiers to keep insanity at bay. Insular is about mental health in the electronically connected modern world, each song reflecting a unique state of emotional isolation. Wilson states, “It seems that humans are evermore so connected and yet further apart, our eyes glued to electronic screens instead of each other, lacking true social interaction which is essential for our mental health and well being. Covid-19 has only exacerbated the problem.” Therein lies the theme of the album’s title track, with a message of hope and possibility despite the excruciating circumstances. Two rock singles—and accompanying music videos—have been released ahead of the album: “Numb” explores the depths of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while “Corner” amplifies Wilson’s personal concern over the ongoing scourge of gun violence in America. The third single “Reaching Out” transforms human vulnerability into positivity and light, while the fourth single “Why Would I” questions the sanity of love. Stay tuned!