Californian Troubadour Chris Beland Releases New Album 'What I Believe'
Santa Barbara Records announces Chris Beland and his new album, What I Believe released September 16. A troubadour in the tradition of Bob Dylan, Andrew Bird, and Neil Young, the California native has weathered homelessness, being a single and step-dad to finding true love again, battling with drugs, and finding his real father at age 32 to create a discography of gorgeous work that both grapples with and pays homage to his history. From 2005’s ode to his wife and loved ones, Outer Space, to 2012’s Danger of Love, which he made with his biological father, Beland’s music traces his biography through becoming a father to losing his faith to finding it again.
Beland released the first single, “Family Tree,” a swinging track about how despite how polarized our country is at the moment, we’re all still the same. “We’re all part of this together,” Beland says. “Even if you don’t like the person on the other side of the aisle, you’re still connected.”
The collection of songs on What I Believe touches on the world today, as well as Beland’s evolution as a man with “Stare at the Walls,” a honeyed, crooning song about, well, just that, and “World,” a blazing rocker about unity. The album-opener, “What Is Georgia?,” an almost Springsteenian folly jammer, brings in current events, weaving the story of the historic election in that state.
“It felt like I had something to speak to this generation,” Beland says of the upcoming album as another generation comes into the world in his living room. “I want to bring people together instead of divide.”
When the pandemic hit, Beland became even more introspective — especially since musicians were no longer able to tour or play shows. “I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to play music again,” Beland says, explaining that it was then he decided to undertake the most ambitious record of his career thus far. “If this was the last thing you were going to hear from me, it was going to be really good,” he adds.