top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Vermont Singer-Songwriter Kris Gruen Announces Release Of Sixth Studio Album 'In Bloom'

By Pati deVries.

Vermont singer-songwriter, Kris Gruen, announces the release of his sixth studio album, In Bloom, on June 2, 2023. Gruen counters global gloom with a nostalgic celebration of maturing familial joys. In Bloom is an innately melodic album of love songs, but love in the sense of deep relationships, marriage, and a parent’s devotion to children on the trepidatious edge of adulthood (one of whom sings on the record.) The first single, "Heaven on a Car Ride", a collaboration with Kendall Jane Meade was featured as 'Song of the Day' on Austin tastemaker KUTX.

“Marriage, new life, loss – big themes of family are really where I revolve,” mulled Kris as he boarded yet another flight for yet another tour. “And nature – a lot of nature. We live on an organic hillside farm in mountainous wilderness in Vermont, and we love that life.”

Released by Mother West, In Bloom marries heartfelt Americana to the whisper-folk of Iron & Wine and Sufjan Stevens, all infused with the spirit of turn-of-the-‘80s punk that Kris was born into as the son of legendary NYC rock ‘n’ roll photographer Bob Gruen. (He recalls Debbie Harry eating his Hershey bar during a childhood nap at his dad’s place).

“I was directly connected with Joe Strummer of The Clash, Blondie, and The Ramones,” he recalled; I’ve been reconnecting with that part of my life, and on this new record, there’s this kind of energy lift.”

That reconnection has recently been enriched by gallery shows where Kris both interviews his father and serves as a musical opener. “We’re close to putting a real program together where I’m playing the songs of the artists that he’s showing pictures of, which puts me in a very different genre,” he explained. Earlier this year, Kris was even invited to perform vocals with a studio supergroup comprising Blondie’s Clem Burke, Sex Pistol Glen Matlock, Richard Lloyd of Television, and the Voidoids’ Ivan Julian.

So, it’s only appropriate that the first single from In Bloom is a roaring, sing-along Americana take on reggae-fied Clash classic “Bankrobber,” which Kris was first asked to perform by frequent tour mate Jesse Malin for a Joe Strummer tribute concert. Heartbreaker follow-up “Heaven on a Car Ride” is a delicate acoustic duet with Kendall Jane Meade, penned and recorded by the pair in just a single LA evening. The album’s title track is a co-write with Timothy Robert Graham, who also contributes backing vocals on several songs.

On elegantly contemplative standout “You’re the One I’m Looking For,” Kris duets with his daughter Jasmine, their voices complimenting as only kin can. “Especially on the cusp of her leaving for college, it’s a tearjerker for the family,” he said. The familial theme continues with album opener “The Table,” the true story of how he met his wife, sung to his daughters.

Also, an acclaimed poet, Kris’s narrative gift is evident throughout In Bloom, a record driven equally by words and music. “It feels very sculptural to me, the act of putting together a song,” Kris explained. Because of the perfect Tetris fit, I’m always looking for between lyric, melody, and rhythm.”

Recording In Bloom often in single takes, captured by the marvellously sparse treatments of longtime producer/collaborator Charles Newman (The Magnetic Fields, The Bones of J.R. Jones), helped to retain the material’s unfiltered, bucolic aura – something that Kris takes still further with his one-man-and-a-guitar live shows. The album features sublime instrumental contributions from drummer Butch Norton (Lucinda Williams, Rufus Wainwright, Tracy Chapman), bassist Ed Maxwell (Shelby Lynne, Rickie Lee Jones), and horn player Probyn Gregory (Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney) and guitarist Eli Wulfmeir (Leroy of the North, Nikki Lane).

In Bloom will be supported by extensive touring, including European dates with Chuck Prophet, many of which will be captured for future music videos by Swedish filmmaker Martin Hedman, and stateside shows with Alejandro Escovedo.

“In Bloom is just really my cure for a lot of the struggle and sorrow we see on the world stage,” said Kris, scurrying for his plane. “Making change where you can at home and just feeling connected to what’s right in front of you in the present moment rather than some distant threat.”


June 6----Leeds, UK----Brudenell

June 7----Glasgow, UK---St. Lukes

June 8----Glasgow, UK----The Doublet

June 10---Newcastle------Cluny

June 11---Bury, UK----The Met

June 12---Birmingham, UK----Hare & Hounds

June 13---Bristol, UK-----Fleece


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

bottom of page